Friday, January 15, 2016

Finding career happiness!

I'm pretty lucky. I've found a way to make money doing something I love. TWO somethings to be exact. They feed my soul in different ways, using different sides of my brain. For the first time in a long time I feel secure. I feel like I've really found my path....two paths that run along-side each other.

As you all know, I'm an author. I started writing years ago--like 10--on a whim and it just blossomed. I couldn't stop. I needed to do it. I took baby steps and eventually got to a good place. I love creating these wonderful worlds. I love creating these sassy characters and putting them into crazy situations. I love the love. I love when readers love my stories. I love that I create something that gives people an escape from whatever they need escaping from.

And I guess my other job is all about escape too!

I recently started a travel business. Some of you may know about my love for Disney, especially the parks. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 22. It was on my bucket list of things to do before we had kids. So we did it. It was a spur-of-the-moment budget trip but it was fun and I had a great time. Fast forward 5 years. We had a 2-year old and my mother-in-law had suggested we go to Disney World at Christmas time, and as our Christmas gift, she'd pay for our flights. Sounded like a good plan to me! That's when all the fun started!

I'm a planner by nature, so I jumped right in. I bought planning books, I got online. I learned everything I could about the Disney World property, for our first ever stay at one of their resorts. Our trip came and it was so much better than that first time. It was more magical. We were immersed in Disney, and that was it. I had caught the bug. We spend the next 10 years going back as often as we could, usually once a year, but twice a couple years. I learned all I could...I couldn't get enough! I became the go-to gal for everything Disney!

Then one day last fall it just hit me. I could help people plan their own magical trips and GET PAID for it! So I once again did my research, applied at a couple online travel agencies that specialized in Disney vacations, and before long, I was taking classes from the College of Disney Knowledge and on my way to becoming a certified Disney Travel Planner!

Never before in my life have a felt so happy and secure about my career/s. Many of you know writing was not my first career. I started in the floral industry and worked in it for about 14 years before giving it up to pursue my writing. I didn't have passion for it anymore. Writing had taken over. And now, even though I have taken on a second career, my passion for writing is still just as strong. Who knew you could have passion for two things???!!!

Check out my Disney Blog here and my Disney Facebook page here!

My two careers fulfill me in different ways. The writing nurtures my soul, my creativity. It's my outlet for my thoughts and feelings. But it is a roller coaster, as any artist knows. I often doubt myself, but then later that day, I feel like a million bucks! I have very few answers and I don't think I will ever feel like an authority. But that's okay. I love what I create. I love what I give to others. I love the journey. And I can't wait to see where it takes me.

The travel planning is very different. I know all the answers, or at least know where to find them. I feel very in control, which is a feeling I rarely have when it comes to writing. And actually I think that's good for me. It's good to have control, but also good to know when you have to give it up. I love helping people create memories for their families. Life is so full of must-dos and I think families often run out of time for togetherness. When I help families plan a Disney vacation, I'm giving them peace of mind. I'm helping them create opportunity for quality time with their family. I'm helping them create memories they will cherish forever.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Location, location, location.....

Setting is a HUGE deal in any book, especially romance. It's a character all it's own with strengths and weaknesses, quirks and personality. It helps your characters, and hinders them, too. It can cause tension or help lessen it. Setting can cause conflict. It can save a character. No book can survive without a vivid setting.

Recently I've become kind of obsessed with the small town setting. Small towns just have a vibe of their own. A slower pace, a simpler feel. And there's always a fun cast of quirky characters to go along. Gotta have a gossip mill! The best conflict comes from it! Small towns have problems that become your character's problems. I didn't grow up in a small town, so it kind of fascinates me. The workings of a small town are so different from that of a city setting.

Do you love a small town setting? Or do you prefer city? Or is there something else??

Friday, January 8, 2016

"I just don't like to read."

I've heard that many times. And I guess I understand. Not everyone enjoys getting lost in another person's world. Not everyone enjoys laughter, suspense, romance, edge-of-your-seat excitement or drama. Not everyone enjoys a good story.

Oh...wait a minute. Movies are stories. TV shows are stories.

How can people not enjoy reading a book, but spend many many hours watching Netflix, going to the theater, watching DVRed shows? Why does the format of story-telling matter?

I guess I don't understand after all. Is it the time? I mean, yes, it does take a lot longer to read a book than to watch a two-hour movie. Is today's society just too pressed for time? Do they need the quickest form of story-telling possible? Is it something else?

Or maybe they just haven't found the right book yet. :)

The right book will suck you in and close you off from the rest of the world. The right book will keep you up til wee hours of the night, vowing "just one more chapter." The right book will grab you by the heart and pull you along on it's wacky roller coaster ride. No matter what kind of story you like, there's a book out there for you. More than one, actually. You just need to look ;)