Happiness and goals: gifts we give ourselves

The ‘Wake up in the morning with a smile’ virus

(Dateline: December 22, 2012)
It’s been four years now and I’m still smitten with the happiness virus. Mine is fed by giving in to my love of writing. Such happiness is not to be cured but should be spread. Fortunate is she who has found her love and followed it. My advice to others: if you have something—a talent or maybe just a strong desire—that causes you to awaken with a grin, embrace it, cultivate it, and share it. It might be good for others, too.
Writing is my happiness. Sharing is my privilege. As of December 2012, I have composed four and a half novels (and published two of them), penned numerous novellas, spent a week in and about Greensboro, North Carolina for the sole purpose of research (it’s the home zone of most of my stories), purchased and/or downloaded dozens of research books, and cut and pasted countless rows into my Excel database of storylines for THE FAIRIES SAGA. I compulsively jot random plots, quotes, and themes into notebooks or tap them onto my smartphone, saving them for (possible) inclusion in future works. Writing is still my happiness.
Goals are gifts we give ourselves and my next one is to travel to Australia in January 2014. Part of FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, the fifth in my series, transpires in January 1788 with the arrival of The First Fleet, the ships laden with prisoners transported from England to Australia. I want to endure the climate at the same time of year as did those hardy men and women, touch and smell the exotic flora, tread those historic sites, investigate the museums, and barefoot those seashores. It’s also a great time and place for research since I’ll be leaving Alaska in the icy gloom of winter to spend a couple of weeks in sunny, summertime Sydney.
Give yourself a gift, a small goal, not one of monetary gain, but of seeking happiness. Singing, sewing, serving others: do what truly makes you happy. A song written for the church choir, a cap crocheted for a new baby, a book of poems for your mother, mowing the lawn for the old couple next door. These are simple gifts; gifts to yourself, and also for others.
Happiness is ours to create, culture, and ultimately, to share.
Dani Haviland, author

October 18, 2022
Found recently, I wrote the above blog nearly ten years ago. Reading it was an eerie trip back in time. The feelings remain the same, though. The goals have been modified and the results are even more profound. I made it to Australia (yay!) but haven’t finished my epic, Fairies Down Under. I have written and published a total of forty-one stories now. Quite a leap from four and a half novels in 2012. Back then, I was only aiming for five. THE FAIRIES SAGA series is still unfinished. However, the tale grew in unexpected ways with even more stories. The vibrant characters were so hard to contain, a new separate series (ARLIE UNDERCOVER) emerged. Some of the gang (mostly colorful, dumb crooks) wound up in THAT TWIN THING and TRIPLETS: THREE AREN’T ONE series, too.

In a word, my joy at writing was too great to rein in, so I didn’t.
By next month, I will have achieved another landmark. My little company, Chill Out! Books, will have published one-hundred multi-author sets, too! Publishing the works of others wasn’t even a consideration when I began my little startup. Now it’s a new joy, a guilt-free, calorie-free diversion that also makes me a few bucks each month.
Wow! What a difference ten years make. I’d like to think it was because I had goals that gave me joy when working towards them, an abundance of friends who encouraged me (thanks, husband, Mimi Barbour, and the many ladies in The Authors’ Billboard group), and a positive attitude.

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About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website

One Reply to “Happiness and goals: gifts we give ourselves”

  1. You’re such a powerhouse of positivity, my friend! Thank you for sharing it with us in this lovely post, and congratulations on your huge literary accomplishments! ❤️

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