Catherine Castle joins my blog today with some good advice.

The other day while perusing an antique mall, I came across a little wooden plaque engraved with what I thought were the words Carpe Diem. Reminded of the movie Dead Poets Society, in which the phrase carpe diem played a role, as well as one of my favorite actors Robin Williams who starred in the movie, I picked up the plaque. Upon closer inspection I saw the words were not carpe diem, but Carpe Diet.

What a clever play on the phrase, I thought, and good advice as well, especially since I have a need to seize my own diet. I put the plaque down, but continued to think about the word carpe and its importance in our lives. The idea of seizing something has a hopeful element to it. When we seize a day, a moment, or a job the chances of doing something special or having something important happen in our lives increases. The big prizes in life go to those who are willing to take a chance and seize the brass ring as they pass by it.

As writers we need to seize several things if we are to accomplish our goals. We need to:

• Seize the dream. Without a dream we have nothing to strive for. I love the song from the musical South Pacific called Happy Talk. The lyrics ask if we don’t have a dream then how are we going to make a dream come true? Good question.

• Seize the motivation. You can dream all you like, but without the motivation to make that dream a reality, it will never become more than a dream. Editors aren’t knocking our doors down. We have to knock on theirs. So do it.

• Seize the day. Find a day, or any part of a day or week or month or year, to work on making your dream come true. If you don’t write the words, no one can read them.

• Seize the prize. Before you reach the goal of publication there are many prizes you can reach for along the way such as contest wins, non-fiction sales to magazines or newspapers, invitations to blog on someone’s site, making friends with other writers who know what you are going through, discovering people who like your blogs or follow your blogs, and grabbing the prize of writing THE END! All are reasons for celebrating. So enjoy all the little accomplishments that come before your first book sale.

• Seize the success. Success can be a long time coming. While you’re waiting keep writing those books and sending out those queries. Sooner or later, if you’ve given it your all and learned your craft well, you will seize the success you’ve strived for.

So, don’t give up, and along the way, don’t forget to seize the chocolate—in moderation if you’re on that diet I referenced earlier.

Here’s a peek into my latest sweet romance. I hope you enjoy it.

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

EXCERPT
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

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Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

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