What Do You Dream For?

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Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

We dream. The Universe provides us with those dreams, but they don’t always look the way we imagined them. That’s okay. Often times, the dream turns out better.

Somewhere along the way of leaving the Charlie’s Angel’s Hideaway House behind for makeup, I decided I wanted to be an author. Not any author. A famous one. With tons of readers. I wanted a huge publishing deal (not that I totally knew what that was back then) with a publishing house in New York City, the publishing capital of the world. I did know who McMillan was if only because they had a hand in publishing text books.

My dream to be a famous author isn’t looking exactly like I thought when I was 12 then 15 then… never mind the numbers. Publishing is a very different animal than when Stephen King signed his first contract for Carrie. That’s okay.

I indie published my middle-grade fantasy adventure series and coming to that decision wasn’t an easy or quick one. That looks nothing like my first dream.

Recently, I announced on my Facebook page, another new adventure in my publishing dream. (If you’re kind enough to follow me in both places, pardon my redundancy. If you don’t follow me on Facebook and want to, I love seeing friendly faces over there.) I signed a three-book deal with a traditional publisher for my women’s fiction series. Now I’m a hybrid author. No one even knew what that was ten years ago. Times change.

I’m very excited about this opportunity. Every author desires for their work to be wanted and liked. (We know we’re not supposed to read the reviews, but still get bummed when there’s a less than favorable one. It’s like picking on our kids.) I’m glad my new publisher believed in my work the way I do.

Even though I have and will have books in two different genres all my books have a united theme: Family are those who love you when you need them whether you’re born to that family or find them along the way. All my main characters seek to belong, to be loved, want a chance to fit in somewhere.

The first book in the new series, A Second Chance House, about a woman who is given the anonymous gift of dilapidated house in a new town, is in edits. I’ll announce a release date when I have one.

I don’t have the fame of my beloved Stephen King. (yet) The dream to be an author has most certainly come true and for that I’m grateful, humbled, and thrilled. I didn’t have any idea how hard it would be to find my readers, but I am, one at a time. The process might take longer than I thought, but it’s very rewarding when I get an email from a reader who saw me speak four years before, finally read my book and loved it enough to drop a line. Or when an eighth grader draws me a picture of one of my characters and has his teacher mail it to me. Or when a book club turns the woods behind one of their houses into Kata-Tartaroo and goes on a scavenger hunt. (That’s one of my favorite stories.)

I couldn’t make my dream come true without my readers. Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate you reading my books, your continued visits to the blog and the comments you leave behind.

What was your dream back when playgrounds and sidewalk chalk were a daily existence? What does that dream look like now?

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11 thoughts on “What Do You Dream For?

  1. Best of luck in your endeavors. For me, I don’t recall ever believing I could/would make an impact. Depressing, right? But, I think it’s always been about the journey not the destination. Try to be a better person/husband/father/friend on a daily basis. Some of this is based on an early understanding that one’s life is short in the grand scheme of things, so make the best of today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the end product of what you did 🙂

    1. Thank you! We all make an impact in some way. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing for everyone. Trying to be a better person, acting out of kindness, helping someone, or doing your best to raise your kids is enough of an impact. Thank you for becoming a member of our community here. Everyone is friendly. Please stop by and say hi again.

  2. What a wonderful post, Stacey. Congrats on the book deal! I hope it turns out to be everything you hope for. I have to say that, for me too, it’s the readers that make this whole adventure in writing worthwhile. 🙂

  3. Such great news, Stacey! Biggest congratulations!

    Pros make it all look so easy — as if talent and a sizable readership is just a snap of the fingers away — and that’s probably what inspired all of us to try our hand at writing. The thing we discover, of course, is that mastering our craft and cultivating an audience is an incremental — even glacial — process that requires tremendous patience and determination. Just keep building a fan base through your blog, and they will be there for you when the book is published. (Kristen Lamb was just saying the other day that it’s never too early to start building up the platform.) You’re doing everything right.

    As for my own dreams: I initially went into filmmaking because I liked the collaborative spirit of it — I always imagined it was something my friends and I could do together — but as reality set in, I realized it takes a special kind of perseverance to be a storyteller. Once I accepted I was “on my own,” as it were, novels seemed to be a better fit than screenwriting. All of which makes measuring success a tricky thing, because one needs to learn to adjust expectations with experience — that is to say, the dreams that motivated us may or may not be entirely realistic, but that isn’t to say we can’t have fulfilling careers, even if they’re somewhat different than what we imagined when we didn’t know any better.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Every day brings something new to learn and I’ve been at this as a published author for almost four years. I’m looking forward to finding out what I’ll learn through this new publisher. I like Kristen Lamb. I learned a lot of great stuff from her too.

      When you imagined making films with your friends, did they share in that? At first, the idea of writing a book or a screenplay or being in a band seems like a great idea and a lot of fun, but shortly after you begin, you realize it’s work if you’re going to do it the right way. That’s where you lose a lot of people. The fun quickly disappears.

      I’m not sure however, that the dreams that motivated us, as you say, aren’t realistic. Why not? Because they appear to be out of our reach? Because there are so many gatekeepers in our path? Because the path doesn’t look like anything we imagined? Bob Mayer always says, there are many roads to Oz. If a dream is in your heart, then you are meant to go after it. When you tell the Universe you want something the Universe will bring it to you. You won’t know when it will arrive because that won’t be in your time, I’m certain of that, but it will come. Dreams do come true. Walt Disney said so.

      1. Like most things, screenwriting/filmmaking sounded great when it was an abstraction, but it just wasn’t the obsession for most of my friends that it was for me, and it’s too much damn work to pursue if it isn’t an obsessive passion. I don’t think any of them made the wrong choice: I can’t imagine they would have traded their careers to be forty and without a produced credit!

        Which goes to your second point: Dreams themselves may not be unrealistic, but expectations can be, as they are in direct correlation with the level of commitment one is willing to invest. If you’re willing to do the work and stick out the hard times, then, yes, even the “wildest” dreams are achievable. It all comes down to this: How bad to you want it — and what are you willing to sacrifice for it?

  4. I can’t agree with you more. Making dreams come true requires hard work and perseverance. You can’t sit on your couch expecting things to fall in your lap. When my kids were little I used to get up at five to write before they got up for the day. It was the only time I could really call my own. Someone said to me once, “I wish I was that passionate.” My reply, “You just haven’t found the thing you’re passionate about yet. You will.”

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