When I sit down to write a book, I want to write the very best book I can. I’m not happy if it is just good. Heck no, I want it to be excellent.  After all, I didn’t set out against all the odds of being a published author to write so-so books. If I had, well, I can tell you I never would have gotten published in the first place. My constant search for excellence got me thinking….

Right now, the world is watching the very best athletes on the planet compete in London at the Olympic Games. These are people who have dedicated their lives to their particular sport.  I’m sure every one of them was tempted at some point to give up on their dream of competing at the Olympics. Don’t you think those gymnasts would like to eat a Twinkie now and then? Maybe Ryan Lochte wanted to go to the movies with his friends instead of swimming laps? But did they? Probably not. They stayed focused on their goal, their constant journey to achieve excellence—to be the best of the best.

Now I’m not going to compare myself to an Olympic athlete. My exercise consists of a brisk morning walk. But I like to think I do have one thing in common with them. Like them, I have kept focused on my dream. Kylie, too, has kept her focus on discovering what type of paranormal she is and how to use her powers. And she has had quite a few distractions, but her main goal has remained constant. You’ll be surprised in Whispers at Moonrise all that Kylie learns and exactly what powers she discovers.  At one point, those powers leave her pretty darn frightened. But like an Olympian, she faces her challenges, and stays true to her goal.

I set out many years ago, not to win an Olympic gold medal, but to be a published author. I stayed focused and I achieved that goal.  And every time I sit down at my computer, I give it my all, and write the very best book I can. I owe that to myself and my readers.  Those Olympic athletes never gave up on their dreams, and neither did I.  And neither should you.  Commit to your dream and stay focused. You never know how far you can go.

So tell me your dreams. What do you want to achieve? I’ll give away a Shadow Falls t-shirt to one of you who answers my question.

61 thoughts on “Excellence

  1. Mmm. . .good question!
    After being medically discharged from the British army and being left permanently disabled I suppose my dream was always to keep happy. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds when you’re in constant pain.
    But after having my daughter, the only answer I can give to that question is; be someone she can be proud of.
    I was always someone who believed that having a career defined your life, but there is so much more to life. So I always take that out of all the events that have happened to me.

    • Is there ANYWAY that this series will become movies or even a tv series?? That would be the BEST! Anybody else thought of that??

  2. My dream is to make a difference. I always wanted to be a chef/baker, but about a year ago, I wondered what I really want to achieve with my life. So for the past year I’ve been teaching myself American Sign Language. It started out as a hobby but has a great meaning to me now. People told me I should be a teacher, since I love kids so much, but I never wanted to be a teacher. But now I really dream to be a teacher in a school for deaf students. I have a long way to go, but like you and Kylie, I’m determine to focus on this dream as my main goal.

  3. My dream? Find a job that pays me to read books all day…. but seriously, all i want is to raise a happy, healthy, well rounded child who is confident to go out into the world, and resilient enough to survive in it.

  4. My dream is to raise my children, in a world so full of violence & hate, to be loving & compassionate men. To not judge a person for his/her race, religion, sexual orientation…but to be open-minded & truly treat others as they would like to be treated. I want them to treat mother earth as kindly as possible. Walk or ride a bike, when the distance isn’t too far. Recycle! It is so easy, & necessary, to do. Be kind to the animals, & only hunt when it becomes necessary for food. I want to raise my children to respect their elders, as I was taught. If they listen, really listen, the elderly can be truly fascinating.
    My dream is for my boys to become wonderful men 🙂

  5. wow what a question, im nothing special, not been in the army or risked my life like others, i am only a mum and work pt time in a school, although with the children both occasions i nearly died in childbirth things arent worth remembering like this if they are happy and well, all i would really like in life is to lead a long and healthy life with my children and other half, dont get me wrong we have our ups and downs but presently we are being evicted from our home by our awful landlord whom we pay rent to and he doesn’ t even pay the mortgage i have since found out!! i would love to continue with my attempt at writing and it get me to the stage where i am able to buy a home for my children so we have not got the stress of lack of monies as everyong does at present, i would really love to be able to buy this home from under him and be able to say — there!! im not going anywhere!!
    i attempted a spell, a novice here! to have the truth be unveiled, in the next couple of days letters were delivered to here not the landlord home, stating that he wasnt paying the rent and was going to have his other house repossessed…so maybe what i believe in is working for me in some respects!!
    ps lovel love love the series!! waiting number 4 lol x

  6. To help those who have suffered the same hell in middle school and to show all f those bullies that I CAN! and that I won’t let anyone ruin the path I have in front of me or force me into going to another path. Just to stay focused and live as happy as I can without regretting anything I do.

