A lot goes in to publishing a book. An adventure I had wanted to include on my resume, but never in a million years thought that I would. But here I am up to my neck in adventure.
When I was first discussing the details with my publisher, they told me that my acknowledgement page- If I chose to have one- could only be about 1700 words. That was it?? Did they not know how many people that I am grateful to? How many people it took to get me to this point? It would end up being a separate book!
I did as I was told, and fit in as many as I could then decided to use this outlet to thank the others. And so in a round about way, I can include as many people as I want!
Where to begin?
When people ask me when I started writing, I really can’t remember a specific time. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination, and attention to detail; so, the ingredients were always there. In school, when I would get a writing assignment for a short story, it would always end up several chapters! I just couldn’t stop. But, the first time I was told, that a writing career could be in my future, was in seventh grade. Mr. Gershen, my English teacher. He was the teacher that really made the English language sink in for me. It was back in the day when teachers were allowed to “abuse” their students for their own good. If he was trying to explain something and we just didn’t get it, he would throw his piece of chalk or eraser at us until we did. Needless to say, I went home with a lot of chalk dust on my person, but I got it. He made me get it. And I still remember his lessons and “tricks” to this day. But he was the one who told me that I had talent when it came to writing. Of course, I was too busy messing up my life then to pay much attention, so Mr. Gershen didn’t really cross my mind until it came to this “assignment”. I would like to thank him for giving me that base of knowledge and dropping that tiny seed that was stored away in the back of my brain way back when.
I’d like to thank Donna Braun of AdLib, Inc. A Great Clips franchise. She gets the credit for making me hate coming to work SO bad that I started writing this particular book. Anything to get me away from this job. I have never hated cutting hair so much as when I was working under her management. So I wrote, and wrote and wrote. So thank you for your inspiration. (Even negative inspiration can be used to help someone reach a goal. That whole “you can’t appreciate the light without having first gone through the darkness”? Yeah, that.)
And on that same note, I’d like to thank Jarrett Estes who has redeemed my faith in the hair cutting industry. I still don’t like cutting hair all that much, but I am thankful that God gave me that skill and has made me good at it so that I could support my family through the years. Jarrett Estes is the owner of the Shear Genius Great Clips franchise that I work for currently. He has his hands full dealing with moody women every single day. But we are treated as people not as property. We are important and not just a means to an end. Not only is he my boss, but I am happy to call him friend. And even though he knows that my goal is to write and lecture so much that I have to quit cutting hair, he still encourages me to follow my dreams. I am so happy that he came into my life and he tries so hard to make me a good, obedient, team playing hair stylist, but accepts me as a hair stylist on her way to some place better.
Which spills me over to my co-workers. I truly love my co-workers. If I have to cut hair in this season of my life, I don’t want to work anywhere else. I love my franchise, I love my boss and I love my co-workers. We not only work together, but we play together. We put up with each other’s crabby days, lift each other when we are down, celebrate each other’s achievements and just look out for one another. We’ve dried tears, boosted moral, brought out the reality checks, laughed, and laughed and laughed.
Mary, you are such a good, good person. I am grateful to you that in my moments of weakness, you see beyond my frightened exterior and make me believe that there are actually moments of greatness hidden inside.
Kathy, such abuse you take! It has been such a pleasure to watch you come into your own person! You’ve gone from being insecure to confidant in who you are. I am so happy you came to be with us and you were able to take the “challenge” and survive it!
Brian, you are deeply missed. I think of you often and it saddens me that you don’t miss us just as much. But I would be remiss if I didn’t include you on this page as you played a big part in my life and have had influence in who I have become.
Cameron Todd. We have been friends for years and although I will neverbe the princess that you see in me, your friendship still means so very much. You gave me direction, focus and boundaries. You nudged and encouraged. You gave me the push that I needed to get me going again. I wish you nothing but the best in your future.
Jeff Long, I thank you for letting me just blather on about story-lines that you could care less about or the latest problem I am having and allowing my fury to just tare into you without your causing it and the only response you give after it all is, “You sure are beautiful when you’re mad.” Wow, let me tell you how that makes it feel all better. Plus I vented too!
My computer guys. Gary Manning, Paul Arthur and Joseph Felps. They have helped me with my computer issues, my web design issues… they’ve had to listen to me whine about stupid computer stuff and have been ever-so patient as I try to learn and navigate my way around this foreign area.
