Two events have lit up my life. I finally learned the 150th move in the Tai Chi form. I've been working on it for five years. Most people do it in 18 months or so.
Then, while still in the glow of that, I opened my email this morning and there was the cover to The Case Book of Emily Lawrence. I've been writing Emily stories for over 20 years, and while she has made her way into print several times, this is the first time she and I have had a whole book of our own.
You see the theme here? Persistence. These were two things I wanted to have happen and I stuck it out until they did. Oh, and did I mention hard work? The phrase "everything comes to he who waits" popped into my mind. But if I had waited for either of these things to happen they never would have. I worked hard for both of them.
My first week in Tai Chi I knew I would never be great at it. I couldn't remember the moves from class well enough to practice them at home. I was afraid of learning them the wrong way. My teacher, Bryan Davis, kept me interested, and continued to encourage me even when I couldn't seem to get the knack of it. He teaches Tai Chi as a martial art in which the aim is to unbalance your opponent and then run away. That's my kind of martial art. There were plenty of benefits to going to class every week. My blood pressure lowered, my balance improved, my sciatica hardly ever bothered me and when it did a simple Tai Chi move made it go away. In Tai Chi, finishing the form is just the beginning.
This morning I opened an email to find the cover for The Case Book of Emily Lawrence. Emily first made it onto paper over 20 years ago. She was the first fictional character I came up with. Part me, part Sherlock Holmes, part Alice in Wonderland, totally her own woman, she solved a case of blackmail and murder. Since the original novel (which will remain unpublished) she has gone on to solve about 50 cases in a series of short stories. The best of them are in The Case Book. But there is a long road between pulling a bunch of short stories together into a manuscript and ending with a book you can hold in your hands.
So this week my persistence and hard work has paid off big time.