In order to celebrate, Beth agreed to come on the blog and say a few words about CeeCee. So I will pass you have to Beth so she can tell you all about it.
In celebration of this special day, I’d like to talk about how important it is that we reach for our dreams.
I spent 20 years as an interior designer. Most days I loved it—working with furniture, fabrics, wallpapers and artwork delighted me—but the long hours and stress that go hand in hand with business ownership were wearing me down. Often I’d drive home late at night and fantasise about going after my secret dream of writing a novel, yet I never had the courage. Then, when I nearly died of septicaemia (the same infection that took Muppet’s creator Jim Henson’s life), everything changed.
I woke in ICU surrounded by life support, and I was terrified. The road to recovery was long, and when I was finally released from the hospital, I was quarantined at home for weeks. I remember being sprawled on my bed having a full-blown pity party. I wept into a wad of tissues and watched my hair fall out from the massive antibiotics that had been pumped into my veins. I was a basket case of wrecked humanity. So many questions banged around in my head—why me, and what did I do to deserve this? I’m ashamed to admit that I was also angry. Instead of being grateful that my life had been saved, I felt bitter and consumed by stress. I didn’t know how I could keep the workload waiting for me from turning into an avalanche.
Later that same day I discovered an old cardboard box filled with short stories that went back to my childhood years. They were silly and unpolished, but the more I read them, the more I knew my fire could no longer be ignored—it was time to let it burn, even if it scorched me in the process.
In my novel, Aunt Tootie looks into CeeCee’s eyes and says, “Far too many people die with a heart that’s gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. If there’s one thing I’d like most for you, it’s that you’ll find your calling in life. That’s where true happiness and purpose lies … you’ll never be fulfilled if you don’t.”
I believe Tootie’s words; they were born from my own experience. It took several years before I finally gathered the courage to leave my design business and began fanning my flame, and when I did, life and I how I viewed it dramatically changed. Even during those times when I knew I might never become a published author, I never looked back—partly because I’m stubborn as a mule, but mostly because I was genuinely happy.
I’d like to offer my encouragement to anyone who is wondering about their own dreams—their own fire. There’s a saying I’m quite fond of. I don’t remember where I heard it or read it, but it holds so much wisdom: “It doesn't matter what are dreams are, it's that we have them.”
And I believe we have our dreams for a reason!
Thank Beth for an inspirational post. Make sure you pick up a copy of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt tomorrow.About the author: Beth lives in a quaint historical town in Kentucky with her husband and several furry, four-legged children. She loves animals, feeding the birds, reading, gardening, and laughing with girlfriends. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a New York Times bestseller; foreign rights have sold to the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Indonesia and Korea. The book is also available through Bookspan in the Philippines and Canada
Visit Beth’s website at www.BethHoffman.net
You can also find her on Twitter (@wordrunner) and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saving-Cee-Cee-Honeycutt/257344499729