Dream Big...or Go Home (CAGED NO MORE #1)

Some dreams are inconvenient. Irrational. Even irresponsible. Nevertheless they speak to us, offering to open doors of opportunity if only we’ll answer their call. Caged No More was one of these kinds of dreams, demanding to be attended to at the least opportune time. I was in the trenches of motherhood with three kids, ages 6, 5 and 3, while simultaneously growing a private ghostwriting and editing business; meanwhile, my husband, a new financial advisor, was attempting to build his own business.

But there is no opportune time when it comes to human trafficking. Ask any survivor and they would attest to that. My eyes had been opened to the enormous injustice of human trafficking, and now that I’d seen, how could I just go about my own life? No matter how crazy my world was, I had to do something. A person sold every 30 seconds? Approximately 100s of thousands sold every year on American soil? There was no way I could sit idle…that would be irresponsible.

Since I was a writer, I decided to use that gift to create a novel that could be used as a fund raiser for Trafficking Hope, an anti-trafficking organization dedicated to both spreading awareness about sex trafficking in America and rescuing and restoring its victims.

Why is it that sometimes our “Yes,” which launches our ship into the deep, also seems to alert the violent storms of opposition? That year of writing the novel was both intense and grueling. Not only was I writing Caged and ghostwriting another work of nonfiction, I was homeschooling my kindergartener and 1st grader, and my 5-year-old quite unexpectedly needed to get her kidney removed! (She’s perfectly OK now) What started out as inconvenient had ventured into the land of irrational...and definitely teetering on the precipice of irresponsible. But both my husband and I knew this work was important, and so I forged ahead.

Caged was officially released under the umbrella of Trafficking Hope in late 2011, and we began a grassroots effort to market the book. It’s ironic to think about this now, but when Trafficking Hope and I sat down to contract the rights and profits of this book, I also included the rights for the movie (go big or go home, right?). The book did well and brought in finances for this impactful organization.

In late 2012, I received a call from Lisa Arnold, Incito Films founder, producer and director, and that call took this dream to a whole new level. She’d read the book, and believed it could be a powerful movie. Would we be interested in partnering with her and Jarred Coates, founder of Red Entertainment, to see Caged on the big screen? Hmmm…let me think about th—YES! And so began the process of us all shoving deeper into the fight against human trafficking. 

In doing so, a host of others have joined the movement, and we are at the edge of our seats to see what will happen on January 22nd. Our hopes are that millions will fill the cinemas, find themselves caught up with the thrilling action of Caged No More, and subsequently commit to full engagement in the fight against human trafficking. Or at the very least, talk about this issue with their friends, their daughters and their sons. These conversations can help ensure that these kids never get caught up in this heinous crime and live to fulfill their own big dreams.

What big dreams are knocking on the door of your heart? Unlock that door and open it wide. Let them come in and sit down for a real face-to-face discussion with you. Yeah, even let those irrational and irresponsible ones have their say. Sometimes it's the impossible ones that will change your life forever. 

Posted on January 17, 2016 .