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No Movies In My Mind

No Movies In My Mind

I often wonder what drives some writers to write nonfiction while others are impelled to write novels, short stories, and other fiction. My own output leans extremely heavily toward nonfiction. I have written a few novels for adults, and my output for kids includes fiction as well as nonfiction, but of the over-100 books I have had published (if you’re curious, please visit www.cynthiamacgregor.com), the balance is heavily weighted in favor of nonfiction.

Maybe it’s because there are no movies playing in my mind.

I am given to understand that most writers see in their minds the fictional scenes they are writing.

I don’t.

I also understand that most book-readers see in their minds the scenes they are reading.

I don’t.

Maybe it’s because I’m an “audial” (I don’t believe that’s a dictionary word) person rather than a visual one. When I was in my 20s, an older friend explained something to me that de-mystified a lot about myself. He said that just as most people are right-handed but some, genetically, are lefties, most people are visually oriented but a much smaller number are audially oriented, and I fall into that group.

As I said, it explains a lot about me, including my impressive childhood vocabulary, which got me in trouble with my peers when I was in elementary school. My classmates derided me for being a show-off by using “big words.” Contrary to their assumptions I was not showing off and in fact begged my classmates to tell me which were the offending words so I could excise them from my vocabulary. I wanted to fit in, not be made fun of and shunned.

In my twenties, when my friend explained the audial/visual concept to me, I came to understand that, because my parents didn’t keep me away from visiting grown-ups and adult conversation, and because I was audially oriented, I not only was exposed to a lot of vocabulary beyond that of the typical child but absorbed these words into my own lexicon. I then began using them normally and naturally without any realization that they were beyond the verbal abilities of the typical five-year-old, eight-year-old, or whatever.

Being audial rather than visual, my friend also explained to me, I related more to what I heard than what I saw, recognized voices better than faces, absorbed information better when I heard it than when I read or otherwise saw it…. Well, the list went on, and I won’t go into it here. This is not to be a riff on my overall differences from the typical person, but rather a look into whether this audial orientation also plays into my choice of writing genre. I would think that being unable to see “movies in my mind” of what I am writing is probably a deterrent to writing fiction, even though it is only recently that I made that connecrion.

Sometimes I see fuzzy scenes in my head, somewhat like an impressionist painting, only much fuzzier than even that. They are never clear. I don’t see faces. I don’t even know what color hair the people have. I have had editors and cover artists ask me to describe a novel’s protagonist—and I never can. I have no idea what the person in question looks like.

Even when I describe a setting or a person in words, I still don’t—can’t, even when I try—visualize the setting or the person in my mind.

I still can write fiction. I can work out plots, devise interesting characters, mix in good plot complications, and come up with satisfying conclusions—but don’t look for lush imagery in my books. If you’ve read any of my adult fiction such as What Child Is This? or Home Again, Home Again, you’ll know what I mean. By no means do I fall flat on my face as a fictioneer. But there isn’t a huge amount of descriptive detail of physical appearance. It’s much more about emotions and such.

…Which may be, as I said at the outset, the reason I gravitate to nonfiction. How-to books, inspirational/motivational books, cookbooks, informative books, humor, and other forms of nonfic that I’ve written don’t usually call for precise and lavish description.

And that’s a good thing because the theatre in my mind is closed—in fact, never opened to begin with. I just don’t see movies in my mind.

From Nancy Drew to…What?!

From Nancy Drew to…What?!

My very early reading tastes were hardly exceptional, nor did they point in the particular direction of an authorial future. Once past simple picturebooks and easy readers—and I got past those at an early age, reading sixth grade readers early in third grade—I dived right into the Bobbsey Twins. I found their antics, adventures, and attitudes a bit too precious and cutesy, even though I wouldn’t have been able to express it in quite those terms at that time. But I was a voracious reader, and if my mother bought it for me, I read it. I had quite the full bookcase at an early age.

From the Bobbsey Twins I quickly progressed to Nancy Drew. I neither became a mystery reader as an adult nor became a mystery writer in my few forays as a novelist, but I made sure my mother bought me every Nancy Drew book extant. In that, I was not unlike many other girls of my time—and, from what I am aware, many of the generations after me as well.

Between the Bobbseys and Nancy there were an awful lot of other books. When I had clearly outgrown a book, my mother insisted on my giving it away unless I really treasured it. I don’t recall now who the beneficiary of this largesse was but suspect it was the thrift store operated by the charity organization of which my mother was an active member.

