My mind had been racing for over a year. My thoughts seemed to be all over the place on what the next chapter of my life was going to be. This fall, all three of my daughters were going to be in school full-time. Although I would finally have more time, more uninterrupted time that is, for my wellness company of 14 years, I kept feeling my heart and head being tugged in another direction -- something else was on the horizon. It was blurry, yet I felt like I could touch it at the same time.
Then the unimaginable happened: the coronavirus pandemic. My kids were no longer leaving for school every day but rather e-Learning. My husband and I were working from home, and very little at that. The fitness industry took a huge hit during the pandemic. After months, my dreams of a new venture felt crushed. My long-awaited "me time" felt like it was slipping away before it even arrived. As the economy and small businesses desperately hung onto a thin thread to survive, especially small businesses in large cities, I kept thinking how I needed to start over - in my 40's. Ugh! Yuck! Why, God, why? I thought for sure I was getting over the career hump and closer to retirement than starting over. It's funny how life works that way. So many curve balls in life. Something good had to come from this craziness we now called our life. All that hard work couldn't have been for nothing. It just couldn't! Everything felt unfair.
Whenever I have a great idea, I make notes. I have a zillion notes on my phone, pads of paper, notebooks, etc. I am the queen of note-taking and making lists. On April 20, 2019, I started making notes of Leonard the Lion. I only know of the exact date because the note is dated. I desperately wanted to keep my father's spirit alive; he unexpectedly passed in October 2016. I thought about writing a series of books with him as the lead character. Who knows, maybe I still will.
As I kept thinking about the next chapter of my life, it hit me. Maybe my next chapter was revisiting my first chapter. I have loved writing since I was a little girl. My grade school teachers really embraced my creative writing. I remember that I would finish a short story and the teachers would have me read it to my class. When I was in sixth grade, I started writing plays. My teachers actually allowed me to direct and produce the play with all the students in our classroom. When I was in seventh grade, I started writing a soap opera with all of my classmates as the characters. Everyone loved waiting for the next episode to see what happened with their character. It was a lot of fun. I called it "Future Dreams." My next chapter of life was just that, to write books and chapters and make my dreams, my true passion, a reality.
This past June, while staying at my mother's home during the pandemic, I spent the afternoon writing The Case of the Giggles. After the girls were in bed, I printed it and brought it to Stephen to read. My daughters were the main characters and lived in a land called Harmony. Their biggest problem in the story was laughing too much. It was just what the world needed ... laughter.
I brought Leonard the Lion's character to life. My father was a very masculine man and thus is his character. My mother, Barbara (the Butterfly), made her first appearance too. You'll notice that whenever they are in my stories, Leonard the Lion gives her a lot of compliments hinting of his affection toward her.
I created an escape from the chaotic world we were living in. I was able to keep my father's spirit alive. Since then, I have written seven additional stories, one of which explains how the Bobos Babes came to Harmony. This story is a chapter book for a slightly older child's reading level. It made the most sense to make The Case of the Giggles the first published book, launching before the holidays 2020.
Here's to finding the next chapter in life, making dreams come true, and spreading laughter. Happy reading!