all honesty, not once in my youth did I ever aspire to be
a writer. During my formative years, my passion was dancing,
from tap to jazz to ballet. Particularly ballet. From the
age of six until I was approaching thirteen, I took lessons
four days a week, sometimes two to three lessons per day.
Add that to school, church choir and cheerleading practice,
and my routine began to resemble a corporate mogul's hectic
schedule. That routine began to take its toll not only on
me, but on my mother as well—the designated chauffeur.
Something had to give. I chose to quit ballet despite the
fact that I had been moved to the "big girl's group"
that year, one of two of the youngest students in a more advanced
class. But I'd been on pointe for two years, my feet hurt
constantly, the work was tough and required a huge effort
just to keep up with the three classes a week. At the time,
that choice seemed like a no-brainer, yet when the year-end
recital came around—an elaborate event held at a college
campus—I regretted the decision. After my tap and jazz
rehearsals were over, I sat in the auditorium and watched
the production of an act from Swan Lake. Had I chosen to remain
in ballet, I would have been on that stage, wearing those
"big girl" full-length tutus, sporting beautifully
crafted make-up in the shape of swan's wings, and participating
in the finale that always earned a standing ovation.
that day, and that night after the recital. I felt as if I'd
given up too quickly on a dream, choosing instead to take
the easy way out. The path of least resistance. Shortly thereafter,
I gave up dancing altogether, although I thought about it
often, and wondered….
years later, I embarked on another venture that unbeknownst
to me would become another dream—writing. At first it
was simply a whim; I'd always been a voracious reader, I'd
possessed an active imagination in childhood and I was relatively
good in English. Of course, I could just sit down and magically
come up with something brilliant, right? Up to that point,
for the most part I'd been a stay-at-home mom, owned a small
dress shop managed by someone else, had served on the PTA
board and volunteered at a women's shelter. I needed something
more challenging in my life, as if raising three children
wasn't enough. And believe me, composing a full-length novel
without really knowing what I was doing became very challenging.
But this time, I didn't give up, even though the road to publication
took me seven years, several manuscripts and numerous rejections
before I finally sold my first book in 1999. Whenever I was
tempted to throw in that proverbial towel, I relied on the
memory of sitting in that auditorium all those years ago,
filled with regret for what might have been.
years have passed since I started my first book (that has
never sold nor never will), a wondrous journey that has seen
its ups and downs, heartache and hardship, delights and disappointments.
I am still amazed that people actually pay to read my stories.
I am still in awe when I receive a letter or an email from
an appreciative reader. And I still have stories to tell.
I've sold over twenty-five books to date, and I hope to sell
at least twenty-five more. But if I never see another one
of my releases on the shelves, I have no regrets. I no longer
cry over what might have been, but celebrate what is to come.
I have fulfilled my dreams, and I plan to keep right on dreaming.
you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
If you can dream it, you can become it."
William Arthur Ward