I want to spend a summer in the Swiss Alps...I can't leave my job for two months.
I want to begin a new career...I'd have to take a pay cut.
I want a body like Angelina Jolie...I like to eat bagels and cream cheese.
Then there comes a day when we ask:
A big dream for me was writing a novel and oh the excuses I used not to pursue it: I don't know how; It would take too long; I don't have time; I'm too old to break into the publishing world...
And then I met Ludima Gus Burton at a Saratoga Romance Writers of America meeting and in a moment my excuses were gone:
In her own words, here is how Ludima became a published author:
"If I can do it so can you. When I was 71 years old, in 1991, I wrote my first novel in pencil and long hand in six weeks. What triggered this fantastic accomplishment? I was too lazy to go to the Amsterdam, NY library for my usual bag of books. I said to myself, 'I'll write my own book.' —which I did.
I thought it was perfect.
Alas, editors didn't and Lessons in Love became my first rejection. In the following nine years I wrote five more books. The rejections kept coming until my folder was four inches thick. These simple, easy romances were the hardest thing in the world to get published.
Did that deter me? Hell, no. (Please excuse the language from an older woman!)
I realized I had to learn the craft. I joined Romance Writers of America and Saratoga Romance Writers, went to many conferences, attended workshops and read how-to books.
Finally, in 1999, Avalon bought my first book, Only For a Year, followed quickly by The Tycoon and the School Teacher (2000), The Love Potion (2001), and the Wedding Cake (2005). PublishAmerica published my fifth book, A Surgeon's Miracle when I was 87. At age 88, I sold my sixth book, The Christmas Ball, to Write Words, 2008.
Never a Cougar, published by Write Words, 2010, was my 90th birthday present to me! I intend to make more dreams come true.
I never give up.
And don't you either."
Ludima Gus Burton is now 93 and in the process of writing her eighth novel. She lives in upstate New York with her daughter. Ludima was born in Farrell, PA in 1920. She married Guy Burton in 1945 (died in 1981), has two daughters, and taught English and social studies for thirty years.
By the way, I'm just waiting for some reviews, and then my first novel, A Stop in the Park, will be released (late summer).
Ludima is right. Dreams really do come true. It just takes persistence and passion.
What do you think? Do dreams and excuses go together...or dreams and persistence? I guess it all depends on how badly you want that dream.
KICK BACK BOOK OF THE WEEK:
Nothing like reading a good romance novel on a lazy summer day. Ludima Gus Burton's latest novel, Never a Cougar, is a perfect beach read. From the back cover:
Love knows no age limits. Kay Holland, a fifty year-old widow, doesn't want to be called a cougar. Although fifteen years separate them, thirty-five year-old Drew Lawrence, isn't her cub. She must, however, overcome her own doubts of age difference, his son and her daughter's opposition and social prejudice to have any hope of a happy ending.
KICK BACK SONG OF THE WEEK:
In honor of the romance, we'll add a little drama to the song this week. In this scene from My Best Friend's Wedding, Dermont Mulroney sings The Way You Look Tonight to Julia Roberts.
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:
"Dreams do come true. Go for it!"
Ludima Gus Burton