But the important thing was that, as we divested my bookshelf of outgrown tomes, she bought new ones to replace them.

And then there was the library. Now, their books I didn’t get to keep, as I could the ones my mother bought me, but I could read as many as I wanted without straining the family budget. As long as I returned them on time and didn’t incur an overdue fine, and as long as I handled them respectfully—which I did with all books—so there were no claims for waterlogged or otherwise damaged books, I could read all I wanted without it costing a penny. The library was just up the road from the elementary and junior high schools, about eight blocks from home, and I was a frequent visitor.

But, to get back to the girl detective so well beloved by not just me but my classmates, what was it about Nancy that drew (NPI) us admiringly to her? It wasn’t the fact that she owned her own car (still a “roadster” when I was reading the series—I understand it’s been updated since then). Certainly we didn’t wish to be motherless like her!

I think it was her spark, her sense of determination, her cleverness, her fearlessness, and her never-ending success. Was Nancy Drew a proto-feminist, before the word existed? (Keep in mind I was reading her adventures in the fifties.)

You want to know something funny? I’m about to say something that absolutely wasn’t in my mind when I started this essay. I so totally did not have this conclusion or connection in mind when I started writing this. I was just intending to riff on Nancy Drew and what can happen to voracious readers as their book-lust grows. But here’s what’s gnawing at me now: How did so many female readers grow up admiring the assertive, independent, bold, adventurous, take-charge Nancy Drew—and then morph into women who thrill to read about whatever her name is who lets herself be dominated by the now-famous Christian Gray? [Full disclosure: I have never read Fifty Shades or any of its sequels, so whatever prejudice I hold toward it comes from reading about it (and hearing about it), not from reading the books themselves. But still I think I have my facts about Fifty Shades straight.]

How did we grow from admiring the likes of Nancy Drew to being fascinated by the total subjugation of Gray’s captive? Why this seismic shift in our reading tastes, and what does it say about the women who are in thrall to Fifty Shades?

If you think I’m about to answer my own question with a profound revelation or insight into the female psyche, you’re wrong. I haven’t a damn clue as to what the answer is. I know that I myself have no desire to read any book in which a woman is dominated or victimized, even if she puts herself voluntarily into that position, as I understand the heroine of Fifty Shades does. I am a strong, self-determined woman, and while my reading tastes run much more to nonfiction than to fiction, even in nonfic I prefer my heroines strong and self-assured.

I know that when it comes to romance novels (something else I don’t read), in that genre, too, domination—in fact outright BDSM—is one of the most popular themes. Again, how did we get from admiring strong, confident, self-assured Nancy Drew to identifying with women in ropes and chains? A friend of mine—a fellow writer/editor—suspects hormones are the answer. I’m not so sure. I think it’s emotional/psychological. But beyond that half-an-idea, I really don’t have the answer.

If anyone reading this has a clue, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mythbusters, INC.

Mythbusters, INC.

There are those who wonder what the writer’s life is like, and those who think they know…but think wrong. I have met in person or corresponded with people who have such misguided notions as

~ Writers attend a series of literary teas where they exchange witty banter with other writers.

~ Writers jet all over the country and even the world giving speeches in exotic locales

~ Writers are rolling in wealth from hefty advances and fat royalty checks

~ Writers spend two hours a day writing and the rest of the day in such luxurious pursuits as getting spa treatments and having champagne lunches

~ Writers…well, that’s enough. You get the idea.

That’s some people’s dream. Are you ready to hear the reality?

~ Literary teas? Who has time? I’m too busy writing. (I’ve never been invited to a literary tea anyhow.) If I do get together with a friend over something potable, it’s more likely to be scotch as a prelude to dinner, and as far as witty banter, our conversation is much more likely to revolve around such pedestrian topics as our financial woes and, depending which friend has come over for dinner, her romantic troubles, his problems with people stealing wholesale quantities of mangoes from his trees, her problems with her grandchild…. Witty banter? I think not.

