Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My New Hero

Oh my goodness, you have to see this.

This man completely shatters most of the world's beliefs about what it means to get old.

When is it time to stop looking forward? Never.

How old is too old embrace a new dream? Apparentlly that age doesn't exist.

This man is inspiring on so many levels.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Great Advice

Talk about achieving your dreams! Check this lady out. Be sure to read her advice at the end. With a little tweeking, it's applicable to any dream you may be working toward: starting a business, writing a book, finishing college, changing careers, creating a more stable environment for your kids than the one in which you grew up...you name it.



Welfare mom creates million dollar biz: how she did it

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Afters

Some events leave a person going, "Now what?"
With the recent tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I've been remembering how when the dust of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center buildings, those marvels of architecture, settled, holding within them untold tales of tragedy and heroism, it seemed as if the whole nation asked together, "Now what?" Our collective perception had been suddenly and irrevocably changed.

I'm sure many historic events, not all tragic, have had the same effect: the Civil Rights Movement, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the end of each World War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, just to name a few. These were all very Big Events which required some time afterward to adjust to a new way of thinking, a new kind of reality. In looking at how people responded after life changed in such dramatic ways, we're reminded of how much of life depends on how we handle transitions.

We all have to deal with what I call The Afters. After the goal is met or the unexpected event happens, then what? Knowing how to transition is vital to our progress.
          We've finished college. Now what?
          We've gotten married...
          Had our first child...
          Gotten a new job...
          Finished our first novel...
          Accomplished a Big Goal...
          Experienced health problems...
          A job is lost...
          A long, lost uncle dies and leaves us a fortune (What? It happened to Jane Eyre.)...
The list is endless.

Good things, bad things, things we can plan for, things we can't. One thing is sure; things will change.

The more skilled we are at transitioning, the more easily we'll keep progressing and the happier we'll be in the long run.

Any tips you can share that help you with transitions?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Good Kind of Crazy

Here's an inspiring story for you. Perhaps you've heard of Kathryn Stockett, author of the Help. When her husband is asked about her best quality, he smiles and says, "She never gives up." When asked about her worst, his eyes narrow and he says, "She. Never. Gives. Up."

Here are a few stats that prove he knows what he's talking about.

- It took her a year and a half to write her original version.
- She queried agents for three and a half years before one took interest and signed her.
- In that three and a half years she received 60 rejections, one of which read, "There is no market for this kind of tiring writing." (Ouch!)
- Also during that three and a half years she continued to revise and polish her beloved project.
- After about 15 rejections when a friend said, "Maybe the next book will be the one," Kathryn thought, "Next book?" She wasn't about to give up because of "a few stupid letters."

She tells of how after about a year and a half and about 40 rejections she started lying to her friends about what she did on weekends to save them and her embarrassment. Some time after the 45th rejection  she even stooped to lying to her husband - a "girls' weekend" was likely to find her holed up by herself at the Comfort Inn around the corner for a few hours of writing time. (When people first find out we're pursuing our passion they think it's cool. After years of what seems like little or no progress or pay off? Maybe not so much.)

The way I see it, this is the good kind of crazy.

The happy ending? Only three weeks after signing with her agent, her book sold to a publisher. It went on to become a bestseller and has been made into a movie which opens this week in theaters nationwide.

Go, Kathryn!

And here's a great quote from her -
The point is, I can't tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript - or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here] - in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won't take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obession instead.

And if your friends make fun of you for chasing your dream, remember - just lie.

You can read her full article at - http://shine.yahoo.com/event/poweryourfuture/kathryn-stocketts-the-help-turned-down-60-times-before-becoming-a-bestseller-2523496/ 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Here's to Hindsight

A couple more quotes to keep you going - one especially for Michael Offutt.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
  Charles H. Duell, commissioner, U. S. Office of Patents, 1899

But what ...is it (a microchip) good for?
  engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where Never is Heard a Discouraging Word

We all hear discouraging words. Some of us more often than others. Sometimes those words come from right inside our own heads. Too often people try to dress up negativity by calling it practicality. Being practical is a good thing, after all, right?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

When we have something that makes our heart sing, or that we know deep in our center we just have to do, then "practicality" can be a cursed thing. For many of us there comes a time when we simply have to hold on to our dream in spite of all reason seeming to speak out against it.

So how can we do that?

One way is to look at history. I love it when I find quotes or hear stories that are either very shortsighted or just plain wrong about someone or something that went on to be wildy successful and/or popular. It reminds me that my own naysayers are probably wrong, too. After all, I only fail if I quit trying. It may take a long time to succeed, but that's okay.

In an effort to remind you that the pooh-poohers in your life may be, and probably are, out in left field, I have some quotes for you.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
              Thomas Watson, chairman of the board, IBM, 1943

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
            Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1972

So if you're discouraged or on the verge of being discouraged, buck up, my friends, and watch for more quotes throughout the rest of the week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Little Bubbly, Anyone?

Registration started at our high school today. As I stood in line with my youngest child waiting to register her for her senior year, it was easy to see and feel the different emotions of the teens and parents around us.

