Monday, July 23, 2012

Pollyanna Preaching


Well, the time has come. I fly out tomorrow morning. (I have house/pet sitters so any criminals out there don't be getting ideas.) I'm nervous and have been stress eating for a week so let's hope I still fit into the clothes I've stuffed into this suitcase. I'll be too nervous to eat much over the next few days so maybe I'll lose some poundage by Saturday night. That would be nice.

In the past I've attended the RWA® National conference as just another aspiring writer, blending in with the lobby palms, locked in the role of wide-eyed observer. Not this time. This time I have pins and ribbons on my badge that will broadcast to all and Sundry that I am a Golden Heart® finalist.

Regardless of how freaked I am about being in the spotlight, I wouldn't change a thing as this experience has been an honor and more than changed my life. I mean, I have an agent. ME! If you'd have told me six months ago that I'd have an agent and be out on submission (gulp!) by the end of summer, I'd have suggested you stop taking whatever medication you were on.

I've met more than 60 of the most fabulous women who have finaled with me and couldn't ask for a better group of people. We have dubbed ourselves the Firebirds as we have all gone through the flames, dug our way through the ashes, and rose to soar another day. In writing and in life. To anyone who will be in Anaheim this week, stop and chat with any Firebird you meet. You'll see for yourself how amazing they are.

Whether my name is called on Saturday night or not, I've already won. I know we finalists keep saying this but it really is true. The attention. The validation. The love and support. The little gold necklace would be amazing, but merely the cherry on top of what's already a smashing good sundae.

My point to all this is never say never. Wherever you are today, whatever you're thinking you can't do or will never happen, think again. Because you can and it might. I read an amazing essay this week by the incomparable Jennifer Crusie about ignoring the statistics and the naysayers and simply pushing through with the belief that you will publish. Or you will learn to cook that perfect soufflé or will run that marathon or will reach the top of whatever mountain at which you're aiming. (Seriously, go read it.)

It's cliché but true. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I'm not published yet and the odds makers would say my chances of reaching that goal are slim to none. But I don't care what they say. Because four months ago I thought the chances of any of this happening were slim to none. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Whatever your dream might be, to own a Mercedes or start your own business, to be famous or infamous or just the best darn mom in the world, go for it and never stop believing. At the sake of getting all new-agey on your arses, the power of positivity can do wondrous things. It can take a single mom from the depths of being nearly homeless to owning her own home. It can take a writer with a dream to the Greatest Place on Earth.

Where can it take you? What have you dreamed of doing or seeing or experiencing but thought could never be? What came along and surprised you? What would it take to make a believer out of you? Anyone want to set a goal? See the Great Wall of China? Fly a plane? Coach a Little League team? Write a book? *g*

25 comments:

Maureen said...

Well, certainly seeing the books published...signing a book at a convention...being on a panel. So many of the places I've traveled were places I didn't really think I'd ever see.

Standing in the Sistine Chapel, looking up at Michaelangelo's ceiling was a magical experience. I imagine my sister felt the same way seeing the ruins at Santorini, on the same cruise...

The goal I'd like to set? I want...oh, to be a speaker at a convention. I'm not picky,

Though if that reality TV series happens, that would really blow me away... Hee, hee!

See you tomorrow, Terri!

quantum said...

Whatever your dream might be, to own a Mercedes or start your own business, to be famous or infamous or just the best darn mom in the world, go for it and never stop believing

LOL I once told my old head master that I thought hard work could be a good substitute for talent. He just laughed and (metaphorically) patted my head saying "don't you believe it my boy. No amount of hard work could have split the atom" .... he was a student of Rutherford at Cambridge!)

Talent will out, and Terri you have talent honey!

My dream?
I think to travel in time to the future and possibly browse the Amazon Best seller lists 10 years from now. LOL

Good luck Terri. Even the most talented people can always use a little luck! *smile*

Marnee Bailey said...

This is a timely post for me, as you'd probably guess. :)

I'm so excited for you. I've got every single appendage crossed for you and I can't wait to here how things go down on Saturday.

And you're right. Keep your eye to the horizon and all of that. It's easy to lose faith. The trick is to remain steadfast in the face of odds.

Have safe travels and you guys all have so much fun! I have a feeling this is a going to be an awesome Nationals!! :)

TerriOsburn said...

The day I get to Europe will be the day I reach total and complete awe. I've wanted to go my entire life. And now I'm determined to take Kiddo with me, who I know will be just as awed. So for me, my own experience plus watching her experience will be like a double wammy.

So you mean like a keynote speaker, Chance? I can totally see that. With your cackle of glee thrown in!

TerriOsburn said...

You're so sweet to me, Q. Thank you for the support and I'll take any luck you're willing to dish out. Especially as I'm flying out early tomorrow morning and have yet to pack. And I'm working today. Good thing I wrote this blog last week when I was still calm because I am NOT calm today!

TerriOsburn said...

Yes, Marn. Keeping the faith is a must. One of the best lessons I've learned. Which means I should have faith that I can get all my work done today, leave early, take my mom out for her birthday dinner, AND get packed and to bed at a decent time.

Sure. Right. I can do this. *bangs head on desk*

Marnee Bailey said...

