My Secret Journey: publishing the book, A Bead in Time
By Lisa Crone
from Westerville, Ohio, US
My “Secret” journey – Lisa – 10/09
In the summer of 2007, I was skimming the pay per view movie channel guide for something to watch and came across a movie called “The Secret”. I had never heard of it before, but was intrigued by the summary information and decided to check it out.
From the start, I was hooked, but I know that I can be sort of gullible when it comes to a sales pitch, so I had my guard up. The more I watched, the more I wanted it to be true!
The interesting thing is, I connected with each one of the speakers. I agreed with their beliefs about positivity and felt the same way as they did about the destructive effects that negative thinking and speaking can have. They all spoke so calmly and matter-of-factly about the laws of the universe, the law of attraction and using positivity along with gratitude to get rid of negative thoughts and mental blocks. So simple! Tap into your inner spirit, set your intentions and expect it to happen. Hey, that sounded vaguely familiar.
I didn’t want the movie to end and thanks to cable’s on-demand capability, I started it over again. That was the beginning of this journey. I made my gratitude list and my “wish list” and began focusing on that. I ordered the DVD and watched it several more times.
I began researching a little more on my own at that point and decided to put myself on a path to enlightenment so I could improve on myself and my current existence. Having worked for the same company for many years, I had felt like a change was needed more often than I felt a sense of achievement or contentment. I now had a spark of hope that maybe I could break away from negativity, fears, low self esteem and safe routines that weren’t fun or comforting any more.
I announced to a co-worker what I had discovered and what I wanted to do. It was her that I credit with stopping my negative self talk. One day, soon after that, she very sweetly and gently told me that when she heard me talk negatively to myself, it made her feel bad. I told her I would stop it and that was the end of it for the most part. It is hard to believe that I was able to just stop after years of doing it. It had actually been one of my tools for making other people feel good about themselves. I started to notice that people weren’t feeling as comfortable around me once I stopped reminding them of what I loser I was.
I stuck to this plan and the more I read, the more I wanted to discover. I always believed there was something magical in the world, but didn’t understand how to find it. It was at this point I decided to try meditation. I had looked at some great websites, but I found 6 five minute pod casts by the Baba Institute and really connected with it. I began listening to them in order as I walked during my lunch hour. I started thinking, “I can do this, it will be easy”. I practiced several times and in the beginning had to put a mask over my eyes and take the clock in the other room because I was so easily distracted.
I was finally able to remove every thought, what a milestone. It didn’t happen for long periods of time, but I started to notice that I found myself saying, “wow, what a coincidence” quite a bit more often than usual. Things just seemed to have good timing.
One weekend, I had decided to get my beads out to make a piece of jewelry. I hadn’t done that in quite a while and thought it would be uplifting to play with some sparkly beads. I had everything spread out on the coffee table, but couldn’t come up with anything!! I had recently been looking at some vacation pictures from the previous year when we took a trip to Niagara Falls and they were still out on the coffee table. This was a seriously inspired moment, reminiscent of the old “you got your peanut butter in my chocolate” commercial.
I picked up the pictures which made me very happy looking at the sparkly water and sunshine, remembering the beautiful weather and fun we had. I thought, “hey, I wonder if I can make a bracelet to represent Niagara Falls so I can remember the trip and use that for some extra positivity”. Now that I knew the importance of raising your positive energy level so great things can happen, it seemed like something fresh and new to me.
I planned a trip to the bead store to find just the right beads to bring the falls to life. I think I was as happy with the outcome of this 14 strand bracelet as I was when I was in Niagara Falls! How cool! It felt great so I started looking through other pictures. I picked one of the golden gate bridge from our trip to San Francisco. The next weekend, I headed to another bead store and found the exact beads I needed to make this project. It was really something. I had a thought about wanting to share this concept with other beaders, but wanted to see if I could take the idea a little further.
I selected a beach photo from a trip to Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean for its colors, brightness and the happy feeling it gave me to look at it. The very next weekend, I set off for the bead store again, found the perfect beads and created a piece of jewelry with these gorgeous colors from of the sand and sea that make me so happy. That is when I actually said out loud, “I need to share this with other beaders!”
For many years, I had a habit of suggesting to other people that we start a business or write a book about something. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but never felt like it was something I could do or would want to do on my own. Until now! The idea finally struck, “I’m going to write a book about this!!” I was surprised at my level of confidence and honestly believed it was going to happen, what a change!! While brainstorming about how to pull this together and really get the idea across about this technique, I thought, “I know, I’ll make this into a scrapbook!” The funny thing is, I had never scrapbooked before, but I have a love of paper products and thought it sounded like fun!
