Once upon a time in the literary world …

On October 2012, I picked up something that would drastically change the existence of who I would become. I picked up a book. It was one of the first few I had ever truly fallen in love with. It was the very first to spark an interest in something I never knew I could dive into. It was the beginning of a personal romance I never thought possible.

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Reading had never been on the top of my to-do list. As a matter of fact, I loathed it. I dreaded everything that had anything to do with reading. Why? Because I had never been able to focus long enough to experience anything other than misery when following lines of words on paper. Often I re-read paragraphs so many times it discouraged me. I wanted to pull my hair out thinking about reading. How in the world do people actually read for fun? That’s what movies are for. Right?

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Within this story, I found myself teetering on the edge of despair through each heart wrenching plot twist. I felt my heart literally skipping beats at each redeeming quality revealed within the heroine. I wept through the sorrows. I clung to the hope. I ripped through pages so quickly I thought I was dreaming. The ability this author possessed to invoke such strong emotion within my soul, completely baffled me.

Because it had never happened before …

I was gasping for air by the time I finished the book. It rung my bell so significantly, I stared at my reflection in the mirror in shock at the image staring back at me. This couldn’t be the same girl walking inside my body for the 30 years I had been alive. It couldn’t be. Because that girl; she didn’t care about reading. That girl turned her nose away from literature. But, this girl was rejuvenated. She was changed by intensely powerful words of one lone author and her ability to shake the ground I walked on. I became something different. I became more aware, more enriched, more alive.

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So I read it again; taking my time through the bends in the road. I read it slow enough to feel the shifts in the wind reverberating in my pounding chest. I let myself fall hopelessly and helplessly in love with the reckless emotional roller coaster of love imbedded within the pages I turned. I let it infiltrate my system. I let it swirl throughout my veins replacing the stagnant flowing blood with an extreme curiosity recharging my weakly beating heart.

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How in the world can one person put so much commanding emotion, confined in a prison of excruciating angst, formed along the shattered walls of mind blowing tension all to be redeemed by the powerhouse of love …

In words

Forming sentences

Within paragraphs

On pages

Of a book

How. Is. That. Possible?

It more than intrigued me. It blew me out of the water.

The closest thing I could relate it to, were the years of performing I experienced in my own life. I spent so much time learning about my God-given talent of singing. I rehearsed, practiced, and then re-rehearsed. When I was finished; I did it all over again. And, I did this for years. Why? Because. As a musician, it’s my job to effectively relay the emotion I’m singing to the audience. I want people to FEEL the depths of the lyrics from my lips. If I can’t, I’m not doing my job very well. When I sing, “Love Takes Time” by MC, I want you walking away raw from the heartache and the amount of time it takes to recuperate from it. When I sing, “Respect” by AF, I want you walking away with a little soul burning in your own soles; maybe even making you bust out in a little James Brown jig. When I sing, “I Have Nothing” By WH, I want you to know within the deepest parts of your soul, that I have absolutely nothing without you; nor will I ever. I’d like to think I’ve done an okay job of this …

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But, can I do the same thing on paper?

Could I possibly be one of the hundreds of thousands of people that could actually evoke the same emotion through a story on paper?

Could I?

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In a single moment of bravery, I decided to open my laptop and jot down a few thoughts on a trip I took to Florida when I was 16. I became so engrossed in writing over the next 2 months, my simple thoughts turned into a 75,000 word novel.

I HAD TYPED SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND WORDS. FROM MY BRAIN CAME SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND WORDS!

Seventy

Five

Thousand

Words

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I went from no interest in reading to writing my first novel.

Holy flippin cow.

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I found a new love in life. I clutched this desire so tightly to my chest; it became a part of my being.

I became a writer.

And, not just any writer … But, a writer determined to master my craft; a writer inspired to push myself to greater lengths; a writer on the (hopeful) road to becoming a successful author.

I spent the following year plugging into the reading/writing community. I met some pretty fantastically awesome people. I learned from some of the greats. I paid attention to the failures. I took notes on every aspect of the book world while silently plugging away at my own work. Very few people knew what I was up to. Very few people still know.

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Because I want to earn my spot in the literary world. I don’t want it by association. I don’t want it by begging. I don’t want it by nonchalantly asking for favors. I don’t want it by any other means than earning it of my own accord. I’ve learned there’s payoff in hard work. There’s honor in accomplishment when you fly from your own set of wings, instead of within the shadow of someone else’s success. There’s respect in building relationships based off of honesty instead of “what you can gain”. I understand everyone has their own road. Everyone’s journey is different. I’m slowly learning what exactly mine entails. I might be an ornery mess but, the foundation instilled within me is one of integrity.

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I’ll continue writing and plugging away at this book adventure until I know the time is right to publish. Right now my focus is on perfecting and practicing. Having literary geniuses review from all facets is invaluable. Honest feedback, direction, critiques and edits can only push me into another dimension of greatness. It can only make me better.

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Now … Who is the original inspiration behind my writing, you ask?

What is this book that magically catapulted me into the crazy world of writing?

Even she doesn’t know it’s her.

But she will now.

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Yep.

You’re seeing that right.

It’s none other than Jamie McGuire.

And, the epically fantastical love story is her NY Times Bestselling book, Beautiful Disaster.

If you haven’t read it, GO GET IT NOW!

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Jamie,

Thank you. Thank you for just being you. You’re an insanely talented writer. You have a beautiful spirit as well as an honest and kind heart. I respect you more than you realize. You’re a true inspiration and a wonderful person I call friend. I heart your face to the moon and back.

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Check back next week for my top reads of 2013 and the women behind the stories! You won’t want to miss it.

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