bucket list Archives | Sheryl Steines

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Thank You Joy… I named it After You


Twenty-five years ago, I submitted hundreds, of hundreds of hundreds of resumes (I'm not kidding) to companies hiring writers, copywriters, editors, and proofreaders. I didn't have hundreds of interviews.

I ended up getting a job as a customer service rep, probably the worse job in the world. Plan B was to work as a technical/business writer until I wrote THAT book.

As always, life got away from me and twenty years of struggle to work as a writer, I found myself at my 20th class reunion not where I expected to be.

It's where I sat at Joy's table with her and her friends. Not really friends but we knew each other and it was fun to catch up. Until…

Until I learned that Joy was a published author. I was jealous. Green with envy, so much so it hurt. So much so it made me rethink that goal I had at seven years old, I wanted to be a published author.

And this is where Gracie Madison comes into play. I retold that story to Joy through Facebook several years ago. She joked that I should name a character after her.

Challenge accepted.

I could have done the easiest thing and named my main character Joy. I could have, but I didn't. I thought about the type of book I wanted to write and Gracie Madison was born. I know I didn't name her after Joy but I did…hehe…

Gracie Madison Feels the World, a story about a teenager with exceptional powers, the powers of empathy, specifically, she's the Empath of Joy.

So thank you Joy Meredith for living out your dreams and making me so jealous, I had no choice but to work on mine.

Gracie Madison out, Summer 2016.

Thanks for the gorgeous cover art by: Mallory Rock. Malloryrock.com




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Guilt Free TV Surfing Is Not as Much Fun as You’d Think

Four weeks ago I had leg surgery. Actually, I had about a mile of varicose veins removed from my left leg because of a superficial blood clot in my leg. So when expecting to be down for any length of time at all, what do you think of doing. Watch television, catch up on a few books, paint a masterpiece. Silly me, I thought the down time would give me serious writing time to finish my book.

I wasn't really supposed to do anything and as the doctor pulled and cut those nasty little veins, she asked me what I had planned for my downtime. Did I have a lot of books and movies to watch. Had a planned ahead of time I could have knocked off a bucket list item and watched every Star Wars movie in a row. Really couldn't do much else. I told the doctor, seriously, I was planning on working on my book. I swear I saw her eyes roll and heard something akin to a snort.

I had the best of intentions. Really I did. My computer sat on the coffee table. I think I might have checked email. What I hadn't realized is how much it hurt to have those veins removed. I spent the first day grunting and groaning when I moved or stood up to use the bathroom. And when I wasn't moving, I spent time wondering how the doctor removed those nasty veins without tying them off. Though still to this day, it wigs me out a little thinking about it.

So instead of planning for what was really going to happen, I sat on the couch with my leg up and channel surfed. I promised myself, the first day off. So that meant guilt free ESPN, Gilmore Girls, Sex and the City, Murder She Wrote, Monk, Avatar the Last Airbender, (which happens to be one of my favorites). Not so bad. Only three more days. And that's where the problem started.

Day two, I pulled out the computer, stared at the screen and put it away. The Day of First Sun sat there mocking me. It never happened. I re-watched television shows. I changed the channel, read a book, and fidgeted with the compression stocking that was so tight I was losing feeling in my toes.

It might sound fun, guilt free channel surfing. It's not. It's mind numbing and boring, especially when there's so many more important things to get done. Like writing a book. Which finally happened. I'm pleased to say, The Day of First Sun is with several beta readers. I hope I never have to take that much down time without the ability to do something. Anything. recuperating, not as much fun as it sounded.

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