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June 21, 2017


What are the only things we can count on?

Death. Taxes. Change.

I still hate all of them.

I remember in my old day job, they were constantly updating computer systems, or policy, and every time I took a breath and got used to something, it was gone.
Same thing with the book world. The moment you feel like you’ve figured out Facebook ads, what the best books to write is, how to navigate the waters of constant deadlines and being a successful CEO of your own business—bang. It changes. Then I scramble back to square one and start all over again.

The good news? It’s something I tell my children and everyone else I meet who are going through difficult times. One day, it will be better. Because things change. When I was poor, and struggling, and depressed and felt like giving up, I reminded myself I could wake up the next day and find everything was different. This helped push me forward.

Another reminder there is no black and white sometimes—no good or bad. Just a bunch of colors that merge together depending on the day.

I just finished my 35th book this week called The Start of Something Good. It will be released early 2018. Yes, it’s the first draft, but I love the way the story turned and ended up surprising me. It’s amazing how after so many books this job is still exciting and dynamic, always challenging me to be better, dive deeper, reach higher. But I still worry if the book will sell well. If readers will enjoy it. If readers will read it. If I’ve done enough.


Now, I’m working on a webinar for Writer’s Digest books on dialogue. I feel like I’m over my head. I feel like I’m not really a teacher, but I’m pushing my way through, learning, scrambling, and hoping it will turn out well.

My son graduates from sixth grade today. On the first day of kindergarten, he wore a Superman t-shirt, a Mickey Mouse jacket, and light up sneakers. He had a bus card he needed to wear around his neck. As he got on the bus, I collapsed onto the driveway in a fit of tears. It was so bad the bus driver actually stopped and yelled out her window if I was okay and needed medical attention.

I got myself together, jumped in my car, and followed the bus to the school. In a mad flurry of panic, I worried he’d get lost going from the bus into the classroom, so I raced inside to watch him. When I peeked into his classroom, he was sitting at his desk, with a big smile on his face. I waved to him. He waved back. And I went home happy he was okay, but sad he didn’t need me in the same way anymore.

He was growing up.

Today, he got on the bus with a Pokemon shirt and backpack. He wears glasses now. He’s really tall. He was voted the most friendly in the yearbook. He was also voted the most likely to be an author.

He never looks back at me when he gets on the bus, and he’s excited about middle school and all the adventures that lay before him.
But he still tells me to have a great day. He still says he loves me—very quietly—in a whisper—right before he leaves.

Another chapter begins. But first, I have the long lazy days of summer to enjoy before I need to release him once again to the world.

During this emotional time of graduations; of letting go; of holding on for one more precious summer; let’s all do the best we can to savor the moments—in both personal and work life. To honor exactly where we are, right now, the good or the bad.

Because one thing is for certain.

Everything will change.


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  1. Jennifer Hevern says:

    I’m going to have to go back and re-read this through again and again over time. It’s so true. I’ve cried every, single time my kids got on the bus that first day of kindergarten. And this last fall I watched my 4th/last one go. She was so excited I barely got a hug and kiss before she got on the bus. My youngest son (who just finished 5th grade) just wanted to make sure I kissed him goodbye before the kids on the bus could see. While she waved furiously on the bus he made sure to sit on the side that didn’t face me :).

    As hard as it is, it’s beautiful to see them grow and be successful, make friends and try to prove they don’t need us. 🙂

  2. Sharlene Wegner says:

    I got tears in my eyes about the whispered I love you! Whew! Well, my daughter, the baby, graduates HIGH SCHOOL on Friday! I will not be wearing mascara to the graduation. Plus, she is going away to school in Aug. My son already moved out of state. Whaaaah!

  3. Alyssa says:

    So, so true. Spoken like a true yogi. 🙂 Enjoy your summer with your kiddos and I am super excited about the new series and your dialogue webinar!

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