Saying Yes to Your Dreams

13 11 2018

I knew the process of creating and publishing my book would evolve in unexpected ways. One of the main takeaways that I write about in the book is to follow the path where your creativity guides you. It’s good to have a plan, but your creative spirit may alter the plan in surprising ways.

I just wrote the 6-week process book on this, so you think I’d really understand this? Right? Well…I had to relearn it this past week. It can be challenging to accept the gifts the Universe tries to give you.

Growing Your Creativity, The Live Your Life with Joy Workbook is about to burst forth into the world. I had the final details to put in the book, which I was going to do this weekend, in order to give my printer, plenty of time before my December 1 deadline. I had just promoted my book launch and party on social media on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I got a call that my church was having an Artisan’s Bazaar on Sunday and I should be a part of it. My immediate thought was, “No, my book isn’t ready.” But I ran to my printer to see if he could rush out a few copies and he said yes. That evening I made the final edits and prepped the files for printing. On Thursday morning, before I had even brought the files to my printer, I got another call from another friend. She was unavoidably out-of-town and did I want her exhibition booth at Saturday’s big event, the Louisiana Book Festival!

Wow! I knew this was a gift and still surprisingly my immediate thought was, “No, I can’t”. I didn’t have enough books and I had a weekend packed with chores that needed to be done. But yet again, I ran to my printer to see if I could get enough books and again he said yes.

I’m one of those people, who doesn’t know what they are thinking until I say it out loud, so I voiced my concerns to my co-workers, who know my book journey. I was told, “Connie, you’re ready, your next year plans have just started early, forget the weekend chores, follow your dream”.

So, I said yes.

Because I had done the prep work, I was able to make it happen.

That prep work included having real relationships from networking, real relationships with my vendors, and friends and family who want to help me make my dreams happen. I have people in my life like my sweetie, Steve, who thinks of practical things like buying a cart to haul everything.

So, I showed up.

People who didn’t know me bought my book! I was also glad I was able have my friend Dima Ghawi’s amazing memoir, Breaking Vases for sale too. I had written a rare book blog review for her book last year, so I knew her story. Since I was sitting under a sign that said Breaking Vases, A Middle Eastern Woman’s Story, I needed a connection between our books, because people read the sign and then looked at me slightly confused. I realized our seemingly different books shared a similarity. They are about creative journeys. Both stories resonated and both books sold.

The weekend was a real gift, made possible by a cosmic push. I had deep, meaningful conversations with so many people about how life and creativity are intertwined; about paying attention to the coincidences that happen to you; about how you need to tend to your creative roots so your life can blossom. I know the lessons from my book can be transformative and sometimes, you have to get out of your way and weed the negative thoughts that say you can’t follow your dream.

Say yes to your dream. Say it out loud. Do the prep work and create a plan that you can make happen. Plant your creative seeds and watch them grow. You can do it.

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Here’s my website, preorders for Growing Your Creativity, the Live Your Life With Joy Workbook are being accepted.





Bless Your Heart: An Epilogue

5 01 2014

I got my first negative blog comment. While I was initially annoyed, I soon got a tiny bit excited. I’ve been told trolls and negativity comes with the territory. So I feel I’ve finally arrived. It really wasn’t an ugly or vicious comment, just surprising.

troll

The comment was on a story titled Bless Your Heart, that was about this quintessential southern phrase that I use all the time. Pwrjhp left the comment, What you are saying here is similar to asserting that just because someone might say, “thank you very much” in a sarcastic way, that this is always how it’s intended. To say this phrase is merely a passive-aggressive insult is a severe 
simplification of both the phrase itself and southern mood. Please stop perpetuating this idiotic myth that turns people against southerners.”

See…it’s not awful, just baffling. Has this person never watched “Shit Southern Women Say”?  My first thought when I read this comment really was…”well, bless their heart, they don’t know what colloquialism is.”

There are many idiotic things in the South that offend me. I’m deeply offended by comments by the bearded patriarch of Duck Dynasty. I’m offended by the poverty and racism and hate that still exist in this neck of the woods. But I have traveled the world and have found small mindedness is not only something that lives in my Deep South. I’m offended when I travel away from home that people feel safe to spew their racist vitriol because they assume I’m what their stereotypical image of a Southerner is, and that I’ll agree with their vicious ideas.

I will be the first to admit that living in the South has its challenges, however, so does every place. But the lovely uniqueness of the way we talk down here is not one of the problems that needs fixin’. In a world that’s becoming one big strip mall, with the same Wal-Mart, the same Appleby’s, the same Old Navy and the same Taco Bell, I celebrate the things that set us apart and make us unique.

My sweetie and I just went to breakfast at a favorite local diner called Frank’s. I love their homemade buttermilk biscuits, grits, boudin omelet and sausage from their smokehouse. I’ll have a dark, rich cup of our local brew, Community Coffee. It’s poured by a waitress who’ll call me honey or sugar or darlin’. It’s full of people wearing LSU purple. I see the cook busy serving up plates has a camo baseball cap on. I’m perfectly comfortable with the deer heads on the wall even though I’ve never gone hunting. This place is indigenous to where I live. And I prefer to go to Frank’s over Shoney’s breakfast buffet any day of the week. It’s all part of my Southern heritage and I embrace it.

So thank you for your comment. It has made me think about where I live. I wish the media would talk about William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin or Harper Lee instead of Duck Dynasty, Swamp People or Honey Boo Boo.

One of my favorite contemporary authors is Rick Bragg. When I read his words I hear his distinctive southern voice. I’ve heard him speak at the Louisiana Book Festival; he talks about writing in your authentic voice. I embrace the southern part of me that says y’all and fixin’ to and calls all soft drinks a coke. You see, I really do say bless your heart and so does my mama and dem. And it often is dripping in other meaning.

There’s really only one thing left to say to Pwrjhp, “Thank you very much and Bless Your Heart.”

 If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. Here’s some other stories I’ve written about living in this part of the country.

Luzianna Friday Nite

New Orleans, a feast for the senses

When the Levees Broke

Life is Like a Song

Argo, the Ayatollah, Eudora Welty and First Apartments

Parading

The Importance of Doing Nothing

Bread, Batteries and Booze