Contributed by @NikkiJefford
While it wasn’t unexpected (she’d suffered through Parkinson’s Disease during the last decade of her life), it was heart shattering. Grandma May was like a second mom. We lived with her many times throughout my childhood and she mentored me at work. Worse yet, I hadn’t seen her since leaving Alaska three years earlier.
But I kept plugging away at the novel.
It’s the small distractions that drag me under: FaceBook, Twitter, blogs, back-to-back episodes of The Vampire Diaries, online shopping…
But big things – they turn me into the most dedicated goal achiever. My novel became my life raft and I was rowing that baby straight to the finish line!
As I neared shore, three family members ended up in the hospital on the same day (December 1st): My dad for open heart surgery, my uncle with an irregular heartbeat, and my sister-in-law with life-threatening food poisoning.
Everyone made it out okay and then my mother-in-law’s boyfriend of 15 years ended their relationship. She threatened to kill herself then made the attempt last month, leaving behind a note. We found out on the weekend I’d set aside to make the final edits to Entangled.
She’s better now.
But I couldn’t help noticing the parallels between my book and life. Charlene, the bad twin in the book, threatens to kill herself and her sister, Graylee, “jokes” that she should have used pills (which is what my mother-in-law tried). Graylee dies (but, never fear, she’s brought back to life).
I began worrying that someone I knew would succumb to a coma like another character, but I made it to publication date without that happening. Phew!
Lately, I’ve let little things distract me from finishing Book 2 (aforementioned Vampire Diaries, etc., etc.) and I had to remind myself that if I could write through death, illness, suicide attempts, and the other crazy family dramas that defined the last three months, I can get take my paddle back up and steer this sucker back across the ocean.
P.S. Also, here is her blog if youd like to read more about her.