Well, in the two weeks since my first public presentation about my novel, no one has offered me a movie deal. Do you think it was something I said?? Or maybe something I didn’t say? Maybe it was what I wore?

Now before you go clicking your way back to Pinterest or Kindle or Houzz, give me another line or two. Truth is I’d be perfectly happy with a television series.

You know I’m joking, right? Trust me, I’d be delighted with another small speaking engagement!

But, wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy? Publish a book, speak at a luncheon, next stop, Hollywood. But it’s crazy to dream like that, isn’t it?

It’s crazy to dream of going to the Olympics or performing on Broadway or playing music in Carnegie Hall. It’s crazy to imagine being on the cover of Vogue or walking a Paris runway or shooting a scene on a movie set in Hollywood. It’s crazy to think you could be drafted by the NFL or the MLB or the NBA.

I mean the odds are against us, right? Only a few people get to do those things. On the other hand, a few people do get to do those things. Why not us?

Motivational speakers and self-help books tell us all we need to do is visualize, surround ourselves with positive energy, and believe in ourselves. Other people tell us that all we have to do is believe in and trust God.

Maybe you’re thinking, “All I need to do is visualize and have faith? Cool, I can do that.” Well, keep reading. I’m afraid I forgot to mention a critical piece of this process. Every dream requires a lot of hard work—physical, emotional, or intellectual. There are no magic words. There is no magic wand.

But, you’re willing to work hard, right? You’re willing to pray and visualize and your faith is solid, right? You’re doing everything you’ve been told to do. You’ve got this, right? I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Other than, well, pretty much everything.

Because, sometimes we don’t get what we want even after doing everything we’re told to do. Sometimes no matter how much we visualize, no matter how often we pray, no matter how hard we work, what we want still doesn’t happen.

What then? What do we tell ourselves when we do everything right, and things still don’t work out the way we want? I can’t speak for you, but I usually figure I didn’t visualize clearly or often enough. I didn’t pray the right way or with the right words. I didn’t work hard enough.

I go straight from putting my trust in something bigger and stronger than I am to dropping the blame right back onto my own scrawny, mortal shoulders.

Now, I hope you’re not expecting some brilliant conclusion here—some parting words of wisdom that explain why good things don’t always happen to good people. I’m sorry to tell you I am not that wise.

I can tell you that if you never let yourself dream, if you never allow yourself to imagine wonderful things happening in your life because you are afraid they won’t happen, more than likely, they never will. If, on the other hand, you open your heart and let those hidden wishes and hopes and dreams spill out into the world, one or two of them might just break the odds, and you’ll find yourself, at the age of 67, at a luncheon where people are calling you “the author.”