Ever since I was a kid, my parents insisted that it was vitally important I go to college. I grew up knowing I’d go to college and dreamed of the days when I could attend a liberal arts school where I could read the classics, act in plays and fill my mind with all the many wonders of a classical education.
I got the grades. I was in college prep and gifted programs. I was the lead in nearly every play I’d been in. I even directed.
During my junior year in high school, the proper time to browse and apply to colleges, I came home with applications for Brown, Bates and Bryn Mawr.
Then my parents dropped the bomb.
It went something like this:
While we fully expect you to attend college, we need you to understand you’re on your own to pay for it. We suggest you set your career aspirations a bit lower. You’ll never make a living in the arts. You aren’t that good. Get a trade. Go to cooking school.
In one fell swoop, my dream was stolen.
Not only did my parents not approve but my Principal and Guidance officer went so far as to stage an intervention and tell me I was better suited as a suburban housewife than a soldier. I didn’t have the stuff to be a good soldier.
There it was again, stolen dream.
So I did what they all wanted me to do. I got engaged to my high school sweetheart, even though he’d cheated on me and treated me like crap. Then I worked three jobs just to afford a two-year Associate Degree program in Business Management at the University of Maine.
With one class left to graduation I blew a gasket. It wasn’t the life I wanted. I left him and I left school.
I floated for a few years, always working, barely making ends meet, sometimes homeless, but I did get my diploma.
Then I joined the Air Force. I became a cop, and a darned fine one at that. After graduation from the Security Police Academy, I thought:
That principal and guidance counselor can suck it!
When I left the Air Force I went to college. Not a great one but I was able to study history, political science and some foreign languages.
Then, I married a man who supported my dreams. It was the first time I could really dream and had the support to try. I started writing. First it was freelance writing and the money was good.
Can’t make a living in the arts, huh?
Then I tried my hand at fiction and there were people who actually liked it. Every time someone praised my work, I had a hard time believing them because my parents had explained to me that I just wasn’t good enough. Finally enough people read it and liked it and I realized that with work and practice I could get better. I could be good enough after all.
When my debut novel, The Path to Freedom, was Sapphire Blue Publishing’s bestseller for over a year and they contracted the next two books in the series, A Taste of Liberty and Freedom’s Promise, I could finally look at my past and say it:
They didn’t think I could do any of it it, but I did it all and then some.
Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.
Don’t let anyone clip your wings.
It took me twenty years instead of four but I finally did what I’d dreamed of doing all those years ago.
As for the naysayers…
They can SUCK IT!
Some of her interests include terrorists and terrorism, the small arms trade, human trafficking and drug trafficking. All of these topics are represented in the Task Force 125 series which are stories of espionage and paramilitary operations centered around the character of Sarah Stevens who is recruited into the CIA’s Special Activities Division. She writes non-fiction articles on these topics and puts her business degree to use by writing freelance articles on author marketing, career planning and social media marketing for authors.
Previously, she was a military cop in the U.S. Air Force who spoke French, Russian and Spanish, traveled the world as a U.N. Peacekeeper, was trained as a Hostage Negotiator by the FBI and worked with MI-5 on personal security details.