  7. my dream/goal is just to be happy in whatever i do.. i dont want to get stuck in a job i hate.. possibly have a kid, and not go completely bankrupt with it..lol.

  8. My dream is to get through highschool, stay focused on getting into a good college. Do the best i can to get into a good college, so i can become a History teacher. I love history and i would love to teach it. But not stay to focused that i dont enjoy the 4 years i have ahead of me of highschool drama, friendships, and parties.

  9. My dream is to become a published author. I have been writing for many years and have some great stories to be shared. I’ve been doing everything I possibly can to get myself out there but continue to hit that invisible wall. I really hope my time is coming (right around the corner would be great).

  10. My dream is to become a multipublished author with maybe one or two of my books adapted to film. I guess I need to get into an Olympian state of mind 🙂


  11. I have many dreams and I plan to complete them all but the main dream I have is to become a published author on the side of achieving a doctorate in classical and middle eastern historic studies. I know I can do it if I’m persistent and everyone who knows me knows that I am. I’ve already completed two novels and I’m looking for agents now, and as for my doctorate degree, I haven’t exactly graduated High school yet so there’s not much I can do to work on that. I have however, been taking classes that are college level so that when I do go to college I won’t have to take as many classes because they will already be done. Though those are some of my dreams I have made a promise to myself many years ago that I would change the world because I’m sure everyone in their right mind knows it needs to change. I’ve worked on that as well. It’s my junior year this year and I’m starting a up a club at school that’s going to be part of a youth in action group, which partners up with the Free The Children corporation in helping across the seas. I just hope that in the end I’ll achieve everything I’m working on.

  12. I’m currently studying “culinary arts” in Puerto Rico, my dream is to graduate as top chef in my class, go to new york to continue my studies in the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) get my bachelor and a minor in wines which will take me to France where there i can get the official, guess you can call it wine certification, get a job in France under the tutelage of an amazing and yet under appreciated chef, come back to new york to become an execute chef in Mesa Grill, which is one Bobby Flay’s restaurants, later have my own restaurant and when I’m financially stable have a restaurant like Bon Jovi’s “Soul Kitchen” which is kinda like a “soup kitchen” where those who are in need of a good meal can eat and not just any meal since it will be my restaurant they”ll be eating gourmet food ;D

  13. My dream is to make people realize that they can’t just go around saying whatever they want to. Maybe they find it fun or funny. Maybe they just don’t care. But saying whatever a person feels like, I bet it’s what leads to so many types of bullying and hatred, and it shouldn’t.

  14. My dream would be to be thankful for what I actually have in life and not what I wish I had. I feel if I had everything I wanted, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I want my children to feel that as well and obtain all the goals in life they are already working for. My one dream I wanted to come true did when I got to hold my first grandchild for the very first time. There is nothing like holding a part of you and seeing that you had some kind of part in bringing that blessing into the world for many to love.

  15. My dream (that is possible) is to do something with math for my job when I’m older, maybe create some famous theories. My other dream (that isn’t very possible) is to be an actress, which I’ve wanted to be since I can remember, but I’ve kinda given up on. A girl can dream big can’t she! 😀

  16. My dreams are to make a difference is a child’s life as their teacher. I love working with children. It is also a dream of mine to one day have children of my own. I dream of a world that would allow everyone to feel safe and no harm come to them. I also dream of one day publishing my own book…I want to write it on Bullying…I was bullied as a child and want others to know that they are not alone. I dream of a day when children will always feel safe to go to school…at least when they enter my classroom. That is what I dream.

  17. My dream is to become a good author who can sell some amazingly written YA paranormal novels. I’ve always had a passion for reading and an even bigger passion for writing. I’m even currently writing my own books, and am having a blast doing it! (When I don’t have writer’s block) My goal is to be able to write these stories and get them published when I have the chance, that way, other people can know of the things I like to think about and possibly be happy about the way I write my books.

