Thursday, April 11, 2013

Go-To-Gay: Planting Dreams

Introduction by Tracey Meyers

Last spring, I took the first step to realizing a dream of mine.  For some time I had talked about writing a book, but always added that it was "silly" when I talked about it.  Then, it was suggested I go to one of Wade Rouse's writing retreats which, on this particular occasion, was taking place in Saugatuck, MI (a mere three hour drive - or so - for me).  Since I hadn't been on a vacation in a very long time I figured why not.  It would be something different and a way to get away from reality for a few days.  After that weekend I no longer used the word "silly" when I talked about writing a book.

This spring, I am feverishly trying to finish the first 50 pages (at least) of my book so I can have them ready for my next visit with Wade and his partner Gary.  Over the past months, I have gotten to know Gary better (thank you e-mail and Facebook).  If you ever need someone to give you an extra boost of confidecne or keep you on the path towards achieving your goal, Gary is your man!  As I work on these 50 pages, I am also in the process of nurturing a few other dreams of mine.  Dreams, that like writing a book, scare me because I'm not quite sure they will have the intended outcome I would like to see.  However, I keep pressing forward because even though I am scared to death of the unknown, in the back of my mind I know if there is ever a time for dream to blossom, springtime is the time to make it happen!

It is with that thought I leave you, and let Chick Lit Central's Go-To-Gay, Wade Rouse, tell you why he loves this time of year so much.

“Planting Dreams”

I don’t just love April.

I adore April.

As much as, even, caffeine, good wine and Hugo Boss shirts.

This means major props for April.

April marks that moment of the year – especially in Michigan – when I can finally walk outside without screaming, “I’m going to lose an earlobe!”

It’s that time when I can inhale deeply and breathe in that memorable scent of spring. I can close my eyes and hear the birds chirp, the earth reawaken.

I also love spring, especially this year, because it marks an important anniversary in my life.
Some eight years ago, I quit my job to pursue my passion.

At the time, I had just finished my first memoir, America’s Boy, after waking for years at 4:30 in the morning while working fulltime and living in the city. I had just landed an agent. My book was within a few months of being published. And, Gary and I had just quit our high-paying jobs with benefits and moved 400 miles to take up residence in a knotty-pine cottage in the woods where I was going to try to become the offspring of Erma Bombeck, David Sedaris and Henry David Thoreau.
We didn’t just leap off a bridge. We leapt without parachutes.

The landing hurt.

Two weeks after uprooting our world and taking the biggest risks of our lives – and just weeks before America’s Boy was set to publish – my editor quit to take a job at another publishing house.

I was alone in the literary ocean without a paddle. Alone in the woods without a compass.

Although my first book was critically acclaimed, it came and went quickly, like a Kevin Costner movie.

I didn’t know if I would write another book, sell another book, survive. Actually, I didn’t know if I could even write another book. That’s how shaken I was.

So, Gary took me into our garden one April afternoon and pointed at his just-blooming tulips, flowers of peach, red, purple, and yellow, swaying like crayons in the wind.

“I planted these bulbs last fall,” he said, bending down to touch the tender petals. “I didn’t know if they all would bloom, but I was compelled to do the work, to take that risk. And just look at the result. It was worth all the effort and belief, wasn’t it?”
I remember plucking a creamy peach tulip and putting it in a McCoy vase on my writing desk that crisp, sunny April day. I made a promise to myself, staring at the tulip: You will achieve your dream, Wade, if you just believe and work hard. I also promised myself that if I could make it five years, then I could make it the rest of my life as a writer.

I started in earnest that April day and finished my second memoir a few months later. It sold just after that to a new editor and publishing house.

It is now eight years – and a total of five books – later. It hasn’t always been easy. But dreams never are.

I am now working on my first novel. A new dreams begins. One also filled with great risk and uncertainty.

I am again wandering into the unknown, just like many of the heroes and heroines from our favorite books. Most of our beloved protagonists from our most beloved books take great risks in their lives. They follow their dreams. They risk their hearts. They understand that life is all about pursuing passion, be it in romance or career.

That, too, is a theme for the women in my first novel: Risks they took, ones they didn’t, and the impact that had on their lives.

I continue to take great risks in my writing and life, and I always will. And even when things get thorny, I still consider life to be abloom.

I continue to work hard and believe even harder, though I may not always be able to see the petals when my face is to the ground.

But it comes down to believing in your dreams – and hard work – if you want life’s garden to be ablaze in color. 

This April, I urge Chick Lit Central readers to remember to take a moment to stop, breathe in the spring air, and believe in your dreams.

Gardeners aren’t the only ones who can begin to see the fruits of their labor in April.

We all can.

But we must first plant the seeds.

The writings of bestselling humorist Wade Rouse – called “wise, witty and wicked” by USA Today and the lovechild of Erma Bombeck and David Sedaris – have been featured multiple times on NBC’s Today Show as well as on Chelsea Lately on E! and His latest memoir, It’s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine (reviewed here) launched in paperback February 1st from Broadway, and he is creator and editor of the humorous dog anthology, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales about Man’s Best from America’s Favorite Humorists (NAL). The book features a Foreword by Chelsea Handler’s dog, Chunk, essays by such beloved chick lit authors as Jane Green, and 50 percent of the book’s net royalties go to the Humane Society of the United States. His first memoir, America's Boy, has been re-published by Magnus Books for paperback and Kindle. For more, visit his website, or friend him on Facebook or Twitter.


Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That was amazing and inspiring! I'm going to be re-reading it over the next months, and maybe even years!

Thanks for being out there and being who you are!

You two are just the BEST!

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you and your dream Tracey! I just KNOW you are going to do it! I can feel it! Keep doing what you are doing! We are ALL cheering you on! xo cindy

Lyn Ribisi said...

This was really great!
I'm saving it!
You made my day!
Live your dreams!

Thank you both for being there. You make the world a MUCH better place.