Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you are brave enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish. Gary Ryan Blair

Do you cringe when you see a picture of yourself? On Tuesday I had an interview with the Art Gallery of Mississauga and they were taking pictures. The photographer said he would send me some I could use as the picture for my new book.

When I saw the pictures I thought of the line in the song, “The sun in your face really shows your age.” It might not be possible to get a picture of myself I like because maybe I want to look like someone else.

They say smiley author’s photos are for less serious authors, and who wants to be thought to be one of those? Resting bitch face is a real thing and when I see it on my own face, wow! How do people take beautiful pictures even when they are not young and beautiful? Would black and white photos work better?

Getting professional photos taken is something I’ve been putting off. I need to get them done but this book will have the same photo I used for Secrets and Silence. My husband read it yesterday and he pointed out a verse I left out. How did I not notice that? My soon-to-be daughter-in-law noticed a name not capitalized.

How you start is important, but it is how you finish that counts. In the race for success, speed is less important than stamina. The sticker outlasts the sprinter. B.C. Forbes

It feels good to complete a project. Something that’s been simmering for years finally comes to fruition. What I’ve realized in this whole process is the biggest challenge was to make the decision to set a goal and work toward it. We may not know how we will get to that goal or what the finished product will look like, but we have to keep trying this and trying that, seeing what works. Serendipity works in our lives and the course with the Art Gallery of Mississauga came at the right time for me. Being part of a class, seeing what others were doing, what the facilitator and speakers she brought each week were accomplishing encouraged me greatly to continue with my project, and meet what seemed like an impossible deadline.

In my interview on Tuesday, I got emotional as I talked about what I got out of the course. I struggled with the demise of the collaboration between who was to have been the illustrator and myself. If I was doing the painting then there was nothing to offer him, but he invested quite a bit of time and effort into the project. We’d been meeting for months and he helped clarify my vision. I felt bad after investing all that time and effort he got nothing out of it.

The project was once again all mine, could I do what I set out to do? Then when I thought I was finished my daughter told me I needed more paintings. I’m glad I listened to her. I’m blessed she was honest and didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. “I love it, it’s great,” isn’t as good of feedback as, “You Know what would make it better?”

We aren’t the same person when we complete a project we were when we started. When we started we didn’t know if we could complete it. We didn’t know what it would look like, but if we keep working toward our goal it will become something.

It started out as a story about a dog that ended with a family losing their beloved pet. It ended up being the joyous event of getting a puppy. A series is being born in my mind as the puppy and family have many, many adventures. The goal of publishing a children’s book was a challenge set last year. It has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever completed. It brings together my two loves, writing, and art.

We don’t know what we can accomplish until we set out minds to something and work at it until it is finished.

Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic. Robin Sharma

Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they start. David Allen

The strength and clarity of the picture you envision at the start will tell you when you are done. You are finished when you have said what you wish to say, when nothing added can make it better. Richard Schmid

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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