Of Dreams and Realities

Sometimes dreams are just that—wonders to fantasize about in between the hurly burly of life. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, they become realities.

In 2020, the year of perpetual nightmares, my dream came true.

If someone had told me when I was younger that I would one day write a crime novel I probably would have looked at them cynically. Had I read every single book in my mother’s Nancy Drew collection? Of course! Did I obsessively watch television shows that focused on an element of mystery? The X-Files and Murder She Wrote were weekly staples in my house! Was I fascinated by characters like Sherlock Holmes? I did end up naming my cat after Doctor Watson. But the idea of writing a book in the crime or thriller genres never crossed my mind.

Until I wrote one!

Where Ravens Roost wasn’t my first attempt at writing a novel, but it was the only one to reach the seemingly unobtainable ‘the end.’ Nothing about the book—or writing it, for that matter—was what I expected. Yet here I am, two-and-a-half months away from its whirlwind publication with one of my dream publishers, a sequel on the way, and even though my mind insists I must be dreaming, I know it’s true.

I’m going to be an author.

No, I am an author.

Maybe I always was one. Publishing a book doesn’t make a person any more or less a writer, after all. If you write, you’re a writer. But when I got the call from an editor enthusiastic about acquiring my book I suddenly felt like I had earned the honor to call myself what I’d always dreamed I could be—a writer.

I always thought writing the book would be the hardest part of achieving my dream. Boy, was I wrong! Writing the book was just a necessary first step. It was all of the subsequent steps that proved to be the real challenge in pursuing my passion to be an author. And getting this far didn’t make it any easier. I look ahead now and realize I’ll have to go through so many of these steps again with a new story, new characters, and new expectations.

But that’s the thing about dreams, isn’t it? They’re goals. And once we obtain them, we forget about the reality that went into achieving them. We forget about the hard work, the tireless dedication, the late hours, the sleepless nights, the people who told us we couldn’t. We forget that dreams don’t just materialize out of thin air. That they were always part of our every day grind. And reaching them doesn’t change that fact.

Nevertheless, I’m going to take a moment to appreciate that this dream, even though it’s now a firm reality, still feels like a dream. It still shocks me. Amazes me. Fills me with wonder, joy, and a little bit of fear. Tomorrow I’ll get back to the reality of making my new goal, finishing book two, come true.

Today I’ll keep dreaming.

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