Odyssey of the Mind, Publishing, The Crimson Five series

Celebrate the Middle

If you’re a big dreamer like I am, sometimes it’s hard to see small wins or milestones for what they are: a big deal. We sometimes get so hyper-focused on the end game—our ultimate, long-term goals, that we forget to see the in-between, smaller achievements as a huge deal too. I used to be like that, but not anymore. My five years as an author have taught me a lot of things. One of the biggest is that it takes a thousand small steps to reach the ultimate destination. And therefore, the middle matters.

Case in point: 

Now that my middle grade series is complete, my goal for it is simple: To share it with as many kids as possible. Last week, I received news that made me catch my breath. Spin the Golden Light Bulb has been chosen by an intermediate school in NY as their community read-aloud book for this fall! 

That means, this September, there will be a school-wide kick-off celebration and then every grade 4-6 classroom will be reading it together! There will be book-themed activities too. How amazing is that?! Considering that Spin the Golden Light Bulb was heavily influenced by my 5th grade Odyssey of the Mind team and I wrote the story in hopes of motivating kids in this age group to chase their own dreams with everything they have, I am on cloud nine. This is a bucket list achievement for sure—a very important middle!

I’m honored and thrilled that these kids will have access to the book and overjoyed that the teachers and librarians in the district deem it worthy in this way. But mostly, I’m reminded that my dream for the Crimson Five books is coming true. Educators and parents are discovering the series and kids are reading it. It’s an incredibly amazing feeling—one that I hope inspires you too. Because like I say all the time: No matter what your goal is, it can come true. You just need the determination to walk the path… to take one step and then another. I know you have places you want to get to both literally and figuratively. I do too. But let’s make a pact and always remember to celebrate the steps we take to get there. They matter too.

If you read my last post, you know I recently took a trip to Florida with my daughter. We had a fabulous time and it was so good to take a break from everyday life. I was able to set aside my current (unpublished) middle grade manuscript and celebrate the fact that revisions are complete and it’s now in the hands of a beta reader. Notice my mindset shift? Instead of lamenting that this manuscript has not yet landed me a new agent or on a bookstore bookshelf, I’m toasting the fact that it has made it through multiple revision rounds—like about 20! That puts it very much in the middle of its publishing journey. It’s not a brand-new story idea anymore but it’s also not yet a published book. However, it is a polished story that one day may become a published book. It just has a few more steps to take to reach that destination. Until then, I’m choosing to celebrate the journey—the very important middle. 

See you next time!