Welcome, Connie. I'll grab a cup of hot tea for you. Back up to the fireplace and get warm.
I’d like to dedicate this blog to my mother, Elnora Burks, who would’ve been 84 years old on November 12th. Rest in peace

                The Power of Believing
My mother was a gentle soul, an unsophisticated country girl, who held two things close to her heart: her love for her children and her belief in God. She married and raised her children during the fifties and sixties when the racial climate in this country was very bleak. Through days when she wasn’t sure how she’d feed us or where we’d live, she held on to her belief that there would be better days that we -her children- would have a better life. She never spoke of her own personal goals or dreams. I’m not even sure she allowed herself the luxury.  Her goal was very basic - survival.  

Because of my mother’s hard work and support, my life is quite different from hers. I’m educated. I can feed my family.  We live in a comfortable home and have stable jobs. But at times I find my belief in my dream wavering. I’m going to share something very personal with you, something that only my husband knows. My dream is to leave a mark in the world. Yes, my mark could be my children, but I want to be the Harper Lee or the Alice Walker of the twenty-first century. I want to write a book that will remain in the world’s consciousness seventy years after I’m gone.

As the years pass, my dream seems to move further and further out of reach, but I haven’t given up. My mother’s unwavering support and belief stays with me, and I’ll keep trying. 

 I believe as writers, we all have that same desire to touch the world in some way. Is this the desire to be immortal? I don’t know. That’s a subject for another blog.

Constance (Connie) Gillam writes adult suspense and young adult paranormal and contemporary fiction. Visit her at www.constancegillam.com or http://tinyurl.com/78x60hg
Her current work, The 5th Realm, a young adult paranormal is available through Amazon http://amzn.to/KqkmNn and Barnes and Noble http://tinyurl.com/7u8sglg
Lisette Beaulieu's world is raveling out of control. The kids at school know more about her family than she does. Tied of being bullied and teased, she makes a Voodoo charm for an obnoxious classmate. When it works and she raises the dead, her life goes from bad to worse.

“Lisette.” The last syllable of my name is drawn out in Michele’s Southern drawl. Her voice-like ice tea with too much sugar- is loud enough to be heard over the clamor in the cafeteria. All heads turn in my direction.
Why is today turning into such a nightmare? That’s usually reserved for my nights.
           “Come join us,” she calls out.
The room is so quiet I can hear “I Kissed a Girl” playing on someone’s iPod. They’re waiting to see if I’m going to diss her. This is their entertainment for the day.
Why does she want me to eat with her? So she can torture me some more? I continue walking toward the table in the back.
A pair of tan loafers appears in my path. My gaze travels up the khaki pants to the Polo shirt to Eric Gabriel’s thick lashed brown eyes. “Join us.” He gestures back toward Michele’s table. It’s the first time I’ve heard his voice. It sounds rusty, like he doesn’t use it often.
“Why?” I’m not going to be made fun of by a bunch of spoiled rich kids.
Whispering, he says, “Because I’d like you to.” My stomach does a nose dive.
I glance over my shoulder in Michele’s direction.  Does she want me at their table that badly, or is this all Eric? Is he following her directions, or does he think on his own?
He touches my elbow and turns me around.
I don’t know why, but I allow him to lead me toward their table. I’m so stupid. I said I’d never be swayed by a pretty face. Now look at me.
What are you doing to keep your dream alive? 
One commenter will win a free download of The 5th Realm.


  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM  

    Connie, so sorry for your loss. I understand how very painful the loss can be. My mom passed before I can out of the closet with my writing, so I never mentioned it to her. I'd like to think that somehow she knows about it.

    I love the cover of your book. The excerpt was great, it made we want to read it. Good luck with you new release.

  2. Mary Marvella // November 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM  

    Connie has adorable grand kids.


  3. Mary Marvella // November 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM  

    Morning, Connie.

  4. Pamala Knight // November 14, 2012 at 8:42 AM  

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Connie. Thank you for sharing it. I don't think you're alone in wanting to make an impact upon the world with your words. But it's awesome that you put it right out there so the rest of us can shake our heads in agreement.

    Also, your excerpt rocked.

  5. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM  

    Thanks, Scarlet.

    Her loss is fresh in my mind. I still reach for the phone to call her.

    Glad you liked the excerpt.

  6. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM  

    Thanks for having me on the blog, Mary. And yes, I think my grandkids are adorable, but don't most grandparents.

  7. Nightingale // November 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM  

    What a touching post to your mother. I hope you achieve your dream, Connie. I enjoyed your excerpt and the title is super.