~ Jetting all over the world to give speeches in exotic locales? Most of my speeches have been local, although I have been to “exotic” New Jersey to give two speeches in the distant past. Then there was the time I showed up to give a speech (locally) only to find that not a single soul had come to hear it, this despite the fact that both the venue and I myself had done advance publicity. And as far as hopscotching the world by jet, my last trip (to Austin, in May, to judge a wordplay competition) culminated in an airline fiasco when severe storms in Dallas-Ft. Worth, where I was to change planes, grounded my flight, causing me to need to change not just planes but airlines (to one whose hub airport wasn’t DFW). I wound up spending half my day in Austin, waiting to get out of there, and half my day in Charlotte, waiting for a connecting flight that would finally bring me—very late, very tired, and very digusted, but oh so grateful to be back—home to South Florida.

~ Rolling in wealth from hefty advances and fat royalty checks? Ha! I struggle to meet my bills all month just like the rest of you, advances these days are becoming rarer and rarer, and the only thing in connection with my royalty checks that’s “fat” is the cost of the gas I put in the car on the drive to the bank.

~ Two hours a day writing? I typically put in 12-hour workdays, though it isn’t all spent literally writing. Besides writing, I also edit. Besides writing books, I also do other writing. Besides actually writing and editing, there is time involved in sending out manuscripts, keeping a log of what is where and what publisher is overdue to respond to a manuscript submission, publicizing and promoting my books, and the minutiae of administrivia that is part and parcel of the writing life. Not very glamorous and, unlike the writing itself, not that enjoyable either. And as for those spa treatments, unless you count the nail spa, a glorified nail salon that thinks that by attaching the word “spa” to its designation it can charge higher prices for filling my acrylics, I’ve never been in a spa in my life. (I’ve never even had a pedi. I can cut and polish my own damn toenails, thank you very much. I don’t need to pay exorbitant prices—or take more time away from my work—to sit and let someone else do what I am perfectly capable of doing myself.) Champagne lunches? I don’t particularly care for champagne to begin with, and besides, if I had any kind of alcohol for lunch, I’d be ruined for working for the rest of the day. My lunches are much more prosaic—an Italian hero, or a salad, or a couple of sausages. And the only beverage involved is my one Pepsi a day.

As you can see, there is nothing glamorous about my life at all…but for all that, I love it and wouldn’t trade lives with anyone. I love, love, LOOOOOOVE my life, love writing (love editing, too), and am grateful to have an ability from which I can make a living—hardly a fortune, but enough to pay the bills, even if I barely squeak by some months. My life is far from what some people imagine it to be, but there is nothing in the world I’d rather be doing.

How many people are fortunate enough to be able to say that? And the over-100 books I’ve had published (for further info go to www.cynthiamacgregor.com) are testament to the fact that hard work does pay off.

Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it. I have to finish editing a book today. The pressure is on. But believe me, that’s not a complaint!

Love Books? Ever Wish You Could Write One Yourself?

Love Books? Ever Wish You Could Write One Yourself?

While not all voracious readers are writers, almost all writers are voracious readers. We consume books as if they were manna, not only delicious but necessary for our very sustenance.

Have you ever thought you’d like to write a book? What’s stopping you?

While more would-be writers aspire to fiction writing, for some reason, wishing to spin a story rather than deal in facts or opinions, there is plenty of opportunity in nonfiction as well. And “nonfiction” includes cookbooks and memoirs as well as how-tos, motivationals, inspirationals, histories, and such.

So first decide if you want to create characters and places that exist only in your own head—in other words, write fiction—or if you want to be helpful, informative, motivational, instructional, or reportorial—that is, write nonfiction.

Then narrow your thoughts: What, specifically, do you want to write about?

Then do it.

If you happen to live in South Florida (where Roundtable is located), there is an excellent organization that can be of help to your writing career or sideline. It’s called 4 Authors by Authors—the “4” stands for “For,” as the organization helps authors and is run by authors. Founder Janet Lifshin is the author of The Whole Glum Thing, a book for kids, and she is aided by Penina (Penny) Polokoff-Kreps, author of the forthcoming Conversations with My Daughter and the forthcoming Sexty…and Up, and by me, Cynthia MacGregor, author of over 100 published books (see ’em all at www.cynthiamacgregor.com), a bunch of which are published by Roundtable.

4 Authors by Authors has a Big Event coming up on October 3, an all-day opportunity for writers and would-be writers to learn from a variety of speakers (I’m one of the speakers, and so is one of the Roundtable publishers) and to mingle and chat during the lunch break between morning and afternoon sessions. It will be held at Keiser University in West Palm Beach.