  18. My dream, is after I graduate to work with Disney on ice, or on a cruise ship where I’ll be able to do what I love ( skate) and also bring happiness to the people that watch. My dream is also, that after I’m done in my skating career I want to coach, that way I can help kids follow their dreams and do what they love, just like everyone helped me follow my dream.

  19. My dream is a writing dream. I have finished four books to date and two of those are YA. I’m in submission for one right now and my dream is to get that book published. The Olympics always make me all emotional about people following their dream, and this year is no different! 🙂

  20. Right now, I don’t really have a passion for anything, so I guess my dream would be to find that one thing that i was created to do, that purpose for my being here on earth. I want to be completely in love with something and use that to change the lives of others and to help me live life to the fullest. Because once I find that, there’s nothing that will be able to bring me down.

  21. I want to be a nurse for newborn babies but I also want to study Criminal Justice like my mom did in college, but thats 6 years away…So, I`d like to make the volleyball team at school this-coming year…I`d also like to finish writing my book so i can maybe get it published when I get older. (C. C. u have inspired to write books about paranormal romance, awesome, right??)
    So i guess thats about it. All i can really do is try my hardest, just like the Olympians!!

  22. My dream is to be a published author! It’s not going so well so far! But rejections are all apart of the process as I’ve learned! It’s been my dream to be an author since I was 13, and I am now 12 years into the making of it!

  23. I have plenty of of dreams, like to be an artist or an interior decorator. Maybe a fashion designer. A poet possibly? Something creative and different. I have plenty of time to decide about what to do. I’m not dedicated to any one thing. I mean I should be dedicated but I can’t just yet. Life is just to wishy-washy to decide if you don’t have any actual passion towards something.

  24. My biggest dream is to be a great architect. I don’t know if I’ll even get into school or get a good job, but I’ll sure as hell try.

    THEN I can start working on my other dreams. Some have more or less to do with money/comfort and others with personal life, but my main goal is to draw up exquisite buildings that people will love to look at and be in.

  25. My dream is to play college volleyball for Duke then become a P.E. teacher and then marry a hot guy! thats my life plan

  26. My dream is to someday be an author with a published novel. I dream that I can make a difference in the world and improve lives. I dream to play volleyball in college and in life. I dream that I will always have people who love and care about me. I dream that I will live life, not just view it from the sidelines.

  27. My dream…I have some.i would want to be an Specail affects makeup artist an author and an artist oh and also a singer:D I have a lot of talents and I injoyed using them for fun and to think that one day one(or mabey all)would HAVE to come true 🙂

  28. My dream is to make it through graduate school, obtain my PsyD and become a child psychologist. My dream also includes getting married and having children: )

  29. I dream of becoming a veterinarian. I want to go to UC Davis. I also want to train horses and open up my own animal/horse rescue. Work for a local Humane Society for a bit or something and build enough of a rep to open my own animal clinic. And grow enough of a voice to end animal abuse and improve the ways of killing in slaughterhouses.
    It’s a big dream but I’ll eventually make it happen! If my mom could make changes in the society than so can I.
    I also dream of falling in love with a man like the ones in my stories!! Hehe.

  30. I received my shadow falls shirt today for being Concentrated Awesome 😉 So I am good on that aspect, My goal in life is to go back to school and start a career doing something I love, I have been a stay at home mom for the past 6 years… With my youngest finally going to Kindergarten in a few weeks I would really like to do something to get back into the adult world, but I also want to make my kids proud of me. I am looking in to a veterinary tech course at my local collage. I love animals, having two cat(Vishous and Payne) and two dogs ( Tasha and Dixie) of my own, I would really like to help keep others with their furry (or feathery/scaley) babies… I think my girls will get a kick out of mommy helping animals stay healthy. While I have loved being at home with my kids and seeing every mile stone they have made, I have lost touch with what it feels like to be around adults and talk about things that don’t involve Sponge Bob and Hannah Montana…

  31. My dream is to travel for one year around the world. Have nothing to worry about , just have fun and enjoy the beautiful places.

  32. My exellence would to be either a singer or a writer ( because Im really good at creative writing) probably both though because writing and singing go together. Im realy good at both so yea Ill probably combine them. YAY!!!!!

