I don't want to get sentimental, but reflection often gives that glow.
The last year has been one of lessons. It has seen friends come and go, it has seen loss in ways I never wished to see it, it has seen hurricane waves and sunshine mornings and everything in between. I don't know what the point of it all was, or if there was one at all, but I do know one thing: I'm grateful to have been here for it.
I talk about mental illness a lot on this blog because it is something I live with every day. It clings to my shoulders, looms behind me like a shadow, waits around every corner. It's something that made me think, once upon a time, that I wouldn't be around to see 23, or 24, or 25 - or, perhaps worse, that I shouldn't. And while I can't say that I've slain this metaphorical dragon quite yet, and while I can't guarantee that I ever will, I have grown in spite of it. I've chained it down and forced it to watch me bloom in the light it tried so hard to hide from me.
My upcoming book, Fictitious, is linked to these struggles in a deep way. It talks about fiction - about characters, about stories, about adventures had in books or on the big screen.
It talks about the things that saved me - or rather, the things that gave me the strength to save myself.
I've been thinking a lot about this, and about how I can use the book to do some good for mental health awareness and mental illness support. Earlier this year, I was grateful to be a part of the The Mind Poetry Project Please Hear What I'm Not Saying, an anthology compiled and published by Isabelle Kenyon to raise funds for the UK-based mental health charity Mind. Isabelle was kind enough then to allow me to use my piece in the anthology to raise some money for a similar organization in my own country: the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
I'd like to do something like that again.
Each year, I like to offer a discount on my books during my birthday month. This year that discount will be on pre-orders of Fictitious. In addition, all funds from pre-orders will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in honor of their annual Out of the Darkness community walks.
Please use the code AUG18 on your pre-order of Fictitious for 40% off your purchase! Your money will go straight to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to support their ongoing research, education programs, and survivor support. Each pre-ordered book will be signed and will come with a personalized thank-you note from me.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you all so much for all of your love and support over the last year. I'm incredibly grateful, and cannot wait to see what 25 has in store.