It’s All About Passion

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My first banner seemed wild enough until summer arrived and the snow melted.

This week marks my 2nd blogiversary. First of all, I think it’s funny that bloggers are primarily writers and they can’t decide how to spell it. Is it with an i or an a? Google corrected it for me, so blogiversary it is.

I never thought I would be a writer. I am an artist and was a medical illustrator before becoming a full-time mom, but have always loved telling stories. Maybe it’s the Irish in me. After spinning one of my yarns almost three years ago, a friend of mine said, “You should really write these stories down.” Her words shocked me and a light bulb turned on in my head.

This happened at a time when I was often introduced to random strangers who asked, “What do you do?”

I never had a proper answer. I had been out of a job since my kids went to college and had been searching for a way to express myself.

You see, I had never really found my passion. I enjoyed creating through different mediums like illustrating, painting, gardening, cooking, decorating, and even sewing, but when thinking about turning any of these into a career, I would moan and groan and grumble. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labor, but didn’t enjoy the labor part of the experience.

I took my friend up on her idea. While outlining a snarky and satirical non-fiction book about women and life in Boulder, I plodded along. I was such a slow typist and changing anything was excruciating. Navigating the minefield of not being offensive to anyone while trying to avoid blowing up my relationships, took forever. It was hard enough to find the letters on my keyboard.

Then, I was told that no one would publish my book unless I started blogging to build a writer’s platform. I only knew blogging as a diary form of word vomit. I wasn’t that thrilled about journaling, but I read a few posts and realized I could choose my own focus – hence the Wild Ride!

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I loved this second banner, but I got bored, opted for vibrant color and cut off my hair.

When I started blogging here at WordPress in May of 2011, I could not figure out how to get views. Just when I was about to give up, I discovered the home page and realized tags were crucial to being visited. Remember, this is two years ago, way before WP created the Reader.

After writing blog posts for a couple of months, I reviewed my book proposal with anxiety. I found my voice and writing style right away since I write the way I speak, but the genre was wrong. I could feel it in my gut. Non-fiction is tricky. It involves real people, places and events. I had to be careful not to alienate any of them.

I was falling in love with fiction through writing 100 word flash on Fridays. The freedom of writing whatever I wanted allowed my vivid imagination to explore all kinds of exotic places and different types of characters, some of whom I admired, a few who made me laugh and others who came from nightmares and dark places in my mind. I loved this new creative medium.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I found my obsession and my passion.

I shelved my non-fiction project with a huge sigh of relief and had to choose which fictional idea to expand. Looking back, I could not have picked a wilder or more challenging story for my first book. What was I thinking?

I had to stop writing flash fiction on Fridays since the characters in my book would start partying down with the new ones in my flash and they would wreak havoc in my pea brain. I needed a split personality to deal with all of them and keep them separated. It was hard to stop writing 100 word fiction for my blog, but once I did, my book flowed.

Now my paranormal thriller is done and I am very excited about it!

Third try's a charm

Looking back on the last two years, my blog has changed how I define myself, the stories I want to tell, and the focus of my life. I am in the throes of embarking on a writing career which is challenging, humbling and more exciting than anything I have ever experienced professionally.

I am looking forward to querying an agent and getting my story out there. Will I take a break? Hell no. I have eight more books I want to write. Two more in this series, three which took a back seat when I drew straws for which one to write first, a screenplay, a historical fiction, a compilation and that’s off the top of my head!

Now when someone asks me what I do, I have an answer.

Have you found your passion?

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120 Comments

Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

120 responses to “It’s All About Passion

  1. Congrats on your blogiversary and on your book! It’s been so much fun to share in this blogging adventure with you. All the best in your upcoming journey!! :)

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  2. Congrats on two years of blogging! Definitely my kids and writing are my passions. They feed me in different ways. I’m so glad that you have found your groove. Your positivity is unmatched, Susie!

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    • Awwww! Thanks so much! It is the one thing that hasn’t let me down yet! No pun intended…
      Kids and family in general are on the top of the list too, but there came a point in time when I needed to “do” something with my life. Meeting all of you has been such an amazing bonus!!!
      Thanks so much!

