Sunday, February 28, 2016

Becoming Real

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”


   For such a long time, I didn't feel real. 
   I felt like I was here simply to make everyone else happy and then I'd fade back into the wallpaper.
Even when each new book came out, it was a hollow celebration simply because I had someone in my life constantly telling me to give up. Why couldn't they be happy for me? 
  Why couldn't I be happy for me?
  Being a writer is in my blood. I have relatives who are writers, musician/songwriters, and storytellers. Why should I be any different?
  I have been a writer since as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I'd both write and tell stories.    As I grew up, I'd write short stories and poems (many of which my dad has turned into songs over the years!) I even started to write a novel about a rock band that I still have in my closet but have never tried to publish. I also still have some of my childhood stories, written in pencil, in a filing cabinet.
  It wasn't until I had three kids and joined a writing group that I became serious about writing and felt like I was on the right path in my life. A writing career was something I could work on while the kids grew up and I could be there for them, writing while they were in karate or at school.
  I won a writing contest and published my very first novella:  Murder on Manitou. Then, through a critique partner, I found and agent then a publisher (Books We Love Inc, a Canadian publisher) who turned my book The Bookstore Lady into reality. Once that was out of my system, the pressure to get a full-time job was on once more. Then I published book numbers three and four, The Mystery Lady and The Bakery Lady, with two more being planned.
  I was happy, but the more books I wrote and released, the more hollow the celebrations.
Then I started a whole new series and published two Gilda Wright Mysteries with Gemma Halliday Publishing, a US publisher. Can't Keep a Brunette Down and Hardheaded Brunette will soon be joined by the third in the series, Life is Better Brunette. On top of that, I am currently at work on a new book for Gemma Halliday called Steeped in Trouble.
  A friend recently told me I needed to find my self worth. 
  My self worth is in my creativity. My passion for the written word. Hoarding words on my book shelves and computer. Telling my stories to the world.
  Sharing the very thing that helps me to feel real. The one thing I refuse to give up, even when life is at its busiest and at its lowest low. My own little piece of happy.