Recently, as I contemplated my financial position, I came upon a new truth. My fortune is found in relationships. I have been so fortunate for the people in my life: family, partner, friends, publishing and writing peers, coworkers, and neighbors. And an extra big shout-out to extraordinary animal companions!
The past few days have seen a microcosm of sorts, a perfect example of how I am so blessed. Friday night, friend and fellow Sappho’s Scribes of Florida cohort Alison Solomon met me in my community for a reading/signing in Artesia Naples’ clubhouse. The audience of about twenty-five consisted of my neighbors, friends, coworkers, and my partner, Pam. Every time I have a local event where all my favorite local people are gathered, I look around and think, Wow. Look how lucky I am! Ten of us went out for a late dinner after, continuing to enjoy the company and mild weather.
The next morning Pam and I played in a neighborhood Pickleball tournament. Did we win? No. Heck we didn’t even get to be on the court as partners. But it was a lot of laughs and great exercise. After, we went to a new restaurant in town for lunch. Shortly after ordering, some of our friends (who’d been to the reading and the after-event dinner the night before) came in, unexpectedly, and joined us. Then a coworker and her husband came by our table to talk, and some neighbors stopped to chat on their way out of the restaurant.
Sunday I played Pickleball with all of the usual suspects, then test-drove a neighbor’s car that is for sale. After I wrote (not much but I’m easing my way back in after an eight week respite) and walked dogs (one is mine, one is a guest for a month), I put a deposit on my neighbor’s car. In a couple of weeks we will make the transaction complete and my savings account will be down to nothing. But, the amount of money in my account isn’t where my fortune is, I remind myself.
Back to work on Monday, I looked around and continued to be so very thankful that I work in an amazing place with terrific people. Big Cypress National Preserve is a truly special place and the people who are responsible for keeping the 729k acres the wonderful place it is are some of the most generous, passionate people I know. The coworkers who hadn’t made it to my reading on Friday all inquired, and those who did attend gave me additional words of encouragement. Oh, and then it was Pickleball time again after work.
Tuesday morning brought a pleasant surprise: Alison Solomon’s debut novel, Along Came the Rain, was shortlisted for a Goldie (award)! My own novel didn’t make the cut it its category, Romantic Intrigue, but the disappointment barely registered thanks to my elation over Alison’s success. Oh, then after work we played Pickleball with a different pair of women.
It’s Wednesday now and I will work hard on property inventory during the day, then go home this afternoon and really dive deeply into my work in progress, a romantic sequel to my novel Pausing, which gave me quite the surprise when it was released last month and did better than any of my previous five novels. Each of my six novels are special in their own way, each is like a child that brings me different kinds of joy, each are a part of what I hope will continue to be a collection of work I can be proud of. As I work on the next one, I will do it for the honor of presenting my work to my amazing readers, and with the desire to make my Affinity publishing family proud.
My fortune is immense, indeed!