Monday, September 23, 2013

A NEW PERSPECTIVE


I recently had a silly household accident that left me in incredible pain. David and I had an ancient mattress that needed to be replaced. Realizing that no mattress topper could fix its many sags and hollows, we finally decided to buy a memory foam mattress.

 We were incredibly excited when the 100 pound box arrived. The mattress was compressed in the box, inside industrial strength plastic wrap, and when we tried to cut away the cardboard to free the massive foam burrito, the bed popped out hard - much like refrigerator biscuits after a rap on the edge of the counter. The sudden expansion sent me flying across the room and bouncing off a wardrobe. I ended up with a bad muscle sprain and a bloody knee (from the cardboard - which, as it turned out, also had big metal staples on a corner.)

The weeks that followed left me walking with a cane. Then there was that pesky acetaminophen overdose when I took one too many. Once I was finally on the mend, I was still angry at the bed. Although I used it and it was undeniably comfortable, I hated it.

Finally, I decided that kind of thinking would get me nowhere, and it had to stop. I began by being grateful for the bed. I was born in a country where too many people didn't have one at all. They would have gladly taken the bumps in exchange for a wonderful sleeping experience.

As my attitude changed, I began to see things in a new perspective. I remembered what I'd been taught. Setbacks, like getting attacked by a foam mattress, , were nothing more than bumps in the road, something meant to keep me from achieving a goal - in this case, enjoying the bed.

Roadblocks, of course, are everywhere. When I tried to get my first book published, (No I'm not telling you the title- it was barely adequate and you'll look it up) I took rejection after rejection. David was teaching at the time and loved his job. I had something to prove, and I took those rejections hard, but editor number 70 finally accepted it. (In those days, there were really that many publishers in NYC) Getting published was a LONG road filled with many potholes, but now, here we are. 

In those days, rejections were my pot holes in the road, things that stood in the way of where I was going. I quickly learned that I had a choice to make. I could give up, or keep pushing forward. I'm pushy by nature, so my choice was clear, and the bottom line was that if you quit, you guarantee failure. A 'can do' attitude, on the other hand, can blaze a trail.

That's the heart of Homespun Christmas, a book about a community that must set aside its rivalries and come together if they're to survive. It's about pride in a label that says MADE IN THE USA. This is the greatest nation on earth, and Homespun Christmas honors the courage and the dedication that continues to make it so.

Homespun Christmas is about working class America, the unsung heroes who make a real difference, though you won't find them headlining the news. Most important of all, it's about the power of a dream.

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! I hope your knee and your muscle sprain are doing okay.

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    1. I'm much better, Liz. In fact this morning, so far, no cane!!!!! BIG win!

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  2. Aimee, I hope you are much recovered. But what an experience. I like how you handled it, and glad you have a better bed, too.

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    1. Roz, this was the first morning in forever that I was able to wake up and not have my first thought be "Ow!" In fact I lingered in bed far longer than I should have and am enjoying my newly tamed foam bed!

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  3. Sorry to hear of your incident! But, on a much brighter note-LOVE this cover:) I can't wait to start reading all of the upcoming holiday titles...my husband had to drag me away from the books at the store yesterday. Until my deadline is over, I can't read anything, but after that...

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    1. Jen, I love your cover too! It looks great. I take one week off during the holidays. My favorite thing is to get my holiday books together, then pour myself a cup of Columbian, fix my bagel with cream cheese, and then lose myself for a few hours!

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  4. Aimee - I hope they let you write the back cover blurb because I'm now really anxious to read Homespun Christmas. What a wonderful idea. Have you seen 'New in Town' with Renee Zelweger? (sp?) Reminds me of that. The power or a dream is probably what got us all to this place where we can keep each other going so that the dreams keep going, too. Aren't we lucky? Glad you're on the mend. Sounds like that mattress box was a Trojan Horse.

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  5. Muriel, I haven't seen that movie. I'll look it up! Thanks! Dreams die hard, but they need love too. I think that's what fuels every author.

    That dumb mattress box should have come with a warning label with lots of signs for those of us who don't actually read the instructions.... :-)

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  6. Jen, Muriel, what inspired Homespun Christmas was what I and a lot of other Cubans went through when we first came to this country. There was no `quit'. You did what you had to do to move forward and that meant reinventing yourself. Doctors in my family swept floors until they could get licensed. Teachers, lawyers, retrained. We worked with what we had, and moved forward. That's why when I saw what was happening to a lot of cities - it broke my heart. They were giving up, for the most part, and that was a one way ticket to failure. I wanted a book that showed what I learned as an immigrant. Work, plan, love - that's the ticket to success.

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    1. Aimee! I didn't know all that about you and your family. Humbling to know how hard people work and what difficulties they survive to become who they are. Great story stuff!

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    2. As a Cuban girl (later a US citizen) I was taught to always move forward and never accept any outcome as final except the one I wanted to achieve. I'm not tough, far from it, but keeping my eye on the goal is part of my nature now. When things come that hurt, like say a bad review, that's how I get past it. Well, that, and Chunky Monkey.

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    3. Wow, Aimee-wonderful thoughts and advice! I too embrace that-I don't accept no for an answer attitude and it has served me well. To me-hitting opposition means you just have to try harder or a new approach:)
      Hugs!

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  7. Aimee, wow. You provide a lot to think about... and be grateful for. Thank you! And love the cover!!!

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  8. Hi Aimee! So sorry this is late, but I just finished a chapter and knew I had to stop in to read one of your amazing, always uplifting posts. WOW- am I ever glad that I did. By the time I got to the end of your post, I was nearly on my feet, hooting and hollering for you, David, and your story! (Real life and Homespun Christmas) Both sound amazing and inspiring. I can't wait to read your book which sounds as beautiful as your cover! God bless.

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    1. Karen you have a beautiful spirit. That's what makes your work so special.

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  9. Great post! Years ago I used to review for a children's literary journal and one of the best books I read had to do with a teenager new to Florida from Cuba. I gave it the best review!

    LOL, we have a tiny memory foam for our camper because the pop-out mattress is soooo uncomfortable.

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  10. Aimee, I really can't wait to read this book, especially after the background you gave in the comments. That's an attitude/perspective I truly admire.

    And I hope you're feeling better! What a way to get injured. Original for sure! Knowing the weight of those mattresses and the potential energy from the way they're packed tight, they really should come with very visible warnings. I hope it redeems itself with comfort.

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