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I Had to Ask Him to Marry Me

My date sat across from me at a romantic little table in one of Cleveland’s toniest restaurants and took a sip of his drink. He was relaxed and chatty as he told me all the fun things he wanted to show me in his new home town, but my stomach was doing backflips. We had known each other for decades and had reconnected after divorcing our first spouses.

Although we were in love, and both of us wanted more children, Steve had sworn that he was never going to “pop the question” again. Every electron in my being was urging me to marry this man…but I knew I had to be the one to broach the topic. Terrified of starting the conversation, I had put it off for a very long time. That night, I finally took the leap, and kick-started a romantic and very turbulent 15-year adventure that ended with his quiet death in 2008.

I was similarly intimidated by the thought of writing my first book. I was a professional writer with more than 15 years of hard core writing experience behind me when I started writing it in 1998. In fact, I was pregnant with my second child at the time and confident that the book and the baby would be finished at about the same time. Wrong! The baby arrived on schedule but it took me another 12 years to birth that book. Although I had to navigate a lot of interruptions related to my personal life during those years, a big part of the delay came from my fears around taking the leap into authorship.

After my husband passed away, however, I decided life was too short to spend it procrastinating on my dreams. If I didn’t finish that book then, when was I ever going to get around to it? I took a leap of faith and dedicated my energy to finishing the book. I ended up with a traditional publishing contract for Shades of Teale, and I’m now working on my fifth book, a co-authoring venture with a working title of Your Personal Marketing Playbook. I’m working with referral marketing expert Paula Hope to create a book that shares our insights around the online and offline activities professional services providers need to do to grow a wildly successful business. How exciting is that?!

My latest “face your fear” challenge has been around the idea of running a retreat for writers and other creative types in France. I have wanted to do this for about five years now, but life has been hectic and full of the millions of tasks related to single motherhood, running a business, daughtering my mother and writing more books. I have a full and delightful life but it’s my dream to spend five days in France with a small group of people who are keen on getting traction on their own writing projects.

This year I’m finally doing it: from September 20th to the 24th,  I’m leading a group to the gorgeous Dordogne area of France (near Limoges, south and west of Paris) for a glorious retreat at a rustic French mill built astride a rushing brook. My guests will have writing workshop and training time with me in the mornings, and free time in the afternoons to work on their books or other creative projects, or just ramble around the French countryside. We’re going to hit the local market and munch on the delectable baguettes and patés we find there, and we’ll fall asleep with the stars twinkling above us in the velvet French sky. And of course there will be wine and cheese!

You’ll come away with a deeper connection to your project, progress on its development, and memories to last a lifetime. I speak fluent French and can navigate any communication needs you might have, sharing my deep love of France with you while we’re there.

Are you ready to take your own leap of faith? Let’s do this!

If you want to know more, contact my assistant, Tania Brown, to book a time to chat with me.


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