Monday, June 17, 2013

The Birth of Easy, A Novel

Yeah the last thing I needed on my "To Do" list was to write a fiction novel.


There are so many things I've yet to accomplish in 2013 on my objectives list, it certainly could have done without a new book project.

But that is the beauty of this story and my life. I am open.

Open to possibility.

Open to hurt.

Open to failure

Open to change.

Open to the scary "what ifs" of this life.

Last week was another tough week in a string of challenging weeks in my life this year. Yet, I went to Dallas on the promise and hope of a new business breakthrough. Little did I know the "breakthrough" was not external but internal. Helpless to my exterior situation, I turned inward to soothe myself and came out with a full blown fiction novel idea. By Friday evening, it was full outlined and ready to be written. A few "facts" to know about makes this incredible:

  1. I do not read fiction. Haven't read fiction in many years, probably the last time I read a fiction book was pre-2001 (before marriage and first kid) Think - Bridget Jones as the last fiction. I know, pathetic.
  2. I often question how anyone has time to read fiction - not my genre at all. Not an interest in my body  for fiction as a reader or a writer.
  3. I am slammed with 4 projects in the works and many proposals out for bid. Really, I am at my busiest since I started my business.

Yet, I have to write this book. Now.

Don't ask me to explain it, I just know in my heart this is something I need to do. So I'm off to do it. And to make this insanity complete, I've shared my intention with my world already. That's right, I've announced it. Spoken with a potential copy editor and priced out design services.

I am even living up to my own promise to myself to sequester myself for optimal writing opportunity. A book writing retreat is scheduled for the DoubleTree Suites one month from today. I fully expect that 32 days from now, my first fiction manuscript will be complete.

So I'm taking my own advice, I tweeted this the day before I birthed my book, Easy, a novel -

"5 things the last 24 hrs taught me: don't assume, be specific, trust yourself, always ask & use frustration as fuel forward #2013Fearless"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marriage Is Work - The Best Kind

Ben Affleck and Jen Garner during the 2013 Award Season - a good one for Ben

Way back in February, I wrote a post about 2013 Academy Award winning Best Picture Argo's Director, Ben Affleck. That post was solely about the work part of his triumph. Find it here. I was so impressed and did not get to actually see the movie until a few weeks ago. Fired up to cheer for Ben all these months later, I was reminded of his acceptance speech all over again. I loved the speech. Every word. And while before I chose to focus on the work part of the speech and pursuing your dreams, it is the other "work" part of the speech, I'd like to focus on today.  Ben said something to his wife, fellow actor, Jennifer Garner, about his marriage that sent the internet abuzz.

"I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with."

We are full speed into the 2013 wedding season now and what better time to shine a light on Mr. Affleck's wise statement.  Marriage is work. No doubt. Without question.

Many people tried to read into his statement as if something was "wrong" in their marriage. He went so far as to "defend" his statement in a SNL monologue months later, inviting his wife to join him. Ben, you needn't have worried. Those of us toiling in our own (12 years and counting over here) marriages get it. More people would be wise to listen to what you said. Even in his SNL defense - he touched on something I think most people can relate to as well.

"You define what’s important to you by what you dedicate your time to."

After seeing the masterpiece that is his work in Argo - I got it all over again. I have for the last few years been building a business and love my work. Just as I love my marriage and family. Work has such a huge impact on my life and I can see how easy it is to parallel almost every thing else to it.

Owning a business is work.

Anything worth having, requires work. 

Most valuable things are created with work.

Raising kids with someone else is work.

Wealth is created the first time with work.

And yes, marriages that go the duration also entail work. Kudos to a Hollywood star for being so brutally honest with us and sharing that they, too, experience some aspects of life like the rest of us.

I have always appreciated Ben Affleck. Thanks, Ben for validating that irrational appreciation.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Thank You Series: The Honorable Mentions

Coming up with the top three stories for my Thank You Series was such a great experience. Taking the time to reflect on people and situations throughout my life that have impacted me for growth and progress really was a worthwhile exercise. Because there were so many excellent examples to choose from, I'm posting the honorable mention list for your viewing pleasure:

Dick Case - World Class Hiring Manager

Huge Thanks to the late Richard W. Case, founder of USA Baseball and International Baseball Federation official, for showing me how run a world class interview process. Back in 1994, I interviewed and did not get a role with USA Baseball as PR Manager. My experience with Dick Case has still been unmatched as it related to a hiring process. He communicated with me weekly during the 11 week process, alerting me to changes and updates every time. Ultimately, he did not hire me but in the final call, he let me know what a pleasure it was to meet me, gave me real and actionable feedback (told me to get some media interactions and gave me specific ways to do so) and let me know that I could use him as a reference or let him know if there was anything he could do for me in the future. Needless to say, I did take him up on the offer and we stayed in touch until his death in 2003. Class act and without question a huge influence on me as a hiring manager!

Rose Glenn and Emma Lewis - Pinch Hitting Aunts

Big ups to my uncle's wife and my dad's sister for impacting me greatly in the early years. After my mother passed away at such a young age and left two very young daughters to my father, there were two aunts that stepped up in a big way to help. Each in her own way, my Aunt Rose and my Aunt Emma supplemented in a larger way than anyone else in the early years following my mom's death. Be it "Back-to-School" shopping in the city or summer break refuge at Camp Auntie - both my dear aunts were lifesavers in their own way. Both are passed on now - one my senior year in high school and the other just this past month.

Susan Reiter - Daughterless Mom - great friend and encourager

On the same note of "mom figures," I'd be remiss not to shout-out to Susan - a co-worker turned great friend who was actually born the same year my mom was born. We have been great for one another as she lost her daughter a few years before we met. Practical in nature, Susan has be a great ear and shoulder since 2004.

Mike Kleis - Open handed manager

Steve Davidson - Soul nurturing friend - male

Kathy DeWitt - Soul nurturing friend - female

Phil Dillard - It doesn't matter how you met friend

I had to put a stop to the list because I've been blessed with amazing people in my life over the last 41 years. My Thank You Series will be an annual event because every person I've mentioned deserves their own post.

It is good to stop and reflect on people who influence you. Take time to remember those who have contributed to your growth and progress often!