I just finished another writing class. I put my agent querying on hiatus while I was working on some structure issues. And I needed a break from all the rejections... which hurt, by the way. To be honest, I really wanted an agent so I had someone to run writing ideas by and help figure out the structure. But I know I need to do that myself. I've spent a lot of time thinking through my ideas for the book, and I keep coming back to the idea that our stuff is more than just a possession... and the myth that these "things" are easily replaceable. I want people who read my blog... and who hopefully read my book eventually... to understand how important those "things" were to me and that honoring their importance is more than just being materialistic. In this contemporary culture, we are so quick to judge others whose lives we believe are excessive, to want to trivialize objects that others might find valuable. But these things matter. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to tell that story over 200 pages!
I'm also getting really excited about the Life After the Fire organization. I hopefully will have a good portion of the paperwork filed in the next week and will be on my way to non-profit status. The website is currently being worked on, and I am working on several articles to help other families. If you've lost your home and would be willing to be interviewed, I would really love some first-hand stories. I'm also always looking for stories like those I've featured on here. The website will have a place for fire survivors to share their stories. And it's going to have a forum, a place for those who've newly lost their home to connect with those of us who've been there... and a place for those of us who've been there to help work through the emotional trauma that so many others don't seem to understand. No one will tell you it's just stuff or try to make you feel guilty for not feeling grateful for your new house.
If that wasn't enough, I'm also in the process of starting a web development company, helping companies integrate their current businesses into the digital world through web design, app development, online media strategies, and social media monitoring.
It's been a tough couple of years. And by tough, I mean really really really bad. But I see a world beyond the fire, a world past Lyme disease. And that's really exciting.