Archive | dreams

YES to Opportunity and Magic

A few days prior to the writers’ conference this year, I tried to decide what I want to get out of it. If I had a goal, I reasoned, I would be more likely to leave the conference a wiser woman. I could learn more about the craft of writing children’s books, meet other writers like me, perhaps get lucky and say hello to an editor or an agent, but what do I really want? For the last few months I’ve been writing a romance novel for adults — what am I seeking in a conference aimed at children’s books?

I do have one novel for teens that is being considered by an agent, and I have been playing around with a sequel to it (playing around equals to about one hundred and fifty pages written before I got the main characters stranded on a magical mountain). That makes me count as a children’s fiction writer still, even if I am concentrating on romance right now.

And craft is craft. Perhaps no one will teach me here to write better rolling around in bed scenes (notice the euphemism?), but I could learn about revision, creativity, and dreams. That settled it for me. I was coming to the conference to be inspired. What better goal than that? And, just to be on the safe side, I chose a secondary goal: to give twenty of my business cards away. The least I could do, since Dar printed about five hundred of them for me.

The conference began yesterday with Charlie Price, author of Desert Angel (and more). After listening to him, my first action once I returned to my room was to buy the novel on kindle. Price spoke about his creative process and how he watches the movie of the story unroll as he writes. I could see his movie myself on the page once I started reading. Price’s writing is visual, raw and real. I felt connected to Angel, the main character, from the first paragraph, and I’m sure this is a book that I will write about again. I was lucky to sit next to Charlie Price’s wife at dinner and talk books and work ethics with her. That was great.

After dinner I expected great inspiration. I had heard Dan Yaccarino speak before (and I wrote about his YES presentation). But this time he surprised me. After speaking for about an hour about his success, which he attributes to his saying YES to every opportunity that came his way, Yaccarino added: “For every project you see here there are ten that didn’t make it.” I was amazed and inspired by how Yaccarino keeps challenging himself, working hard, trying new things, never afraid of being ridiculed or making mistakes. Truly inspiring.

So inspiring, in fact, that I’m writing to you this morning before I even had breakfast, so I’m going to do it now. Wishing all of us a wonderfully inspiring and enriching Saturdday!

Dreaming, Doing, Flying!

I love Walt Disney’s saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Many years ago, at a pivotal moment in my life, I caught a glimpse of boundless skies, of the infinite opportunities the world has to offer. In my heart I knew the opening of the world before me stood independent of circumstances or locations, an invitation to release limitations and rules and let my wings spread and fly.

Yesterday I listened as the kids watched the end of the The Tooth Fairy. The movie’s main character, Derek Thompson, is a hockey player who believes dreams are the reason people end up disappointed. When a young fan tells him he wants to play in the NHL when he grows up, Derek tells him to face the truth. There will always be better, faster, younger players than him. Better give up now than be disappointed later.

But is the fact that there will always be someone better, younger and faster a reason to give up? Take me as an example. Next month I will be 40, and I have not yet published a book. Now take Christopher Paolini who published his first novel at nineteen and quickly became a NYTimes best-selling author. Does comparing me to Paolini say anything at all? I hope not!

Comparison seems an ineffectual way to live, whether I’m comparing my performance to others or to my own expectation of me. And I wonder, why the need to compare? Is there no other way to reach my goals? “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney said. Perhaps instead of measuring, comparing, judging and criticizing, a better way to accomplish the same goals is by dreaming, doing and believing.

The Tooth Fairy ends with Derek realizing, “You want to fly? You have to believe!” I believe that if I believed I could fly, then I could fly. Every once in a while (and I don’t mean this is in a “we have to put her away in a mental institution before she tries it” kind of way) I feel very close to flying. The air begins to give me that lift, that tilt to the wings, which I just know can release the hold of gravity. And after all, what is gravity but a figment of our scientific imagination?

With my novel, with all my dreams, I know this is true. There is a fine balance, a moment when the dreaming, doing, and believing come together and magic happens. Words fall into place on the page. The man of my dreams comes into my life. I get to send my novel to an agent. And someday one of my novels will be on the shelf of your local bookstore or on your virtual kindle shelf. I plan on continuing to dream better, faster and younger dreams. And with a dash of believing and doing, next time I feel that tilt, that lift to my wings, I hope to let go of gravity, and….


Sigal Tzoore (650) 815-5109