The Great Challenge

Three months ago, I signed both my husband and I up for the NYC Marathon, an item that’s been high on our bucket list for some time. Well at least, it was high on mine. I think it was somewhere around the bottom of his, but now it’s at the top. In the process, because I believe the more people you bring to a party, the more fun it is, I’ve convinced six of our friends to run with us using personal threats sparingly, and a bunch of others to travel from Switzerland to the US on November 6th as our own personal pom-pom squad.


This was us before the Geneva half marathon back in May. I am not posting the after picture as it wasn’t very pretty. 


A week ago, we ran 18K (not even half a marathon) after which I felt like roadkill—actually, the feeling started around kilometer 9, persisted until kilometer 14, then exacerbated by kilometer 18. When I questioned my sanity out loud, my husband reassured me that with enough determination and a lot of training, we would manage to cross that finish line. Even though he believes I married him for his looks, his sense of humor, and his generosity, it was his confidence that truly drew me in.

And it is that confidence that keeps me afloat when I feel like giving up on everything else in life. Like my writing. After I wrote Ghostboy, almost two years ago now, I went down the usual path: query literary agents with my manuscript, cross my fingers that one would bite, gnaw on my nails when refusals started arriving, and finally, toss book aside because of lost hope.

– I submitted Ghostboy to about 40 agents.
– 20 didn’t have the decency to reply.
– 15 sent form refusals.
– 5 asked to see the entire book (out of those 5, one agent, Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Agency sent an extremely thoughtful and encouraging reply).

What did I learn? Acknowledge everyone who sends you an e-mail as it is a kind and quick thing to do. Don’t take refusals personally as tastes differ. And finally, don’t lose hope. That last part was the toughest for me as I take everything to heart.


laureen front cover
As I readied to shelve Jaime and Duke’s story, my superhero husband put aside the thousand-page hearing aid contract he was studying and read my book. He deemed it way more exciting than the contract—which I prayed wasn’t such a feat—and urged me to self-publish it. This is how my authorpreneur career started.


Paying it forward with one of my daughters.

After 3 books and 3 kids, I think I can manage a 42K. And if I start losing steam, I know that my husband, who will be running right alongside me and talking throughout the entire race—since he is never winded nor wordless—will remind me that I can make it. He might have to carry me across that finish line though…

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