To learn more, go to www.4Authorsbyauthors.com. We hope to see you at the event.

Meanwhile, today is an excellent day to start that book you’ve always wanted to write—and of course today is an excellent day to buy a Roundtable book—or two—to read.

Make it a good day!

End

The Loving Room

The Loving Room

If the room where the family gathers, the room where guests are entertained, the room you likely spend most of your evenings in is the living room, the kitchen is surely the loving room. When you cook delicious meals for your family (or for yourself, if you’re living solo), you’re surely expressing your love. (And if you cook for just yourself? Well, I certainly hope you love yourself!)

A cookbook that was around in my childhood had emblazoned on its cover, “The way to a man’s heart,” and surely you’ve heard the expression, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Mothers often express their love for their children by cooking their favorite meals. Hostesses with a flair for cooking enjoy lavishing their guests with delectable treats. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, formal dinner. If this is a close friend, you might even serve her at the kitchen table. But the food is carefully prepared to treat her tastebuds.

And regardless of whom you’re serving—a spouse, a love interest, a whole family, a casual guest, or eight people at a formally set table—it all starts in the loving room. The room where you pour out your love through your fingertips and add a dash of salt, sugar, spices, or all of these, along with a heaping helping of love.

I not only cook to love; I love to cook. To me the most fun is whomping up a “kitchen concoction”—a dish that comes not out of a recipe but straight out of my head. Some of the best of these wind up in one or another of my cookbooks. But I collect so many yummily tempting recipes that I just have to try, that most nights I follow a recipe rather than devising something.

By nature I’m a creative person, as witness my writing, and cooking appeals to my creative side. That’s especially true when I’m whomping up some concoction, but even when following a recipe, I’m still creating.

Who do you love? (I hope you’ll include yourself on the list!) Who do you love to cook for?

If you’re insecure about your cooking skills, or they’re totally non-existent, I recommend you get a copy of my book Lost in the Kitchen?

If on the other hand you’re a reasonably accomplished cook and would like to begin to devise your own dishes, but you don’t know quite how, there’s my Develop Your Own Recipes.

If it’s plain and simple cookbooks you’re after, Roundtable/GreatReads publishes several of my cookbooks in addition to the two “cooking books” I mentioned above.

But whether you’re cooking from my recipes or someone else’s or getting creative on your own, remember that when you cook you’re showing love—even if it’s simply love for yourself.

Your kitchen is your loving room. Who would you like to show love to today?

The Real Magic Kingdom

The Real Magic Kingdom

Although Disney World calls itself, and is called by many others, “The Magic Kingdom,” there is another magic kingdom that is much more accessible to all. You don’t have to pay a hefty price to enter. You don’t have to travel to Orlando, either. In fact, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home.

I’m talking about the wonderful world of books.

The price of a book is ever so much more reasonable than the price of entry to Disney World — and once you’ve bought a book, it’s yours for keeps. You can revisit it as often as you want, reading it over and over, at no extra charge.

You can even borrow it from the library and read it totally free! Of course, then it isn’t yours to keep and reread—but you can always re-borrow it from the library, if some other eager reader doesn’t have it out already.

It’s not only fiction that can transport you away from your everyday life. Nonfiction, too, can lift you out of your reality and plunk you down in the middle of a whole new landscape. Granted, it’s novels rather than factual books than can take you to magical places of wizards and elves, dragons and monsters. Or into the lives of people who live so-called ordinary lives in contemporary settings but whose problems, situations, and outcomes make for fascinating reading. But nonfiction can be a magic carpet to a faraway place as well.

Consider nonfiction books that detail life in another place or another time as richly as any historical novel—and with a good deal more description, since the author doesn’t need to devote most of her/his book’s pages to plot and storyline. Consider books that talk about outer space, not as viewed by a fictitious Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker but as seen through the eyes of real-life astronomers and other scientists, looking at fascinating worlds out there.

Of course, not every book takes you to faraway lands, real or imagined. Some are more mundane but equally fascinatiing. Take instructive or informative books that help you learn how to do something, or how to do it better than your present methodology. From the care and feeding of kittens to how to tie irresistiible fishing lures to cookbooks full of temptingly yummy-sounding recipes, some nonfiction is totally down to earth and yet still fascinating. Want to improve your health or physical condition? Want to learn gardening tricks that will help repel bugs or munching animal marauders? Curious to learn the new math they’re teaching your child in school? Want to know more about the beliefs of our nation’s Founding Fathers? Or—speaking of fathers (and mothers)—want help with some aspect of parenting?

