Harlequin #SYTYCW15 Top 10 Finalist! – OUT OF FOCUS

We all have dreams.

Hopes and aspirations.

Sometimes, if we’re incredibly lucky – or if we work really, really hard – we may be blessed enough to grab hold of it. Achieve it. Realize it.

Mine is almost within my grasp. So close I can graze that glowing, thrilling triumph with my finger tips.

When I first entered into Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest, I told myself that I was going to be in this to win it. Everything I did, every move and decision I made, was with the understanding I would reach this point. And now that i have, I don’t think I honestly really believed I would — deep down in the darkest, most intimate corners of my self-doubt. I was afraid, terrified, to want something so intensely.

Because, God I do. I remember being 15 and in high school, zoning out in class because a character had just come to life inside my head. There in an instant. Fully realized. Taking shape and flesh. Sort of like watched a flower bloom, petal by petal. I would flip to the back of my binder or notebook, frantically taking down notes, or drafting full scenes I would later run to the library to pound out on the computer.

My days were consumed with writing – for no other reason then I simply had to write. I thought I would go insane if I didn’t. I was rabid, back then. Pounding out a book (a very rough book) a month, at least, for years. Despite being in full-time school and maintaining a solid GPA (honour roll graduate here!), I dedicated at least six solid hours a day to writing.

Writing is the only thing I knew, deep down in my gut, that I wanted to to do. Could ever see myself doing – and being happy with it. But back then I was shy, painfully introverted. And it took me a long time to break away from behind that computer screen, to even look someone in the eye let alone my own reflection in the mirror.

Recognizing my own weaknesses, I systematically chipped away at them, signing up for intensive drama to combat my stage fright, befriending the ‘cool’ kids and socializing to break out of my own awkward shell. Dating! When I hit twenty four, I thought I had succeeded in leaving that awkward, invisible girl behind, but after having my daughter I slowly felt her creeping back in around the edges, eroding that carefully acquired self-confidence I’d struggled for years to find.

So I did something a little crazy. I became a bikini fitness model. I worked out seven days a week, three hours a day for the better part of a year. I competed in three fitness shows where I had to strut on stage, exuding poise and confidence, wearing the tiniest blinded out bikini imaginable, standing next to a dozen fit, gorgeous girls and sell myself to the judges. To the audience.

It was a revelation. I had never learned so much about myself, about my own capabilities and potential until that intense, gruelling year. Lessons that I have taken to heart and now forge the core of who I am today. Lessons that have changed not only me as a person, but as a writer.

I understand what it means to push your mind and your body beyond its limits, to dig deep and find that sliver of strength you didn’t even know you had – to push even when you think you can’t possibly give another inch.

I don’t think I would be here right now, a Top 10 finalist, had I not faced the kind of struggles and hurdles I went through during that year of training and competing. But now here I am, and all that stands between me and carpe diem‘ing the crap out my lifelong ambition is votes.

So, here I am, pouring my heart and soul out into the internet.

So You Think You Can Write – Out of Focus (<–You can vote here/ read my entry!)

Now, I won’t ask for blind votes – I don’t believe in twisting arms or playing on guilt. All I ask is that you follow the link – and take a look. If you like what you see, then you know what to do. If my work doesn’t speak to you: okay. Browse the other contestants and you might find someone’s entry who does. No harm, no foul. Go where your heart takes you. Vote according to your own conscience, I won’t hold it against you. 🙂

I’m grateful to be here, and I’ll push like heck to the bitter end.

So, without further adieu, here’s my fab book trailer. I’m proud of this little baby, and I hope whoever takes a second to watch it enjoys.


2 thoughts on “Harlequin #SYTYCW15 Top 10 Finalist! – OUT OF FOCUS

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