“Life is a powerful tool for inspiration, and this is especially prevalent in the works of writers.” Gina Wilkerson was so correct when she wrote this statement.

Most writers agree. At least if we’re honest about it. Scenes from real life find themselves being worked into stories. People from our life? Past and present. They find themselves as characters occasionally too. Real life pets can even find themselves trapped between the pages of a book, now a fictional pet in a fictional world.

Our dreams can end up being in our writing too. Not only the nightly dreams which are sometimes crazy and ludicrous. But the dreams that are our aspirations and goals – sometimes reachable and sometimes seemingly beyond your grasp.

One big dream in my life was to have an herb and garden store. Years ago, I’d been dabbling with herbs on the side for some time, growing them, cooking with them, and crafting with them. I was going to herb festivals, first as an attendee, and later as a vendor. I created some products and had a small mailing list – long before the days of email and the internet. When a job closed and I got a three-month severance, I had the chance to follow my dream.

In September 1999, I opened my dream store – a small herb and garden store called Olde Thyme Gardens.

I enjoyed every single moment of the three years the store was open. Unfortunately, I’d also never had ANY retail experience, other than the craft show/herb festival circuit. So even though I was able to be open for that long, it was never a wildly successful venture.

Years later, once I was working in a retail position, I’d find myself laughing to myself. I’d be thinking ‘OH! THAT’S how I should have done this. THAT’S what I should have done then. THAT’S what…”

But then a few more years passed. Now I was chasing another dream. The dream of writing. While working on some of my earliest books, I planned on having a three-book inspiring series. The first ‘A Second Chance’ told of a fictional girls Near-Death-Experience. Yes, taken from real life – my own experience – but fictionalized.

The second book in the series became My Wildest Dream. After the Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Jenny goes on to follow her dream of opening an herb and garden store. It’s now 17-years after opening my own dream store. And now, the store in the story is in Texas, not California. But following my dream so many years earlier gave me all the background I needed to help Jennie move through her own fictional dream chasing experience.

*Note – The third book in the series, Ten O’clock Scholar – was never completed. I’m currently working on that book right now. Later in the year, when it’s ready to go, the first two books will have a serious makeover before being re-released with the third book. Because, even though chasing our dreams is a wonderful experience, there’s always things that five years later we look back and go, “OH! I should have….”

Fanning the Flames of My Dreams

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

–Harriet Tubman

It’s easy to doubt ourselves. There are days that I not only doubt that I have the strength to follow and reach my dreams, sometimes I doubt that my dreams are worthy. The dreams I have aren’t dreams that I think will save the world. So, does that mean I should ditch them, in favor of more altruistic pursuits?

Not at all.

Just because the current dreams we’re chasing aren’t about opening a homeless shelter, or an animal shelter, or helping those in destitute straights, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t reach for them. Because even if our dream feels like a goal with a selfish intent – a weekend in Cabo, a new car, a trip to see the Aurora Borealis – in reaching for something we desire, we nurture our soul and fan the flames of contentment in our lives. And when we nourish this inner part of ourselves, we then have the confidence and fortitude to reach out to others and encourage their ambitions also.

Affirmation: I have the strength, patience, and passion to achieve my dreams.

(Excerpt from Spoonful of Sugar, scheduled for release October 2016)

Spoonful of Sugar

July 2022

Past blogs