A Year of Firsts

 

I’m back!

And more powerful than ever before!

(Okay, not really – it just sounded good 🙂 )

First things first: a huge, teary-eyed “thank you” goes out to anyone and everyone who’s still around after a year of infrequent updates and long periods of static silence. For those who don’t know, my family’s home was struck by lightning during a violent storm on May 31st, 2013. The house subsequently caught fire, sustaining major damage from the flames and the water used to put them out.

In the 365-plus days since then, my family has experienced a long list of “firsts.” First time landing on a family member’s doorstep with literally nothing but the smoke-scented clothing on our backs. First time living in a trailer. First time not having home internet access in over a decade. First time having people slow down as they drove past our house, just so they could take in the destruction.

It wasn’t the easiest year in the history of us. But in many ways, it was one of the best. Sometimes, it takes losing a few possessions to show you that the real treasures, the things that could never be replaced, are the people – and pets – you love. And sometimes, it takes a hard fall to show you just how many folks you have standing around you, willing and eager to help you right back up.

Thanks to the unending support of friends and family, the bravery of firefighters, and the resilience of the human spirit, we survived this challenge and emerged on the other side, stronger, better, and ready to embrace a whole new list of “firsts”:

First night spent in our brand-new house. First time enjoying high-speed internet at home. First time having people slow down as they drive past, just so they can admire the beauty of a skillfully rebuilt home.

Thank you again for riding along with me on this bumpy journey. I hope you’ll stick around for some of the awesome stuff I have planned, including:

FAN STUFF

Great Reads: Fiction and Fanfiction Recommendations

The Race: Results will be in as soon as I catch up on my tape viewing (though, I must say, having seen the Supernatural finale, I have a hard time believing anything can top that!)

Movie Reviews: Going to see X-Men: Days of Future Past tomorrow, so you’ll definitely be hearing about that! Also will be doing mini-reviews of the superhero movies I planned to write about last year, including Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, and Wolverine.

Fangirl Nostalgia: I’ll be taking a look back at some of my earliest fangirly obsessions, including some classic Mary Higgins Clark books and my favorite couple on General Hospital: Kevin and Lucy!

WRITER STUFF

Fiction Versus Faction: Examining the difference, and knowing when one crosses the line into the other.

New Market Research Tools and Calls for Submissions: Just because I didn’t have home internet access doesn’t mean I didn’t find a few nifty things in the last year 🙂

And finally, Book Promotion: My Journey. Just days ago, one of my non-fiction stories was selected to appear in the upcoming book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? (release date: August 19th,  2014). It will be my first time in print, and also my first time facing the challenge of promoting a book. My successes, my failures, and anything else I learn along the way will be shared with my readers here on ATHF.

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