GOod luck getting packed!! Hope you had a good weekend with your mom and sister. :)

TerriOsburn said...

I did, Marn. We had the entertainment of my sister's new kitten getting to know my pets. He's 5 weeks old and weighs less than a pound yet he's running the house. It's been quite hysterical. And I've read your email. Will be responding as soon as I get a chance!

MsHellion said...

I want to see Scotland...and yes, tour the Harry Potter studios in England...and see the place where she wrote some of the books.

And sure, write a book. I guess. I'd rather see Scotland more, I think. Mostly because now it's so hot here and I think it would be more bearable there.

Maureen said...

Keynote speaker...lunchtime entertainment...I'm not picky! I mean, I want more books in print, and all of that, but the next step, other than some serious sales, would be conference guest invitations...

Hope we all get our travel wishes!

Marnee Bailey said...

Oh, no rush! Just writing it out was helpful. Something about a conversational style explanation is very illuminating. :)

As to travel, I want to go everywhere. I'd like to visit every continent. I want to see it all. Hubs and I were talking this weekend about taking the boys to Europe in ten years (we want to make sure it's bearable traveling with them). But the Great Wall sounds awesome. Australia sounds cool too. And Russia. I've heard St. Petersburg is gorgeous. :)

TerriOsburn said...

I've never had a hankering for Eastern Europe until I made a friend with an American ex-pat living in Budapest. She's a GH finalist and the pictures I've seen of the city are beyond gorgeous. And then I watched a Rick Steves episode on PBS about the Czech Republic and he made me want to go there too. But the UK and Italy are first on my list.

Janga said...

Have a safe trip, Ter, and a totally wonderful conference.

I find it interesting that the verb "win" has roots in older languages that link it to words like "labor," "suffer," even "to be excited." On all these levels, you are a winner. You've endured the tough times, worked hard, and earned the right to be excited. You are already victorious in countless ways, and whatever the results on Saturday (and I too have all appendages crossed), those pins and ribbons tell everyone who sees you what your friends have known all along: Terri Osburn is a Winner. Enjoy all the moments!

TerriOsburn said...

I adore and cherish the sentiment and belief, Janga. Though I totally hear Charlie Sheen saying, "Winning!" in my head. LOL!

When this whirlwind stuff happens, I tend to forget all the work that went into it. I still have a ways to go, but I've definitely put in the hours and maybe years for this one. :)

Donna Cummings said...

Terri, have a great time! It's an exciting journey, as wonderful as any European trip -- so just soak it all in and do your best to create awesome memories of it. That will keep you going when you're immersed in revisions and edits. :)

Congrats again. I'll be waiting breathlessly in Twitter to hear all the good news!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

YAY Terri!

We need to bottle some of this excitement. :)

Honestly, my whole life already is a dream. I grew up crazy poor, in a trailer, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Was the 1st of my family to even go to college and neither of my parents graduated high school.

To have a college degree was a dream. My wildest dream had always been to travel the world, and I'm doing that. I mean even after I traveled to some places, there were things that still seemed like out of this world - but I did them. I freakin hiked 20 miles on the Great Wall of China out in the mountains on the old, crumbling, remote part of the wall. Insane amazing.

I mean I have an amazing life. I'm so appreciative and with all I've done and have the world's best hubby it feels like too much to dream for more. Greedy.

But I have to keep dreaming, pushing myself forward. So my dream is to be published, and the big one is to find enough writing success to quit my job and write full time while traveling around the world. That's the big one.

Terri - I'm so going to be on pins and needles waiting for the news!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Oh and BTW Terri - The Czech Republic and Budapest are just too awesome. We went to this place Ceskly Krumlov in the CP - charming town we want to plan an entire vacation to go back to.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

I killed the blog...

TerriOsburn said...

No worries, Scape. I just got some time consuming news today and it's my mom's birthday so I left work early and I've been running around. Taking her to dinner then attacking the suitcase!

You've accomplished amazing things in your short life. I have every faith you'll continue to conquer the world. :)

irisheyes said...

Have a wonderful time, Terri! I know it will be awesome. Have Maureen take lots of pictures so you can remember it all when you get home. I have a feeling it's going to be a whirlwind week. I'm going to try to think about you Saturday night LOL - my daughter and I are going to see Rascal Flatts! I'll stop at some point that day, though, and offer up a little prayer for you!

I feel kind of like Sabrina. I have so much more than I ever thought I would and am very thankful. If I could squeeze a little more out, though, I would love to go to Europe. England, Scotland and Ireland would be fantastic. Maybe have enough money to afford a really awesome tour guide.

P. Kirby said...

I've recently added "go to ComicCon" to my bucket list.

I'm such a geek.

Best of luck, Terri!

Maureen said...

Pat, me, too!

JulieJustJulie said...

Terri, Congratulations once again! Have a safe trip and enjoy “the moments”.

JulieJustJulie said...
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Cassondra Murray said...

Terri, I'm late seeing this. Yesterday was just slammed and I didn't get over here, but HUGE Congratulations on your final, and yes, it's really awesome feeling like a princess for that week. Enjoy every minute of it, and all of us who've been where you are understand completely. You HAVE already won.

Have a great time!