Taking Stock

With a month to go before spring IMG_4329raises its lovely head. I’ve been taking stock. My husband, Robert, and I just got back from touring Machu Picchu and a trip around the Horn of South America, so it’s been a good time for reflection.

I was all set to self-publish my novel, but met an outstanding author on the cruise, who put me in touch with her agent, also outstanding.  So, I pitched my novel to her. She was intrigued and wanted to see my manuscript. Now, I’m waiting for her to get back to me. Hurry up and wait. The nature of the biz.

My Baba, Lukia Mazurec

My Baba, Lukia Mazurec

Meanwhile, I’ve completed the first draft of my baba’s story and need to start pitching that one as well. It takes place between 1915-1929, in what is now Ukraine. So, of course, the battles there have kept me glued to the TV. My heart goes out to all Ukrainians  who are hoping for a better life.

I’ve also been fortunate to audition for a couple of wonderful projects, one, a movie of the week, the other, a pilot for a new TV series. It’s been a chance for me to brush up on my acting. Carol Rosenfeld’s wonderful book, Acting and Living in Discovery, has been a big help.

Besides all that, I’ve been watching the Olympics and learned once more what it takes to be successful in any field.  Surprisingly, the athletes who failed to get a medal taught me more about success than those who got one.  Most of us know that to achieve any goal it takes passion, perseverance, and hard work. And even with that, you can still fail at getting what you want. I saw athletes fall or make an error—due to nerves, a nick in the ice, or a skier or speed skater falling down in front of them. Yes, they Olympicsfailed to get on the podium, but I also saw them pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep going. It’s heroic.

To do your best at whatever you try is worth celebrating. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Also, better to have tried and lost, then never to have tried at all.

Our human potential is boundless. We are all more than we think. What do you think?


6 thoughts on “Taking Stock

  1. Karen Dodd

    Diana, this is such wonderful news about pitching your book to an agent. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you. What a thrill that would be!

    Machu Picchu looks gorgeous beyond belief. Some day I hope to go there.

    Like you, I pray for, and my hearts go out to the people of the Ukraine. Thank you for a lovely post. It’s so good to share in your exciting news.
    Karen Dodd recently posted…DEADLY SWITCH is featured today on the Fussy Librarian!My Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Machu Picchu is an incredible site. There is a National Geographic video out there that explains the history of this Inca sanctuary and retreat, (1438 – 1572). We didn’t do the Inca trail, which is a three to four day hike in. Instead, we stayed in Sacred Valley, a few hours outside of Cuzco, and from there, were bused to Ollantaytambo train station, and took a two hour train to Aguas Calientes.And then from there, another bus. But because of rock slide days before, our bus could only take us part way.Then, we had to climb up a short hill to the other side of the slide and take another bus. It was a long day.

      Machu Picchu, if you haven’t heard, is a challenging place to see because of the altitude, close to 8,000 ft.above sea level. Fortunately, Rob and I are reasonably fit and we took altitude sickness pills, recommended by anyone we talked to and our doctor. We also were careful not to overeat or drink too much alcohol. I avoided it altogether days before we went, though I do like a little bit of wine. Landing in Cuzco a day before helped somewhat, as it’s close to 11,000 ft. above sea level and we had an opportunity to acclimatize somewhat. You can feel the altitude change, and we were careful not to overexert ourselves. Still, with the pace of the itinerary of our tour package, many people got ill. We were the only ones of our small tour group that managed to climb to guard village, which is about as high as one could go.

      The guides that assisted us were from Lima Tours, organized through Online Vacations in Florida. Each one was so warm and so knowledgeable, we couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the site. We were fascinated by the indigenous culture that is still so prevalent. So prevalent that Peru stands out from the other South American places we visited.

      The day we visited Machu Picchu, we were also blessed with great weather, even though the forecast had been for much rain. My only peeve is that I forgot to clean my lens and so my photos there have a smudge. Yuk. If you do plan to go, I’d suggest soon, as the place has been so overcrowded for years, that there is talk of more and more restrictions as to who can visit. I’d also suggest a walking stick, not that you really need one. But there are no guard rails and tourists have been known to fall off and get injured or die. And if it’s rainy at all, it could be a challenge walking on the narrow trails and uneven stone steps of the site.

  2. Marylin Warner

    Diana, what a wonderful post! Such good news. There’s an exciting synchronicity of meeting the author and then connecting with the agent, and then all other plans merrily tossing and turning and landing in corners to wait for awhile.
    You never know when the universe is conspiring to give assistance! Please keep us posted as it all unfolds.
    With all that is happening, I can only imagine how your heart and hopes center around the people of Ukraine. Blessings on you and those you love.
    Marylin Warner recently posted…UNFINISHED BUSINESSMy Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Thank you so much for the blessings. We can all use them, and back at you. Yes, it’s been exciting, but you know the business. It’s often a game of wait and see, but knowing that, it’s bearable.

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