Today is the 30th anniversary of my 16 year-old brother's tragic death. He's been gone almost twice as long as he was alive. And yes, while somehow you manage to put one foot in front of the other and get through the first bone-shattering crush of grief, you never, ever forget and there's always a small hole in your heart that refuses heals. I miss you, Byron.
So it's been 30 years and I'm not the naive person I was back then. You have to wonder how much of who you are is defined by suffering. There's no real way of knowing. You just have to embrace each day as if it's your last and live it on your terms.
Historically, August 19th is truly an awful day for me. But for this one year, it's a happy day. I sold three books and a novella to Harlequin today. This makes 64 books I've sold since 1994. I feel honored and blessed to be doing what I love. Not only that, but the fact that through my books, I reach out and touch others who may be struggling makes it all worthwhile. Because without readers, the writing has no meaning. I do so appreciate my readers. Smile, hug your loved ones and know that even if you're going through hard times now, there is a way through it.