On this 31st day of December, I sit here gazing momentarily at the New York skyline. The pen swerves coiling on the page as I pen this emotional open letter. It’s been a momentous year; I’d vowed to slow down, write less and enjoy the day-to-day beauty that I tend to miss out on while I’m hunkered down in my writing cave. Needless to say I failed miserably at this task, my creativity and the anxious minions in my head wouldn't allow it. In the end, I released more books than I had the year before, six. In light of this, I've decided not to limit myself or stifle my creativity. Doing so would only fill me with dread; I’d drown in myself. So in 2014, I've decided to write as much as I want to, whether I share it with a reading audience or not. As I've said before, “Writing is my oxygen; it’s my therapy, the very thing that saves me from being lost in the abyss of myself.”
As we say goodbye to 2013, I’d like to thank each and every person who’s played a part in my journey; you've made this past year bearable: Tonya Kappes, thank you for contacting me at a critical moment that gave me hope when mine was in short supply; your gesture saved me that day. You encouraged me in the very moment when I was unsure of what worth I’d have in the industry.
Barbara B., my beloved sister, I've looked up to her throughout my life. She went beyond being supportive, investing time and money despite her hectic schedule to read and give me feedback, even with the children’s books. Thank you for being the closest thing to a twin that I’ll ever have, for making me laugh and for loving me. Then, there’s my best friend of twenty three years Evelyn, who’s been no less than a sister to me and has made the low points high ones and has been the wind in my sail when I feel I've reached my limit. Thank you for encouraging me, supporting me and telling me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear. I thank you and appreciate you.
Summarized, it’s been said, “What hasn't been revealed to the wise and the prudent has been revealed to the babes and the suckling,” and it’s true. My sidekick, unofficial twin, critique partner S.J. Dennery has played an instrumental part in my evolution as an author. She was fifteen years old when she started working with me and it’s been an epic journey. S.J. Dennery pushed me beyond my limits and when I thought that she was through with me, she pushed me further. There’s been times when she was arguably hard on me and I’d go into my writing cave and bury my head in the folds of my arms. I was discouraged but anyone who knows me knows that I have a determined spirit, even when I feel as though I’m ready to wave a white flag, my personality won’t allow it. I put my big girl pants on and revisited whatever the issue was and I came back to her admittingly nervous. Thankfully, I rebounded every time impressing her more I had on the last project. There is always room for improvement, I’m a work in progress and I will continue to strive to improve my craft. S.J. Dennery, I’d like to thank you for being at my side during my journey in the publishing world. I can’t imagine being on this excursion without you. I love you with all that I am or ever will be.
Her best friend and partner in mischief, Ilia Smith has been influential from the start. She’s an avid fan, the kind that would wear team colors if I had one, she’d stand in line for tickets in the rain if I played on an athletic team…I am flattered. In a past life, she was probably my daughter, but I’d adopt her in this life in a heartbeat. Thank you for being a friend, neighbor and a rebel with a cause.
Benjamin Yon Floyd, I must thank you for reminding me that visuals are equally important. You’re awe-inspiring. I hope you keep writing, the group as a whole enjoyed reading your stories and we anxiously await your novel. Also, the character that you helped to mold in The Legend Of Turtle Pond lent a special quality to the story. I look forward to reading one of your novels.
Jill David, thank you for sharing my links and your love of photography, family photos, and allowing me to use your husband as a character in the sequel of Thin Skin Soul Pinned. I truly wanted to capture his true personality and I hope I have done him justice.
Genevieve Scholl, you've inspired me to learn more about photo manipulation and I smile when I reflect on the countless times that I've read a food scene of yours and had to stop because you made me hungry. I’d like to thank you for featuring me on your website, for the creative advice and for sharing my links. I wish you continued success in all that you do.
Special thanks go out to Authors To Watch, The fabulous: Ava Lenoir and Tonya Kappes for featuring me on their websites and all of the bloggers who participated in the On The Isles of Mozambique Spotlight Blitz Tour.
So as I leave 2013 behind I am thankful and baffled that friends, family and strangers who have become friends has taken this journey with me. I am emotional and even though this letter is penned in ink, it is truly written in tears, happy tears. I am overwhelmed that I've been able to share the plots blooming in my head with an audience. My initial goal was to have my book included on the shelf alongside famous authors that I've shelved for years during my employment as a library assistant. I've been on the shelf for a few years now, but I never imagined that anyone would want my autograph…I pause to wipe a trail of tears, …want an autograph of a girl who grew up in a country setting catching butterflies for fun before moving on to the big apple, the youngest in the family, a day dreamer, a survivor of a natural disaster and a survivor in general. As I say goodbye to 2013, I pledge to live more, pause to smell the flowers, watch a stream flow, and take it one day at a time. It’s been quite a journey but I’m ready to say goodbye to 2013; hello 2014.