A dream and a poke begins a writing career

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016



Dreams can come true, but it’s all up to you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or even how shy or bold you are. Aspiring to achieve a dream keeps hope alive and pushes us to new heights that we are meant to reach.

There are all kinds of dreams, but the real vision of seeing yourself accomplishing something you always wanted to do may be more than a dream, it may be a calling from another source.

As we start a new year and we ponder our proverbial resolutions, why not think a little broader and contemplate what it would take to enrich our lives, fill an empty hole, or climb higher to reach our goals?

Before I was 20 years old, I knew there was a nagging within my soul to write. When I was 10, I dreamed of dancing, at 15 it was acting, then I was sure it was writing.

So, I became an interior designer.

I married, had children, divorced, married again, aged, and lived life. It was a good thing that God gave me the ability to be a designer because it paid the bills most of the time.

I have never heard of many dancers that could feed a few kids or help them through college. Nor do I personally know many actors that made it to the big time.  And, writing pays nothing unless your books have sold in multitudes or you have been blessed by Queen Oprah.

God put me in a career to be what I was intended to be at the time I needed it in my life.

It took me a while to accept that I would not be on Broadway or win a Pulitzer, but I would give my profession the best of me and in turn it gave me a wonderful life.

When I retired, I thought, “Ah, I can rest now!” “I can do whatever I want to. I might finally be able to play more golf, read a book on a beach, or lay in a hammock!”

The minute I was ready to retire all things changed.

I remember vividly I would go to bed at night and not be able to sleep. I even had a little more work to do on a large home before the curtains were dropped on my career stage.

It was as if someone was standing beside the bed and nudging me on my shoulder; almost poking me. It was aggravating.

I would lie awake thinking of topics to write about. I knew that writing bug never went away! It had haunted me for 48 years.Now, it was keeping me up at night!

Through those years, I would write an occasional op-ed or an article and to my surprise it would be published. I knew that once I got tired of laying on that beach during retirement I might try writing more. It was my game plan.

Weeks passed and every night as soon as my head hit the pillow, the poking would begin. Finally, one night I said out loud, “God, if you want me to write a story you are going to have to pen the first sentence!”

I woke the next morning and my first thought was about the old black Mercury my family owned in the mid 60’s.

The first sentence to the story that started my journey into finally achieving an old dream was:

“In the wee hours of an early August morning in 1962, my father’s black Mercury drove onto a dimly lit, silent downtown street in LaGrange, Georgia.”

I don’t know how many pages I wrote that day, but from that day on the tapping on the keyboard never stopped. The only thing that ended was the poking.

A whole new career was born. That wasn’t exactly the game plan. My intent was to lay in the hammock first and then write. Oh, well, I would probably have fallen out of the dang thing anyway!

You see it was His intent for me, not mine. We all need to listen to the intent of God in our lives. What is it that pushes us forward? What is our calling? What do we have to do to achieve it? Is a hammock in our cards or is it something else? Do we dare to try?

We are always capable of reinventing who we are. We are always the ones driving the Mercury in our lives. We just need to tune into the right voice on the radio.

I hope that all of you start 2017 believing you can achieve more for yourself and others. Be the best you can be.  And, I hope you feel a poke on your shoulder that will not stop.

It just might be the best thing that ever happened to you.



May God bless all of you in the new year! And, a special “Happy New Year” to the LaGrange Daily News and (former editor) Matthew Strother for opening doors I once only dreamed of unlocking.