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  3. Yes, I have found my passion. The life that I am living right now if full of passion for me and ways to get it out there!

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  4. Happy blogoversary! It’s funny, where it took you time to discover your passion. I had mine and cast it aside for the “adult” world–to go the mature route and pursue a “proper career”. It wasn’t till I lost my career and looked back on all the joys I set aside along the way to be a “grown up” that I realized I’d went about things all wrong. Thankfully, that’s the joy of life…the opportunity to change direction and follow your bliss.

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    • Thank you so much! Bliss is right! I have so many ideas always running around my small cranium, so this gives them another place to romp and play!

      That is great that you knew what yours was and you were able to recognize what made you happy.

      When I chose art as a major, I remember feeling kind of bummed. I only went into it because I was good at it.
      I am a late bloomer, but hey, at least I bloomed!!!!

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      • Absolutely. I’m just glad I found my way back to myself before it was too late.

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        • That’s how I feel! I have so many books to write and feel like I am in a race against time!

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        • This brings tears to my eyes, Kitt. Finding a way back to yourself. Yes. I bought my daughter a necklace when she turned 18 that said simply, ‘Bliss’ as a reminder to always follow her bliss. Right now she’s in Hawaii being adventurous and crazy. It gives me heart palpitations, but it’s what she needs to do right now.

          I’m so glad you found yourself, too. Because then you found Susie and through Susie I found you and I think you’re pretty damn cool. Keep following your bliss, Kitt. Never settle for anything less! That is, unless you want to head off to Hawaii and be a fire twirler with my daughter, then you might want to seriously consider other options. Heart palpitations, and all that. But then, if that’s your bliss… ;)

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          • Thanks! I’ve always been the one encouraging others to do that. Imagine my chagrin when I realized I was the one who lost my way. Ah, well, better late than never. It’s been great getting back to my roots.

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  5. SO glad Google agrees with my ‘I’ version – it didn’t cover the topic when I first argued the point. Congrats on 2 years of success.

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  6. to many more blogiversaries! I thoroughly enjoy what you do!

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  7. Congratulations on finishing your book, Susie, and many good wishes for much success from now on–exciting time for you (like your new Gravatar).

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  8. I know what you are, Susie: you’re a Renaissance Woman. You do it all.

    Congratulations on completing your book! I’ll be very interested to hear what happens next – finding agents, publishers, etc. That seems to be the hardest part.

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    • Thanks Peg! :) It is easy when I am doing what I enjoy. It’s getting back to doing the other things and finding balance that is the hard part…
      I will keep you posted!

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  9. Passion, purpose, personality and persistence you have them all. Congratulations! on your second blog anniversary and a toast to many more.

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  10. I never thought I would be a writer either, and then it happened. The idea. And then more happened.
    Keep happening, Colorado.

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  11. I have the passion. Unfortunately, I also have a full-time job and by the time that’s over for thet day, I’m exhausted. I’m more of a binge writer – write a lot when I have the time, and very little all other times. I do have 3 completed manuscripts and am halfway through a 4th so I’m not slacking off, it just takes me a little long to complete those first drafts.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. Good luck in selling it!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    • You rock Patricia! Wow! I don’t think I could do any of this if I worked full time. Do you have any publishing plans?
      Thank you so much!

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      • I have 2 published short stories. I’m still pursuing the traditional method of publishing my novels at the moment with querying agents, but I’ve only had 1 request for additional pages. I’m going to try submitting directly to some of the publishers/editors who accept non-agented authors. I haven’t ruled out self-publishing or any other method. I’m actually still polishing 2 of my manuscripts but I’m querying with them nonetheless. At some point, they’ll have to be good enough. Right?

        Patricia

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  12. Congratulations, Susie! So happy for you. It is so difficult for us mothers to get back into the work-force and to define who we are besides great moms and wives. I admire your bravery and belief that you could find your passion and persevere! Eight more books! You will be one busy lady! :)

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    • That’s my plan!!!
      I remember sitting down and thinking about what I would do with my life. I had considered Interior design, but really only enjoyed decorating my own house! Hahaha. I thought about illustrating greeting cards and even had started some with a tennis theme, but just wasn’t that thrilled about it or I would have finished them. There were several other ideas in my head, but none of them writing.

