Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Dream Never Changed

As I write this blog this morning there is one month to go until the release of The River Hideaway. There are tasks yet to be done. Choosing a book cover, one more read through for editing purposes.   I wonder how many times I have read, rewrote, and edited this book. Maybe twenty times, maybe twenty five over the years?

I guess I should be nervous. I have promotion tasks to carry out and I will have to address certain groups. Aw, public speaking, very excited about that. :( I sure hope the audience can understand extreme southern dialogue.

The truth is I am for the most part peaceful about it all. Don't get me wrong I have certainly had my moments of anxiety and sleepless nights during this process but it reaches a point where you have to believe and follow what you know to be true. I have to own the words that I speak. They can't be words derived only from my mouth but from my heart.

Many times I have lifted this book up to the King of Kings and said, "This book is yours."  I have to believe that just as I believe after all the years of pursuing this dream that this door was opened not by Oak Tree Press but from my Father. It didn't happen until I let go of the wheel of this life. He knew I meant it when I said, "I want this dream but if you are not walking through the door with me, close it."

The success of The River Hideaway will not be defined by how many books are sold. It would be great if it did well enough to open the doors for the four other manuscripts that reside on my computer, as well as others that right now are only an idea. I would love to write full time and never punch a clock again. But if it sells one thousand copies and that is all that ever happens with my writing I will earnestly say, "Thank you, God."

One of the people I shared the early news with was my nephew, little brother, and friend, Paul Atkinson. I knew he would understand how much it meant. He is a gifted musician, songwriter and he knows what art means to him and to others that have something in our hearts that we have to get out in some way shape or form. He also put it in a perspective that I had not yet thought of. He said the book was a piece of me that would be here long after I departed from this world.

This journey has never been about fame or fortune. My dream has not changed from the first day I went down this path in 1997 with an ill fated first draft of a story that will never be published in its original format but helped me learn how to put words on paper. It also served as tremendous therapy but that is another story for another day.

My dream has always been to be walking on the beach I love so dearly and see someone reading and enjoying a story crafted from my heart. It is that simple for me.