Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't put off til tomorrow, what you can do today

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.-- Dale Carnegie

A few years ago I took a tour of an Old Florida theme park -- Cypress Gardens. It has fallen on hard times, closed, since I was there. But I remember growing up and thinking it was paradise and the one place I wanted to visit. I might have been influenced by my cousin who was a world traveler compared to me. She'd been there. She'd watched the ski show. She could even water ski. Me. I could read.

It only took me 40 years to get to Cypress Gardens. And it was just as magnificent as I had thought it would be -- more so. The banyan tree bigger (well, it had 40 years more of growth!) and the topiary garden pictured here absolutely magnificent. And I realized that Cypress Gardens wasn't just my dream destination. It was also someone's dream become reality.

Cypress Gardens began as Dick Pope's dream and became a premiere promotion for water skiing. "Founded in 1936 by Dick and Julie Pope, Cypress Gardens was a showcase for Central Florida and paved the way for other parks such as Disney and Universal to follow. Under his guidance, the beautiful botanical gardens became the backdrop for beautiful belles and peaceful boat rides, as well as many movies and thousands of advertising campaigns over the years. Familiar Starlets who have walked our paths include: Betty Davis, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Esther Williams and Elvis to name just a few. Proclaimed the Water Ski Capitol of the World, Cypress Gardens became the birthplace of performance water skiing in 1941. " By the time I knew what it was in the 1960s, it was an internationally famous destination.

My little pea brain wouldn't know where to begin to create such a place, how to pull it together and make it work, market it, keep it open and welcoming and all the other things that such a venture requires. But then, that isn't true is it. I could write a fiction world. My own fiction dream of Cypress Gardens or whatever destination I can dream.

Then again, in fiction the facts must be there. I should be able to grasp the rudiments of running such a place. So fiction writers must be magnificent researchers. And we must make readers believe the fiction right along with the facts.

My point, a bit obscure I suppose, is that big ventures begin small. J.K. Rowling began with paper and pencil and a curiosity for magic and 'what if'. Mr. Pope started with a vision of a garden fronting onto a lake where his kids liked to swim and ski. He and his 'garden' influenced a cartoonist who eventually created Disney World. Even Dale Carnegie, quoted above, began simply with his belief and experiences. He shared them with others and generations later he's still an icon.

We can begin the same way these people and others have begun. But as another mover and shaker and genuinely nice guy who died too early said: "Whatever you want to do, do it now.There are only so many tomorrows." --Michael Landon

Today's Tip: Timed Writings get the creative juices flowing. Take 10 minutes, no make it 20, and just type. Don't craft, don't censor, just write whatever flows into your head, then sit back and relish the nuggets you mined from your own mind.

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