Wow, 2019 had to have been the longest year of my life! Good and bad, much has happened over the last twelve months in our household. I would have to say that my high may have been the most successful book release of my career. Escaping Camp Roosevelt, released in May 2019, has sold more copies in its first year than any of my other books during their first year. With 100% of the first year’s royalties being donated to Larkin Street Youth Services/Homeless Shelter, in San Francisco, California, I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who purchased the book! One book can make a difference in someone’s life.
My low, without a doubt, was the death of my little brother Kenneth. Ironically, Kenny was born in San Francisco, and during his early adulthood, was a beneficiary of the great work that Larkin Street does. Kenny was this amazingly talented and gifted soul who was kind to everyone but himself. A year ago, when I wrote my dedication to Kenny in the very book that spoke of homelessness, I had no idea that his ending wouldn’t be a happy ever after in the months that followed the book’s publication.
Even with all of that being said, I am more optimistic going into the new year than I’ve ever been. I do have so much to be thankful for in my life. My health, my husband, my family, and wonderful friends. I am aware that not everyone has the same blessings. I see the homeless and the lonely, the mentally ill, the poor, and the sick, and often they do not possess the basic needs to care for themselves, let alone have someone to care for them.
When I made the decision to donate 100% of the first year’s royalties from Escaping Camp Roosevelt, it was an easy decision for me. I believe that even a small act of kindness done collectively, will make a difference in this world.
What happens when you smile at someone? They almost always smile back at you. My goal this year is to see how many smiles I can give out in 2020. That means making eye contact with strangers, intentionally making an effort every single day to spread joy, even if it’s in a single smile. It may be the only smile that person received that day. A gift that costs me nothing to give, but may be priceless to someone else to receive. I’m also curious to see how this will affect me and my own struggles with depression, negative thoughts, and my everyday well-being. I’m feeling pretty positive about this!
In closing, may you and yours have a Happy New Year, and may you intentionally contribute to the happiness of others, and in return, see amazing royalties in your own coffers.