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"Every person that comes into this world must make the decision as to what type of person they want to be."
I have always found that writing down my thoughts helps keep me sane. It’s necessary for me to survive. It is simply the way I process the world around me. As a kid, I found it interesting to study people. I wrote down how they reacted to different things and noticed the qualities that seemed to make us all the same. To me, there was always an all encompassing bond that connected us all.
I went through all my years of schooling, kindergarten through 12th grade, with a lot of the same kids. I fit in fine enough I guess, but mostly I lived inside my own imagination. Like most, I felt like no one ever really saw what was going on inside of me. I was always looking for something bigger, something more than what I experienced in my daily life.
When I was 16 and started firefighting, I knew that I found what I’d been looking for. I started writing about it so I could remember forever what it felt like to fall in love with something. Then it turned into a written struggle to understand what was going on around me. I never tried to write this book. I went away to college in August of 2008 to earn an Associate Degree in Fire Science. There I started digging through my journals because I was looking for the answer I thought was hidden among the pages, lost in the uncertainty of what had transpired. Where Hope Lives happened by chance; the happiest kind of accident, if you believe in those kinds of things.
After two years of pouring over the pages, after two years of looking past the confusion and bewilderment, I found the love and hope that became Where Hope Lives. This story rose from those pages. I started turning the journal entries into a concise story because I wanted to feel what it felt like to close the final page and know that I didn’t have to carry it around in my heart anymore. Now, not only do I feel personal closure, I feel thrilling excitement at this next chapter in the journey. I feel honored to be able to share my love with anyone who wants to hear about it.
After trying the traditional route, self publishing seemed to be the only way to make sure the essence of the story didn’t change. I worked 60 hours a week at two jobs in the late summer and fall of 2010 be able to afford this project. I tracked down an editor, cover designer, accountant, website designer and finally, a printer. Seeing this project through was much harder than I ever thought it would be. I had some really, really long days when it was easy to forget why I was working so hard. I finalized this website during my lunch breaks, discussed book details with my editor via email in between waiting tables and mostly looked forward to the day when I would be able to hold a real copy of Where Hope Lives in my hands. During this time I thought a lot about the potential success and failure of this project, both of which are equally frightening. In the end there is just this: Where Hope Lives. I couldn’t be happier about it.
I’m fully aware that what I am doing is pretty unconventional, writing my story and putting the rest of my life on hold to promote it. I mean, just being a fire fighter AND a girl is a pretty unusual combination according to most. But whatever. I think some of the best things in life are the most unprecedented.
So, thanks a bunch for stopping by. Thank you for caring about this story. Please pass it on.
I love you.