For some the start of a new school year is a dreaded thing; they'd rather be doing almost anything else. Some are completely indifferent; school just is what it is. Then there are those who look forward to it; a certain kind of excitement lights their eyes (whether they mean for it to or not).

So, what causes the difference?

I believe one of the main things is hope.

When a student holds hope for something good - being with their friends, better classes/teachers than last year, a fresh start, grades good enough to win scholarships, playing a favorite sport, landing the lead in the school play - anything good, it infuses them with the ability and desire to look forward, to keep moving on. It adds effervescence to what otherwise could be tedious or tiresome.

Hope is a promise, like a little (or large) spark that lights something deep inside us and keeps us going. It's like the bubbles in our soda or champagne. Without the bubbles we'd still have something to drink, but with them it's oh so much better.

Cheers to the bubbly that is hope!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

Congratulations to Marsha for knowing half of the answer to yesterday's title question (Neil Diamond, Hello Again). She now has 500 bonus points. Woo hoo! Hold on to them, Marsha. They may be worth something here should I decide to do some kind of contest or give away, which I likely will. And Kristin gets 100 points of her own for being a good sport and guessing. Now, don't you ladies feel richer?

Today I have an Official Declaration to make. Are you ready?

I officially declare August the month of HOPE. Because I have the authority to do that, you know.

Hope is a powerful thing, a thing upon which I have been stewing as of late. You can look forward to some hopeful posts this month. And so to kick things off...

Quote of the Day: When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.
                                                              from I am Number Four

Let the hoping begin!!

Tell us: What gives you hope?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello, Again, Hello.

First of all - 500 bonus points to anyone who can name the song and the artist I ripped off the title of this post from. (Yes, I know it should be "...from whom I ripped off...,"  but that just sounds too proper for this venue.)

I'm sure you'll be just thrilled to know I figured out why I've been such a flaky blogger. Here's my problem - I put too much pressure on myself to have posts that are big and important and valuable. Not that there's anything wrong with posts like that, but I just couldn't come up with that every day, you know?

Then I had a light bulb moment. I realized that many of the blogs I like to follow have short, simple, fun posts most of the time. There's importance and value in those, too. (Okay, so maybe I'm a little slow sometimes. I'm sure most of you have already figured this out.)

So, this is me recommitting myself to blogging. I think I have discovered a more workable approach to this. You can count on regular posts - I'm aiming for M-F. They may be as simple as a Quote of the Day, or as dynamic as a Life Altering Moment of Enlightenment. (Yes, I know I think big.)

Be watching for a new design soon, too. I swear I'm finally going to learn how to post pics and links if it's the last thing I do!

Quote of the Day: If we played like that every week, we wouldn't be so                                 inconsistent.                                         Bryan Robson

Ya think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 Random Thoughts from a Newbie Writer

The author of one of the blogs I follow extended an invitation for her readers to write guest posts. I don't know if she will choose my submission to run on her blog, but either way, I thought I'd share it with you.

10 Random Thoughts from a Newbie Writer

1) I have a time warp feature on my computer of which I was previously unaware. It seems to be activated only when I am involved in literary pursuits - writing, reading agent/author blogs, things like that. This feature causes my clocks to move at five to ten times normal speed.

2) How badly do I really need sleep? I've heard that a person can last at least three to four days without sleep before going psychotic. Is that true? And if it is, would psychosis help or hurt the creative process? Just askin'.

3) It's the coolest thing ever to be able to sit in front of the computer wearing sweats or pjs, surfing all manner of fascinating things on the net and call it research, or to let my imagination run and play at will and call it work. Am I right?

4) Who knew 'l' and 'y' were so evil when placed together at the end of a word?

5) Publishing type people are insanely helpful!

6) Janet Reid scares me. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to have her in my corner fighting for me and my work. But yikes. *shudders*

7) Speaking of agents extraodinaire, why did Nathan Bransford have to switch careers just when I was getting ready to query him? I'm sure it was nothing personal.

8) Seriously, how long am I going to feel the need to keep revising/editing? I get to be 'done' at some point, don't I?

9) How can my characters have such minds of their own when they exist solely in my mind and on my pages?

10) It seems I have lots more friends now that I have all the imaginary ones running around in my head.

??Any random thoughts you'd care to share?? The randomer, the better.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hellllloooo 2011!

So, so, so. Happy New Year, ya'll! I hope you can feel the positive energy humming around you. I can.

Seeing as the name of the blog is So Many Dreams, I figured it would be appropos to mention which dreams of mine are in the crosshairs at the moment. Here's what my little heart will be set upon for 2011 (or longer or shorter than that, as needed.)

1) Query, query, query my manuscript until a)I sign with a good agent or editor, or b)every single person whom I would reasonably consider to represent me and my work has been asked and said 'no,' at which point I would regroup and explore other options.

2) Write a rough draft of and begin editing my next book.

3) Figure out some way under the sun to get financing to progress toward my elusive degree. (And then progress toward it, of course.)

I will also be a more frequent blog poster, although I'm not stating that in an official I'm-putting-this-out-into-the-universe kind of way. I'm just saying I'm gonna be a good girl and do it.

Soooo...What about you? Care to share where your 2011 is going to take you if you have your way?