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I don’t need Ancestry.com to know the man in this story swims in my dream-to-reality gene pool. Read on to discover how and why ISLE BE BACK rocked my world.

It was a cold and drizzly morning. I was in the *library* (Yes, again!) reading tidbits from Reader’s Digest when I happened across an article (Source BBC News) that resulted in a major…

Did no one else take that ellipsis for a stroll in Snark Park? Excuse the interruption, then. Carrying on:

…an article that resulted in a major epiphany.

ISLE BE BACK

Being short on navigational skills and equipment did not deter a British man from circumnavigating Great Britain. But his inadequacy as a sailor did. Keeping the coastline to his right, he spent all his fuel mistakenly circling the small isle of Sheppey, just east of London. (From BBC)

SHORT ON NAVIGATIONAL SKILLS

I could easily have titled this segment YebbitVille, but that wouldn’t offer extra points for a smooth transition, would it?

[Pausing while you place a gold star on the top right corner of your screen. Got it? Good. Thank you!]

Putting myself in the place of that misguided sailor, I pondered YebbitVille on my first row ’round the ROW80 goals. The Yebbits changed their signage with each passage, so how was Iย  to know I was circumnavigating the same small island?

  • Not perfect yet! Row round in circles.
  • This ‘n That need help! Please donate time.
  • Yebbit thinks you should finish X before you pursue your A.
  • Your X for today is picking belly-button lint.

YebbitVille — a place between where I am to where I dream to be.

I know it well.

Sadly.

Predictably.

Thankfully. YebbitVille is a well-populated village.ย  I always have someone to play with me on the teeter-totter.

I leave it to my intrepid writing buddy, Sherry Isaac, to inspect the cargo hold area of my Row80 goals and marvel at my progress constructively explore what went awry, and why. Sherry returns next Wednesday, the 15th.

For those of you new to this blog, Sherry, has an on-going mini-series titled Step Away from the January. For the most recent installment in the series, click here. That installment also birthed the title for this article. Thanks, Sherry!

[Waving frantically ’cause she lives in land far away called Canada–The Land of the U hogs.]

On this journey ’round the small Island, I am going to focus…

For me, that could be a complete sentence, and an achievement with its own merits.

But, wait! There’s more to that sentence this time.

On this journey ’round the small Island, I am going to focus on which of my writing projects owns my heart at the moment.

More wisdom from Sherry’s post was that we have to be flexible; to adjust our goals, our dreams.

Tough choice, because they both do.

One is a current project (a Contemporary Romance filled with snark and steam) in which I’ve emotionally invested a great deal of time developing characters and plot-lines and turning points.

Add the Dark Moment, and we have the requisite “Oh, my!” of Dorothy in Oz fame.

The second is a just-for-fun project started with my then-eleven-year-old niece.

That then-eleven-year-old niece moved on before we finished our project, and has since graduated from Carnegie-Mellon with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Yes. I have fingers and toes, too.

I did the math. It’s a long time.

Especially if you remember to carry the one.

That just-for-fun project was a genre-challenged Middle Grade Series marketed as YA. That just-for-fun project gave birth to an eleven-year-old character (Michelle “Mitch” Madison), a team of quirky sidekicks, and a light fantasy theme.

I wrapped my arms around the pillow of that just-for-fun project dream for years. The main character still lives within my heart and imagination. She wants her story told.

“And do it properly this time,” Mitch says.

A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES

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LITTLE RED IN HER ROOM AT PAPAW AND GLOWIEs

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Back-in-the-day, The Middle Grade series generated heart-warming dreams.

In those dreams young fans recognized me at airports, sent copies of my book via Flight Attendant for personalized autographs, invited me to become their show-and-tell at school.

During that window of time, Little Red, my granddaughter, couldn’t yet read, but she could dream.

Yes,ย  the wrong fairy tale is depicted in the picture above, but it accurately reflects her age when Glowie wrote the first iteration of the series.

Age and gender appropriate Beta readers validated their love for the book.

They fueled the fires of my unconsciously ignorant writer’s dream.

Ah! Those were heady-to-fame times.

So, with accolades ringing in my ears, I began the query process. The first fifty pages of my manuscript generated requests for a full.

Woot! My dream was about to become reality.

And, then…

Splat!

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity, butt

A GOAL IS A DREAM PUT INTO ACTION

There it is.

The second half of Sherry’s wisdom on the subject of dreams.

That just-for-fun project was written before I bought a clue about the craft of novel writing.

I’ve since chucked many nickles at learning my craft, and permitted many dust bunnies to play on the box containing that manuscript.

Fast forward to today. Little Red has grown taller, but she still runs to me for a hug when she visits.

Little Red asked me a year ago about the book I was writing for “kids her age.”

I told her a wee bit about it, and assured her it was NEXT UP when I finished my current project.

Six months ago, Little Red came to me during a family get-together, purple post-it-note in hand, and asked for the title of my book, the characters, the name of the quirky leprechaun.

If I close my eyes, I see the part in her hair as she studiously wrote what I told her on that purple snippet of paper. I asked if she wanted to be a Beta reader for my book. Once I explained the term, she accepted. Big grin time for both of us.

Ka-thunk in the chest time for me.

At Christmas, I handed Little Red a wrapped package–obviously a book.

I didn’t understand the smile on her face until she opened the package and simply said, “thank you, Glowie.”

I don’t know if she’ll read the book I gave her. I don’t know if she’ll like it or love it.

And, it honestly doesn’t matter to me.

Because I didn’t give her the book she dreamed about.

The book I dreamed about.

For those moments between knowing she held a book, and the stark reality that it wasn’t Glowie’s book, Little Red’s face had that look of expectation I’d seen so often in my dreams.

That’s when my teeter got off the totter.

Contemporary Romance will always be there.

I will not always have a Little Red in my life dreaming about the day she gets to show her friends the manuscript entrusted to her for a Beta read.

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DON'T DALLY, GLOWIE! I'M ON MY WAY TO ELEVEN-YEARS-OLD.

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As if those events weren’t enough to push my tush into rewrite-the-Middle-Grade mode…

Jennifer Eaton recently posted a book review featuring a video of her son critiquing The Genius Files Mission Impossible by Dan Gutman. Click here to read that witty post and view the video.

He loved it.

Sure, I listened to all the reasons why it hit a nerve in his eleven-year-old reader’s heart.

I made notes.

But, it was the energy, the look in his eyes, the smile on his face that caused me to pause and think…

I want that.

I want to unleash Michelle “Mitch” Madison in my imagination while that dream is fresh in my heart.

So, Little Red? This book’s for you!

Okay. I’m a cross between all choked up and all stoked up to write again this morning. Writer’s dream. I know it. You know it. Please share your dreams, your achievements, your AHAs, your own visits to YebbitVille, whatever. I LOVE to hear from you guys. Like Sherry said in her recent post. I’m needy that way.

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