Posts Tagged With: dreams

Putting on my big girl panties!

When I was a young girl, I had a lot of dreams. I wanted to be a gymnast and it was heartbreaking when I realized my legs were too long and I had about as much flexibility as piece of wood. No matter how long I practiced and stretched, my legs just wouldn’t split. In my teenage years, I decided I wanted to be a model. Not because I thought I was pretty, but the life seemed so glamorous. It wasn’t until I got my first camera (a C-110 film camera) that I decided I liked taking pictures better and wanted to be a photographer. I drove my sisters crazy with my constant clicking. I put them in trees and bushes, made my own backdrops with sheets, and surrounded them with props. I’d like to blame my lack of success on the crappy camera but truth is, I sucked.

Dreams are different from goals. I have a ton of goals. I want to organize all my closets, pay my bills on time, finish my second novel, learn to speak Chinese before our foreign exchange student arrives from China…  But I have just one dream; to see my books in the hands of my readers. Writing is my goal and becoming a successful (okay, famous) author is my dream.

Having a dream and striving to make it come true is scary, I won’t lie. As children, we proudly announce to everyone that we want to be a doctor, a pilot, a super ninja, or a princess. But as adults, no one is going to ask us what we want to be when we grow up. We should already know, right? Wrong. I didn’t know I wanted to become an author until a few years ago. Sure, I wrote poems when I was a teenager, and I read a lot of books but it took me some time to realize I liked writing stories better.

Now, here is the scary part. To make our dreams come true, or at least get a fighting chance, we have to put ourselves out there for the whole world to see. It doesn’t matter if we want to be a successful dancer, musician, writer, actress or business owner, unless we claim it as our own, it will never become more than just a dream. Karen Householder, NY Times Bestselling Author has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

But what if people laugh at me or hate my writing? What if they think I suck?

It’s time to put on our big girl panties. You know the ones with the pretty lace and cute little flowers. The ones we have tucked way back in our dresser drawer because they ride up our butts and give us a wedgy. You guys are not off the hook, either.  It’s time to take off those tighty-whiteys and step out of your comfort zone. Hey, no one said this would be easy.

Not everyone is going to agree with or even like what we do. There are people out there more than willing to tell us how bad we suck. These aren’t the people that are going to help us achieve success. These are the people that will bring us down and make us doubt ourselves.

But have no fear because we don’t have to do this alone. We can help each other, support each other, we can be friends. Re-tweet, re-post, make a comment, and hit the “Like” button every now and then, (it’s really easy to do) and together we can make things happen.

Now, if you’re wondering how I got to be so smart, I didn’t figure this out on my own. I had a little help from Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone (WANA) and Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer. She “held my hand” through the blog construction phase and gave me the courage to stand up and shout out to the world, “I am a damn good writer and a bestselling author!”

So, if you see me around town digging at my crack, don’t be offended. I’m just reaching for a dream–one wedgy at a time.

Do You have a dream you’d like me to share? I’d love to here about it!!

Categories: author YA fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Life is an adventure!

Beliebers might just be a way to describe a mass of frenzied Justin Bieber fans but in my house this morning, I witnessed a true condition known as Bieber Fever: Panicked teenage girls controlling every computer and cell phone available to purchase pre-sale concert tickets.

It started with the mandatory membership to the Justin Bieber Fan Club.  Twenty-six dollars earned a three month membership, a JB cap, and the right to purchase pre-sale tickets.  I was having flashbacks to the Hannah Montana fiasco that got us center stage and about 20 stories up!  Nonetheless, I stood in the background, monitoring the situation and offering my credit card assistance when it was warranted.

I have been down this road before.  As a parent, it has been my pleasure to help make my kids dreams a reality, within reason.  What is reasonable?  Good question and very debatable if you ask my husband.  Camping, hiking, Warp Tours, and scouting for the best rollercoaster experience was best left to the boys in the house.  Those requests usually fell on Dad, and that wasn’t such a bad thing. Or was it?

Not that I am keeping score, but I have driven a car full of nine-year-old girls dressed in princess fashion and singing Hollaback Girl at the top of their lungs to a bowling alley for a birthday party.  I have coached U8 and U10 girls’ soccer teams and experienced firsthand the frustration of cartwheels, singing, and ballet moves on the field.  I have been to a Hannah Montana concert, survived all the High School Musical movies complete with a house full of screaming girls (Zac Effron-need I say more?), and I have been to every midnight showing of the Twilight Saga, which was 12 hours minimum each time.  Now, with JB concert tickets in hand, I will be spending a January weekend in Nashville with a group of screaming girls and I can’t wait!!

Breaking Dawn Midnight Release

I wouldn’t trade one minute of it and I would never take it for granted.  These are the days I cherish the most.  So, when my son came to us with the dream of going to Japan for a year, our response was NO WAY.  That was four years ago. I never thought I’d be saying this, especially after losing our eldest son so unexpectedly, but Benjamin will be departing for Japan on August 22nd for eleven months as a Foreign Exchange Student. The hardest thing to do in life isn’t holding on—it’s letting go.

There is a family in China that is doing the same, and it is my hope that we can give their daughter a fun, loving, and rewarding experience as a new member of our family. In August, just before the start of the school year, Shunshun (Linda) will move into Benjamin’s empty bedroom.  What was once looking like a long, quiet winter in our home, will now be filled with new experiences for her and for us.  My husband, not wanting to be outnumbered by the females, was reluctant.  But when we received our first e-mail from Shunshun, our hearts were suddenly full of love for this girl.  Here is what she wrote:

Dear Michael and Karen

First, thanks for your reception. When I received the message, it was one of the happiest moments throughout my life that suddenly light my heart. I am so amazing to realize that I will enjoy a wonderful year with you, my dear mum and dad.

Actually, I am the only children in my family. As a result, I am really looking forward to having a brother or sister.  So, I get you, Benjamin and Savannah. I am sure we will have a good time.

My parents and I appreciate you again.

Yours Linda

May 17, 2012

P.S.    Can you send me your family photo?

And here is the photo she sent.


It should be an interesting year and I hope to share every funny, heartwarming story with you.  Who knows, maybe there’s a Shunshun in my writing future.  Life is an adventure, as my dear friend Nancy says, so I say– go out and live it!

Categories: Life is an Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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