Can you believe it
Can you believe it’s only a week until Christmas? It feels like just yesterday it was summertime and this project was barely off the ground. Now it’s 7 days until Christmas, and we’re in the final stretch!
If you asked me a few years ago whether I thought I’d be writing a blog post promoting my children’s book about a misfit reindeer, the answer would have been a resounding “no.”
Simply put, I didn’t think it was a realistic goal for someone in my stage of life. As you know, I seemed to have lived multiple lives, having completed two successful careers in both the Military and IT.
Despite this, about four years ago, the idea of writing a children’s book began percolating in my head, and resurrecting itself each holiday season. Finally, around Christmas of 2011, I convinced myself to put pen to paper and draft a story around a germ of an idea that I had been developing.
Yes, “Ranger” may not be published by Random House, and I don’t expect to win a Pulitzer anytime soon, but the creation of Ranger has been a big personal success. I am happy to say that (with your help) this book has raised thousands of dollars for the Antonia J. Giallourakis Endowed Fund in Art Therapy for Children with Cancer and brought countless children a happy Christmas. That is what I set out to do, and I am so proud to say I’ve accomplished this goal.
Actually, I should say I have just begun to accomplish this goal. The book became available on November 1st which is really way too late in the year to have an impact or achieve solid sales over the Christmas shopping period. But we have been accumulating a substantial set of great reviews, extremely encouraging feedback from families who are reading the story, and a lot of lessons learned about how to market it. All of which is to say that we have had a successful launch in 2013, but 2014 is the year that we can exploit the book and let it “be all it can be.” The period of February through June is the time to get bookstores, toy stores and other outlets interested in stocking it for the 2014 holiday season. Therein lies the future of Ranger and his mission of helping kids fight cancer.
You really do define your own happiness. The secret to success, happiness, gratitude… and everything else really does lie within.
As I’ve said before, our children and grandchildren will quickly become exposed to one of the most powerful influences in their lives: peer pressure. The best defense for our children being misled by misguided peers is to teach them how to be leaders and define their own standards of ethics, success, and happiness.
Individuality and finding true happiness – that is what Ranger teaches us in his story.
Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season.