I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve had a bucket list since I was 25 years old. On the top of my bucket list is write a book. At the time I added that to the list, I had no idea what my book was going to be about, I just knew that one day I WOULD make that dream a reality. Six years later, I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream so vivid that I had to wake up my husband to tell him all about it. He listened patiently and then said, “Write it down.” Whether he told me that so he could go back to sleep or because he thought the idea was a good one, I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter because little did I know that those words I scratched down in the middle of the night would become the premise for my first book.
Six years after having that dream, I finished another goal on my bucket list, getting my college degree. I didn’t follow the average path in life going to college after high school, instead I took a different path. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so instead I found myself moving around a lot doing a variety of odd jobs: I dappled in real estate, I waitressed, I worked at the front desk at a hotel, I worked at a ski resort in Colorado, I spent a summer working at a country club, I cashiered at Target, and then I discovered what I wanted to do with myself. I wanted to be a librarian.
I immediately started school, first working on my BS in Psychology and then after 4 years, I started my Master’s in Library and Information Science. A couple things happened when I was in school. First, I wrote a lot. A lot. I probably wrote hundreds, if not thousands of papers, and guess what. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I would spend hours perfecting my work, making sure that my words were exactly right. Then one particular paper caught the attention of my professor. Oddly enough, he asked us to write a creative paper outlining the process of conception. Yep, that was the first creative piece that I had ever shown to someone outside of high school teachers and it was about conception. But my professor noticed something. He noticed that I can write. In my feedback, he wrote something along the lines of, “While psychology is something you’re interested in, writing is your gift. You should consider pursuing this more seriously.” I was taken aback by his comments. I felt something move inside me. I was overwhelmed with hope. Maybe one day I would write that book after all. I trudged on with school, but tucked that comment safely away, so I would always remember it.
December 2012, I finished school. I have a mountain of school loans to prove it. As soon as I finished, my husband said, “Why don’t you take some time to try writing. You’ve always wanted to do it and now is the perfect time.” We had just moved to Seattle, Washington and his job could afford me spending time to pursue my dream. So, I did. I pretty much shut myself off from the world for 3 months. I buried my head in my computer and I wrote. I wrote a lot. I’m much more creative at night, so I would start at 10:00 and finish somewhere between 3:00 and 4:00 am. I would edit during the day. I would think about the story, the characters, and the plot all the time. The funny thing is, when I write, I get into a zone. Oftentimes, when I was editing my writing the following day, I wouldn’t even recognize my own words. The story would just flow out of me – it was like I tapped into something and as long as I gave my energy toward the story, it would continue to reward me with a continuous flood of words. Three months later, I self-published my first book, After the Summerland. It was the story from my dream six years ago, fleshed out in detail. 252 pages, and close to 80,000 words about witches. So, dreams really do come true – sometimes in the way you least expect them to.