Sunny Skies.

“My experiences remind me that it’s those black clouds that make the blue skies even more beautiful.”
~Kelly Clarkson

No, I’m not talking about the weather. In fact, it’s pretty much the antithesis of sunny outside: overcast, dreary, and damp. I’ll take the drizzle, though, considering the fact that it was pouring so loudly this morning that the rain gutter resembled some sort of bongo drum. Guess it’s a good thing I’m an early bird. Waking up at 7:30 on the weekend doesn’t bother me at all, especially when it means I get to squeeze in some extra writing time.

That is what I’m talking about. It might be cloudy outside, but today my outlook is nothing but bright and sunny. I always love my morning writing time, no matter what project I’m working on. It’s my oasis from everything else, my happy place. With every paragraph, every section, every chapter of Reflections of Me, that couldn’t possibly have been more true. Writing that novel was a complete joy and a beautiful journey. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the technicalities of writing – does everything flow seamlessly, do the metaphors work like they’re supposed to, do the characters come across as relatable and three-dimensional – but sometimes it’s so, so important to just let go of that for the time being and write for the pure love of it. ROM combined both things for me as a writer, and so did this morning. There’s just nothing like getting swept up in the excitement and passion of working on something you adore. It’s a perfect reminder, at least for me, of why I love this craft so much in the first place and why I am beyond determined not to stop until it’s my full-time career. It’s not about the extrinsic rewards. It’s all about the intrinsic ones.

Are there difficult, challenging times on this publication journey? Absolutely. It’s nothing if not an emotional rollercoaster. I wouldn’t get off the track for anything, though. Hanging on through all the ups and downs is worth it. It’s more than worth it. Because when you love something so much, when it brings you this indescribable happiness, you grab onto it with both hands and never – never – let go. You take those clouds in stride and realize that they really do make the blue skies even more beautiful. It’s impossible for the sun to shine everywhere, all the time. But it’s always there. It’s a constant. We’re as sure of its existence as we are of our own. And when it breaks through the clouds? When those rays light up the sky and cast a warm glow over us? Best. Feeling. Ever.


When I met Kelly Clarkson (finally!) in 2007, I told her what a huge inspiration she’s been to me. Well, I think I told her that, anyway. The whole experience was a bit of a blur – my friend Mary Kate always tells me how dazed I look after I left the M&G – but the happiness behind it is as bright and clear as can be. It took five years and a ridiculous amount of “almost but not quite” experiences, but in the end, waiting for so long to meet Kelly just made it even more special when I did. It was something I will always treasure and always remember, a day that I’ll forever count as one of my favorites. And the day when this publishing journey moves to the next step? The day that I’m waiting for and working towards with everything I am?

You’d better believe that no matter what the weather, I’ll have to shield my eyes against the blinding glare of the sun. And I’ll love every minute.

What about you? What would paint your bright horizons?


10 thoughts on “Sunny Skies.

  1. Wow. That’s all I can say.
    Wow. Wow. Wow.
    I’m getting too pressured and stifled. I compare too much. I need to relax more in life and let things lie…I’m not helping myself be at peace with life.

    I admire you.

    Are you working on something new already? How on earth …you are remarkable.

    I keep wanting to read the Kristin Chenowith book after your posts about her. I think she is so cute. I’ve seen her in some “Glee” episodes and she is also in a christmas movie “Deck the Halls”. I hear her christmas album is nice, I haven’t seen or heard it though.

    I haven’t found her book though. The library and the bookstore don’t carry it. I’m not in the position to order unfortunately. Somday hopefully.

    • Oh, I should have clarified – no, not working on something new yet. I have a series that I’ve been writing for a couple years, but it’s just for fun at this point. I work on it whenever I’m not focused on something else, and always love getting to have that chance :-) In terms of new projects – right now, I’m focused on querying, but I’m hoping to start a sequel to my newest novel sometime within the next few weeks.

      I agree with you whole-heartedly about letting go of the pressure. It can be SO, SO hard not to compare situations (hey, we’re all human, right?), but I always remind myself that my biggest competition is myself. The writing community is filled with such truly amazing people and I wish every one of them success and the very best. And yes, agreed again – relaxing and letting things be really does work wonders, even if it’s easier said than done.

      Fingers crossed you can find Kristin’s book! I hope Amy’s suggestion below works out for you. Oh, and I didn’t know about that movie! I’m sure it’s great, though. She really does shine in everything she does!

  2. It must have been just, AMAZING, to meet her. I know I would be at a loss for words if Kelly was in my presence.

    “It’s not about the extrinsic rewards. It’s all about the intrinsic ones.” – Yes. YES. Exactly.

    • OH MY GOSH, BEYOND AMAZING. So much so, in fact, that it deserves all capitals. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw her on Idol and I tried for five years to meet her before it finally worked out. The whole thing was so surreal. I was terrified that I’d walk up to her and completely forget everything I wanted to say, so I made myself a list on a notecard :P I didn’t care if it looked goofy – there was no way I was going to leave anything out after waiting all those years. She seemed rather amused by the list, so it worked out well. Honestly, she is one of the kindest, most genuine and down-to-earth people. Chatting with her was like talking to a friend. I even managed not to cry until afterwards. I was quite proud of myself. The whole saga is documented on LJ and it always makes me smile when I go back to read the entry.

      Okay – Kelly rambling over now :-)

  3. Shari,

    Your outlook and determination are SO inspiring.

    I can’t wait for the day that your books are in stores and I can buy them :) <3

    And that picture with Kelly is SO GREAT :) I love it!

    <3 <3 <3

    • As are yours! I continue to be inspired by your optimism and faith all the time, and I know I’m not the only one.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support. You know it goes both ways. Just promise that I get an autographed copy of your books, okay?

      Eek, and thank you! It sounds crazy, but meeting and talking to her was so surreal that it half felt like a blur and I could barely remember even smiling for that picture. I was so impatient to get it back from her fanclub! It’s hanging in my room now, and thinking back to that day always makes me smile.

      <3 <3 <3 back!

  4. I’m so happy you got to meet Kelly! That is a dream of mine. :)

    Anonymous, I work at a library. If you suggest having them get it, they most likely will. At the very least they’ll find it for you at another library. Give it a shot. :)

    • Thank you! I truly hope you have the chance to meet her one day, too. She’s just one of the nicest people – her heart is as big as her voice :-) It’s been over three years now since I met her, but thinking about it always makes me smile. Have you ever been to a concert of hers?

    • I was thinking that exact same thing when I was reading your entry! How funny is that?

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you had such a wonderful experience, too :-)

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