Today is my sister Stephanie’s birthday. Alex and I are hopping the train to celebrate with her and I am looking forward to giving her a big birthday hug and hoisting a glass in her honor. She is precious to me and every day I feel blessed that she is traveling down life’s path along with me. She is loving, open, wonderfully talented, and a gift in every way. Most of all it’s her energy and radiant spirit that I love to bask in and absorb whenever I’m around her. It shines through even when we talk on the phone.
As I’ve pushed myself in new ways to make the move from nonfiction to fiction, Steph has been a major source of support and inspiration. She’s read just about every word of my YA novel and I think she knows most of my characters, especially my little knight in training almost as well as I do! Whenever I’ve had a tough plot point to puzzle through or hit a structure snag, Steph’s the one I call for help. We bounce ideas off of each other, even crazy ones, and eventually something sticks and I take it and run with it. There’s nothing I enjoy more than sending her my newest version based on one of our brainstorming sessions and getting a call or a message from her that says, “I just love this!” Whenever it happens, I feel like I’ve hit the literary lottery — what a great feeling!
Steph’s also a crackerjack editor by trade and if something doesn’t work or is boring, she’s the first to tell me. That’s why when she gets excited about something, I get excited, too. Because she’s demanding, I have to push myself — and that’s what writing dangerously is all about.
I can’t imagine having gotten this far in my novel without Steph’s help. Just as my sister Judy and my mom, Dorothy, always encouraged me, so has Steph. I hope wherever you are in your writing, you have someone who is always rooting for you, always believing in you, always in your court. Write on!