Tag Archives: dreams

Be Brave Enough To Follow A Dream

From the time I was a young girl, I always loved to read. As I grew up, a love for writing naturally followed. English was my favorite subject and despite my inner rebel causing me to skip a notorious amount of classes, I rarely missed English.

I adored the beauty to be found in metaphors and symbolism, the flow at which some of the best authors convey their message. When I found that my emotions were more than I could handle, I would turn to those metaphors and spill them out on paper, usually in the form of poetry.

My English teachers easily became aware of my love affair with the written word, encouraging me to write. One of my poems won a school literary award while the other was published in the real world before I graduated high school. I remember these teachers, the guardians of my future, persuading me to consider a degree in literature allowing me to dream of a future writing career. Yet, my inner critic slammed down the heaviest of hammers on the idea.

What kind of future do you have as a writer? You don’t want to teach or become a journalist….you won’t make any money. You’re not good enough.

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Source:Pinterest

And there lies the misguided direction of a teenager. My focus was hell-bent on success and happiness being driven by financial gain while my insecurities weakened my spirit.

I was wrong. 

Please don’t misunderstand, I am happy that I pursued a career in social work. Helping others soothes my soul and its rewards far outweigh its annoyances, but writing lights my fire.

Today, this post is my 100th post on From Casinos To Castles. I know I have been distant from this space. I accept that is has morphed into something unplanned. But this little space in my small corner of the blogosphere, will always be so special to me. Here is the place where I unknowingly rekindled my sweet love affair with writing. Here is where I found a supportive community encouraging me along the way, much like those teachers who once believed in me. Here is where I found a network of writers and other lovers of words that lead me to more new places.

Among these writers is Emily, from The Waiting, (you may remember me mentioning her here). I followed her blog for sometime as I always enjoy the clever and humorous way she writes, especially about her daughter Cee. One day, Emily shared a post about her new venture as Managing Editor for the reading and writing community, Tipsy Lit. She spoke about this fun, new community and mentioned that they accept submissions to be published on their site in addition to their book club and other features.

I was intrigued.

I messaged her, but was discouraged for two reasons: 1. I never considered myself a writer 2. I had never written fiction. Our email discussions grew which soon lead to my guest post on Tipsy Lit about being an expat blogger. I stalked Tipsy Lit’s author interviews, v-logs and other helpful posts doing my best to absorb as much as possible; to make me a stronger and hopefully better, writer. I was also introduced to so many more wonderful people, wonderful bloggers, wonderful writers along the way.

I was ecstatic when one day, Emily mentioned that they would like to have me join “The Crew” and become a regular contributing writer. I, of course, accepted and my first published piece goes live today.

So, you see, this 100th post of mine is special. You are special. So, you’ll forgive me if you have heard some of these things before? I felt overwhelmed by the need to share with you where I am today, my dreams and maybe even introduce you to a whole new world.

Until then, let’s all dare to dream. I’ll start.

Hi, I’m Deanna and I’m a writer. 

quotes, dreams

Source: Pinterest

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A Hopeful Beginning

Wow, two posts in one day? I think that’s a bit unheard of for me and usually I would wait for another day; however, due to the sensitive time frame of this announcement, I thought I should share now. 

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Have you ever heard of CausePub? Their site states:

Use our crowd-publishing platform to create an instant best-seller and support your favorite cause!

Well, to be honest, I hadn’t either until another fellow blogger posted a request to vote for her and help her story be chosen for publication in a compilation book that would support the given cause of providing clean water to those in need. I voted for her and later heard that she was published! (Her story is touching and beautiful!) In the process of doing so, I “liked” the CausePub Facebook page and thought little of it since then….that is until I saw the latest call for story submissions!new-life-within-temporary-book-cover-288

The project manager was in search of stories about motherhood with the hopes of publishing a compilation book of true stories from real moms. This project will provide funds/donations to The Gabriel Network, which is an organization that helps support and encourage women who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy due to homelessness, poverty or other personal reasons. You can read more about that here.

So, I submitted a story. 

Now, I am not a political person, or an overly religious person. I believe that everyone should have the freedom to make their own choices without being pressured or forced to believe in someone else’s beliefs and opinions. In my social work career, I have had the pleasure of working with organizations similar to that of The Gabriel Network and they have done wonders for so many women who are struggling during what should be a wonderful time. There is no pressure, but simply support during desperate times and I am all about supporting others.

