I’ve Got a Golden Ticket
By: Lori Walker
(4 min read)
Who doesn’t love a good story? Right? To be lost, just for a little while, in somebody else’s words and imagination or laughing along with someone until you’re crying. It’s one of my favorite things!
As a little girl, I loved to read. I couldn’t get enough! Mysteries, memoirs, fantasy or romance; it didn’t matter. My love affair with books continues until this very day. My favorite kind of story is ‘The Underdog.’ Seriously. Stories where hope builds whether you are rooting for a sports figure, scientist, author or even love. Priceless!
“They” say the most well-known underdog in history is the Biblical version of David and Goliath. But my favorite is Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Who could forget the excitement when Charlie and Grandpa Joe unwrap that candy bar! “I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET!” That’s what I’m talking about!
The last seven months of my life have been a beautiful, exquisite hurricane. I can’t make this up! It all actually started back in January 2021.
Mortality slapped me right in the face. My very best friend, mentor, and Guardian Angel was hospitalized due to complications from lung cancer. I was devastated. I couldn’t process the reality and grief I felt. I thought, “I’m going to lose her, and nobody is ever going to know what she did for me.”
As this was happening, I saw a “Call for Stories” post on Facebook. The post was from my trusted editor, friend and colleague from my professional life as the Office Manager of a commercial printing company. It was a type of Chicken Soup for The Soul compilation called Mayhem to Miracles – True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace by Sacred Stories Publishing.
Now, I’m not a professional writer. I can’t tell you the elements required for a good story, sentence structure, plot, blah, blah, blah. But, when I put pen to paper, the words poured out, straight from my heart. I wrote for her family, as well as mine, as a tribute. It gave them a glimpse into two of the darkest days of my life. I NEVER dreamed it would be good enough to be published.
The first person who read it gave me some critical advice. I do have to admit, it was brutally raw, honest and had some potential controversy. “Do you really want to put this experience out to the world? Like this?”
I had to know. Was my story good enough? I reached out to my editor friend. I sent her a copy and simply asked for her thoughts. I steeled myself against the worst. I was prepared to take it like a woman if she felt it wasn’t. To my absolute surprise, she responded, “Lori, you HAVE to publish this! THIS WILL HELP WOMEN HEAL!”
Whoa! What just happened? I rolled with it! I submitted the story, and it was accepted within 24 hours! I’m going to be a published author for the very first story I’ve ever written? Oh, but that was just the beginning! I was asked to participate in five interviews for the promotion of Mayhem to Miracles. I accepted all of them!
On November 2, 2021, I was scheduled to do an interview with Peggy Willms on her radio show. She was one of the Media Partners of the project and also a fellow contributing author in M2M. The interview was delightful! I thought my interaction with her was a one and done. Hey, that was nice – see ya ‘round!
In December 2021, I received an email from Peggy. She was looking for authors for her upcoming, long-envisioned, three book series titled The Four-Fold Formula for All Things Wellness. True Stories of the Heart, Spirit, Mind and Body. I was intrigued. A few people had asked if I ever planned on writing again. They wanted to know more about “Mary Queen.” My response was that if the opportunity arose, I would consider it. I wanted to talk about the fabulous adventures we had after The Storm. It would be a complete, 180 degree U-turn from the depth of the original story. The what happened next.
On January 31, 2022, my birthday, I submitted my second story to Peggy, “There’s Something About Mary.”
That’s when the avalanche began! A mere eight weeks ago.
Peggy was so enthusiastic about the story! Her Left Brain went into overdrive. She told me that she had Big Plans for me! I suggested a Zoom meeting between us. It was selfish on my part – I secretly wanted to talk to her one on one to learn more about her. Three hours later, and the next thing you know…I had agreed to write two more stories in the “Mary Queen” saga for the upcoming second and third books of the Four-Fold Formula. And today, you are reading my first blog for All Things Wellness. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? If you know Peggy, she’s a little hard to say no to! Haha!
I never really believed in myself. But, through Peggy’s encouragement, I’ve come to find out that I am a Writer, a Storyteller and The Underdog! You will discover more about me and my other passions – music/lyrics, family, and friends in my future blogs. I sincerely hope I can inspire others to think, feel and dream by sharing my experiences.
Your personal journey may be completely different than mine. My down-to-earth mottos: Just be nice. Meet people where they are. And always stay humble and kind.
You may think, as I have, so many times, “Who am I? Who cares about my story anyway?” The answer is someone out there will! If just one person says, “Yes, I’ve felt that way, too! I’m not alone!” then you have made a difference in not only their life, but your own. You have the potential change lives and never even know.
My unsolicited advice? Keep searching, keep looking for answers, keep reading, keep asking questions, and just keep going!!! Baby steps matter. A luxurious, well-kept pink rose garden can be planted with one single bush, one single day at a time. The rose garden grows and so you do you.
Billy Joel is one my favorite musicians. I’m listening to his song, The Entertainer, as I am writing this. While I sit in the obscurity and safety of my home, my keyboard, and my Imposter Syndrome, I wonder, what could I say that would make a difference to anyone?
A very wise man once told to me, “Let’s just see where this takes us!” I followed his advice. And here I am. And here you are. Dream, love, and find your tribe! Step out of your comfort zone. Do what I am learning to do – step into who you are and who you want to be!
Your Golden Ticket is waiting!