Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. That is truly a miracle. Fifteen years ago I believed I had a better chance at winning the lottery than landing a husband. Well, God showed up and showed out and sent me a wonderful man. We’ve been going through life together as a team, he in pursuit of balance and a stronger spiritual life and me in pursuit of my longtime dreams and goals:
1) To land a good agent.
2) To land a publishing deal.
3) To have at least one novel on any bestsellers list.
4) Obtain a good publicist.
5) To have at least one novel optioned and turned into a major motion picture.
6) To have enough money to live my dream full time.
7) To have at least one of my plays produced on a major stage.
8) To have at least one of my plays optioned and made into a major motion picture.
As you may have gathered, I have lofty dreams, and I have been relentlessly chasing them with every fiber of my being. With God’s grace, I have accomplished numbers 1-4, and I believe I will see numbers 5—8 come into fruition.
In the interim, I am trying to take a page out of my husband’s book—I am trying to find balance. At the present time, I am on overload. I am directing fifteen actors in a play I wrote called Sacrificing Simone about a couple who abandon their baby girl while in college. So three days out of the week, after working all day, I go to Pasadena to rehearse. I’m also working with the producers to bring all the other pieces together (the set, set furniture, lighting, sound, publicity, etc.) After rehearsal, I usually get home after 10pm. I spend an hour or so with my balanced husband and then off to bed I go, only to get up before 5am so that I can work out before going back to work. The show opens October 10th at Porticos Art Space, 2033 E. Washington Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91104. There are only three shows and it’s a 99-seat theatre, so if you’re interested in attending, I’d suggest you get your tickets now. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/861695
While I’m not working on the show, I’m promoting three novels: Married in the Nick of Nine, the first book in my Cass & Nick series, now available on Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Married-Nick-Nine-Alretha-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00LG201VY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411080973&sr=8-1&keywords=married+in+the+nick+of+nine, The Baby in the Window, the second book in the series, launching October 21 and my indie novel, Four Ladies Only (I won the Jesse Redmon Fauset Fiction Award for this book) , also now available on Amazon. com http://www.amazon.com/Four-Ladies-Only-Alretha-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00I9GX65S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411081054&sr=8-1&keywords=four+ladies+only
Okay, I need to take a breath. Yes, it’s a lot and lately I’ve been waking up feeling numb, wondering what is all this chasing about. Where am I going with all of this? Why am I doing this? Especially in the wake of all the turmoil in the world. Aren’t there more important things in life than my books and plays?
Then a good friend enlightened me. Like me, she’s childless. I am childless, but not by choice. She told me what I already knew, but the way she told me gave me pause and it stuck. If I were not writing books and plays and promoting them, I would be raising children and promoting them. This is how I create and this is how I contribute to the world. I realize I have to stop looking at the outcome. I need to stop thinking about bestseller lists and movies and enjoy the process, the moment, the NOW. It’s about what’s happening in the moment, in each day and who I’m impacting each day, who I’m helping, bringing encouragement to, bringing laughter to, educating, with my creative works.
There are a lot of young people in Sacrificing Simone ranging from elementary school age to college age. When I look into their eyes and see the enthusiasm, the hope, and the joy they have being in Sacrificing Simone, I am deeply moved and encouraged. That’s the important moment, not the moment I fantasize about being on the red carpet at my movie premiere. It’s moments like the one when one of my child actors told me that when he grows up and he’s making his Oscar acceptance speech he’s going to give me a shout out. It’s the moment when a reviewer of one my books tells me that it made them reflect, it made them want to be a better person. It’s moments when I walk into rehearsal and I see people, who prior to being cast in the play, didn’t know one another and now they’re talking, hugging, and laughing like they’ve known one another all their lives. Relationships are being built. People are networking and enjoying one another. It’s moments when I get to spend time with members of a book club and I get to participate in their discussions. I get to learn what makes them tick and how they feel and they share their lives and experiences. This is what it’s all about, the NOW MOMENTS, not the end of the race. It’s the people I meet and encounter along the race. This is why God allows me to see another day, it’s not to get through my list of goals, but to make someone else’s existence brighter and better!