Everyone, please meet the light of my life…my dog, Bacchus. Okay, so she’s one of the lights of my life, but she is the one who is always sweet and always good and always brings a smile to my face. She’s been a part of my life for almost eleven years now, and I love her so very much! So much, in fact, that we’ve paid for one ACL surgery and two eye surgeries to keep her healthy and happy over the years! My husband and I joke that she’s the million dollar dog, but she is worth every single penny.

This is a picture I took just last night. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but apparently an old dog can be a life lesson to their owner at any age. As I laughed at this fifty pound dog squeezing in to this teeny, tiny dog bed, I had this sense of camaraderie with my pup. She was going to fit her big ol’ doggy butt in this bed no matter how much work it took, how much effort she exhausted, or how silly she looked doing it. It reminded me of myself. No, my butt fits just fine in my king size bed every night, but there is something else I’m bound and determined to do.

No matter how much work it takes, how much effort I exhaust, or how silly I look doing it. I want to be a published author.

I’ve been working toward this goal for about 2 and a haf years now, which I realize isn’t really all that long even if it feels like an eternity. I’ve had numerous requests from publishers on multiple manuscripts that have yet to result in a contract, I’ve obtained and then walked away from an agent, and I’ve entered numerous contests that I haven’t once finaled in.

But I’m still at it.

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I was reminded this week that my story is a very familiar one heard around the literary world. I was lucky enough to listen to Debbie Macomber speak. Her story was so inspiring to me. She talked about the struggles she had in school and how hard it was for her to learn to read. How even though she was dyslexic, she always knew she would be a writer. She said the thought of writing books made her throb with joy.

Yes, Debbie, yes!

She talked about the struggles she faced as her family survived off of one income while she followed her dream, all while raising her children. About the guilt she felt from not only not making money on the books she wrote, but spending money to help her reach her goals.

Seriously, at this point I wanted to raise hands and yell “Preach, sister!” The guilt is REAL! I’m fortunate enough that we don’t struggle financially, but the guilt that comes from taking time away from kids and home is a constant companion of mine.

And then the good part came. She talked about her first sale. She talked about how by following her dreams, she ended up doing what she was born to do. And man, was she nice! She answered a ton of questions from the audience and then stayed and sign a ton of books, taking pictures with every single person. I was giddy as could be when it was my turn, and was able to spill out that I was a romance writer trying to be published and let her know how much her words meant to me. She wished me luck and told me to keep going because it’s a tough business to break into. Then her daughter took a picture of the two of us together. She said she wanted a picture of me with her mom before I made it big, and one day Debbie would have a picture of the two of us up on her shelf.

Can you imagine? Debbie Macomber’s daughter has a picture of little old me on her phone! I almost died.

When I got home, I looked at her signature in my book and saw a bible verse scrawled below her message to me. 2 Timothy 1:7. Of course, I looked it up and the impact of this bible verse was indescribable. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

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You tell em, Debbie! In this world of writing and publishing, it’s so important to remember to work hard and use the gifts God gave you to muscle your way in to where you want to be. Just like my baby Bacchus strong-armed her way into the too-small bed of hers, I’m going to keep pushing my way forward. It will happen. I no longer doubt that. I feel it in my bones, and just like Debbie Macomber described, I throb with joy when I write and there has to be reason for that.

I’m looking forward to discovering that reason, no matter how long it takes.

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