Subject: Working with Pet "Whisperer" - Matcha Cucumber Smoothie

Today I have some good news to share. I feel like I write a lot about perseverance, keeping your chin up and soldiering on--and it's so nice to be able to show that sometimes I do enjoy a moment in the sun. (Just a moment.) The news is: I just got a literary agent! This is something that I've been working on since February this year, when I started the first story in my collection. (Which got erased by my laptop, and I re-wrote from memory overnight. See this newsletter). 
Not only was it a long process, but also one that tested my level of self-trust. (Not self-confidence--I have more of the former). For instance, I shared a story at a Princeton women writers' group, and one writer was like, "Your writing reminds me of Raymond Carver [she actually was his translator/friend]. But you'll never find an agent with short stories. You should write a novel instead." Everyone seemed very taken aback and upset on my account. But I was like, "hey someone just told me I should be writing a novel--big compliment!" and went back and finished my collection. 
That was actually not that hurtful. I had much worse moments when I really didn't feel validated, misunderstood, physically and mentally ground down. I actually never took creative writing, and no one (no professor, no book publishing acquaintance) had told me I'm any good at writing fiction. So no one encouraged me to write except myself. But instead of dropping it, I said to myself that a writer is who I am and that I need to do this to survive, for better or worse. Honestly, I try hard at life in general, but going truly life-or-death is something I've done only once before in my life. One huge sign of my change of attitude was that I was able to tell a few close people, including my dad, what I was working on without fear of being judged. I realized that if you do something to your absolute limit, it liberates you from the dread of the consequences, or disappointing self or others. And even though my heart ached hearing the anxiety in my dad's voice, "so have you heard from that agent?" [still cheerful, for my sake], I reassured him (and myself), and kept my chin up. The old me would have also not talked about this on the newsletter until actually selling the book to a publisher, but hiding your intentions doesn't really protect you: and if my story inspires you to take chances and *own* your effort, then it's all worth it. :) Here's what I think: Find what you can't live without, stay true to your heart, and throw yourself into the sea. 
Happy Sunday! xo Peaceful Dumpling

p.s. and now I have my perfect career- PD, fiction writing, and teaching barre. :D So worth everything.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having. 
Frank Lloyd Wright

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Raw Vegan Matcha Cucumber Smoothie
By Mary Hood Luttrell

Who can resist a sweet, mint green smoothie superfood smoothie bowl? 
I Tried It: Working with a Pet Communicator
By Jen Awdry

Are your fur babies misbehaving, lethargic, or acting confusing? I tried working with a pet "whisperer" for the harmony of my three cats.  
5 Ways to Make the Best Vegan Chili
By Samantha Lester

Take your chili to the next level with these tips!   
Healthy Dinner: The Best Root Veggie Saute
By Molly Lansdowne

So savory and umami-rich, this is the recipe you'll make again and again all through fall and winter! 
Peaceful Dumpling Sunday Times
What we are reading this week!

I am the Captain of My Soul: On staying true to yourself on contributor Lizzie's blog, Fresh Vibes Only.  

5 Simple Rules to Healthy Living: If you haven't found your "happy place" with healthy living, here's how to make it simple and non-anxiety-inducing--on The Blissful Mind

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas: There's nothing I don't like about this idea--on Strength and Sunshine

How to Shine as an Introvert: all introverts can relate to this--on contributor Z's blog

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