I thank my Dr. Todd Frisch. I know, people don’t usually thank their doctors in these situations, but this one has been with me since I was 13 years old. He has taken me through some of the darkest hours and the happiest. He knows me so well and tolerates my phone calls and still takes care of me even after all these years.
Thank you to Bret Harris of Warm Springs Photography for my author photo.
Thanks to Kylie Prestien for her brilliant art work that has become the DCT logo. I appreciate you working with me to get just the right look.
To my Viddy. The best pen pal ever. I miss your gentle words and your calm and witty way of looking at everything. Your handwriting on a simple white envelope can make me smile before I ever see what's inside. I thank you for your inspiration over the years and your spiritual guidance that I will keep close to my heart for always!
To JoAnn Owens. My first friend after I moved back to St. Louis. Oh, the trouble we should have gotten into!! It wasn't for a lack of trying!! Thanks for being there for me and getting me back into the swing of things. We’ve been through a lot and we’ve changed and grown, but through it all, a chord of friendship always keeps us in each other’s radar. I will always consider you not only, my very close friend, but for always, MY Joey.
The rest of the list is in the book.
The Front Cover!!!
AHHHH!!! There it is!!! Look!! That's my name!!!
I'm sorry for the picture quality, I took a picture of my computer screen!! I was just too excited to share the front cover photo with everyone!! I didn't want to wait until the final proof. I am SUCH a first time author! (And loving every minute of it I promise you!)
I love it! Just love it! It's simple yet elegant, eye-catching but not obnoxious, and it has my NAME on it!! (And it's spelled correctly!!) My heart is beating wildly. I've been staring at this picture all morning. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen!
With every step on the check list being completed, this becomes more and more "real" to me. There have been bumps along the way, and if it were not for the encouragement of my children and mother, I would have never even pursued the actual publishing in the first place. But this is SO much more exciting than just finishing a book, putting it back on the shelf and not sharing it with anyone!
And while I'm at it, I am so thankful for all the support I've been receiving along this journey. The moments can get over-whelming at times and I am so grateful to have people around me to keep me encouraged and constantly pushing me to the end goal. (Not to mention listening to ateeny tiny bit of whining and complaining the might have happened a time or two...) I am so very blessed.
Front cover... check!
New Blog, Check!
Getting a book published is no easy task. In fact, there is nothing easy about it, unless you are one of those best selling authors that has the public and publishers begging for your every sentence. But for this first time author, I'm learning the ropes the hard way.
As excited as I am to see my words bound up and protected under a shiny cover to be shared by the masses (ie: my family), I have yet to really revel in the novelty of it because I am so busy going through the check list of items that need to be done before even one word gets printed.
This website, (check) and this blog, (check) are both on the must-have list for the new author. (But believe me, those two items are only the tip of the ice burg! There is so much I have yet to do and learn!)
And while I resisted at first, (Can't teach an old dog new tricks mentality) I gradually warmed to the idea for several reasons:
1. I love to write. And being a stroke victim, it is my favorite way to communicate. Without my thoughts in a nice, neat, edited order, I never know when a "stroke moment" is going to wrap itself around my tongue making me sound like a blabbering idiot. I always sound much more intelligent on paper than in impromptu conversation!
2. I am REALLY excited about my first book being published. I mean REALLY excited. It's very difficult not to talk about each and every detail, each and every day. And since nobody loves me like my momma, no one REALLY wants to hear about the little nuances that go into publishing a book or all of the other details of my peculiar life. Thus, my new blog.
Those that want to know can tune in and soak up as much information as they want and give me feed back to their hearts content. It's a win-win. I get to gush and fret and plot and plan as much as I want... only to those who are interested.
3. And finally, because of what I do and who I am, I am almost always in a pretty good mood. I refuse to believe it's a "hopeless situation". My glass is always half- full. There is always a silver lining.
Yes, I have troubles too. My life is littered with stress. I will always have bills and people/things/events that irritate me to no end... However- I try my hardest not to let them control my life or my attitude.
Therefore, I have discovered that my Pollyanna way of life irritates other people. And now that I am sensitive to that I keep my "Over-the-top-motivational-always-happy-personality" in check and only use it for my seminars and lectures! I acclimate my perkiness to the mood of the room.
But this is MY room! I can be as motivational, sentimental, and as syrupy as I'd like! Feel free to join me. I'm happy to have you.
So welcome to my new site, my new blog and a new chapter to my life. I am so very excited to see where these changes will take me and I am happy that you have decided to come along.
Until next time. Have a great day. :)