Dear Bright Moments,

I’m better.

Thank you God, I’m better. The horrible dragging weight of depression has lifted some, the clouds have cleared so I can see some blue sky, and that desperate urge to hide away is fading.

Well, this certainly doesn’t look ADA accessible.

The upswing feels so good. This was the worst major depressive episode I’ve ever had. But climbing out of it feels like a miracle.

Yesterday, I laughed at something — I guffawed. Today, I gave myself a manicure and a pedicure. I cared enough to take care of myself. I got up early and took the dog for a long walk. All these signposts tell me I’m headed in the right direction.

While I was stuck in depression’s pit, some good things did happen. Two specifically I want to share.

About two weeks ago, I was curled up on the couch when the front doorbell rang. When I went to answer it, I was boggled. It was my sister — who lives in Colorado and had no business just showing up on our doorstep.

After the exclamations of surprise and delight, she clasped her hands to her chest and said, “Clifton asked me to marry him!”

We grabbed at her left hand, but the silly girl wasn’t even wearing the ring! She had it stashed in a box in her pocket. It’s a lovely ring, a family heirloom. She was glowing with happiness, and we were thrilled for her. She and her guy have been together for a very long time, so a chance to celebrate that is a grand and glorious thing. Wedding plans have begun in earnest.

Perhaps my biggest news, and the coolest thing to ever happen, was that I had brunch with one of my all time favorite authors. She was in town for a big writer’s convention. When I saw that on her blog, I emailed her and asked if I could come by and get my books autographed. She responded and suggested meeting for a meal. I swooned.

And so I had lunch with AMY LANE. She’s an award-winning author of a lot of male/male romance, but I love her best for her Little Goddess series: Vulnerable, Wounded, Bound, and Rampant.

The next in the series, Quickening, is coming out at the end of the year. It’s only been 10 years since the first book was published. I have waited faithfully, and only hounded her a dozen or so times a year asking about progress on Quickening.

If you’ll remember, I was a professional writer and editor, so mistakes in self-published books can ruin a story for me. Too many and I’m done with it. And Amy’s first self-published book was a disaster in that respect. But her story, her characters … I loved them and had to know what happened next, even if I was mentally reaching for a red pen.

The whole series is being polished up and re-released by an actual publisher. If you haven’t read these books, I whole heartedly recommend them. Go find the re-released Vulnerable right now.

Anyway, we met up at a brunch hot spot near her hotel and spent an hour and a half chatting about all sorts of stuff. But the best part was talking about how much we loved these characters; how much I love the heroine Cory. How Cory’s strength and power make me feel some of both on days when my body feels nothing but pain and sadness.

I was so happy to tell one of my very favorite authors how very, very much her work, her stories mean to me. And it was the coolest, niftiest thing ever.

And the next day, she mentioned me on her blog!

So good things are happening in Payneville, where the mayor is

Payne.

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