Read a book.

My own reading preference runs to nonfiction, although that’s not to say that I never read novels at all. And although, as a writer, I write far more nonfiction than fiction, both my books for kids and my books for adults encompass both nonfiction and fiction.

I have bookcases full of print books, a Kindle full of e-books, and two libraries within a short drive’s distance from my house. It’s a much longer trip to Orlando, but who needs to go there? I have my own magic kingdom right here within easy reach—in the wonderful world of books.

Everybody Wants To Be Loved…Authors Too

Everybody Wants To Be Loved…Authors Too

It’s universal. We all want to be loved. And authors are no exception. We authors, however, want love not only from our families and friends but from our readers, as well. Are you showing love for the authors whose books you enjoy?

There are, of course, classic stories of authors who scribbled in obscurity in dusty garrets and never put their works forth into the public light, their well-deserved fame coming only after their death. When the trove of the author’s manuscripts finally was unearthed from a box, a steamer trunk, or a hiding place under stored old clothing, they were published post mortem to wide acclaim—too late for the author to hear the cheers or read the reviews.

Most of us want our “applause” while we’re still living.

So, how do you show an author your love—for his or her book, poems, or other literary work? Funny you should ask…’cause I have a few suggestions. Or as Gilbert and Sullivan famously put it, “I’ve got a little list.”

1 – Post a review—on Amazon.com, if that’s where you bought the book; on Goodreads, if you’re a member there; on the website of the publisher that published the book; or anywhere else suitable. Or ALL of the above.

2 – Tell your friends, your associates (e.g. co-workers), and anyone else you think might be interested in the book. Suggest that they buy copies for themselves.

3  – Check to see if that author has written any other books. They might have been published by the same publishing house; they might have been published elsewhere. An Amazon.com search is likely the most efficient way to check. Buy any that sound interesting.

4 – Send the author a letter and tell her or him how much you enjoyed the book. Most authors make themselves easy to find online. Most have websites, with contact links. Sometimes the site is in the name of the author; other times it’s in the name of the book. If you can’t find the author online, however, snailmail a letter to the attention of the publicity department of the publisher that published the book, and ask them to forward it to the author. Most—not all, but most—publishers are scrupulous about forwarding fan mail. I’ve gotten letters that way, although most of my letters from readers come via email. (My website, complete with contact link, is easy to find at www.cynthiamacgregor.com.) You may be reluctant to “bother” an author with a letter of praise, but I assure you every author in his or her right mind is thrilled to receive such a missive.

Everybody wants to be loved. Show a little love today to an author whose work you enjoyed.

The House Of Magic And Wonderment

The House Of Magic And Wonderment

Did you know that there is a place of magic and wonderment right in your town? A place where your children (and you!) can be transported to far-away lands, where you can explore the world, meet famous people, and learn about almost anything you desire to?

If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about the library.

The typical library of today lends much more than just books. Music, movies, maps, and much more are on offer at your local place of enchantment. There are computers available for use…and the main branch of the county library where I live offers sound mixing software and facilities as well. What does your library offer that’s far removed from simply lending books?

The library of my early childhood was a converted house. In those pre-ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) days, half the books were on the second floor, and there was no elevator, only a staircase, to get upstairs. I would scramble upstairs eagerly, browsing the bookshelves and coming home with my arms loaded down with as many books as I was allowed to borrow at a time. New finds, old faves to re-read—anything was fair game as long as they were books.

At some point the town built a new ediifice to house not only the book collection but now also records (remember vinyl LPs?) as well—and my borrowing increased as I tried to sate my ever-growing love of Broadway show tunes. I treasured my visits to the library, which was some 10 blocks from my home—accessible on foot if my mother wasn’t available to drive me. One way or another I got there—often!

Thanks to your local library, your child can read endlessly, even if buying him/her all the books he/she wants is out of the question. Of course Roundtable/GreatReads hopes you’ll buy lots of books from our site, and speaking personally I hope you’ll buy lots of mine. But if your child is a voracious reader, you can help satisfy her/his appetite for books without going broke. Just see to it that he/she is well acquainted with the “house of magic and wonderment” in your town: the library.

