“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.“
— Bette Midler
When we find it hard to be happy for others, what can be done about it?
Being on both sides of this issue has taught me a few things over the years. I can vividly recall my old feelings of inadequacy. Each time I saw another book published by writers I admired, it stung, because I had yet to see my first one come out. In our competitive, score keeping culture succumbing to these comparisons can poison our better impulses. Until my memoir was completed and published, I did not comprehend the down side of what the entire process demands.
Being a published author has since replaced my envy with genuine admiration and compassion. Anyone brave, or foolhardy enough, to attempt these feats deserves all the applause we can offer. And these days I am genuinely happy for all creative souls. Their gifts enriched my life and nurtured my belief in the possibilities. These experiences have convinced me jealousy and the sense of inadequacy can be replaced with virtuous, reinforcing circles by exchanging our creativities.
To write is only the tip of the iceberg. The grueling follow through, the drafts, all the marketing, distribution and publicity efforts required to reach our readers, is as trying and exhausting as anything I have ever attempted. And that includes raising three children and running my own business. In this issue I am shamelessly celebrating both the creativity and success of those closest to me.
News & Events
I am positively thrilled for my eldest Mira Z. Barnum, and my husband Malcolm this month. He’s gone from death’s door, with COVID in Qatar, to the cover of our little local paper with a story about his musical Company Matters.
And my daughter has won a prestigious Grand Prize, for her one hour pilot TV script, written separately and in addition to her work on the hit show Lucifer for the past several seasons. On March 3 the 2020 Big Break® TV award was presented to Mira Z. Barnum for “Beirut.” Winners of the Big Break® Screenwriting Contest receive $10,000 cash, career coaching, and meetings with renowned screenwriters and literary managers. Winners have signed to professional representation in recent years, have had their scripts optioned, sold and produced, and work in writer’s rooms across the television landscape.
In her acceptance remarks she wrote, “[…] I’m thrilled (!) and incredibly grateful. It means so much to write about the Middle East, where my father is from and where my mom lived. This script is a love letter to resilient Beirut.”
Those of you who’ve read The Importance of Paris know about my years in the former ‘Paris of the Middle East.’ And why writing about it was so important to me, but who guessed how many other cycles of growth and development it would help to catalyze?
“They’ll either want to kill you, kiss you or be you.”
– Suzanne Collins
A shout out to everyone starting Part One with me on Monday evening, March 15th ‘Would I, Could I, Should I Write a Memoir?’ We filled all available seats for my first Zoom course! Sorry if anyone felt bombarded by the automated ads. But they convinced me of the old saying, “Ads need to be seen at least 7 times before viewers take action.”
Many thanks to Story Circle Network, my collaboration partners. Part Two of this eight week course will soon be posted. It begins Monday May 17th and covers what must be done once your manuscript is ready for publication, marketing and distribution. Even before your book is finished, there are things you can start doing. The emphasis is on indie & self publishing and all the things I wish I’d known starting out! Sign up via this link and see the other courses offered.
You do not have to be a member of SCN, although members receive discounts. I highly recommend this organization. You can submit excerpts or shorter pieces to their many periodicals. My dozen years with them helped me go from wannabee writer to published author.
A few Return to Wisdom 2021 planners are still available at half price from our online store. We created a version on Amazon where the 2022 and 2023 planner journals will be available. We plan to cover all 36 Laws, 12 at a time in these yearly planners.
For those using these planner journals, based upon the Wisdom Wheel, we continue our virtual gatherings. We discussed Balance in January, Awareness in February and Self is this month’s theme. Next Zoom gathering is Wednesday March 24th 6:30 pm EST. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our 2021 four day Bear Fast, leading up to Spring Equinox runs from night of March 17 to 21st. Participants are sharing fast days in place. Those vaccinated can attend Lodge ceremonies. Check HOPE HOUSE Facebook page for ceremony updates.