Happy New Year! This is my first blog of 2021, and I hope it finds you all doing well. Now that we've said farewell to 2020 (thank goodness), my wish for you is a year full of hope, love, joy, and laughter. My advice to you is don't be afraid to chase your dream.
Those of you who follow me here on my website or Facebook and Twitter know I'm not one to post my political views for all to see. I believe we're all entitled to our opinions, but we're not entitled to force them on others. So let me assure you, this is not a political blog post - it's just food for thought with a historical twist.
My closest friends and husband will tell you I'm a complete history geek. My bookshelves are filled with books about early colonial life, the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression. I can't read enough about famous Americans like Lincoln, Douglass, Kennedy, MLK, and Bader-Ginsburg. (Just finished "This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, and I highly recommend it).
As we prepare to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tomorrow, I can't help but wonder what each of these great Americans would think if they could see our country now. They each had a vision of what they thought our nation could someday be, and they spent their lives working toward that vision - some even giving up their lives for it. Like Dr. King, they all had a dream for America's future. What would these Americans think about what they see in this great nation of ours? Have we made them proud or ashamed? Have we lived up to or fallen short of their expectations? Would they applaud or condemn our actions? Again - just something to think about.
On a lighter note, you all know I have a dream. And it's taken me years, but I'm finally following my dream of becoming a published author. Holding a contract offer from a publisher in my hot, little hands was an exciting moment. It will be even more exciting when I hold a SIGNED contract in my hot, little hands. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I continue writing, editing, and learning more about my craft. At the ripe age of 55, I'm still learning new rules about writing...yes, that's correct. Who knew the literary world has its own set of rules for writing a novel? Well. I do now. I've learned using too many adjectives, and adverbs is frowned upon. I've learned I overuse words such as just, like, that, and really. These are called filler words in the literary world. I've learned to use action beats instead of dialogue tags, and I've learned to find a balance between too much and too little description. Most of all, I've learned there are wonderful writers out there more than willing to help this newbie along her way.
My main character, Jillian, has several fabulous women in her life who help her along the way - her best friend, her assistant, her sisters, her aunt, and her mother.
These strong ladies offer love, support, guidance, and sometimes alcohol to help Jillian through her toughest times. In today's teaser, Jillian's best friend, Becca, helps her through one of those difficult situations.
“Ok, enough about that,” Jillian said. “I have more important things to worry about right now.”
“What could be more important than a red-headed psycho killer on the loose?” Becca looked at Jillian in horror.
“My date tonight with Travis. I have no clue what to wear because I don’t know where we’re going. I haven’t dated in years, Becca. What if I’m no good at it? This could be a disaster in the making.” The longer she talked, the more panicked Jillian sounded.
“Sweetie, you need to breathe and be yourself.” Becca put her arm around Jillian’s shoulders and gave her a squeeze. “The guy is already falling for you in case you hadn’t noticed. The clothes you wear won’t change his mind about you.”
“But I want everything to be perfect,” Jillian said. “You only have one first date. There are no do-overs, so I need to look fabulous. Can you help me figure out what to wear?”
“Of course.” Becca led the way into the house. “Did Travis give you any hint about where you’re going tonight?”
“Nope. He said the plans are a surprise, and I should wear something comfortable.”
Grabbing Jillian by the arm, Becca dragged her to the bedroom, tossing clothes from the closet onto the unmade bed. Jillian watched in awe as Becca assembled outfits out of pieces she’d never thought to put together. Becca had five different and equally amazing choices for Jillian to consider within minutes.
“How did you do that?“ Jillian shook her head. “I would’ve stood here for hours staring into the closet and still have nothing to wear.”
“It’s easy.” Becca snapped her fingers. “Start with a piece you love and feel comfortable in, then build around it with other pieces you like. If you feel good, you’ll look good in it.”
Becca made the impossible seem easy. Now the challenge for Jillian–pick one.
Ugh, first dates - nervewracking, right? We probably all have stories to tell, and I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment about a memorable (good or bad) first date of yours. Maybe it will make it into one of my books someday. I'm always looking for good material.
At slightly over 5500 words, it's time to end this blog. As we honor Dr. King and his dream for us, take a moment to think about your own dreams. Take it from me; it's never too late to go for it.
Until next time,