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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grand Dreams

What’s your dream?  Have you achieved it yet?  As an adolescent most people formulate grand dreams, some of which aren’t based on reality.  And this is a good thing.  During adolescence we should explore all the possibilities before our values and talents dictate what we ultimately become in life.  For some people reality dictates that we settle for something less than what we wanted.  Luckily, most of us find happiness in our new, revised dreams and have a fulfilling life.

Guess what I wanted to be when I was a child?  I wanted to be Miss America.  My family made a big deal out of watching the Miss America pageant every year.  My aunts and girl cousins would all come over, and we’d eat snacks, criticize the talent competition, and try to pick the winner.  Well, I didn’t become Miss America.  Instead, I became a social studies teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, and finally an author.  Am I content?  Yes, I am.  My life is full and happy.

But what would happen if you had a huge dream that came to pass and gave you everything you’ve ever wanted, and then you lost it?  Could a replacement dream ever take the place of the first one?

That’s exactly what happens to Matt McCallum, my hero in A New Dream.  Matt achieves his dream of playing for the NFL.  He was a first round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers, and during his rookie year, he kicked the winning field goal in the Super Bowl.  He has fame, money to burn, and a sexy fiancĂ©e.  For Matt, life doesn’t get any better than this.  And then he loses it all when a car wreck takes his career away.  All that self-discipline, focus, and hard work counts for nothing now.

My husband sometimes reads for me, and when he read A New Dream, he threw a fit.  We share a home office so I spun my chair around to see what was wrong when he snarled, “I hate this book.”  

“Buy why?” I asked.  “I like it.”

“You shouldn’t take his career away,” he answered. 

I ignored him.  Matt was going to lose his career no matter what.  My husband didn’t understand that I was tired of perfection.  I mean, come on, how many times have you read that a hero has sculpted abs, craggy features, and makes the heroine’s knees go weak the minute he walks into the room?   Yeah, I hear you.  You like drop dead gorgeous heroes.  Matt McCallum has all of the above qualities, but I wanted do a little something extra, something that would make him stand out from the pack. 

I wanted to show how Matt’s rather superficial life gives way to something deeper, stronger, and more fulfilling, and to do that he had to lose everything.  As one of my readers said, “Sometimes you have to lose everything to make way for something better.”

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