Thank you Sheila for having me visit you! I wish we could share a great cup of coffee in a Seattle coffee shop, but in lieu of that this is a wonderful meet-up.
Sheila and I first met way back in 2001 when my husband was stationed at Whidbey Island and I joined the Peninsula Area Romance Writer's group. Sheila and I are very blessed in that we have been able to know and learn from some of the best in the women's fiction market--hellooooo Susan Wiggs and Debbie Macomber, to name just two. The richness of the writing life in the Pacific Northwest has left its imprint on me, over a decade later.
As a Navy wife and mom I've traveled the country and the world. I've lived in Florida, Alabama, California, Washington and Tennessee. Italy, Belgium and Russia were international posts. My family has completed 13 moves in less than 26 years. Somehow, in the midst of all of this, I've managed to start writing, find Romance Writers of America, submit manuscript after manuscript, receive rejection after rejection, sell my first novel and most recently sign my first multi-book contract.
My point? That no matter how busy, how hectic your life, if you have a dream, GO FOR IT! I figured "I'll be 75 one day. Either I'll have gone after my dream of being a full-time novelist, or I won't."
I'm not saying it's as simplistic as it sounds. "Just write" or "Just work out" or "Just don't eat sugar" are great sentiments but can be the toughest to enact. I know I need a buddy. When I found my writing community via Romance Writers of America, I met wonderful writers like Sheila. Sheila is always positive whenever I've run into her over the years. I walk away from our conversations, no matter how brief, with a lighter step and the belief that I CAN do this, I AM doing it. I'm making my dream a reality. One day, one word at a time.
Sheila and I were once again reunited this week in New York City--can you say "glamorous?" Yet again, over a simple table in the Jacob Javits Convention Center we were able to talk about our writing, our life and a bit of our dreams. When I walked away (with blisters because I stupidly wore ballet flats that day instead of my FitFlops or Birkenstocks) I again resolved to keep going, keep writing. And my best resolution--Spend More Time with Sheila! I have an advanced copy of Sheila's October release and it's screaming at me from my tote bag. As soon as I'm back home from a workshop I'm giving this weekend, I'm diving into a great Sheila Roberts novel. And I can't wait!
Thanks Geri! I'll pay you later. Seriously, one of the things I admire about Geri is her hard work and discipline. She didn't just dream, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Summer's here, the days are longer. What are you doing to make your dreams come true?