I've been blogging off and on since 2009, but I always struggled with a comfortable direction (hence, the off and on). I tried posting recipes, pictures of hunks (which always netted the most views!), inspirational quotes, and the list goes on. I finally decided to abandon my blog and focus on FB... I never seem to have a problem finding something to say on FB!
Over the past several months, I'd been thinking about knocking the dust off and firing the old blog up again when I came across Kristen Lamb's blog. After reading her blog and book, I decided it was time to expend a few extra brain cells, figure out a platform, and get my butt in gear. As is so often the case, the universe supplied me with an answer.
An Italian friend was reading an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of CROSSING LINES, double-checking my Italian spelling and usage. Part-way through the book, she sent me the following message:
I don't normally read contemporary romance but I think you may have converted me. Your storytelling is REAL-meaning that you don't hold anything back. Like is messy, life is complicated, people make bad choices, life goes on, hope springs eternal, and that's exactly what I see in this story. And then there is an occasional misunderstanding that makes life hilarious-lol! Good on ya girl!
Her words really touched me and reminded me of similar comments I’ve had from other friends and readers. It also made me think about a song I used to hate, but have recently adopted as the theme song for my life.
In the fall of 2007, I heard Gary Allen's "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" for the first time. I knew the song had been recorded after his wife’s death, and the pain coming through was too close to home for me. It struck a nerve and I instantly hated the song. See, in 2007, my life sort of fell apart.
In June, my youngest had to have 6 baby teeth surgically removed because they weren't coming out on their own. Two weeks later, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor (a deeply embedded mass in the brain that could only be partially removed). Two weeks later, he had surgery at Duke to remove what they could. While he was in surgery (literally, the same time), my oldest was back in our hometown, having an ultrasound of his kidneys, trying to figure out why they weren't functioning properly. Turns out, he had an undiagnosed strep infection (it went undetected for six months and to this day, he has lingering effects from that infection.) Seven weeks after my husband's surgery, my oldest had a tonsillectomy, and two weeks after that, my youngest had an emergency appendectomy.
Two weeks later, I was at my breaking point, so I rode with my husband to Beaufort, SC for a mini-vacation. He was on a family fishing trip, I was holed up in a hotel trying to piece together my sanity. That’s the first time I heard these lyrics: “Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”
At that point in my life, I was having a really hard time finding the beauty. I could find things to be thankful for; all of my guys were alive and recovering, but I still couldn’t find the beauty. All I saw was darkness and fear about the future.
Five and a half years later, aside from a recent wisdom tooth surgery, my youngest is a healthy high school senior. My oldest is still dealing with the fallout of being prescribed pain meds for six months, but he’s currently winning the battle and doing well. And my husband is doing GREAT! Over the years, he’s endured chemotherapy, radiation, and on-going Avastin infusions. The good news is they’re all doing their job, and each MRI (every two months), shows the tumor is continuing to shrink.
I’m also in a different place emotionally than I was back then. I can appreciate that song now, and while life isn’t always beautiful, it IS a beautiful ride!
Our highway is filled with potholes, speed bumps, landslides, and the occasional detour. But we make the most of it, deal with the challenges as best we can, and keep on rolling. I hope you’ll join me each week (I’ll post new updates every Monday), and ride life’s highway with me!! Don’t worry, there won’t be tears, at least not many, but there will be lots of laughter and good times!
There will also be on-going giveaways each month with lots of chances to enter to win digital and signed print books! You can only get points for commenting, following on Twitter, and "Liking" my author page once. But you can come back to Tweet and share on Facebook each day for extra entries! :-)
Please share a little bit about your beautiful life with me, and have a wonderful week!!
Oh!! I also wanted to let you know I'm hanging out at Plotmonkeys today, and on Wednesday evening (9:00 PM EST), I'll be at Mo's Book Buzz for a live chat!! Please drop by and visit with me at both of those places if you can!
Peace and love,
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