Hallelujah, fall is finally here! October always brings the most significant change in the year for me. It marks the end of summer BBQs and backyard pool parties and lays the holidays at my doorstep. Cooler nights replace the scorching heat as the sun loses her intensity. Though I won’t start decorating for Thanksgiving until November, and the Christmas tree can’t go up until December, I am thinking about it!
Just like the calendar, life has different seasons. When I first decided to write this month’s blog, I was reflecting on how much my writing career has changed over the past eight years. I no longer question if I’m a writer or a real author. I am not only a real author but one I am proud to be.
I love my job—listening as characters narrate their stories to me, crafting tales of their lives, and putting into print fictional characters who will enter bookstores, libraries, and homes worldwide. Each character contains bits of me, my husband, and my life told to the world.
Writing is like keeping a diary; it contains my most precious moments, events that changed my world forever, and some of my darkest fears. I share them in a way that allows my vulnerability to come through via a safe place. I often don’t realize how much I am sharing until after I finish the novel; only then can I see my personal story shining on the pages, ready to be shared with you. This vulnerability is profound and unique for me because I became a private person after a 27-year law enforcement career. I rarely allowed someone into my personal life, thoughts, or dreams, and especially not my fears.
After a career in law enforcement, I would have never foreseen that I would be writing novels about love and trust and being so vulnerable with my words. I’ve found that by being open, I am growing as a person, connecting with readers on a deep emotional level, and hopefully giving them a moment to ponder this amazing journey we call life.
The great poet Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, will forget what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel.”
There is much we do in our short lives that will have little meaning in our death. I don’t want my writing to be one of them. I always write from the heart, seeking growth, grace, and gratitude. My current novel, Hawthorne Manor, didn’t start off being about the three Gs. However, they became quintessential to the heart of the story.
In life, we should seek growth in everything we do and encourage and support growth in others. Through grace, our differences will be insignificant if measured in the end, so we shouldn’t waste precious time on them now. Gratitude is for everything around us. Despite what we see on the daily news, there is still much to be thankful for in this world. Life is the greatest gift we receive; we receive it every day, day after day, and we should acknowledge and appreciate it.
In Hawthorne Manor, Mr. Hawthorne teaches the three Gs to the two young main characters in the book. His wisdom enlightened me, too. I’ve found the three Gs are also crucial components in a marriage.
Last month, my husband and I celebrated our 39-year anniversary. I can’t believe we’ve been together that long! My relationship with this man is by far my greatest accomplishment in this life. I’ve learned and continue to learn more about myself than I thought was possible. There are many days when I get to experience all three Gs in a single day. On those days when I haven’t acknowledged their presence, I will tell myself I can do better, and then I do.
There is much to be thankful for in this life, but today, I am thankful for having growth, grace, and gratitude in my life.
May we all be inspired to understand ourselves and others better and bathe ourselves in the wonders around us.