      Honest to God, I prayed for a sign to tell me what to do with my life. A week later my friend made that comment! Crazy right???

      Now no matter what obstacles get in my way, I have set my sights on a goal. I love writing and blogging so much!
      Thanks so much!

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  13. Happy 2nd Blogiversary, Susie. Here’s to many more. And congrats on a completed novel – that’s quite an accomplishment. I look forward to reading it!!

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    • Thank you so very much Mary! I hope my book is out there sooner than later!!
      I would imagine I will be blogging for a long, long time! Not only is it great practice, I have met all kinds of wonderful people like you!!!!

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  14. Happy 2nd blog overstay, Susie! I’m in awe that you only began your writing journey 3 years ago. You’re a natural! Congrats on finishing your first novel. I know it’s awesome because your flash fiction pieces are great.

    And so many projects waiting to be written. Yes, you’ve definitely found your passion! Go, Susie, go!

    Writing is my passion, too, but now it competes with my newest passion – my grand kids! Hey, today is my 2nd blogiversary, too! I would have forgotten if I hadn’t read your post! Cheers to many more years of writing blog posts and hundreds of books!

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    • Wow Lynn! Congratulations to you! I LOVE your new passion, although I would like to wait a few years since my kids are young.. ahem…. :)

      I must have started 2 and a half years ago since that conversation took place in July. I took a writing course in the Fall after forming my germ of an idea.

      The funny thing about non-fiction is you only need one sample chapter, a table of contents and a query letter. It took all fall to come up with that! I can’t believe it!!!
      After writing and rewriting a 415 page book while writing 231 blog posts, that seems ridiculous! Hahaha!
      By the way, during that appointment I had today, I came up with the craziest idea for the second book in the series! Always a silver lining!!!!
      Thanks for coming along for the ride Lynn! I am so glad we met!!!!

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  15. Congrats to you on all fronts — 2 years of awesome blogging, a finished book, and a happy and fulfilled life. You are truly an inspiration to little fledging bloggers like me. I can’t wait for your next adventure!

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  16. Many Happy Returns Susie – look forward to reading your book as well!

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  17. A blogiversary and a finished novel? Way to go, Susie! Congratulations!

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  18. Congratulations on your two year anniversary with blogging! And way to go on finishing your novel! :)

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  19. Congratulation to you and to us .. that are able to land here with you! Passion???? There is so many different kinds of passion – I have tasted them all … more than ones and some have stayed with me .. some I have moved away from and hopefully I will get some new ones.

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  20. Congratulations on your blogiversary, Susie, and for teaching me how to spell that word, but even bigger congrats on finishing writing your book. Finishing anything is always a cause to celebrate; anything creative that is. If you blogged about finishing scarfing a salami sandwich on foam bread while watching some mindless game show on the tube, well, we’d need to talk. My passion is sleep because I get so little of it. Seriously, I have been writing since I was a kid and even though it’s never paid the rent, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. It’s just what I do.

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    • That is so great V!

      I have always loved to write, but only wrote letters and emails. That is so cool that you have always known this is what you love to do. I am a late bloomer that is for sure! I think writing is more about the process than the bucks.
      Thanks so much for all your support and riding through the wildness!

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  21. filbio

    Congrats on two years of great blogging! Good luck with the new book too. Always fun to read your posts.

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  22. Just nominated you for a ‘special’ award. Check it out. :)

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  23. Congratulations on finding your groove Susie; I am slowly getting there!

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    • Good for you Marcia! It takes a while. When I started out, I was all over the place and even included poetry, but my blog has always been more of an uplifting place. The coolest part of blogging has been meeting other bloggers like you!
      Thanks so much!

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  24. Congrats and CHEERS!
    No matter what you say about former hats you’ve worn – all of that stuff you learned/experienced comes into play when you write – and will be useful as you head through the publishing maze.
    When you are in the right place doing the right thing – well, it’s just feels right – hard to explain – but you know it. Hooray!