Do You Have A Budding Author In The Family?

Do You Have A Budding Author In The Family?

While not all avid readers turn into writers, most writers start out as avid readers. If you have a young family member who can’t get enough of books, who seems to gallop from the first page to the last, who wears out her or his library card, and whose bookshelf is crammed, you might possibly be harboring a budding author.

Encourage her or him.

Most young authors have vivid imaginations and have no trouble thinking of a subject to write about, but if your author-in-training’s imagination is slow to ignite, you can strike a spark with some suggestions. Here are a few:

Write a “Cinderella” story in which the main character is a boy, not a girl, who meets a princess, not a prince, at the ball.

Write a story about the child or children of a famous storybook character. Again, Cinderella is a good example: Cinderella’s children, or Cinderella’s daughter.

Write a story focusing on a character in a story who isn’t the hero or heroine of the original story. Friar Tuck from the Robin Hood tales would be an example.

Write a tall tale in the style of the Paul Bunyan or Mike Fink or Pecos Bill stories.

Write a “mash-up,” in which you mix two genres: Cowboys in outer space would be an example.

Of course, not all writers write fiction. Your future author may be a budding nonfiction writer. If that’s the case, he or she can try his/her hand at one of these activities:

Write and “publish” a family newspaper, reporting on the family news. (Wouldn’t Grandma and Grandpa love to get a copy?!)

Interview a family member who has an interesting story to tell and write an article about it. It could be the time Dad’s canoe overturned on a wilderness trip, Uncle Ronnie’s experiences in the Vietnam war, the time Mom was in the bank and found herself in the middle of a robbery, forced down on the floor and threatened at gunpoint, how Cousin Kimberley won the science award, or how Aunt Marian became the first woman on her town’s police force.

Your young author can also write short biographies of famous people by looking them up on the internet, reading about them, distilling what he or she has read, and then writing a lively, short bio that would appeal to other kids his/her age.

Of course, journaling is an exercise in writing, and while diaries are often thought of as girls’ territory, journals are for both sexes. For that matter, even diaries are not really strictly for girls. Such famous male writers as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, and Samuel Pepys kept diaries as well. But whether the young writer thinks of his/her reporting as keeping a diary or writing a journal, writing the day’s or week’s events in an interesting fashion is good practice for any writer, but particularly one more inclined toward nonfiction than fiction.

Do you have a budding writer or potential writer—one who loves to read (or maybe lives to read), or one who makes up stories “out loud”? Encourage him or her!

When Not Getting What You Want Is A Blessing

When Not Getting What You Want Is A Blessing

Sometimes we’re lucky and we don’t get what we want.

My affinity for writing evinced itself when I was very young. I was writing poems, stories, even a play from the time I learned to spell C-A-T. Everyone cheered me on—family, teachers, family friends—and assured me I was going to be a writer when I grew up.

But that wasn’t what I wanted. Broadway beckoned—and not scripting plays but acting in them. Starring in them. I had my heart set on being an actress.

A health issue put the kibosh on my dreams of, as they sang in Showboat, “Life Upon the Wicked Stage.” It was not to be. In my junior year of high school, it became abundantly evident that I was not going to be able to follow my dream.

Ironically I didn’t fall back on a writing career right away. Although I continued writing for any publication that would allow me to see my words in print, including a stint doing what today would be called interning for the local weekly paper, I didn’t dare to dream of earning a living writing. I didn’t think I was good enough. And I didn’t have a Journalism degree. A writing career for me? Impossible.

I wouldn’t dream that big till later—much later.

In fact, it wasn’t until the early nineties that I dared try to get a book published—and succeeded—although I was writing (and selling) short-form stuff long before that.

And now? Now I have over 100 published books to my credit, I write for clients (anything from ads to promotional scripts to business reports to web copy—not to mention ghostwritten books), and I edit. I have edited books, magazines, business materials, and more.

And I totally love what I do. I feel blessed—blessed that I can earn a living doing work that I so much love. (Is it even right to call it “work” when I so much enjoy what I’m doing? If it’s labor, it’s a labor of love for sure!)

How fortunate I am that I didn’t get what I wanted. When my friend Rev. Glo prays for something, she always says, “That or something better.” That’s what I got: Something better. I didn’t get the career I wanted so long ago—but I got something far, far better.

And I’m eternally grateful.

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