Monday, August 7, 2017

Math was never my strong point.

What the world definitely needs now is a heaping helping of kindness. 

My story, Filled with Kindness, was selected for inclusion in this collection of 101 stories.

This is the 26th Chicken Soup for the Soul book in which my stories have been published. Yes, I know I have been shouting 25th, but I discovered a CS book that had fallen behind the others on the bookshelf. That was a pleasant surprise this morning.


I had great English teachers in high school and college, but mostly I am a self-taught writer who writes from the heart and connects on an emotional level with the reader. My very first CS acceptance was a fluke, or maybe divine intervention. I saw this headline in our neighborhood news in 1999: Chicken Soup for the Soul Seeking Stories for the Gardener's Soul.

Let me tell you, I am no gardener. Don't ever look at my thumbs. I can barely keep potted plants and hanging baskets alive, but I am not a gardener by any stretch.

I set the newspaper down, then picked it up several times, knowing I had no gardening experience. I did have a story about a flower that bloomed in winter, per a pact my late friend and I made when she was terminally ill. I knew THAT was not a gardening story. However...

I TOOK A CHANCE, submitted by snail mail back then, and they accepted my story right away. Click this link to read it.

I was stunned, inspired and vowed to get my stories in nine more CS books. My goal was to be published in 10 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I submitted to almost every title. I certainly did not get into every book, but to date I have surpassed my goal of 10. Now that I'm at 26, maybe I should set my sites on #30.

Am I a dreamer? Sure. Do my dreams come true? Sometimes. Should I stop submitting if I don't receive an acceptance? WHY?!

Don't be afraid to dream. My Chicken Soup for the Soul dream has led to speaking engagements, paid gigs, panel presentations, and published articles about my experiences. I am the former high school student who would rather take a failing grade than speak before the class.

It is never too late to accomplish your dreams, whatever they may be.

11 comments:

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--Congratulations. Your story in this collection is a great tale. You should be proud of your prolific-ness, and CS is lucky to have you as a contributor...

26? I'm at 16. I used to want to catch up to you, but you'd have to be in a coma for a couple of decades for that to happen.

Val said...

That story speaks to me. And congrats on 26!

Trisha Faye said...

Now THAT'S the kind of bad math to have! Congratulations on #26. (I'm still trying for #2, so you're my idol!)
And I'm with you on the oral reports. I always did TWO written reports to avoid an oral report before the class. I'm glad you've gotten over that and have so many speaking engagements under your belt now.

Kim said...

I have yet to submit. I may not be CS-appropriate. :)

Linda O'Connell said...

Kim, you should try.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh, Linda, you made me cry! It has been some time since I have had a friend that close to me.

Connie said...

Congratulations on number 26! Wow, that's fantastic!

Linda O'Connell said...

A lifetime memory.

Susan said...

That's very encouraging to keep hope alive, Linda. Wow, 26 CS book inclusions. That's something to celebrate! Good for you. Hugs. Susan

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Big congratulations. You really are an inspiration. I know you hear that a lot, but that's because it's true!

K9friend said...

It's frustrating when acceptances don't come, but motivating when they do. However, as Winston Churchill said, "Never,never, never give up."

Pat
www.patwahler.com