Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Toasting Your Dreams

Last Friday I toasted and drank champagne one more time with one of my very best friends. Today she is leaving for a new life in the Peace Corp stationed in Azerbaijan for the next two years. She just retired after nearly 40 years in television news and is going off to pursue a long time dream.

Liz, my friend, I salute you and toast to you. You never turned your back on the spirit of those dreams we always used to share. And that remains true today. Even if some never came true, we've never stopped dreaming and we're always ready to pursue something new.
Liz and I met as young broadcast journalists back in the early 70s, working an early morning shift at San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB-TV. We spent hours after work and on weekends, sitting on the beach, drinking cheap wine and beer, talking about things we wanted to do during our lives. In those early days she wanted to go to Egypt to see the Pyramids. My dreams were much more modest. I wanted to live and work in lots of different cities. But I also wanted to be a writer.
Our dreams shifted focus as we went along the way but we never stopped chasing them. She got married and raised two wonderful children. I wanted to write romance novels, but I also fell in love with television news. I kept up my fiction writing during my spare time while working long hours to become a newsroom manager. During those middle years, she did get to Egypt—and many other foreign places with her family—while I worked in five different western cities, including three different stints in Los Angeles.

And now we’re looking at our newest round of making our dreams come true. Last year my fourth book came out and a new novella, Shadows from the Past, is soon to be released. Liz travelled to Hanoi earlier this year and now she is on her way to perhaps one of her biggest dreams—to live and work in a foreign country.
I was going to say I’m not nearly as daring as Liz—I couldn’t see myself going off to live in a strange city—but then I had to stop because I’ve done that over and over in my career—even if all the cities I moved to were in this country. There were times I showed up in a new city with nothing more than the clothes and furniture in my U-haul or car carrier and whatever Mustang I was driving at the time. And I wouldn't know a soul for thousands of miles. But I was living my dream.

And the point is we were always ready to look for the next step toward a new dream—whether it be writing or travelling. It took me nearly 20 years to finally get a book published. So while our dreams might shift or we might have to re-focus— and we’re re-focusing a lot these days because we both need glasses just to read our favorite Chinese restaurant menu—we’re still pursuing our dreams.
So, Liz, I'm drinking Mimosas to you today! I’ll keep writing my stories and looking for updates on your newest travel adventure.

For other writers out there who might be discouraged at their latest rejection, keep on going. Never give up on your dreams. They can shift, they may need to be refined, but keep having them and keep living them!


  1. Great blog. You and your friend are great inspirations.

  2. Thanks, Jan, and just an update, she has arrived and is already shopping in the markets.