I hope your July was better than mine.

About a week ago I said goodbye to my grandmother, who was without doubt one of the most amazing women I have, or ever will, know. What she endured in life without complaint, the strength of her character, the vibrancy of her life ~ all equals a remarkable woman whom I will deeply miss.

To say I am heartbroken over this farewell goes without saying, though I know she is definitely in a better place and now healed, and far removed from the pains and grief of this world. Moreover, I know I will see her again, and that knowledge is precious to me.

Nor is the heartache a useless or debilitating side eddy in my life.

When going through difficulties – I write.

Writing has always been my safety valve. When experiencing any extreme of life – good or bad – my kneejerk response is to sit down and write about it: if not in my journals, then in one of my current-works-in-progress.

I am fond of telling my writer’s groups that “When life hands you lemons – give them to your characters. Therapy for you, plot development for them. It’s a win-win scenario.”

I mean that very sincerely. Writing is, for me, not only how I gain full closure on the ups and downs of life, but also how I add texture to the tales that I am crafting.

Life can be gritty sometimes. It can be painful, even. But it can also be beautiful, especially when it transforms you, and the art of your soul, in such a way that it more fully reflects the way we live — not in jarring words, or scarring images, but in the carefully threaded moments that bind our days together.

(no this is not me. hehe.)

Grit can give you road rash. Or it can sculpt the hard surfaces of your life into something smooth and beautiful.

Give texture to flat surfaces.

Draw out color from dullness.

And, in the end, make one heckuva tale.

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense here. I think I am. If not, then never mind. I have lived and loved, and those who love me have enriched my days and my writing in ways I could hardly have imagined.

Forget your royalty checks ~ this is all the wealth I need.

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