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Honestly? Not once in my youth did I ever aspire to be a writer. My passion was dancing, everything from tap, to jazz, to ballet. Particularly ballet. From the age of six until I was almost thirteen, I took lessons four days a week, sometimes two to three lessons a day. Add that to school, church choir and cheerleading practice, and my routine began to resemble a corporate mogul's hectic schedule. That routine began to take its toll not only on me, but on my mother as well – the designated chauffeur. Something had to give, so I chose to quit ballet despite the fact that I had been moved to the 'big girl's group' that year. But I'd been on pointe for two years, my feet hurt constantly, the work was tough and required a huge effort just to keep up with the three classes a week. At the time, that choice seemed like a no-brainer, yet when the year-end recital came around – an elaborate event held at a college campus – I regretted the decision. After my tap and jazz rehearsals were over, I sat in the auditorium and watched the production of an act from Swan Lake. Had I chosen to remain in ballet, I would have been on that stage, wearing those 'big girl' full-length tutus, sporting beautifully crafted make-up in the shape of swan's wings, and participating in the finale that always earned a standing ovation.
I cried that day, and that night after the recital. I felt as if I'd given up too quickly on a dream, choosing instead to take the easy way out. The path of least resistance. Shortly thereafter, I gave up dancing altogether, although I thought about it often, and wondered…
Twenty-odd years later, I embarked on another venture that unbeknownst to me would become another dream – writing. At first it was simply a whim; I'd always been a voracious reader, I'd possessed an active imagination in childhood and I was relatively good in English. Of course, I could just sit down and magically come up with something brilliant, right? Up to that point, for the most part I'd been a stay-at-home mom, owned a small dress shop managed by someone else, had served on the PTA board and volunteered at a women's shelter. I needed something more challenging in my life, as if raising three children wasn't enough. And believe me, composing a full-length novel without really knowing what I was doing became very challenging. But this time, I didn't give up, even though the road to publication took me seven years, several manuscripts and numerous rejections before I finally sold my first book in 1999. Whenever I was tempted to throw in that proverbial towel, I relied on the memory of sitting in that auditorium all those years ago, filled with regret for what might have been.
Many years have passed since I started my first book (that has never sold nor never will), a wondrous journey that has seen its ups and downs, heartache and hardship, delights and disappointments. I am still amazed that people actually pay to read my stories. I am still in awe when I receive a letter or an email from an appreciative reader. And I still have stories to tell. I've sold over twenty five books to date, and I hope to sell at least twenty five more. But if I never see another one of my releases on the shelves, I have no regrets. I no longer cry over what might have been, but celebrate what is to come. I have fulfilled my dreams, and I plan to keep right on dreaming.
The Way We Were, While You Were Sleeping and Ever After