Everyone has dreamzappers.
These are, of course, the pesky things that stand in the way of achieving goals and dreams. They are not easily identifiable, thus not easily removed.
Rancho Vistoso resident Diane Wise not only identified daily dreamzappers, but terminated them by self-publishing her first book of literary verse and illustrations.
"Dreams are not achieved through only one door," said Wise, who publishes her books under the initials D.R. Wise (pun not intended), "sometimes you have to find the back or side door."
"The Dreamzappers," the first book written and published by Wise, recently won the 2010 National Indie Excellence Award for the gift-book category. The award is given to self-published works of various genres demonstrating quality in both presentation and content.
"Our judges agreed that never before have so many independent and self-published books demonstrated such a high level of excellence," said Indie Excellence Award founder Ellen Reid of the 2010 winners.
"It's a great honor and a validation that gives me momentum to keep going," said Wise. "It's a key to open doors. It doesn't open the door itself, but it's a key."
The 27-page book "The Dreamzappers" is the story of a young girl who goes to find the Great Sage in hopes that he has the answers to how she can successfully pursue and accomplish her dreams. The Sage informs the girl of the five dreamzappers who will stand in her way: the physical world, the general public, friends, family, and most importantly herself.
Once these dreamzappers are recognized, they can be conquered. Before the book ends, the girl asks why dreamzappers exist. "It's important to wrestle for what you believe / Because man is the happiest when he can achieve / Something that others don't have right at hand. / It makes life worthwhile and that makes it Grand," replies the Sage in the book.
Although the book is illustrated, its designated audience is adult. "They are gift books," said Wise, "for people to inspire themselves, or communicate a message of inspiration to others."
Wise developed a passion for writing and art at an early age. "I grew up in a small town, and six miles out of that town," she said. "I learned to entertain myself through drawing and reading." She even confessed to reading the dictionary at times for fun. "I love words," she said.
Wise earned a degree in fine arts and pursued a career in advertising and public relations. She tried her hand at writing numerous times, but it wasn't until the flight home from a high school reunion five years ago that her first book came together.
"It's funny," Wise said, "I get my best ideas on a treadmill or on a plane. On a treadmill I'm using a lot of energy getting nowhere fast, and on a plane I'm using no energy getting somewhere very fast."
After "The Dreamzappers" was written, Wise continued writing until 11 other books were finished. She then illustrated the works. "When I'm writing and illustrating, I'm in a zone, something that I can't describe," she said.
Wise formed Golden Impact Press and self-published her first two works. "I wanted to have control of the final presentation of the books," she said.
Her second work "The Fine Arts of Life" matches its predecessor in size and format as she plans the subsequent books to do.
Wise recently launched this second work and was invited to a book signing at Borders on Broadway last month.
The book is a testament that art is not impractical but necessary to live a meaningful life. "It is a playful tale of how art creates an extra 'joie de vivre' that makes life a journey of living rather than merely surviving," said Wise.
Wise plans to launch a new book every year, a portion of the proceeds going toward charities that help "mankind or the planet." Profits from "The Dreamzappers" went to a charity benefitting homeless veterans.
"The whole idea is to have a positive impact on the people that read my books," said Wise. "These days our lives have become so hyper-connected and layered that we've lost sight of the beauty of simplicity and simple truths."
So far, "The Dreamzappers" has succeeded in her goal of having an encouraging impression on its readers.
"I was enchanted as I read the book," wrote S. Drollinger in a letter to Wise. "Turning each page, I found the words to be like words from a trusted friend. Of particular intrigue is the simplicity of the truth and how once we grasp this, our worlds and lives can essentially become transformed."