Rays of Light.


“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
~Charles Austin Beard

First, thank you all so much for your thoughtful, compassionate, beautiful comments on my last post. I’m going to respond to each, but in the meantime, please know how deeply touched and grateful I am for your kindness and for the sweet words you said about my Gram. It means the world. The support my family and I have received throughout this ordeal has been a true comfort and a shimmer of light among the darkness, and I will be forever appreciative.

Another ray of light? Yesterday’s trip to New York. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best and most special day I’ve had in months. It’s easy to forget what joy is and what a smile feels like these days, but yesterday … it was a day away from the heartache and pain. It was a day to enjoy, to embrace, to remember all the good in the world. It was a day to be happy and one that left such an imprint on my memories.

When Allison first posted about the party celebrating the paperback release of her fabulously compelling novel The One That I Want, I wasn’t sure going would be feasible. Things were so up in the air then, and we were living one day at a time. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s to live life to the fullest and find blossoms of hope whenever possible. Yesterday was the definition of that for me. It was truly a star in a sky that’s been a velvet blanket of nothing but darkness lately. You know what I’m coming to understand, though? When things are that dark, the glittery stars mean even more.

Sara, being the wonderful friend she is, joined me for a day in NYC, which began with Columbus Circle, Pinkberry, and Central Park. I know I mentioned the Rockefeller area as being my favorite in Manhattan, but Central Park gives it a run for its money. It never ceases to fascinate me how there can be such an oasis of peaceful serenity right in the middle of a city that’s constantly buzzing with energy. The juxtaposition is mesmerizing. Really, where else will scenes like this be painted before your eyes?

Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle Fountain

Bethesda Fountain

Bow Bridge

Bow Bridge 2

Lake

A few hours – and bottles of water – later, we were off to Times Square for lunch/dinner (linner?) and then Fifth Avenue for Allison’s party. It was at the Devi Kroell Showroom, which soars seventeen stories above the ground and features views that are positively breathtaking. It was like being on top of the world and looking down at reality below. Mother Nature decided to give us a show, too. We watched clouds tumble in over the river, puffy and thick, and then they let loose with such torrents of rain that looking out the windows felt more like looking through a real-life watercolor. And then, not ten minutes later, the sun came back out and beamed its rays down in glowing streaks. I’m choosing to take this as symbolic. It’s hard for me to believe right now, but the sun does always return. We have to believe that.

Book Party 1

Book Party 2

Book Party 3

Book Party 4

The best part of the evening, though, was having the chance to talk with Allison again. She’s not only a supremely talented writer whose words move readers and resonate deep within the soul, but she is truly one of the most gracious, genuine, thoughtful people you’ll ever meet. She goes above and beyond to help aspiring authors, she reaches out and makes an impact on the community, and she cares. She cares a lot, and it’s evident in her interaction with everyone. The speech she gave at the party, telling us all about an especially touching email she received from a reader, was a beautiful reminder of why writing’s so special. It’s not only about telling your characters’ stories. It’s also about inspiring others’ journeys. I can say with certainty that she has inspired mine. Her passion for writing makes me feel my own with even more vibrancy. Her dedication to it reminds me never to give up, no matter what twists and turns the roller coaster takes. And, perhaps most importantly, her sincerity shows me that people really can influence the world with kindness. I’m not sure I can articulate the depth of how much our conversations last night meant. Her sweet words about Gram, our chat about writing and inspiration, the fact that she’s so appreciative of the support and so truly glad for the experiences … I think she said it best: “this is what it’s all about.” It was hard – maybe even impossible – not to get choked up as I thanked her for everything. It was truly the best day I’ve had in longer than I can remember, and I will carry that with me always.

Allison & Me

The road ahead is still paved with darkness, but I’m beginning to see some light poke through a bit. Here’s to reaching for those stars.

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8 thoughts on “Rays of Light.

  1. I’m So glad this was such a good day for you!!! You totally deserve it, and it was a lot of fun reading all about it. I hope that you came back feeling energized and inspired to write, write, write (or, in your case plot, plot, plot and revise, revise, revise – but that doesn’t sound as good).

    • Thank you!! It really was such a wonderful day – definitely a splash of happiness among all the sadness as of late. It was so great to just get away and focus on something special. Oh gosh, and yes, I came back feeling completely inspired to edit, edit, edit and write, write, write (that third book in the series is CALLING me!) :)

  2. My heart was full of hope and happiness reading this! :) I am so glad that in the midst of your grief, you were able to find joy. Keep looking for those little joys in your days, because no matter how dark your days seem, there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS something to find hope, joy and gratitude in.

    “When the sky is darkest, you can see the stars…” :)

    <3

    • I was thinking of that song as I was writing this!

      It’s so true, too. When the sky seems infinitely dark, that’s when the stars sparkle even brighter. That’s definitely what this was for me, a chance to push aside the grief and let myself focus on the joy. It was almost overwhelming to have happiness again, but in a good way – gives me hope for the future.

      Thanks again for everything, Katie <3

  3. It sounds like this day was just what you needed right now. <3 Allison sounds SO sweet, too. Authors who go out of their way to inspire other writers make the top of my favorites list!

    • That’s truly the perfect way to describe it: it was exactly what I needed right now. I’ve been so sad and heartbroken for so long, and to have this day to actually feel happiness and hope again … it was really special, and I’ll forever be grateful to Allison for giving me that gift. She is definitely one of the kindest, most thoughtful and sincerely compassionate people I’ve ever met. Going out of her way to inspire other writers and going out of her way just to be such a sincerely nice person … how can she not be a favorite? :)

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