Just Do It!
by Lucie Ulrich
Okay, so I totally stole that line from Nike, but it fits my life. I never set out to be a writer. I wasn’t born with a passion for books, so writing one never entered my mind—until I hit my forties. Before that, I had other goals in mind.
Goal 1: Work for an airline (like my father) and see the world. Thought I started at a security checkpoint (pre-TSA), I eventually was hired by Continental Airlines. I didn’t see all of the world, but I saw enough to feel accomplished and satisfied. Goal met.
Goal 2: Be the best stay-at-home mom I could be. Staying at home was something my husband and I agreed to long before we had children. It came with ups and downs and a good number of struggles, but we made it work. This is not a statement against working mothers by any stretch. It was the right (and best) decision for me. Goal met.
Goal 3: Home school my children. Now, this plan came out of nowhere. You have to understand that back in the mid 80’s, home schooling was a new concept, and one that was not always well-received. I had no plans to go that route. My husband and I had visited a private school which we felt would work for our daughter. My neighbor decided to homeschool her kids, which I thought was crazy. Guess that’s what I got for thinking. Lol! Honestly, I got into the shower one day with the potential school on my mind and came out knowing I needed to give home schooling a try.
My poor daughter was my guinea pig. In the end, she went from a home school setting, to a public school, to a private school, back to home school, and finished her final two years at a private school. My son was home schooled from kindergarten through the eighth grade. I knew enough to know I wasn’t prepared, or willing to teach his high school years. I did prepare both kids to the best of my ability, and had a great time doing it. Goal met.
Goal 4: Write a novel and have it published. This one came about slowly. As a member of my church’s drama team, I was happy acting in skits and plays. A few years in, the writing bug bit. Long story short, I took over as writer and director, which brought me to a similar positing at the private school my son attended—all the while, novels were being birthed in me. From the time I penned my first (not-so-great) book until the time I had one published, eleven years passed. My plan was to be published by the time I was 50. Yeah, didn’t happen until I was fifty-eight, but it DID happen. Goal met.
All of my goals came with ups, downs, frustrations, joy, laughter, tears, and lots of hard work—but they did come. I’d love to hear about your goals—the ones reached and those still in the working or even dreaming stage. Two dreamers will be chosen to receive an e-copy of any of my books—winner’s choice.
Thank you, Lucie for that great post. I absolutely believe in setting goals – goals in life, goals for the year, for the week…you name it. I feel more accomplished when I have goals.
Now, lets talk about your new release! Congrats, by the way 🙂 First, can you tell us a little about your novella?
Mountain View Lodge brings back a secondary character who took on a life of her own in The Starlight Inn. Tillie Spencer started as a somewhat nosy, little old lady, but turned into a mysterious, little old lady who quickly became one of my favorite characters. Tillie travels from hotel, to inn, to lodge, imparting her advice—whether welcomed or not. In MVL, she finds herself in North Carolina during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day—Autumn’s least favorite holiday. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.
Intriguing. I love reading more about a character that is so endearing.
What was the inspiration for Mountain View Lodge?
I love the mountains, and I love North Carolina, so it seemed the perfect setting. Originally, I wanted to write a holiday series, so Valentine’s Day was the logical next holiday after Christmas. In the end, however, I opted for the travel aspect over the holiday one. I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan, myself, so I incorporated that into Autumn’s character.
You are speaking my language! Mountains, North Carolina, someone who’s not as keen on holidays…
Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’m currently working on two new books. The third Tillie Spencer novella (not yet named) takes place at a small hotel on the East Coast of Florida. Will single-father Drew and new hotel manager Abby find romance? They will if Tillie has anything to say about it. And Tillie always has something to say!
The other book is a full-length novel I’ve titled Memories in the Sand. Yes, it’s another beach story. Lol! Widow, Finley Long cherishes her memories with her late husband, knowing she needs to move on. Zach Palmer is trying to figure out how to move forward with his life. His wife wants a divorce, but an accident puts her in a coma before anything is done about it. While his interest in Finley grows, he questions whether or not God has other plans for he and his wife.
Best of luck with your books. They sound interesting! Thank you so much, Lucie, for sharing a bit more about your book. I am eager to give my readers a better view of your novella. So, without further ado, here it is:
Mountain View Lodge: A Tillie Spencer Novella
Enjoy an Excerpt
Coll remained silent. He stared after the lady until she disappeared into the crowd of partygoers. The sound of Autumn’s chuckling drew him back to the reason he was here. He focused on his companion. “How long have you known that lady?”
“I met her yesterday.”
“She’s . . . interesting.”
“Interesting is one of Tillie’s many characteristics.” Autumn eyed his attire. “You look very nice, though I still prefer the kilt.” She sighed deeply. “There’s just something about a guy in a plaid skirt and knee socks.”
“In that case, allow me to escort you to a room filled with guys in skirts and socks. You can ogle to your heart’s content.” She laughed, and he liked the way it sounded—like a spring breeze, light and airy.
“I’m not going to lie, after that amazing wedding, I just knew I had to get a glimpse of what the reception would be like. Thanks for keeping me from looking like a curiosity seeker.”
“Thank you for not making me go alone.”
Minutes later, Coll found himself seated between Autumn and Chloe, the young girl who’d played the flute. Along with everyone in the room, he applauded when the bridal party was introduced and waited out the hoots and cheers when the newlyweds entered. A portion of his heart fractured when the newly-married couple stepped onto the dance floor for their first dance. Why had he agreed to attend the reception? This wasn’t where he wanted to be. It was one thing to be paid to play during the ceremony, quite another to sit through all the toasts and accolades. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and his palms went clammy.
Autumn touched his arm. “You okay? You look a little pale.”
He focused on Autumn, making sure he seemed at ease. He’d asked her to join him and would make the best of it. “I’m fine. Guess the last couple of days have caught up with me.” She looked doubtful but didn’t say anything more about it.
When couples were invited to join the bride and groom on the dance floor, Autumn stood and held out her hand. “Come on.”
Having no desire to dance, Coll hesitated, but could hardly refuse her offer. He rubbed his palms on his slacks. “I’m not much of a dancer.”
“Neither am I.”
Her smile brightened his mood. He pushed his chair back and stood. Taking her small hand in his, Coll walked in the direction of the dance floor.
“Not that way.” Autumn led him toward the exit.
“Where are we going?”
“Anywhere but here.”
Kindle Select: http://amazon.com/dp/B07BMRDQVD
More About the Author
Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with faith, family, forgiveness, and a little humor to round things out.
A former drama teacher and performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.
Connect with Lucie and her books
As Lucie mentioned above, she is offering a GIVEAWAY! Two lucky winners will be chosen to receive either an e-copy of Mountain View Lodge or their choice of another of her books (e-copy only). Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below: