Do You Have a Dream?
dream started when I was in high school and was chosen
for my high school newspaper staff. Being part of that
staff had been a dream and it grew from there. When
a Grace Allison sent me a copy of her new Do
You Have a Dream workbook it got me
to looking back at how my dreams progressed—the
big ones and little, the new ones and old. Sometimes
the big barriers in life aren’t abject poverty,
dreaded disease or death. Sometimes it’s the subtle
ones set upon us by time and place. The ones that creep
up silently on padded feet and, if we sense them at
all, we choose not to turn and face them.
50s and 60s were times—even more than today—when
these kinds of barriers faced those with dark skin,
those who lived in closed religious communities, and
those who were female. I think I did pretty well, but
I think I would have done even better if I had a little
workbook like the one Grace sent me to easily guide
me through the years—the keyword being “easily.”
I applied for a job as a writer at Hearst Corporation
in New York in 1961 I was required to take a typing
test. I was piqued because I wasn’t applying for
the typing-pool, I was applying for a post as an editorial
was told, “No typing test, no interview.”
I took the test and was offered a job in the ranks of
those who could do seventy- in-a-minute. I had to insist
upon the interview I had been promised. I was only twenty
and had no real skills in assertiveness. I am amazed
I had the wherewithal to do that considering the times
I was raised in. Assertiveness was not a skill much
appreciated in young girls.
similar was at work when I married and had children.
I happily left my writing to accommodate my husband’s
career and the life the winds of the times presented
to me. That there was a time when we didn’t know
we had choices is not fiction.
I started dreaming about writing the next “Gone
with the Wind” only about Utah instead of about
the South a little book I could open to any page and
spend a couple of minutes with perhaps my plan would
have so quickly gone with the wind. Or at lease, perhaps
it would have been easier to revive.
It was the 1950s. Women in that time and place, had
a notion of who they should be, could be and, mostly,
they got it from those around them because many of them
couldn’t see the difference from society’s
expectations and their own.
“You can’t be a nurse,” my mother
said. “Your ankles aren’t sturdy enough.”
I also was told I couldn’t be a doctor because
that wasn’t a woman’s vocation. The choice
left to me was to be a teacher. My dream to write became
a victim of the status quo.
of following my star I searched for replacements. My
husband and I built a business. For forty years I didn’t
write or thought I didn’t because I didn’t
have a guide to force me to examine my path. If I had
I would have noticed that I was writing ad copy and
employee guides and that might have helped me pursue
some other writing.
acceptance came slowly as women became more aware. The
equipment, gears, and pulleys were in place for a different
view on life. In midlife I became aware that there was
an empty hole where my children had been but also that
the hole was vaster than the space vacated by them.
I knew I not only would be able to write, I would need
I read another book—this one by Deepak Chopra.
I can’t remember the title but he noted that those
who live until they are fifty in these times may very
likely see their hundredth year. That meant that I might
have another entire lifetime before me--plenty of time
to do whatever I wanted. In fact, it’s my belief
that women in their 50s might have more time for their
second life because they won’t have to spend the
first twenty years preparing for adulthood.
was it. I started writing my first novel
This is the Place, now out of print but still
available on Amazon’s “New and Used”
feature (bless their little bookish hearts!) I had to
relearn old skills and brush up on new, and I am proud
that I did it. I’m glad that I waited until I
was sixty. Forty years of experience gave it a dimension
it would not have had if I had written it when I was
young. That first novel has expanded into four books
including a new several chabpooks of poetry, including
from Finishing Line Press. And those books I’ve
written to help fellow authors? The HowToDoItFrugally
series, born of being the daughter of a depression era
mom. Each of us women must pass along whatever our time
and place gives us in abundance. I like that I am doing
something for other women and for other writers.
like that I have found how the wisdom of other women—and
men—have made a difference in my life. I also
like being proof that a new life can start late—or
that it is never too late to revive a dream.
Tips and Tidbits
(Each month in this box,
Carolyn lists a Tidbit that will help authors
write or promote better. She will also include
a Tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected
books or a sapphire among the newly-published.)
is a writer these days. Maybe my multi
Frugal Editor will remind them of
the skills they already have, help polish
them to give them more confidence, and
give them some new ones that will help
them enter an industry without fear.
They will probably love knowing that
lots of rules that stifle our creativity
aren’t rules at all, that we get
to make style choices. Emphasis on the
inspiration for this column came from
@GracetheMystic ‘s little $2.99
e-book/workbook or slim paperback
workbook that is no work at all. I am
a fan of Rhonda Byrne’s The
Secret and Grace’s book
is an easy refresher like no other!
art by Richard Conway Jackson who is
serving twenty-five years to life in
a California State prison for receiving