Every day I write and every day I try to make that writing come from a place of gratitude. Especially times like this when I can’t express my gratitude enough.
Over the last few months, I have had the great honor of being part of Brenda Drake’s amazing PitchWars Community. I can’t begin to thank Brenda as well as my amazing mentors Laura Shovan and Tricia Clasen enough for this opportunity.
Writing comes from a solitary place — emotion, deep inside the writer’s heart, translated into the written word, poured onto the page. And as an isolated exercise, it can be hard to be brave because it is so much easier to stay silent than risk exposing your heart.
Ruby’s story comes from such a place. A child unable to speak until she discovers the power of her own voice. As a public defender I have met many kids like Ruby, coming to court with parents who face incarceration. Whether they know it or not, their bravery inspires me.
As a writer, it was my intent to turn this emotion into the written page. PitchWars helped me do just that. Throughout PitchWars, Laura and Tricia were always there, always offering their talents and advice. Their words: VOICE YIELDS TRUTH beat inside my every revision. More than once, they talked me down from the ledge of self-doubt and insecurity. It is mind-boggling how much time and energy they spent on my manuscript when they had their own deadlines and book launches and families. I am forever in their debt.
Recently, after reading my PitchWars-revised RUBY, my daughter wrote me the most beautiful letter. She spoke about Ruby’s bravery and how she wants to use her own strong voice to help others. After I read this letter, I realized that no matter what happens, Laura and Tricia helped me tell Ruby’s story better, clearer and stronger. I am grateful that it made my daughter a little braver. I hope someday it can help other kids realize how brave they already are, too.
At this time of year when, more than ever, we express our gratitude. I need to express mine to Laura and Tricia and Brenda. Thank you for helping me tell Ruby’s story. Thank you for sharing your own strong voices and incredible talents. Thank you for making me braver.