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    • That is so true Phil! I do feel like I am finally in the right place doing what I love.
      I agree that experiencing life really helps in being able to write about a broad range of subjects. With all of life’s ups and downs there is a lot to be learned!
      Thanks so much for “Riding” with me!

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  25. It’s been a wild two years and I’m so happy that I’ve been on this ride for a lot of it with you! It’s been fun and I feel like I know you for real. I just hope some day soon we get to meet for real. Next year I’m thinking of coming out to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Conference in Denver. It’s usually in September, that would be a good one for you to attend as well. If only for the reason that I’m there. :)

    Congrats on the two years, here’s to many, many more. I love your goals, keep it up, my friend!

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    • Thanks so much Tameri!
      I feel like I know you too! I will definitely plan on going to that conference. We will have a blast!
      The two years have flown by and they keep getting Wilder!

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  26. Happy Anniversary. Still looking for that passion… :)

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  27. Happy Anniversary, Susie!!
    Looking forward to reading when your book debut is!! ;-)

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  28. Totally love this! And happy anniversary. I too was a little worried about the whole blogging thing and worried about it being “word vomit”. But like you I found something to concentrate on and it helped me focus my writing. And like you I often worried about the what do you do question, but not because I didn’t have a passion. I was totally passionate about it, just poor. :) I wasn’t a well-known writer, just a sports journalist who dabbled in fiction. Now the whole blogging experience has boosted my confidence and even though I only make a few dollars here and there during the year through my writing, I proudly say … Yeah. I’m a writer! :)

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    • Good for you actually making money with writing! I have won a ton of really cool stuff, but the dollar bills have not rolled in, Yet!
      I think there is a lot to be said for boosting confidence. I had very little when I started. Even commenting took a while to get used to. I still freeze a little when I hit publish!
      The declaration of being a writer feels good doesn’t it?
      Thanks so much Guat!

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  29. Everything you wrote makes me happy for you, Susie, the blogiversare (whatever), the passion, and the book. You’ve been an inspiration to a lot of people, in addition to being a lot of fun to share stories with. When are you going to unveil the book? Would like to know more about it/read it. Best to you, my friend.
    Paul

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  30. Huge congrats on the book(s) and your second anniversary! My passion has always been writing. I started a book last year and it sort of was abandoned after 10,000 words. Then it hit me I should be writing screenplays — it’s right up my alley. So I’m excited to be working on my first screenplay and will be hopefully finishing it up this summer.

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  31. Cross post this on Zoomers weekly challenge this week… before tomorrow.. You will win hands down.

    http://connect.everythingzoomer.com/profiles/blogs/writer-wednesday-prompt-75-1

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  32. *pompoms waving – champagne corks flying* Susie! Happy Blogiversary (you can keep the hard “g” because you ARE exceptional) and congrats on finishing your book. These are exciting times and we’re loving being along on the ride!

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  33. Good luck Susie. I can feel how happy you are! You, a few other bloggers who are novelists and a colleague who has published already are inspiring me. My friend and I have an idea germinating but it’s just an idea so far. How you fit it in around everything I’ve no idea.
    I look forward to seeing you in print!

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    • Thanks so much! That means a lot to me!
      I am really happy about this. My kids are in college so I have time now. It’s managing it that is the challenge!
      Can’t wait to hear about your “germ.” :)

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  34. Congrats! Two years is impressive. I have enjoyed them all and good luck with your novel and the next eight!

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  35. Yep, twice. I studied cooking and did fifteen years in kitchens, now I write. Another small one is following blogs.

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  36. Happy Blogiversary week!

    And, yes, I have found my passion… dogs!

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  37. jan

    beautifully written!! can’t wait for the launch of your book!!! xo, jan

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  38. My first passion is reading and the second…writing! :)

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  39. Congrats & Good Luck! I am glad to have found your blog and love your writing flair, so DO NOT give up writing and pursuing your passions:) Happy Tuesday

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  40. Oh wow and what an answer it is, Susie. Happy Blogiversary, you go girl!

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  41. Well, congratulations on both fronts – I still can’t figure out how to answer that question.

