And so it begins, the overwhelming, but exciting steps to becoming a full-fledged, published author. The contract has been executed by all parties involved (Jackie Madden Haugh and BQB Publishers). The author Competitive Analysis was thought through carefully, filled out in detail, and submitted. And a timeline has been set with a check-off list on what needs to be done in the weeks ahead. Now, if I could only quit my day job as a realtor.

By the age of ten, my mother understood how I struggled with communication. When caught off guard and thrown into a conversation, I either stood paralyzed or painfully stuttered. To help me find a positive way of expression, she gave me my first six-by-six, white leather diary complete with golden key.

For the next fifty-one years, writing has been a passion of mine. It’s fostered a way for my voice to be heard and my creative mind to flourish. This literary explosion of my deepest, darkest secrets filled numerous volumes, but I had an audience of only one – me.

Throughout my life, my journals were my closest confident and friend. Each night, after climbing into bed, I’d pull the latest one out from under my pillow and lacquer the pages with the events of the day and the impact they had on my present state of mind. Thirteen years ago, as I began a tortuous three year battle settling my twenty-two-year union with my children’s father, I coated page-after-page with my debilitating fears, self-pitying anger, and hellish dark thoughts with ways to put me out of my misery.

When I wrote the first edition of My Life in a Tutu, it was a tool to connect with my four children. Still vacant for words to help them understand why I was falling apart (after all, I was super-duper mom), I thought if the stories were on paper, it would be easier for them to comprehend why their mother did the things she did. Their father leaving was just a feather that finally knocked me over after I spent a decades trying to maneuver through my other difficult times. Listening to me babble would only create a mental shutdown for them as I struggled with the thesaurus in my brain to help paint a clear picture.

This self-published version was meant for their eyes only. But when the book got out of my hands and into the public’s, I began to see my story was no different than other women’s. Each morning we wake-up, go to the closet in our mind, and pick out the appropriate outfit that represents the tasks that need to be completed, i.e., mother, wife, nurse, arbitrator. Our choices in couture are not only how we get through our day, but become a significant part of our evolution.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be posting about this journey and what it takes to put a voice into book form. I welcome you to take the adventure with me and would love any input you might have to my words, for this I believe, is a story about all of us.