Yay, I finally finished Michael's Magic Box! Writing it was such an amazing experience. Many times I would feel like Michael was right there with me, inspiring me to be the best that I could be. I've often heard people who worked with him state that he challenged them to perform at a higher level. I felt that kind of pressure while writing this, but it was a good pressure, one that helped unleash my potential in a whole new way.
Often, when I was in the middle of writing a chapter, I would be contemplating what "message" to use. I didn't plan which ones to use ahead of time. I let the story write itself, like he advised writers to do. Sometimes when I was frustrated that it wasn't coming together like I wanted, suddenly, it would hit me to use a certain message and the storyline would come together magnificently. In that moment, I would yell out, "Yes! Michael you are a genius," and I would run over to my laptop and get it all out as fast as my hands would let me. I felt it was him that was inspiring me, but who can say for certain. The best way I can explain how it felt is through this song, "To Where You Are" by Josh Groban. Take a listen:
(Thanks to MyMJJTribute for making this beautiful video)
Recently, Heather, one of the team members, wrote this about me: "If you asked me to describe Linda and her mission of carrying on Michael's legacy to the world...This song says it all." She was talking about the song It's All in Your Name by Michael Jackson and Barry Gibb. Thank you Heather. You are right. I did have a mission and writing this book was a dream that was done all in his name, but these words particularly spoke to me:
"So what is my life, if i don't believe, there is someone to watch me follow my dreams, take all my chances like those who dare."
You, the readers, are the ones who were there to watch me follow my dreams. You were witness to - actually party to - an author being born, so I want to thank you for following the story and sticking with me until the end. Without you, there wouldn't be Michael's Magic Box, because your interest kept the story going. I appreciated every comment you left, loved every tear you shed, and cherished every ounce of encouragement you gave me along the way. In the song, they sing about one family of love. I think of the global MJ Family as one family of love and I'm so proud to be part of it.
When it comes to Michael Jackson, anything you do must be top notch; only the best for him, so I hope I have accomplished that. If there is any greatness in Michael's Magic Box, it lies in its symbolism, as is the case in a lot of fiction writing. What is the symbolism? The late movie critic Roger Ebert, said, "If you have to ask what it symbolises, it didn't." Hopefully you don't have to ask, but I'll state it anyway. The magic is the love inside of you. The box represents your heart through which it flows and the messages represent your thoughts. In other words, to get the love inside of you to flow through your heart, you have to think the right kind of thoughts; loving thoughts.
Although I planned on having it completed in one year, posting one chapter each month, it was much harder to do than I anticipated. I encountered many personal challenges along the way, so there are some other people I would like to thank for helping me make it happen too.
First, I would like to thank my step dad, Robert Potter. He is the one who encouraged me to write Michael's Magic Box. He saw something in me. He knew there was a book in my soul that needed to be written. Unfortunately, he was fighting a battle with lung cancer while I was writing it, yet through it all he was always so excited to hear about my progress. Every time he talked to me he would say, "How are you coming on your book?" I would answer by telling him what chapter I was working on and he would get a big smile on his face. "Good," He would say, "You're doing great."
Last Friday, April 19th, he passed away. Luckily, I finished the last chapter before that happened so I was able to let him know the book was done. He was so proud of me. I thanked him for encouraging me, for believing in me, and gave him a big hug. It was a very special moment. Although he won't ever get to read it, at least he knew I finished it.
Completing it brought up so many emotions for me though. On one hand it was very satisfying to know I actually did what I set out to do, which was to give Michael's life meaning beyond his passing by carrying on his message of love in a unique way, but on the other hand, writing that last message felt like saying goodbye to him all over again.
I also want to thank Valerie for helping me edit a large portion of the book. Her subtle changes made such a huge difference; David Ilan for giving me this platform to write it on; all of the Tribute Team for their support and encouragement and Heather for being there for me during my personal challenges and making me laugh when I needed it most.
Without the love of my kids, I don't know that I would have completed this. Following your dreams is not easy, but they were always there to keep me on the path that was laid out for me despite the overwhelming urge to throw in the towel at times.
Finally, to Michael Jackson:
This book is my way of showing the world that you mattered, that your life mattered and your message mattered. You mattered enough to me that I took your words about putting love back into the world to heart, and did something about it in my own way, through Michael's Magic Box. The messages you inspired me to include in each chapter were perfect. If this book helped even one person understand your message of love more clearly, then we succeeded.
Thank you for the music, the memories and most of all the L.O.V.E. I am changed forever because of you.
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