This morning, I was up early thinking about all the great benefits of living in the good old United States of America. I came to the US when I was just 11 years old from Jamaica with my family. Since then, we have all become naturalized US citizens.
Living in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, under then President Michael Manley who was a hard core socialist (and a very good friend of Fidel Castro), I saw the county change from a democratic ideal to a semi-socialist ideal.
I saw all the changes that came with that.
Basically, I watched the economy collapse and the crime rate skyrocket. I had school friends who were murdered. My family’s store was robbed and a family friend (who was a cop) shot to death in front of my father, trying to upend the robbery while it was in progress.
I can tell you first hand what it feels like to walk into a grocery store and see nothing on the shelves to buy.
I recall vividly the “states or emergency” when the Jamaican government literally put Kingston under curfew. If you were caught on the streets at night, you were in BIG TROUBLE.
Do not get me wrong, Jamaica was also a beautiful place to grow up. But the memories of Kingston in lock down makes me so glad to live in the US. I am proud to live in a country were rule of law means something and we have a Constitution that we hold dear. I am proud to be part of the justice system. I am proud to be a lawyer.
So an early Happy Birthday America.
May you flag fly free forever!
First off, thank your all of my many family, friends and supporters for the kind words regarding my new opportunity. It means so much to me to know that I have support. Along those lines, please keep spreading the word about THE BURNING MAN. I expert draft proofs on the novel sometime in mid-July. Then, I will start working on finalizing layout, cover art etc. with the folks at Morgan James Publishing. I want to thank W. Terry Whalin who has been a wealth of information as I move through this process. Also thank you to Amanda Rooker at Split Seed for the same reasons.
As far as my writing, Morgan James Publishing is reviewing at a second novel in the Dr. Catherine Powers series called BACK BURN. This thriller is set in Southern California with Cat pitted against a serial arsonist. Will she be able to catch him, or will he escape as Orange County goes up in flames?
And I am working on a third thriller novel in the Dr. Catherine Powers series, titled SEX SLAYER. Set in Southern Florida, Cat is faced with the seedy underworld of international sex trafficking and prostitution, while dealing with one of their henchmen, himself a sadistic serial rapist and murderer. At its core, this novel raises questions the role of political and legal corruption in the very real world of human sex trafficking – a crime that effects over 27 million victims worldwide.
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the first two chapters of “The Burning Man.” I love not only the storyline that is keeping me on the edge of my seat, but the descriptive words that help with visualization. I think it was very clever of you to use a few mini poems in the beginning of the chapters because it gives you a hint of what the chapter is about, increasing excitement. Books with a storyline of mystery and murder interest me very much and I can never put books like those down. I can tell that my parents will have a hard time prying the book from my hands when “The Burning Man” is published! I will DEFINITELY share this book with my friends! I can’t wait until the rest is published! Please keep the chapters coming.
How many of us, in our day to day lives, are plagued by that little voice inside?
You know it.
The one that says:
- “you’re not good enough,”
- “you’re not smart enough,” or
- “you’re not worth it.”
The one that tells us that we are going to fail at a task even before we even get started.
We all have heard this voice at some point in our life. But how you deal with it makes you a leader and a winner. If you allow it to consume you and if you listen to it before you ever start, then all is not lost.
Because contrary to what many of us think, failure is sometimes okay. As long as from failure, we get back up and keep going. This is the mark of a true leader.
Leaders fail every day.
But what they do not allow is for the failure to consume or define them.
They take it in stride as a learning lesson and keep on going.
Look at some of the great leaders.
Did Bill Clinton allow the Monica Lewinsky situation to define his presidency? No.
Did Nelson Mandela’s years in prison deter his spirit and his rise to leadership? No.
These are just a few that I can think of.
Bottom line, never allow FAILURE TO DWELL IN YOU. It is something to learn and grow from. It is not you and you are not it.
Thanks to all of you who have registered at solangeritchie.com for my novel and who have otherwise responded favorably to my blog and postings. It means so much as we move through life to know that what we are doing has an impact and is meaningful to those around us.
Along those lines, I was able to spend a few days with my family who visited (and who are still visiting) from Florida. They have had a tremendous impact on who I am now and hopefully the person I am destined to become. Also thanks to a new support group I have found called OC Writers. This group features a dynamic and talented group of local Orange County writers from various genres, like myself . I am looking forward to getting to know each of you more.
As for my writing, I started work on a third book in Belize. I continue to work on it even while hosting family here in town.
It is a challenge to find the time to write but like the Nike ad says JUST DO IT.
Whether it is in the morning when the house is quiet, or after work or dinner with the kids, the most important lesson in writing is to just keep writing. I have seen interviews with best selling authors who say consistently they produce 5 pages a day. Think of the work product we would all have if we produced 5 pages a day. Absolutely fantastic. It is doable. So let’s all dedicate ourselves to making it happen.
As for THE BURNING MAN, I should have edits back by mid July. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks again for the encouragement.
As many of us move through life, we forget to dream and dream big. We get stuck in the mundane and minuscule. We forget that there is always a bigger plan for us than what we can see at any given time right before us. For many of us, especially writers, we obsess over the smallest word or phrase. We forget that life, like writing, is about just doing it. Not over thinking it. Not obsessing about it. Just doing it. And having faith in what we can create and nurture. Sometimes, the good outcomes do not happen over night, but they do happen.
The fact that I am getting published after 10 plus years of creative writing is a testament to this type of mentality. I never thought it would happen but it did. None of it would have been possible without those around me, particularly my husband, Steve, always supporting me and pushing me.
Like many, I also have experienced road blocks in my creative journey. That also is okay. it is through working through these times that we find our journey becomes richer and deeper. Personal tragedy, while difficult at the time, creates the stronger person we are today. The more creative, compassionate and enriched person which makes for better story telling.
As far as The Burning Man, I am working with editors currently to move it through the publishing process. Edits should hopefully be done by July 18. I submitted a second manuscript to Morgan James Publishing called Backburn. It features the same lead character as The Burning Man. And while in Belize this past weekend, I started working on a third novel, not yet titled. It is amazing
what good friends, a little sunshine and a good margarita can do for one’s creative juices.
So dream big and live big.
Solange Ritchie, Esq.
Find out more about Solange’s work as an attorney at solangeritchielaw.com