Wednesday, February 6, 2013

KEEPING YOUR DREAMS ALIVE WITH AUTHOR, CARI DAVIS

EVERY GREAT DREAM BEGINS WITH A DREAMER

  

Hi Everyone,


Welcome back to my Keeping Dreams Alive series. I love doing this series because I am so inspired by my guest's stories. Today, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and author, Cari Davis.
I met Cari through my on-line critique group. While we have been critiquing each other’s chapters for the last several months, I asked her to be a guest on this series because I wanted to get to know her a little better. 
Her story brought tears to my eyes. One passage that really hit home was:

Remembering that the universe is bigger than me and my dreams helps me keep life in perspective. No matter how challenging my obstacles, they’re truly insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

How true is that! Sometimes, we all need to put things in perspective and have a little faith in ourselves. AND…as Cari said so eloquently, “When all that fails, and I think I can’t do it – I do it anyway.” 

Cari, thanks so much for sharing your dreams and wisdom with us. Would you please tell us a little about yourself?



Hi, Everyone! I’d like to start by thanking Nancy for inviting me to her blog. (Thank you, Nancy!!)


I’m an aspiring author of historical romantic suspense, writing tales of love, crime, and adventure in 19th century America. I’m also a native of Southern California who dreams of becoming a resident of Seattle. I fell passionately in love with books before I could read, music is my better half, and I’m obsessed with researching odd and random bits of trivia. Over the years, I’ve been a preschool teacher, an independent filmmaker (no, you haven’t seen anything I’ve done . . . trust me), an administrative assistant, a customer service rep for a large call center, and a theater sound technician. Currently, I’m a traffic coordinator for a distribution company by day (to pay the bills) and a writer by night.


But if you peel away the superficial layers and get down to the core of who I am, I’m a dreamer. I’ve never known how not to dream. I haven’t always possessed the focus and self-discipline needed to realized the dreams playing out in my mind, but they’ve always been there, pushing, prodding, guiding me along this crazy journey of mine.


People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?


As I mentioned above, I’ve always been a dreamer. Maybe it’s an inherent trait. Maybe it’s because of my mom’s influence. From my earliest memories, she followed her dream of being in a singer. She never won a Grammy, but she made a living doing what she loved. I’ve always found that inspiring. And she hasn’t stopped. Now that she’s retired, she’s following her dream of being an artist.


If I had to pick one life-changing, pivotal moment, though, it would be something my grandfather told me. For a high school English class, I had to interview someone over the age of sixty. I chose him. One of the questions I had to ask was what would he change if he could go back in time. He replied, “Nothin’.” He went on to explain that his only regret was that he wished he’d taken more chances.


Whenever I hesitate or second-guess myself, I remember his words, and I go for it. I’ve made my share of mistakes and missteps along the way, but I will never regret not taking chances. I will always follow my dreams.


We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it? How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal?


Ah, the dreaded dream killers. There’s never just one, and they come in all types of guises. Whether extreme or subtle, internal or external, it takes a conscious decision to overcome the obstacles. For that reason, these two questions really go together, in my opinion.


My dream of completing my first novel was derailed for nearly two years by events that were both a blessing and a tragedy. I spent the majority of my life estranged from my father. In 2009, he found me through Facebook. I spent the next year getting to know him, learning to forgive, and coming to understand that, despite mistakes made, he always loved me. It was an amazing but extremely emotional time of my life.


A year later, he died of cancer.


My writing was the last thing on my mind during this time. Although the passion and drive to finish my manuscript faded to the background, I still plugged away – a word here, a sentence there – whenever possible. At the urging of my friends and fellow writers of my local writing group, the Claremont Forum Writers, I brought in revisions of previously written chapters for them to critique just for the sake of bringing something in. Through the support of family and friends, along with stubborn determination to not give up, I stoked the fires of my dream while working through the personal healing. In time, the passion returned. Last summer, I finally typed, “The End.”


