By Keith N Fisher
In the Broadway production of Les Misérables, the character, Fantine, sings a song that always touched my heart. Life has not been kind to her, and things go from bad to worse. In I Dreamed a Dream she remembers a time before things got so crazy. I can relate to that. Many of us remember our childhood and high school, with fondness. They were better times—the good old days.
I’m not an opera fan, but in Les Misérables, there is hope. I believe that if more people caught the author’s message of the golden rule, and caring for our fellow man, there would be peace. Suffering will have ended and all our dreams could be fulfilled.
A few years ago, I dreamed a dream of the future. I had finished one book and started another when I lost my job. I tried to imagine life from that point forward, but I couldn’t find any path to follow. My options seemed limited, nonexistent, in fact. I used my severance and paid off the car loan setting our finances in order.
I hit the streets and the Internet, with a vengeance, but nothing turned up. When I took my problem to God, I got a response, but it didn’t make sense. Finish the book. I argued that writing in the LDS market would never support my family, but still, I felt I should finish the book.
While looking for work, I rewrote the manuscript I’d been working on and submitted. Yes, it was rejected, and I was devastated. I doubted my answers to prayer, and I tossed the manuscript against the wall. Soon after that, in a last ditch effort, I began to attend writer’s conferences.
I’ve told portions of my “How I became a writer” story, before. So, I won’t bore you with all the facts, but with the help of a great critique group, I’m a better writer than I used to be. I still wonder about the council to finish the book, but through it all, I dreamed a dream.
I’ve been paid for articles and blogs, but I haven’t made a living at my avocation. My “day job” has changed, but writing has become part of me. When, as it does for all of us, my world came crashing down around my ankles again, I had a story to work on. Writing has kept me relatively sane, and I dreamed a dream.
In my wild imaginings, I saw my book in the hands of a reader. The story was compelling and the characters were lovable. My years of late night typing and enduring discouraging remarks culminated in the reader’s comment that they loved the story.
Recently, I sent a manuscript to some dear friends and asked them to be brutally honest. I needed fresh eyes to proofread, The Hillside, before I submit. The gratifying comments I’ve received are a partial realization of my dream. The rest of it will come when a stranger approaches me and tells me how much they loved my book.
On that day, I will know what I’ve always suspected. Finishing that book and those I’ve written since then, has been an act of claiming a blessing of love that’s been waiting for me.
Hold onto your dreams. Believe in them. Concentrate on them. It might be a long time before they are realized, but I know it will happen for me, and it will happen for you, too.
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