It's 12:20 a.m.
Dh is sleeping. The dogs, thankfully, are sleeping as well. It's been a bad day for Tiger, who has glaucoma and may go blind.
I'm sitting in the living room, writing. Writing. Writing.
In less than five hours, the alarm will blare. BEEP BEEP BEEP. DH will get up, and get ready to go into work. I will wake up as well.
But for now, I am writing. Writing. Writing.
Some people think that if you are an author, you lead a life of glamor and romance. Lush verdant hillsides tumbling down to oceanside cliffs as you sit by your ivory mansion, nibbling mentally over a thought.
The reality for me, is this.
I came home after a very rough day at the day job. Depressed, over a few things that are out of my control. Out of anyone's control.
Let's face it. Life right now, in the US, and abroad, is challenging to say the least.
We're in a recession.
It's not a fun time to rely on the generosity of others, as a friend of mine put it.
But we at work must do what we can, because there are thousands of hungry kids who need us.
If we don't feed them, who will? It's like being a parent to a faceless, nameless stream of hunger.
So I keep working hard, as do the others in my department. We grit our teeth, dig in, and do what it takes. In three weeks, I'll be back in Haiti.
We do what we must, and then, I come home to my DH, hug and kiss him, understanding man he is, and I sit down to purge the day.
I write about a man who is a werewolf who is given one chance to escape his prison, who finds redemption in the love of a woman who swore to NEVER to have anything to do with his kind ever again.
Love wins, after all. It's a wonderful, wonderful concept.
It's fantasy on a computer keyboard. Words typed that become power, fantasies of love, joy and an HEA fulfilled, despite the trials.
At the day job, I work as hard as I can to make the reality a little less painful, a little more hopeful and joyful, for the poor.
When I come home at night, when all are asleep, and the world seems to quiet, I create a world in which there may be darkness and pain and suffering. But in the end, I control the outcome. I say what will be, and what will be is love, and joy, and no more suffering.
Last week was a hellish week in which we had not one, but two sick dogs, to contend with. As I brought the younger one into the regular vet, the tech asked me about my work in Haiti. She was deeply interested, asked intelligent questions.
Then she asked how my writing was going. She knew all about the books, since I had dedicated my first Nocturne, THE EMPATH, to her boss.
We made small talk and then got back to Haiti. And then she said, "That's why you write romance. Because of what you see when you travel."
I told her, "Yes."
She is the first person who truly got it. Understood. It was very refreshing.
I'm no saint. Trust me, I'm not, or a martyr, or someone who is a bleeding heart who is ready to storm the castle for social justice. I'm just one small person, trying to make a small difference in the world. It's not easy.
Some days, it breaks your heart.
It's exhausting. And when I come home, sometimes I just want to watch stupid TV and forget.
But there is the writing, the romance, and the hope and dreams that live on in the stories and the worlds I create.
I'm blessed to have the chance to publish my work.
Blessed to be able to share it with others.
This is why I sit up, at (now 12:33 when the world falls silent, and everyone sleeps.
This is why the keyboard clatters, why my fingers do not cease.
It is the writing, the hope, the dream, that keeps the blood pumping through me. That keeps the hope alive and the wistful desire that romance, and love, maybe, some day.
Will make a difference.