Although I am a fairly linear person by nature I’ve been blessed with the ability to also let my imagination unhinge itself from reality and fly around by itself every now and then. This duality lets me straddle the border between professional business writer and novelist, and it means I can joyfully feed my family on the one hand and gratefully feed my soul on the other.
Part of living this dreamy life requires me to stay open to possibility and opportunity, and when the Universe invites me to dance, I’m on my feet with a smile.
That’s exactly how I became part of Oprah’s Project Truth series for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
A few weeks ago I arrived in downtown Toronto 40 minutes early for a dinner engagement. I decided to go for a walk and within a few minutes a man with a clipboard came up to me and asked if I had five minutes to talk about “Love and Regret.” I said, “Sure!”
The man – whose name was Colt — led me across the street to a concrete plaza where two purple couches sat in front of a camera. People were milling around and I was asked to sign a release form.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
“Oprah’s Truth Project,” the man replied. “We’re auditioning interviewers for the show.”
I sat down and the cameras whirred into action. I told the interviewer about my love for my husband, a man who had been my high school sweetheart; his stomach cancer death at age 49 had left me and five children shattered and crying. I talked about the tragedy of saying good-bye. I also talked about the blessings inherent in the struggle to rebuild my life as a widow and how gracious the experience has been, despite the pain.
At the end of half an hour, the crew thanked me and I left.
Two weeks later I was asked to return for the taping of the real series. Oprah’s team had cast the interviewers and they were ready to roll. I was thrilled beyond belief and I went back in front of the cameras once again, telling a part of my story for the Oprah Winfrey Network audience. I talked about how my joy at the publication of “Shades of Teale” had been overshadowed by the fact that my husband – my greatest supporter – had died before he could hold the finished book in his hands. Steve had always been there to cheer me on, tell me I was brilliant or pour me a glass of wine to distract me from a day of rewrites and writer’s block. He had believed in me.
If I wrote my OWN story in a novel, no-one would ever believe it — but here I am, writing press releases and novels and somehow managing to dance with what the Universe presents. As soon as I hear when my segment in the Oprah’s Truth Project series is going to air, I’ll be sure to leave a note in this space. In the meantime, I invite you to join the dance!