Just Do IT

We hear a lot about how tough life is in current times and for the most part I have to agree.  Our children are flooded every day with temptations.  They come through music, television, movies, people they look up to, and many tend to point a child in the wrong direction. We hear at almost every turn about the negative side of life.  But what about teaching our children to reach out for dreams?

Do you remember playing the game as a child—“When I grow up I want to be     a . . . ?”  I wanted to work with animals, be a veterinarian.  If this didn’t work out,
then I wanted to train horses, maybe make it to the Olympics one day.  And since I loved to read, getting lost in the stories I picked up, I wanted to write novels, become a published author.  I was a lucky child in that my family never told me I shouldn’t chase dreams.  My parents taught me that anything was possible, I only needed to be willing to work hard to get there.

My dream of becoming a veterinarian didn’t quite work out, but I did end up going to work for one.  The next stop was in training horses.  Money being tight, finding a horse I could afford that was also talented enough to perform in Dressage wasn’t easy.  I eventually picked up an ex-racehorse, a four-year-old thoroughbred gelding named Oregon Sunshine, and together we began with a difficult training program.  Many times along the way I was told by other
trainers he wouldn’t be able to stand up to the competition, namely warmbloods,
a breed far more popular for this sport.  My response—plant on a smile and keep right on working.  The first time I took Sunshine out in front of a large crowd at the FEI level I almost felt sick.  I didn’t take into account that many of those
watching were people just like me, often forced to work with breeds not
associated with the demands of Dressage. When Sunshine and I stopped for our final salute to the judge, the crowd roared.  It was enough to bring tears to
my eyes.  Not many thought we could make it so far when my race-track reject and I first started out.  J. Ashton Moore, a brilliant, but demanding
trainer, I rode under used to say—“Don’t tell me you’re trying, I don’t want to
hear it.  Just do it!”  So we did it, eventually earning my United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver medals.

When a severe injury ended my show career with horses, I needed to find a new
challenge.  My dream of becoming an author and sharing my lifelong love of reading and science fiction seemed like a good idea, but it had been almost thirty years since I’d last gone to school.  Always one to rise to a challenge, I started to take writing courses at the local university and any creative writing course I could get my hands on.  Taking it one step at a time I brushed up on my grammar and punctuation and learned how to put a scene together as well as
adding in dialogue.  Along the way I had many people tell me I was probably just dreaming about getting published, but what is life if not for dreams?  I also
had people who stood behind me, my husband and daughter, as well as the rest of my family.  The first time I allowed one of them to read the finished novel “Soul of a Warrior” I got hit with the same nervous feeling I had when showing Sunshine at the FEI level.  Would she like it?  Was I finally chasing a dream that would be out of reach?  It is so easy to second guess yourself in times like these.  I’m happy to say my family and friends loved the story, putting my worries to rest.  After a few more years of hard work with editing and placing chapters up on peer-critique sites like Critters and YouWriteOn I was able to find a publisher who liked my story and was willing to take a chance with a new author.  I can’t
thank Crescent Moon Press enough for opening the door for another one of my
dreams to come true.

If one is willing to work hard and listen to those who are trying to help you, dreams can and do come true.  I’m a living, breathing proof of this.

Don’t say you are trying—“Just do it!”

About Denna Holm

I love reading and writing about fantasy and science fiction.

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