But dream killers are not always that obvious. A dream can also suffer a slow, tragic death from self-doubt, indecision, chasing the wrong dream, negative and unsupportive people, harsh critiques, rejections, and the time vampire of everyday life.


How do I overcome these obstacles? First, I find a peaceful setting (the beach or mountains are my favorites), and I pray/meditate.


My religious and spiritual beliefs have evolved over the years, but the one constant is the need for clarity, serenity, and grounding. Remembering that the universe is bigger than me and my dreams helps me keep life in perspective. No matter how challenging my obstacles, they’re truly insignificant in the greater scheme of things.


Once I’ve re-centered, I make the choice to have faith in myself, faith in my dreams, and to stay disciplined and focused. I find it also helps to surround myself with people who share my dream, or at least support me in my pursuit.


When all that fails, and I think I can’t do it – I do it anyway. As Orison Swett Marden once said: “Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to boldy walk through them.”


When you reached the top, how did it feel?


I haven’t, and will never, reach the top. Lol. No matter what I accomplish, I will always keep reaching for more. There will always be another dream to pursue.


How did realizing your dream change you?


It was exciting to get to the end of my first novel, but it isn’t the first dream I’ve realized, and it won’t be the last. Through everything, I’m still just me. Well, maybe a more confident me.


What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?


Now I’m revising and editing my manuscript to prepare it for the next step: publication. I’m also outlining and doing research for my next book. Once I segue from aspiring to published author, watch the New York Times Bestseller list for my name. :-)







How to find Cari Davis:


Twitter: @CDavis1851



Comments:
Cari and I would love to hear from you.  To leave a comment, click on the tiny word, comment, at the end of the post. Sorry it’s so hard to see.
If you are having trouble leaving a comment, here’s the trick: The text image is a security feature called a captcha. It's designed to ensure there isn't a computer (or a robot) entering trash on a website. Supposedly, only a human can read an image containing scewy text. There are actually two images you must type in. One contains only one character - typically a number. The other contains a series of letters that sometimes spells a word. To leave a comment, you must enter both the characters and numbers. 

11 comments :

Dawn Besherse said...

Wonderful, thanks for sharing and giving us a glimpse into your life! God bless you! I cannot wait to read your first book!

Anonymous said...

I was so impressed with your artical and with you, Cari. It made me cry and I am so very proud of you.

cari-davis.com said...

Thanks, Anonymous. :-)

Thanks, Dawn. You'll be one of the first to know when I get my book published.

ellaquinnauthor said...

Great interview. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

spiker_writer said...

As a friend and fellow member of Cari's writer's group, I can vouch for her tenacity to keep her dream alive, for sure! Cari, It was great to "hear" your personal reflections. You have such a life-affirming attitude, but those around you know this already . And your novel is a knockout!

cari-davis.com said...

Thanks, Ella.

cari-davis.com said...

Thank you for coming by, Mickey. If my novel's a knockout, it's only because I've learned so much from you and the rest of my Claremont buddies.

NancyCWeeksAuthor said...

Cari,
It was delight to have you on my blog. Thanks so much again for sharing you story with us. I love your writing and can't wait to read your stories in print.

cari-davis.com said...

Thank you for having me, Nancy. I always find your blogs so inspiring. I'm gratefule to be a part of it.

mary crisp said...

Cari, I think you nailed the dream killers when you stated, self-doubt, indecision, chasing the wrong dream, negative and unsupportive people, harsh critiques, rejections, and the time vampire of everyday life. The thing is, I'm know that I've wasted my time and others' time contributing to some of these killers, so writing about them, sharing those intimate thoughts and feelings helps to say, educate the rest of us on how to make more possitive contributions - make room for those of you who (like Nancy) have what it takes to bless us with the rest of the story. Thank you for sharing. I look foward to finding your name on that Best Seller list!

cari-davis.com said...

Thank you for coming by, Mary. When I was answering the questions, I was focused on how I keep my dreams alive. I never considered how I may have contributed to the dream killers of others, but it's a good point. We should all strive to keep not just our own dreams alive, but of those around us as well.