It was just after the winter holidays and I had received a generous check from my father in law for $100. Normally, this would have been deposited and not really spent in a specific manner, but I decided to take it all to the craft store with my coupon and buy everything I needed to scrapbook. I spent $97 and had so much fun doing it!! Since I needed a space to truly craft and leave everything out if I needed to, I made a drastic decision to clear out a small extra bedroom of EVERYTHING in order to set up work tables. I accomplished this all in one weekend. For me, it was sort of unheard of to be that driven with no second guessing or delays.
I contacted a co-worker who has successfully published novels and asked for her input. She suggested I search the internet for articles on how to write a proposal in the how-to book industry and also look at some of my favorite beading books to see who the publishers were. If any of them have websites with instructions for proposal submissions, she suggested I give them a try. That sounded so simple, I thought, “why didn’t I think of that?” Asking for help was also something new for me at that time! They talk about this in so many of the law of attraction type websites I had visited and it is the basic concept of the “think and grow rich” Mastermind group. If you need to know something, ask a person who is successful in that field. Go right to the top!
After getting this advice, I searched online and found a number of great resources, but felt I hit the mother lode when I came across Tammy Powley’s series of articles. Searching the internet for beading information wasn’t something I did on a regular basis. There it sat, just like it was waiting for me, “Become a Jewelry Author, Tips for Writing a Jewelry Book.” The way it was written made it sound so easy and possible.
My happiness soared while I read it over and over, it sounded very simple, not foreign at all. At the same time I was visualizing what it would be like to have written a beading book about this cool new concept! I went to work following Tammy’s guidance and found another detailed and easy to follow article entitled, Writing a Winning Book Proposal by Michael S. Hyatt. It only took a couple of days to put the entire proposal together. I had some of those old thoughts like, “maybe that isn’t very good, it didn’t take long to “throw” together. I better edit it and ask other people for their opinions”, BUT I DIDN’T. I actually had perfect faith that it was just as it should be. At that point I thought I had better find a company that I could submit a proposal to before I lost my momentum.
I went to Amazon.com and searched on beading books. I looked through the book covers and the first one I saw that I had enjoyed from the library I wrote down. The publisher was North Light Books. I searched quickly on North Light Books and would you believe, there they sat in my own state just a couple hours away! Their site had a perfect, easy to follow, step by step guideline on how to submit a proposal. It was very similar to the proposal I had already put together, requiring me to just move a few things around to get it into their format. My belief grew stronger at every turn that this was really going to happen.
Taking photos of the 11 projects I had completed along with their scrapbooked pages was my next endeavour. I took everything outside in the middle of a freezing cold day to get good lighting and even though I didn’t feel confident the pictures were as good as they should be, I prepared a very large email, attached the documents and photos and sent it to their Craft Acquisitions Editor as instructed.
That was a Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day to be exact. The very next day I received an email that really blew my mind. The Acquisitions Editor said she liked what she saw and would like to hear more about it. She couldn’t even read my attached proposal because it was in a Microsoft format they didn’t have. She was basing this solely on my email and the pictures. Wow! Once I forwarded her the document saved in a different format, I was walking on a cloud. I had this tickly feeling inside that this was really going to happen, a knowing feeling.
I’m not going to focus on this part of my story, but want to share just to be clear about this. People I told about this were so happy I was doing something I felt strongly about, but they were, in fact, disbelieving. It’s so interesting to note that just a few months before, I might have been one of those people too! I had a complete shift in perspective in just a little over 6 months. Incredible! The power of the mind and of our determination is an awesome thing!
Within the next month, I shipped the projects to the publishing company for an in-person review and they passed! Another great day! It made no difference to me at this point that the scrapbook theme was out, it was a miracle this was happening!
I received an email a couple weeks later from the acquisitions editor with the subject line that read, “Congratulations, you are a North Light Author”. It makes me so happy to this day and that was almost 2 years ago. The book entitled, “A Bead in Time”, was just placed on Amazon.com as a pre-order item with a date of January 21, 2010. I can’t even express to you the extent of my gratitude about this!
Please listen and take this to heart: If I can do this, you can do this. It’s something we hear all the time and pass it right off without any thought other than, “yeah sure”. Yes, it takes work, but if it is something you are destined to do, it will be much easier than you thought, I promise!
It’s a great feeling!!
About Lisa Crone from Westerville, Ohio, US:
I'm a 19 year government employee who, 2 years ago, came across The Secret on pay per view movie channel and it changed my life. I have since published my first book.