Fortune Cookie Musings

I don't put a lot of stock in fortune cookies. Actually, I put none. But I do get a kick out of the sayings written on those little slips of paper and I often ponder them.

We eat Chinese food (which I've been told isn't really Chinese food at all...) about once a week. Maybe every week and a half. We have our favorites, of course. I'm partial to bourbon chicken but not crazy about the white rice (no one makes rice like my husband ...). I also enjoy stir-fried vegetables. Yum.

But I'm always anxious to read the little ticket in the cookie at the end of the meal. I often tape them into my journal and laugh out loud at the ones that are grammatically incorrect.

So here's one from yesterday: The first step to making a dream come true is to wake up.

I meet quite a few folks at writers conferences who tell me their publishing dreams. Not their writing dreams. They're already writing. The dream has been fulfilled in that respect. No, these are their publishing dreams. A year comes and goes and I see these very same people again ... only to hear how their dream has not been fulfilled. Has not come true. So I ask an obvious question, "What have you done toward that dream?"

In other words, have you woken up?

Not once have I heard "I woke up and then I ..." What I hear is the same tired excuses as to why they can't or didn't or won't or shouldn't or wouldn't ...

"But you don't understand ..." they whine.

Whining is a language I don't translate well. Not one bit. I have probably one of the lowest levels of compassion toward excuses as anyone you'll ever meet. If you tell me how rotten your past is, I'll ask you why then are you still living in it ... if you complain about being overweight, I'll tell you to quit eating cake and, instead, take a walk ... if you tell me that you have money problems, I'll tell you to get a job ... if you tell me you're sad, I'll tell you to eat chocolate.

So, at these writers conferences during that second year of hanging out together, I nod and smile. Then, after that, I become more aggressive with my words. (Don't give me your excuses. Excuses and a dollar will get you a cheap cup of coffee. Instead, show me your plan and how you intend to put it into action.)

If you are reading this, publishing may have nothing to do

with your dream, but we all have them (dreams). The fortune cookie is correct. Your first step to achieving those dreams (whatever they are) is to wake up, then get up, then get going. Dreams don't come to pass lying in bed (even a bed of clover) reflecting on them. They happen when we do something.

What are your dreams? Have you woken up yet?

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