So, Roxanne and synchronicity… Let me say that Roxanne McHenry who co-founded the Unruly Guides and has since gone on to launch her own e-publishing and e-marketing business did not arrive on my doorstep to help me format and market The Do-Over.
Caffeine is Mother’s Little Helper
I knew Roxanne because we had children around the same time, and we shared a mutual friend who ran a coffee cart. Anyone who’s ever been home with young children will understand the complete and total nirvana of having a well poured caffeinated beverage. In order to get one, we spent many hours lugging heavy babies in carseats and chasing toddlers.
Fast forward more than a dozen years… I ran into her at the Flathead River Writers Conference in October. Roxanne was starting up a new business and asked me to do a podcast for her.
I said yes because I love to talk, but I couldn’t imagine what mind-boggling internet work she was involved with that I could say anything about.
The last I’d heard about her work there were Japanese translations and software development, and I was like that Farside cartoon where the dog can only comprehend its own name. “Blah, blah, blah, Ginger.”
When I did a little research, I figured out that the Roxanne McHenry I’d shared a pretty serious latte habit with was blazing an e-publishing trail. I embraced the synchronicity of it, took her to lunch, and several months later The Do-Over was officially available to readers. (I will later tell the story of the book cover, and the teriffic graphic artist, Anna Mahlen of Monday Morning Design, who is also right in my backyard and came to me on the same breeze of synchronicity…)
Traveling and Travel Mugs
But in case I’m implying that synchroncity alone brought me what I’d always wanted, let me say I believe it was my willingness to see it and embrace it that made my book possible. I’d encourage you to actively look for it in your own life. Think of what you want that’s big (a trip to Positano, Italy) or small (a really good travel mug) and then watch for opportunities that will come along to get you closer and closer to your own dreams.
This Memorial Day weekend, while my daughter Grace and I suffered colds together and the rest of the family enjoyed the long weekend (we really were happy for them), I sold my first book. Yes, The Do-Over appeared at long last on Amazon and hooooooooray, a sale!
I thought about a great many things besides “where did that box of facial tissues get to?” But one thing that struck me was how glad I was I had learned to see and accept synchronicity when it showed up, sometimes even on my doorstep.
E-Publishing as a Fear-Based Activity
I’d been letting the idea of e-publishing roll around in my head for a while. My friend, the novelist Dennis Foley, cheered me on for at least a year before I let myself imagine it. Still it took more nudging than that for me to consider a non-traditional approach to getting to readers.
I’ve been a big fan of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and had the privilege of taking several groups of amazingly creative people through it. (Peer pressure should never be underestimated as a great way to get your life rolling.) In the book, Cameron stresses the importance of looking for synchronicity, ways the universe helps us out.
So I was half-way thinking about moving ahead with my dream of publishing, and doing it my way. (I once had a bumper sticker with Frank Sinatra in a snappy fedora that said, “It’s Frank’s world. We just live in it.”) But, of course, I lacked all the technical skills to make it happen. And then the magic of synchronicity brought me Roxanne…