Monday, May 30, 2011

Writing It Down

A couple of years ago, I set out to write a memoir. I wanted to share my story of adoption and raising children with HIV, but half-way through the rough draft I decided I wasn't quite ready. My family and our story was still evolving–still growing. So, I stuck in in a drawer where I imagined it would stay for a little while. How long, exactly? I wasn't sure. I then went on to write my first novel, The Silence of Mercy Bleu, which I'm thrilled to say will be released in early March 2012. Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for me.

The plan, after finishing my novel, was simple. It was to go onto the next story, and then the next after that. In fact, I'd already finished outlines for my next three books, but like I always say, life is full of surprises!

A few months ago I had this vivid dream that I was holding a book in my hands. Not just any book–a memoir–my memoir to be exact. I could see the cover. The art. Even the title, and I was marveling over the beauty of it. Then I woke up ... ready and incredibly eager to finish it.

AND if you don't believe in serendipity... Not long after my decision to pull out the memoir, I received an e-mail–from (get this) a publisher who'd happened across my blog and wanted to know if I had plans to finish the memoir. If so, they would be interested. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I pulled said memoir out and started typing ... even faster.

With the rough draft now complete, I'm starting in on the first edit. Writing my own "real life" story, I must say, is very different than writing fiction. I'm more emotionally vested and it can be taxing at times, re-living the difficult moments and the struggles, but more often than not, it is an incredibly rewarding experience. Writing it, like living it has become a journey in and of itself; truly meaningful, and well worth it in the end.

Writing has, for me, always been a way to share and connect with people, and it's that connection that keeps me getting up before the sun rises, to write another story, or in this case–another chapter of my own life. My hope for the memoir, when it's finished, is that my readers will take from it something valuable, something that will enrich their own lives, and if by my telling about my own struggles, and triumphs, I give hope to even one person, then it's done exactly what I'd wished for.

June 5th will mark the 30th anniversary since the first documented case of AIDS.

I've learned this: Every person you meet has a story. Listen. Learn. Share. That's how it all begins...

Friday, May 27, 2011

After the Storm

Just moments after the storm...

How about that rainbow? I shot this picture a few days ago. May 21st actually. The day "The Rapture" was supposed to happen. I took this as a lovely little sign from God. His was of saying, "Hey, listen up–not going to end the world today–just thought I'd let you know."

How many of you even thought for a second, this could be it, that this could really be "The End" of the world, even if just for a second?

That's how I felt the day I found out that my children and I had AIDS–that it was the end. I thought about the things that I'd wished I'd done differently, all the people I loved but had never told how much they meant to me. I thought about what I wanted to do with my last days on Earth. I felt the clock ticking–running out of time. How was I going to accomplish what I needed to? Would there be enough time? Did I have months or did I have a few more years? I remember hoping and praying for time... time with my family, time to do–everything.

And here we are, almost sixteen years later, healthy and going strong. Did I think, way back then, that I'd still be alive today, watching my children flourish ... fulfilling my dream of being an author and writing stories? I hoped I would.

I've since learned that a little HOPE goes a long, long way, and so here we are friends, facing another hour and another day...surviving "The Rapture" prophecy, AND surviving HIV/AIDS : )

I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend and I hope all my Southern friends are fairing alright with these storms that keep passing through.
With school about out, I'm super excited to get a jump on summer, and start this exciting next chapter of this beautiful thing we call life. Here's hoping the storms stay away at least for the weekend as there's fun to be had with the kids and we are definitely ready to hit the pool!

"Hope is only the love of life... Who knows?

God may save us, may work a miracle."

–Henri Amiel (1821-1881)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happiness is...

A winding road...
A vineyard sunning beneath a blue sky...
A day of love and laughter : )

Happiness is... my children's love, and this was the best Mother's Day a mom could ever wish for. Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms out there. Enjoy every moment with your children (they grow up fast, it's true!) and not only today, but every day, know that because of them you are blessed beyond measure.