It’s been an incredible process: making up a story out of thin air. My other three books are all non-fiction, so they needed to be well written, but I didn’t have to create the material.
Concurrently, I finished A Hard Road, a book about my husband’s cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Working on that book was very emotional at times, but we decided that if it could help other cancer patients or caregivers, it was worth it.
I’m sitting with gratitude at the end of these journeys. I had wonderful readers, a talented cover designer, a great proofreader, plus two Angel investors who allowed me to interview them so I could show their profession as accurately as possible. My husband would come home after a long and crazy day at work to find me bleary-eyed from writing all day. We had to do practical chores together since I let them go as I wrote. My son, who assures me he will never read my novel (an erotic romance), has been supportive every step of the way.
I had the amazing opportunity to see the totality of the eclipse last month in Redmond, Oregon with my son and his girlfriend. We were fortunate there wasn’t smoke that morning to obscure nature’s incredible beauty. Friends have asked me what it was like and I keep coming back to this: it was beyond words. And for a writer, that’s saying something. My brother-in-law who is a visual artist and photographer said it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. For a moment, think about the few top experiences in your life . . . the totality could be added to it.
None of us know how long we have in this life, with the people we love. Be sure you tell them you love them—regularly. Get out and do what matters to you and makes you happy. And figure out where you can make a difference and go for it.
As I come up on my daughter’s death anniversary (19 years ago) I am thankful that it led me to become a therapist; to make something good come out of every parent’s worst nightmare. That too has been a hard road, and I still wonder if through my grief I was there for my son how I wanted to be when he was little. All I know for certain is that I did the best I could.
That’s what we’re all doing—our best. Good enough. Not perfect.