Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Listen To Your Heart

A good many years ago, I submitted to a Chicken Soup for the Soul book for the first time. The story was a simple one, a childhood memory, that I thought might work for the Fathers and Daughters book. 

I hesitated to send it. Why? My pride told me it was impossible because rejection hurts a lot. Experience added that I hadn't been writing very long, and the Chicken Soup editors received hundreds, maybe even a thousand or more, submissions for each book. My chances were pretty slim. Reason stepped in and sneered at me as it told me it was pointless to send this story in. What would it matter to the rest of the world?

All three had ganged up on me, and then a funny thing happened. My heart whispered softly in my ear. Your story is something others can relate to. Go ahead and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I pushed pride, experience and reason out the door. I liked what my heart told me. 

I sent the story and many months later, I received a notice that I had made it to the finals. My heart did a happy dance. I waited a few weeks longer before learning that the story would be included in the book. What a thrill to hold the published book in my hand a few months later. 

That story was "Love In A Box" which is all about a Valentine box my dad made for when I was in the second grade. At age seven, I suddenly realized that my hardworking father truly loved me. For a child, that revelation came as a startling discovery, one that left a life-long impression on me. Apparently, readers related to it and responded positively, so much so that the story has been published many times in English and some foreign languages.It's even appeared in two Chicken Soup books. You can read it here. 

What if I hadn't listened to my heart? What if I'd let those three bullies push me into a corner? This was the first of my fifteen Chicken Soup for the Soul stories that have been published. There are those who advise to use your head, not your heart. In many instances, that's good advice. Once in awhile, however, you should heed the advice your heart sends to you. It might be the smartest thing you ever did. And if not--there's always another chance. 

Here's a final call for submissions on a new Chicken Soup book. Deadline is only days away, so see what you have in your files that will work, do a little revison and send it in. That is, if your heart tells you so!

Hope and Miracles
Everyone has experienced events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment and give them hope for a better future. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did divine intervention have something to do with it? Share your inspirational true stories with us to remind us that each day holds hope and that a miracle can happen at any time. The deadline for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2014.

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