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This year there has been a consistent theme in my writing of being a constant gardener of your dreams – tilling the soil, planting the right seeds for harvest. The brisk morning wind is a reminder that change is in the air. I’m a huge fan of summer – 90 degrees and no humidity calls to me. However, fall demands my attention. Maybe it’s the changing of the leaves.

Red is my favorite color and there’s nothing like the splattering of red among the green and yellow leaves. I’ve already packed away my summer clothes and pulled out my fall/winter wardrobe. Looking at my clothes reminded me that fall can be cozy like an oversized cowl neck collar and a fleece blanket with a cup of tea by the fire on a chilly night. However, all of that coziness can be dangerous.

The cold weather makes us turn indoors, hibernating on the couch, and munching the fall and winter away with stews, casseroles, and baked goodies. We pack away our dreams, like summer’s bikini, hoping that next spring we’ll actually shed winter’s girth and fit in it. We will get around to our dreams. We put on our fall costumes and kinda’ trick-or-treat our way to the end of the year, waiting for New Year’s Eve to infuse us with renewed hope.

In Chicago, I used to be a homeowner. My house was a small cottage style with a tremendous yard and four trees. In the summer, it looked charming and I loved my trees. When fall arrived, I cursed those trees. The privilege of homeownership commandeered my Saturdays – cleaning gutters and raking more than four bags of leaves. I’m not a outdoorsy person. So being in grass and dirt, seeing worms brings out the girly girl in me. I scream and squirm – gross! From September through November, every Saturday I gave my youth to yard upkeep. Then one weekend in November the forecast called for weekend snow. I was never so thrilled about snow. I wouldn’t have to rake those darn leaves. Hooray! Anyone that’s a homeowner has mouth open and screaming NOOOO. They know how this story ends. The snow came as predicted. Being Chicago, the snow/ground did not thaw until April. It was then that I realized what my neglect did to my previously lush green yard. Everywhere I left leaves before the snow turned into bald brown patches. It was a hideous eye sore! If I had only raked the leaves before the snow, my lawn would have been preserved. Instead, I spent money to repair what could have been avoided. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Moral of the story – don’t let leaves and snow cover your dream. Have a game plan for this season of transition. For me, that means a new strategy for finding a literary agent and tackling this for-profit venture. Sometimes the hardest part of dream chasing is staying motivated, passionate, and hungry after having doors shut and hearing no so often. It can be deflating and depressing. You start to wonder whether it’s worth it. Keep your head up, stay hungry and on the prowl. When the door of opportunity opens, there is no time to get ready. You must be ready to burst on the scene.

Don’t burrow into winter funk. The fall wind is blowing. Don’t be blown away or allow slothfulness to take up residence. Be inspired by the success of others. Success can be contagious so I’m hoping it rubs off on me. A friend told me of an acquaintance that made t-shirts. Being ambitious, she sent her shirts to several celebrities. Recently, a major celebrity, fashionista, and trend setter was photographed wearing her t-shirt. That inspired me. Also, I’m super excited that @MekkaDonMusic is receiving press for the release of his video “Forever Love.” Be inspired.