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    • Thanks so much B-Man!
      It took me a looooong time to figure it out. You have time. When I realized I would rather write than do most other activities, it hit me over the head like a 2×4. Now I have to do this.
      Instead of creating on canvas or decorating a space, I can create one with words!

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  42. Congrats, Susie. You learned fast and well. Sometimes you seem to get as many “likes” and comments as I have subscribers.

    BTW, using an “i” changes the “g” from hard to soft, giving us “blojiversary.” Of course, English grammar has about 100 exceptions to every rule.

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    • Thank you David! You are so sweet. It takes a lot of work to keep up with reading other blogs that is for sure! I am behind once again after a week of insanity…
      Ha! “i” had no idea. See how little I know David!!! I guess I was going off the word anniversary and its use of the letter i…

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  43. First things first I love you
    you, your write ups, your crazy pics and videos your beautiful smile everything
    waiting for your Book Susie.you are an amazingly gifted writer your Books Will be huge hits
    wishing you all the very best for all the challenges ahead
    sending you love n hugs :)

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    • Thanks so much Soma! That means a lot to me! There will be challenges that is for sure. I will just keep on hurdling…
      Thanks for your support through this crazy journey. Love you too!

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  44. I dont think I nee to tell you.”I think so” and had you not started to blog I would have never met you and that along with not being able to read your words would have been a big loss.
    HUGGGGGG

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    • I actually had a paragraph about that where I started with blogging, but it was getting to be a long post! You were my first friend Linda! I would miss your words and friendship too! Thank you!

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  45. Congratulations on 2 years. Your journey is an inspiration to me.
    Allan

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  46. Happy blogiversary! Congrats on finding your passion!

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  47. I’m so excited to hear that your book is done! {Like DONE DONE?} Incredible. Mazel tov on another year. I spell it blogoversary, and Google never gets mad. And mine is next week. Can you imagine, I’m entering my 4th year? Gah!

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    • It is DONE and will soon go off to editors. I can’t wait!
      I am outlining the next in the series just in case. I feel like I am in a race to the finish!
      4 years??? 4 years ago, I would have laughed if you would have told me I would become a writer. Congrats and may the 4th be with you! Dumb joke. I know… :)
      Thanks so much Renee!

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  48. I’m looking forward to holding that book in my hand.

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  49. Happy Blogiversary, Susie! I’m glad you’ve found your passion and that you share it with us!

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  50. Happy Blogiversary!!! I’m so excited for you. You are my director, well, you give out enthusiasm by the bunches :)
    So you are an artist by training and now a writer. You have a lot to say and it shows. We love ya!
    I’m also transitioning into this writing business, but it’s sunshine on a cloudy day. Another words it’s a waiting game and with a bit of luck, enthusiasm and drive, just maybe the book might sell.
    My blog(poetry) is a year and a half new and I do love it. I’m on hiatus working on a second book, continuing the story. I love it and then wonder what the hell am I doing ;)! (excitement to horror)

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    • Thanks so much!
      You are right about enthusiasm and positive thinking. I am never without it. Well, almost never!
      The unknown and all its possibilities is the fun part! I am so excited for you too! I have written some poetry and really enjoy reading it.
      Good luck with your book. I am sure it will be a hit!

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  51. Happy Blogiversary! I have not found my passion, but I’m looking. You described me pretty well when you were talking about loving creative projects, but not loving the work, haha! If I had any imagination, my passion would be writing for sure. Congratulations on finishing your book, too!! Can’t wait to read it :)

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    • Thanks Michelle! That is so sweet of you! I can’t wait until it is out there. :)
      I don’t think I could have written when I was younger. I had a hard time thinking of ideas for art projects! My imagination took off as I got older as I was exposed to more of what life offered, good and bad…Now I can’t turn it off!

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  52. Absolutely! And it’s writing! I’ve just got to figure out how to get out from under this eleven hour day job that keeps getting in the way of that! *laughs* Congratulations on finishing that book, and best of luck in getting it out into the world. *waves*

    -Jimmy

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  53. Congrats! Are you planning a change for your site’s look and feel?

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