  33. My dream is to become a writer. I love to read and I love children. I have 3 nieces that I help my mom take care of. The two oldest love to read too, the youngest although can’t read yet. Reading brings them and me great joy and when ever they want to read another book it makes me proud because other young kids and teenagers my age don’t like to read a whole bunch. I want to change that with writing books that will get readers to think but also enjoy what they read.
    But really all I want to do is help people. So I guess my big dream that I want to do is bring people happiness and help them with there needs.

  34. That’s a great way to compare yourself! I absolutely love your series! It is my favorite! Which is saying a lot because I read a new series almost everyday, but I also re-read this one just because it is my favorite! I cannot wait for Whispers In Moonrise! You are the best writer I have seen! Please, don’t end the series with that book! Keep going! Hell, if I had my way that series would go forever! 🙂 You are a great writer and I cannot wait for the next book!

  35. My dream is to be able to fly!!!!!!! Just kidding I either want to become an author or a violin player in a real orchestra! But to do any of those things I will have to develope a huge Olympian attitude. Also I just got my pen and notepad in the mail thank you so much!!

    • hmm, i think playing a violin professional is really cool id pick that because its original and different. keep it up

  36. My dream is most definitely to be, and yes, I know its far fetched, but to be on BROADWAY. I have been in multiple plays where I have danced, and sung, and acted. I absolutely LOVE the Dramatic Arts with all of my heart. I have every telling me im an AMAZING actress and have a beautiful singing voice. Im only 12 years old, but if I could be on Broadway, or maybe even be in a movie as a lead, I would be sooooooooo happy! When I’m on a stage singing, I feel like nothing can stop me from singing to the world. When I’m acting, I can take all my emotions and put them into my acting to make the performance worth while. I love Drama so much, and therefore, Drama, is most definitely my dream.

  37. I have sooooo many dreams. I want to be a published author. I’d like to publish my very own hilarious newspaper (i’m already making one, but it’s not published). I would love to become a world wide champ pianist (I’ve been already playing for 7 years). I know I sound kinda greedy, but you know how I’m gonna spend that money? I’m gunna give most of it to the poor and then I’ll buy some books with the rest of the money. 🙂 but my dreams are impossible. nobody ever believes that i can do it. but ya can’t stop me from dreaming…

  38. my dream to achieve is helping teens that cuts their selfself or drink to help solve their problems or feelings . and help teens that drink or something like that and they drive and get into an accident help tell other teens that they shouldn’t drink, text , and other stuff that distract you while driving .
    -lyna <3

  39. Oh yea, I’m watching the olympics right now…thx so much for this topic CC! It really made me rethink my life from negative to positive 😉

  40. My dream is to grow up and be happy, wherever I end up. 🙂

    BTW, I’m super excited for Whispers in Moonrise! 🙂

  41. Tough question… probably a writer or a lawer when i gat older but (almost) more than anything i want to be a dallas cowboys cheerleader

  42. i’ve always wanted to be a nurse be in the past year i’ve figured out what i realy want and that is to become a physical therapist im glad i figured it out no then when i start collage in a few years because im only in tenth grade. 🙂

  43. My goals or dreams are not simple ones but that’s want makes them goals or dreams, right? Well, I want to be a Japanese translater or tutor because the language makes me feel at peace. It’s not easy but I’m working really hard all by myself(Score one for me), and having a fun time doing it. Also, your writing(Shadow Falls), has really imspired me to full fill my dream of being a great, no awesome writer just like you. I know being young it’s hard to write because you lack exprience but I think you can write anything at any age if you’re truly believe in yourself, even when some people say you’re too full of yourself. I have writen a few short stories that make my friends want more(just like Shadow Falls to me), I really thank you for writing, because if you didn’t I would probably never have gotten into writing. Thanks for asking this question! Any tips on writing that might help me make a book some day?(A really great one like yours.)

  44. i want to be a writer like you and a singer, actress i have been in a lot of plays so i dearly enjoy the singing and acting i also love to read so writing books just came to me. that would be my dream job(s)!!!!!

  45. My goal/dream…. hmmm thats a tough question for me…. well i really want to be an author. I also want to be an artist,actor,singer, or dancer.

  46. I dream, my ultimate goal is, to become a doctor, esp. a cardiologist. Though, I don’t have the grades, yet. I have the passion for it and will not abandon this dream of mine!

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