First, allow me to wish all the mom's (especially my own) a Happy Mother's Day! This morning I joined my parent's for the annual 5K Walk in their development to support breast cancer. The turnout was fantastic, though I think we were all disappointed the weather was so cold. Last week it was in the 90's; this morning, everyone was bundled in hoodies and coats. But I suppose the buffet of coffee and breakfast treats makes up for it.
It was only my second year walking with them, but I was really looking forward to the event. Besides promoting a worthy cause, it's one of the few times I see my neighbors during the year. It really reminds me how quickly time goes when you learn the kids you once babysat for now have a driver's license.
Second, I am officially welcoming myself into the blogging community. I must admit, it has been overwhelming trying to get this thing launched and looking somewhat decent. I'm still trying to learn the ropes. I consider my current site a work in progress.
So why did I do it? Simple. My dream is to break into the writing industry someday, and this seems like a step in the right direction. It's cool; I can express my ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc., interact with people all over the globe, and (hopefully) use it one day to promote my work. And since I have a lot of time on my hands these days, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to write a book. Writing is the only area I excelled in consistently. If I have the ability to do anything on a larger platform, this is the field it will be in.
My background: I am a certified history and English teacher and spent over two years teaching social studies in one of the best environments one could ask for. I loved every minute and truly wanted to stay forever. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. I was only filling in for a woman on maternity leave, and when she returned to work, I didn't. There's a lot more to the story, but let's just leave it at that. I'm trying this new thing where I don't spend my days filled with anger, hatred, and resentment.
Since then, the job search has yielded no prospects in my direction, but definitely plenty of heartache and depression. Rather than do nothing but sob around and eat all day, and believe me - I have far too often, I decided to start using my time productively. In late August, I decided the time had come to start writing that book. And I did. I sat at the computer, started typing, and haven't stopped since. The rest is history.
I write every day. Some days are productive; others are painful. But I try to make some sort of daily progress, even if only a sentence gets typed. I've become addicted. I think about this book constantly. It keeps me up at night. It follows me wherever I go. No matter how hard I try to relax at times, I can't put it out of my mind. And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have no idea what will happen, but the dream is to obviously one day see it published. Currently, I'd say I'm about 75% through my first draft. The book is targeted for young adults, though I do feel teachers, parents, and even adults can benefit from the message. I have assembled a wonderful team of pre-editors from all different walks of life. They provide thoughtful criticism that keeps me on my toes. I look forward to their feedback - it's truly motivating. And it has taken a long time to reach this realization, but I truly hope the Dalai Lama quote above will one day ring true. If I had gotten what I wanted, I never would have started writing; it would have remained a dream. If this works out, it truly would have been a wonderful stroke of luck.
I probably will not share much about the novel itself. For one, it is constantly changing. It has been such an experience to watch it evolve from my original starting point (which is no longer the starting point - actually, it is no longer in the book.) Second, I believe in my story. It is relevant to my field, timely, and topical. But it is also edgy and controversial - "heavy duty" as one woman told me this morning. Wouldn't have it any other way.