Finding Gratitude in a Week of Highs And Lows

It’s been a strange week.

And by “strange,” I mean there were an extra six or so really-high highs and kinda-sucky lows stuffed into it without much of a breather between one or the other. Like a roller coaster at Six Flags. (I assume, based on the movies I’ve seen of those rides. I’ve never had the opportunity to try it myself.)

To save on space, I’m going to touch only on the highlights. These are not in order of occurrence:

  1. Friday before last, I released the ARCs for The Undine’s Tear. (If you want to read it for free in exchange for an honest review, visit that page and click the link at the top.) That was just in the nick for my promised deadline. I was so glad I hit it. And also, a little freaked out that this book is making its first, quaking steps out into the world. But mostly excited, because it’s awesome, and I’m sure you will think so, too. :-)

  2. On Thursday and Friday, Jabin performed two vocal pieces in his first music festival performances as a soloist (e.g. not with a school group). He got “distinction” (second-highest mark) on both, and totally deserved it. The adjudicator, who was male, seemed quite thrilled just to see Jabin and several other boys on the stage. Why aren’t more boys taking voice lessons? This shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

  3. After a severe writer’s block on The Waterboy (the short story prequel I was working on for my upcoming young adult science fantasy series) that had me practically panic-crying last Sunday night (when I had promised it to my editor), two good things happened. I (a) got a breakthrough about what was wrong with my story on Tuesday, and (b) I found a book late Tuesday night that changed my life for probably the rest of my writing career. The book is 2k to 10k: Writing faster, better, and more of what you love (referring to daily word count) by Rachel Aaron. It was possibly the best $3.98 CAD I have ever spent. Writers, you should go get it NOW if you have goals of being prolific (which I do, though I was struggling with how to become so). I started reading it at breakfast, and by the time I went to bed (at my actual close-of-business-day hour, for once!), I had written 6,500 words (my best writing day ever!) and increased my average hourly word count by about 50%. And that was implementing only the first, simple suggestion she gave! I’m excited to see what I can do with this from here, now that I’ve read the whole book.

  4. Oh, and also? I finished The Waterboy that day. It’s now with my editor, and will be going out exclusively to my newsletter subscribers at the end of the month.

  5. I also got my finalized cover for The Waterboy. I’ll be revealing it later this week.

  6. Last Monday, there was an earthquake near my hometown (not where I live, but where I grew up and where my father lives), 4.6 on the Richter scale. Not a huge earthquake, but enormous when you consider that it was the first one that my father has ever experienced—and he grew up there. So, first, it’s weird that there was an earthquake that was severe enough to be felt. And second, it’s even weirder that the epicentre was almost smack-dab under my dad’s house. (He’s okay, and as far as I know, so is his property. But it was strange.)

  7. Also last Monday, my uncle, Bob McCarty, died of cancer, one that advanced very quickly after it was diagnosed in November. I have (or rather, had) twelve uncles between both sides of my family. This was the youngest of them all, and the first to pass. I wasn’t particularly close to him because of his reserved nature and a lack of things in common, but he was a kind man and one that will be missed. Especially by my mom and her siblings. He and my mom were pretty close, and it’s hard knowing that my mom has lost another person that meant so much to her.

So, yeah, as I said, a strange, emotion-heavy week. All of that, plus more I didn’t mention, and being an hour short of sleep today due to the time change may have left me a little melancholy and emotional. So rather than leaving my day on that note, I’m going to close this quick update post with what I’m most grateful for:

I am so thankful for my family—husband, kids, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws, the ones I see often, the ones I see rarely, the ones I know well and the ones I don’t—and also, my incredible network of friends and even online acquaintances. I am so blessed to have such an abundance of love in my life. Because in all the highs and lows, only love really matters.

Finding Gratitude in a Week of Highs and Lows: Sometimes, we just need to remember what’s most important. Or rather, who.

Happy Monday, friend.