  8. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM  


    I'm a pretty private person, so to put my dreams out in the universe was unusual.
    Hope your dreams come true.

  9. Beth Trissel // November 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM  

    Hello Connie. So good to have you with us on the Fuzzies, and so sorry for your loss. Your book looks and sounds great.

  10. Mary Marvella // November 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM  


    Thanks. I know your mother is proud of you and your writing. I'm happy you like the excerpt. Keeping writing.

  12. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM  

    I'm having problems posting, so there might be duplicate replies to your posts.

  13. Tamara LeBlanc // November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM  

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother, Connie. I only met her once, and she seemed like a strong presence in the room. I'm glad you grew up with her...she made you the great woman you are today :)
    I never thought of writing a novel worthy of standing the test of time. I admire you for having a goal like that. I admire and believe in you. I know you can do it. Your talents are much bigger than you imagine.
    Thank you for sharing something with us, that before, only your husband knew :)
    Have a great Wednesday!

  14. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM  

    Thanks for stopping by, Linda. I'm glad you liked the excerpt. I loved writing the book and hope others will enjoy it also.

  15. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM  

    Thanks, Beth.

    I'm working on the sequel. Elise will do the cover art for me.

  16. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM  


    Thanks for stopping by. Your grandmother was an amazing, witty woman. I salute her and you.

  17. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM  


    The blog ate my reply to you, so I'm reposting.

    I'm glad you liked the excerpt. Thanks for stopping by.

    I love the cover art on your books!

  18. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM  


    Thanks for stopping by. I know this is a busy week for you. I'm keeping you and your mom in my prayers.

  19. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM  


    Thanks for stopping by. Lovely cover art on your books.

    I'm glad you liked the excerpt.

  20. Beth Trissel // November 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM  

    Super about Elise, Connie. BTW, for some bizarre reason your comments keep winding up in our spam folder. I will periodically check and approve them. Others have wound up there too. We have a meddlesome spam folder.

  21. Mary Marvella // November 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM  

    I'll bet I know where Scarlet's comments went. (giggle)

  22. Pamela Varnado // November 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM  

    Connie, you mother sounds like she was an amazing woman. I only met her once, but she left an impression on me. Her no-nonsense manner and sharp wit reminded me of my own mom. I’m glad you have such wonderful memories of her. She would be so proud of you.

  23. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM  

    Thanks, Pamela-

    She was a wonderful mom. Silent but strong.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  24. Lynn Lovegreen // November 14, 2012 at 6:07 PM  

    Beautiful post--your mom was a special person. And I encourage you to keep working toward your dream. I have a similar one, and although I may not become a bestseller, I know I might still be abel to touch people's lives, I bet you will too. Remember what Ray Bradbury said, "You fail only if you stop writing." P.S. The book looks great too!

  25. Connie Gillam // November 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM  

    Thanks, Lynn, those are lovely and encouraging words. I won't give up.

    Good luck to you.

  26. Harley Brooks // November 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM  

    Sorry I'm late to the program, but this blog is beautiful, Connie. You come from "strong stock" my grandmother would say. Keeping dreams alive is important and to do so, one must never give up. Challenges only make the victory sweeter when won. You've written a book. You're already immortalized and a tangible piece of you will remain in the world long after you leave. Good luck - love the excerpt!

  27. Judy // November 15, 2012 at 9:35 AM  

    Wonderful blog, Connie. I admire your mother's believe so much! It is women like her who do so much to help society. And, yes, like you I'd like to leave something lasting that gives to others the encouragement and beliefs I've been given. But I sometimes find it hard to visualize this after being disappointed by the process.

  28. Connie Gillam // November 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM  

    Thanks, Harley for those kind words.

    We have to do whatever it takes to keep our dreams alive.

  29. Connie Gillam // November 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM  


    I agree with you. The process sucks the creative juices right out of you. But when you have great writing days and encouraging comments like I've had on this blog, it gives you the lift in spirit to go on.

  30. Mary Ricksen // November 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM  

    Nothing like the unconditional love from a wonderful Mom!
    Gotta read this one, loved the excerpt!

  31. Connie Gillam // November 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM  

    Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Hope you like the book.

    I enjoyed writing it.

  32. Mary Marvella // November 17, 2012 at 8:12 AM  

    Judy Keim, you won Connie's ebook!

  33. Josie // November 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM  

    Welcome, Connie, and thanks to MM for inviting you. Yes, I believe you will make a mark on the world. Your writing is beautiful.