I started writing stories when I was nine years old. I would sit in my bed and allow my imagination to come to life in tablets about horses, love (yeah, I was nine...but I tried to imagine), mystery, and murderous ghosts (must have been puberty).
Along the way, people scoffed at my dream of being a writer full-time. Dreamers don't make money, they said. Nice hobby, they said. Being a writer is like being an actress or singer, few people ever make it, they said. As I grew up, it became even more derisive. I started not admitting to writing manuscripts and "legitimized" myself with jobs that ranged from journalist to a registered representative at a national brokerage house (my dark period). But I never stopped writing those stories. Never.
I felt like an addict--secretive for many years about how I spent my free time. I attended writers' conferences like a spy heading off on a mission. Where are you going this weekend? Um...San Diego. For what? Um...to hang out. (Okay, so I wouldn't have been a very good spy.)
Well, guess what? I’m a published author. KISS ME SLOWLY is out in the world, taking on a life of its own with strangers discussing the characters and enjoying the wild ride of the story. What a rush! I’m having conversations with readers about characters I created. My book is selling across the United States, Canada and the UK. I found out Monday that it's on hold in libraries. I have to pinch myself to realize that this is really happening.
Do you know what it feels like to have a dream come to life? To have that dream validated? It feels like I caught the ball, scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl and am doing my celebratory dance beneath the goal line--complete with shimmies and jazz hands, baby.
This is fun. Perhaps I need to find a more profound word to describe what it's like to live out a dream, but right now fun describes it perfectly. When did fun become a bad word anyway? It's good to have fun. Isn't that the point? To enjoy life? To enjoy what you do? To embrace the joy?
Well, I am enjoying myself and that's that. Suck it up. I deserve this. I worked hard for it. I never gave up when the rejection letters came. I never gave up when people rolled their eyes at me. I stayed in the game despite the odds. Now I’m having fun. I love it. I love that I get to consult on cover designs. I love that I have a publication timeline for my other romantic suspense novels. I love that my characters get an opportunity to entertain someone for awhile. I love that the story I created can make someone smile when they turn that last page. That's fun stuff. That's like waking up on Christmas morning and finding out that Santa is real!
Like it or not, I'm spiking the ball and enjoying a WIN. How do you like my shimmy, baby? I feel no shame at all in saying that I’m a lucky lady living the dream and enjoying myself every day. Fun is not a bad word--it’s the best word.