How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Is It Too Late To Follow The Dream?

I am pleased and honoured to share with you the following guest post.

Angela Ackermanis one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.  Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with seventy-five different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, in the shadow of the Rockies, with her family, dog and one slightly zombie-like fish.

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How many times have you run into someone, and when it comes out that you’re a writer, they say, “You’re so lucky. I would love to write a book someday.” Or maybe a spark lights up in their eyes as they tell you this great idea they have for a story, or their hands get all animated as they describe a novel they read, falling right back into that world.

What you’re seeing is Passion. It might be only a glimmer, or a full-out flame, but either way, there’s something big going on inside them, if they only knew how to set it free.

I’ve run into a lot of writers-in-waiting:  people who love books and to read, who have big imaginations and who enjoy the lyrical nature of how words fit together. Maybe they journal, or fiddle with poems or haikus, or create jingles in their mind as they watch cheesy TV commercials. The point is, they are writers in all but name. Oh, if only they knew!

Sometimes when they tell me I’m lucky to be a writer, I’ll ask them, “Well, why don’t you become one too?”

Often than glow that lit them up only a second before clouds over. They say things like, “Oh but I couldn’t. That’s just a dream. I don’t know a thing about writing.” Or, “I don’t have time between work and the kids and the gardening and the house. In fact, did you see the peeling paint on the fence? I have to get on that soon or the whole thing will rot away…” and the conversation becomes a list of chores needing to be done, work waiting to fill the hours.

It makes me sad, because that writer-in-waiting is still inside, wanting to be let free. It wants to be more than a dream. It wants to make the journey.

Being a writer (or following any dream for that matter), takes courage. We come into it knowing little, but passion sustains us and then bit by bit, we learn and grow. Sometimes it’s about waiting for the right time, but mostly it’s about MAKING TIME.

Our world is so busy and frantic. There are bills to pay yes, and housework and meetings and kids circling like piranhas asking about dinner, but there is also passion. Make time for it. If you want to write, pick up a pen. Apply to paper. Let the words flow. No matter where you are in life, how old or young you are, it’s never too late to turn a dream into a reality.


The Impossible Dream zzzzzz

Winter is officially here but hasn’t made much of an appearance yet. Oh, it made another windblown visit last weekend, but like the wolf that tried to blow the little pig’s house down, soon lost steam. This is the time of year I find it hard to get out of bed. Mostly it’s the cold when I throw the covers off. I shiver till I find my slippers and hope they’re where they should be so my feet don’t touch the freezing wooden floor.

It wasn’t cold this morning nor have I been especially tired lately. Neither was I escaping reality because of what today is. I had coffee with a friend later on who said that it’s Valentine’s Day every day at their house. They don’t need a special day to remember.  Neither do I.

No, it was something else. I only read until midnight last night yet slept like the dead. Though I’m supposed to be retired, I set the alarm to get up a little earlier today.  I had things to do and wanted to get an early start. I punched my alarm clock half a dozen times when it howled at me, coming closer to the surface each time. But it took an hour to truly wake up. I felt Dracula’s slumber in his crypt as the sun rose.

I think it was the dream. A particularly disturbing one.

An estimate arrived from a garage I’d never been to. Something to do with the electrical system in my car needing repairs. A diagram was included. It pointed out wiring in the ceiling that had to be replaced (ceiling? hmm). It was confusing but the punch line was the cost was a mere $8000.00. Even at $800.00 the whole idea was a stretch. What kind of larceny was this? The overhead light must have some wiring up there but…

While I was mulling over these sketchy threads of surreal chicanery, enter the boyfriend. Boyfriend? Where did he come from?

“What’s the matter? You look confused,” he said.

I tried to make out his face. Who was this faceless wonder? “I got this estimate…”

“Oh yeah. Last week when I took your car out it was acting up. I asked my buddy to have a look at it.”

That’s when the first alarm went off. I punched the snooze button but already I couldn’t get back to the dream. What a way to start my day. Happy Valentine’s Day!