Okay, I’ve waited my entire life to start my writing career, so here goes. I quit the day job and now it’s up to me. Retiring from one career to start another can be a scary thing, but so far, it’s been one big adventure. Now, I’ll have time to write every day, I think.

I must admit, it hasn’t been a typical couple of weeks. I’ve joined my son, Adam, and his family in Hawaii for a week as they traveled back from S. Korea after four long years (long for me, anyway) of being stationed there with the Army. Tonight is a luau for the 4th of July and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than at the Hale Koa hotel (a military personnel resort) which stands for “House of the Warrior.” I’m surrounded by warriors in various stages of their service. Some are active, some are retired. All are very special people.

As I write this post, my thoughts are taking me in so many different directions, so I’ll try to reel myself in. This first post is about perseverance. Before I left the day job, I wrote on weekends and evenings (not one of those to get up before work and write). I finished one book, but never pursued publication, promising myself I would do it now. I’ll dust that off and most likely will discover that I need to start over.

My current project is a historical fiction novel about Jamaica in the 1700’s. They say, “write what you know,” and anyone that knows me, knows I love me some Jamaica, not sure just how much I “know.” I’m researching a true group of warriors, the Maroons, a colony of escaped slaves and indians that defeated the British and were given autonomy and freedom in 1738 if they promised to leave the British troops alone. They are still there and I’m sure would agree that freedom comes at a cost.

Today is the 4th of July and as I reflect on the freedoms we enjoy while I stay in the House of the Warrior, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m grateful to those that lost their lives protecting ours, and to those that have to make tough decisions with regards to our safety and how to ensure it.  I will never understand this side of eternity while I was blessed enough to be born in the USA, but am forever grateful that I was. How does one define, “grateful?” How do we show it? That’s up to you and me to define.