I was chosen and will be published!

I’m so very excited! Unfortunately, I can no longer share it with you from the site, as they have closed submissions since it is now in the publication process. It is a very personal story; here is a brief excerpt:

I made mistakes in my life because I didn’t know myself. I suffered through abuse and violence. I turned to drugs and alcohol. For a long time, I was still that rebellious teenager wanting to punish the world for what I felt I had lost. I also wanted to punish myself for who I was becoming. Somehow, though, I made it through. With the help of good friends and guardian angels I’m sure were meant to cross my path, I chose a different road than the one I was so clearly headed down. I chose to rise above and become a survivor. Sadly, my first marriage was one of the casualties of me finally accepting the past, letting it go and becoming the woman I deserved to be.

I wanted to share this with all of you because you helped give me the courage to write this story. Your support, comments and encouragement throughout these past months of blogging gave me the push I needed to at least try. This blogging community has opened me up to a whole world of new people and new possibilities. I have always dreamt of becoming a writer and I’m hoping this is a small piece of the puzzle pointing me in the right direction to accomplishing this dream.

Thank you.

Furthermore, the project could still use some help to reach its goal. If you are at all interested in supporting the cause, reading more stories, know someone who would love to/or needs to read these stories, or you just want to have it because I’m in it (hehe), then please make a pledge to buy the book. There is no money needed now, they will send an email when it is ready to be ordered. It will be available on Amazon, but I am not aware of the cost. If you’d like to submit a pledge, you can do so here.

Again, thank you….for reading, for supporting, for voting, for introducing and for possibly pledging. It means the world to this dreamer. 
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Meine Liebe, Happy Anniversary

Truth be told, I hadn’t actually thought of doing a post for my wedding anniversary today. I have actually been a little bummed because we are unable to get a sitter to watch our monster man, so we aren’t able to celebrate. But then, I saw that it was also a fellow blogger’s wedding anniversary today. Amanda, from Living In Another Language, posted a lovely tribute that inspired me.

So today, on my second wedding anniversary, I want to share a photo collection to the loves of my life. Here are the past amazing 4 years in 20 photos; from our beginning in Germany, M’s first visit to the states, our quick “visa wedding”, our surprise miracle, that miracle’s first birthday, my little family’s trip to Vegas to say good-bye and now our life in Germany. I love you M. My life would have never been complete without you.

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A Lesson in Happiness

The Eyes are the window to your soul – William Shakespeare

I must admit to not truly understanding the depth and meaning behind this famous quote. I thought it merely just beautiful literature meant for inspiration. But then a time came when I knew exactly what it meant and I was experiencing it first hand. This time was during the beginning of my relationship with my husband, who we will call M. I remember always thinking that M had beautiful eyes and how they seemed to just be filled with light. I remember thinking what a wonderful person I thought M was and being in awe of how wonderfully he treated me. I remember thinking I could look into his eyes forever; they were so intriguing and engaging. It finally dawned on me one day that the light in his eyes was happiness and love. In this epiphany, I realized that I could see his love for me and how happy he was just to be with me. I could see that he was happy with his life and those in it. For someone who had never experienced this before, it was life changing and beautiful.

So why am I writing about this? Well, other than to tell you how wonderful M is, would be to tell you how I watched the light disappear. Life has definitely thrown us our share of curve balls the past two years, but it was one of those times in your life where you get knocked down just as soon as you get up. Gradually, M’s bright eyes faded. The only glimpse of the light I would see, would be when he looked at me or our son. I knew he was still in there, but the brightness was turning to black. I knew without a doubt that he loved (loves) his family. But I also knew that this blackness was taking away the things I fell in love with; his laugh, his sense of humor, his spontaneity, his smile, his fun-loving nature, his romance. Things had to change. And they did.

On January 25, 2013, we decided to change our life. We decided to sell everything and move back to Germany. Since then, it’s been a lot of business details from selling what we can, budgeting our finances, searching for employment and housing, etc. But as things come together, the focus has been more on the reality that our dream is coming true and I’ve seen glimpses of that light M once had. But this weekend, I saw it all; the light, the spark, the laughter, the smile, the spontaneity, the humor, the fun and the romance.

I’m here to say that the light is shining bright again. And this light, it’s not just M’s happiness, but mine too.

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