Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21st Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good morning. For some reason, it was tough to get the motor going this morning, but I had no choice, because Dani needed to be at school early to take a quiz. So, instead of diving right into my blog, like I usually do, I poked around on Facebook a little.

That’s where I stumbled on a post, from a FB friend, saying he had a horribly vivid nightmare last night. I urged him to write it down, even if he didn’t think he had a flare for writing, someone else could always turn it into a story for him. He wrote back saying he’d rather just forget it. So I wrote back and said the best way to forget it is to get it out of his head and on paper, then I told him about the story behind A Second Chance. We went back and forth a few more times, then a post from author Melissa Foster pops up on the feed. (You should recognize the name. I often share her posts on my page.) Here’s what she posted:

How freaky is that? Of course I promptly shared the post on Jeffrey’s page, which led to a whole bunch of other notes back and forth. It’s these little things, little signs, that proves to me, God or Fate or whatever Power you believe in, leads us where we need to be. If it had been a normal morning, chances are pretty good, I would never have seen Jeffrey’s or even Melissa’s posts.

As I get older, and especially in the past two years, I have come to realize that, if I hadn’t taken some sort of detour from my norm, I wouldn’t have been in a particular place, at a particular time, and I would have missed an opportunity, or missed meeting someone. The first time I noticed this, and it really sunk in, was a few years ago, when I was working this AWFUL temp job forty-five minutes, on a good day, from home.

Convertible Blue Beemer
One day in May, I was driving home in horrendous traffic. It turns out it was Princeton’s commencement day. After two hours of inching along, staring at the gold Camry in front of me, and the blue convertible Beemer in my rear view, scrolling through my GPS to see if I could find an alternate route, I found a turn off. My GPS had showed a road going through to another street, and from there I could bypass Princeton proper completely.

Gold Camry
I made the left, and headed down this new road, only to find it came to an abrupt end. My GPS was wrong. I turn around, headed back the way I came, got back into the flow of traffic, and continued my slow crawl home. An hour, and less than a mile later, I was moved over to the left lane by the police, to get traffic around an accident in the right hand lane. As I rolled by, I realize the cars which were involved in the accident, were the cars which were directly in front of, and behind me, before I had made my misguided left hand turn. If I had stayed my course, the blue convertible Beemer would have plowed into me, and not into the gold Camry.

Karen & Me - My first book signing
After that incident, I began to notice more and more. A friend, of a friend, of my mom’s noticed an article in the paper, which eventually filtered down to me, and led to me being invited to my first PPL Author’s Day. A random paring at a table during the PPLAD, led to a close friendship. An old school chum, who I hadn’t seen in twenty plus years, shows up at my first book signing. A few weeks later, her boss contacts me, and invites me to be part of an author’s panel at her daughter’s school. At the author’s panel, I chat with another author, research the information he shared with me, and end up pulling my first book from its original publisher, and rereleasing it through my current publisher, at a lower price and at a much better percentage for me. Another random conversation led me to the Indie Next Generation site, and A Second Chance ended up being the winner for 2013 for Romance.

Writers Panel 2013
I could probably site twenty more examples of things which have happened over the past two years, but you get my point. I have truly come to realize that God (who is who I personally believe in) puts someone in our path, or you in their path, who need to be there at a certain time. Either you are meant to help them, or they you. It’s only since I have stopped fighting or resisting the fact, that I have been blessed.

Please don’t get me wrong, my life is not all unicorns and rainbows. Heap loads of bad things, of varying degrees, still happen, but I now take, even the bad things, as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Enough philosophical who-ha, I have a novel to work on. I hope y’all have a great day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

To spend Sunday enjoying your family, whether you celebrate Easter or not.

Alex, Dani, Colby & PJ
"Where's my basket PJ?"
So, were you good? Did you do your homework? Did you have a fun day? I’d love to hear about it…

I’ve come to the conclusion my family is nuts, certifiably bonkers, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. When we get together, there is lots of laughter and general silliness. Even the youngest, three year old Alice and two year old Isabelle, are showing signs of fitting in perfectly with the rest of us.

Alice and Isabelle - Easter 2014

Yesterday, we had a change of venue. Normally Easter was spent at my dad and step mother’s house, but since they are moving to Florida next week, we all met at my aunt’s house. I’m sure I mentioned it before, but my aunt, my father’s sister, and I are only a few years apart, so we were brought up more like siblings than aunt and niece. Are kids are alternating steps – 25, 23, 20, 19, 18 and 15.

Dad & Me - Christmas 2012
So we were at my aunt’s house, and my husband tells me, I should spend extra time with my dad, because it may be the last time I get to see him. Oh my God! It hits me. He may be right. My dad was retiring to Florida in a week, and I may not get to see him for a really long time, if ever. Granted, I only got to see my dad a couple of times a year, which was sad, but he was only half an hour away. So if needed, I could always just hop in the car, and be able to see him. Now I won’t be able to. Multiple trips to Florida, just isn’t in my budget. Although the realization put a damper on my mood, we still made the best of the remaining time we had together.

Your Next Challenge is:

Stuff in your house keeps appearing and disappearing

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.