What Do You Dream For?

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?


Family Vacations – Should You or Should You Not?

photo (30)Recently, my family and I went on vacation. Yes, thank you, it was lovely. Getting away from the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and cold weather is always a good  thing. And this time I was able to check a destination off my bucket list: Aruba. If you’ve never been, I suggest you put it on your list too. It’s a must see if only for the constant 87 degrees and no humidity.

Unfortunately, I have a very bad habit. I put the dreaded weight of expectations on my events and often times the people I interact with. For example, when you’re driving up to the that red, octagon shaped sign with large white letters in the center I expect you to STOP. (I’m actually referring to the very bad driver that lives in my development and either hasn’t passed his/her driver’s test or can’t read. I’m not sure which.) But I digress.

Let’s get back to vacation. A much nicer place to be. How blessed we were to spend this time together on a tropical island. What a wonderful chance to put aside our everyday life and enjoy each other’s company. Here would be a chance to laugh together, share special moments we could reflect on with a feeling of warmth. The Universe had presented an opportunity to connect as a family because our time together is so limited. A family vacation would provide a peaceful sharing of love for one another.

I entered the fantasy world of greeting cards where sprites float through the air and candy canes pop out of the ground. I forgot for a brief moment I have two children the ages of 13 and 12. What in the world was I thinking?

They didn’t care they were on vacation. They were going to fight just like we were still in the midst of a cold spring in New Jersey and my plans for bonding be damned. Didn’t they know what this vacation was supposed to mean? Couldn’t they read my mind? Feel my maternal vibes drifting over them? Uh..no. And they shouldn’t. They are supposed to fight. They’re siblings. And my mother has often reminded me how my sister and I fought all through the years we were growing up. We just never got to fight in Aruba.

I’m still learning to release my choke hold on expectations. It isn’t easy, but I’m getting there. (Bad driving excluded.) It’s okay my kids didn’t hold hands and skip along the beach. I’m mean, that would’ve been a little weird, no? Even with the barking of two adolescents, we were able to laugh, share, and be together. We still have the memories of time spent with each other floating in the pool, on the beach with sand between our toes, and in front of a sunset. No one and nothing is perfect. My kids don’t have to be either. As long as we’re together. (Cue the sprites and candy canes, please!)

So, my faithful reader, what are your best and worst family vacation memories? Was it worth it?