|Photo of author and her dog Teddy by Kevin Tomasello|
I would like to take a moment to focus on gratitude, particularly in reference to the beginning of my writing career. Yes, I am calling it that, because there is no turning back now that the dream is real. I have been fortunate to have met so many wonderful people who have offered their time, expertise, encouragement, and enthusiasm for my writing. Years ago, I took a writing course through the community college's continuing education program. Valerie Zehl was the instructor. She encouraged me to try to get my writing "out there" and she even co-wrote an article with me to get my feet wet. It was in her class that a classmate asked me if I ever considered writing fiction. I had been writing non-fiction, not sure if I could write anything else. That was the first spark (since giving up on my writing back in the 1980's, but that's another story). During a previous career change from nursing to speech language pathology, I met a psychic intuitive woman through a friend. Never having done so before, I decided to have a session with her after meeting and talking with her. The experience was quite literally mind blowing. I came away believing that we are all, indeed, energy beings and that I had a purpose: to write. Of course, no one told me what I was supposed to write, so I put it on the back burner yet again while I worked through graduate school and started my career in speech language pathology. Through a patient, who also made a living giving psychic readings, I was again encouraged to go ahead and do this fiction thing. This time, I decided enough is enough. Deep in my heart I have always believed I am a writer. What was I waiting for? So, I searched and found a writing retreat in rural Vermont called When Words Count Writer's Retreat. I was their very second writer. Steve Eisner and Jon Reisfeld were enthusiastic about my germ of a story and encouraged and coached me into changing and creating the first few chapters of my untitled novel. After working on it, I went back several months later and met several amazing writers and entrepeneurs, one of whom was another psychic intuitive and down to earth person. We formed a core group of caring souls who continue to inspire and encourage me as I move forward with my goals. Thank you, Gregory, Mari, and Julie: you are all amazing people.
Things continued to happen from there, I met a local author, Elena Greene, who introduced me to another group of fabulous women writers: Jeanne, Kathleen, and Karen. They have become another source of inspiration, encouragement, and tremendous help. Then, through my other job, my friend Cathy introduced me to another local writer, Mary Pat Hyland. Another beautiful soul who has generously shared her knowledge and taken me in as a fellow author.
There are so many more people to thank: Jessica, Cathy, Jenny, Kristina, my mother Sandra Bear, my husband Kevin--the important thing to take away from all this, is that when you follow your dream, when you really decide to go for it, the Universe lines up to help you. The pathway is revealed. Yes, it is hard work, but work that you love is never as hard as working hard at something you don't love. And that, my friends, is my hope for you: to find what you love and work for it with all your heart.
Many blessings on your new year!