Though I haven’t had much time for blogging lately, I couldn’t miss celebrating the 4th anniversary of the Riskies!

Four years ago, Megan, Cara, Amanda, Janet and I all had Signet Regencies coming out soon and decided that we’d try blogging as a way to promote those books and also to maintain a web presence until we found new publishing “homes”. Although there hadn’t been an official announcement, we all knew the line was ending soon. What I didn’t know at the time was that the Riskies community would also become like the pub everyone goes to after work, a great place to hang out and have fun between wrestling bouts with our muses.

I’ve done my share of wrestling. Last summer I realized how badly stuck I was and also that I needed to part from my agent. Once I did that, I felt freed. My writing started to flow and I was searching for a new agent when life intervened. As many of you probably know, my husband suffered a severe stroke in January, resulting in right side paralysis and speech aphasia. He’s making a slow but steady recovery, but it’s a long, arduous process. For many months, I was both too busy and too overwhelmed to even think about writing. But at some point this summer the urge to write again came over me. This fall, I’ve been trying to carve out some time to write, though husband and children still take most of my time. (The house is officially a Dust Bunny Preserve.) But it’s still hard and sometimes it feels as if we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But I’ve realized I can’t wait until my husband is through the recovery process or until I can write regularly to be happy. Many of us get caught in this thinking. Writers think they’ll be happy once they get that next (or first) contract. But whether your goal is selling a book or something else, you have to enjoy the process and find happiness along the way. Otherwise you might break down before you get there.

So go do something you love. If that’s not possible, at least make time to enjoy being with friends, like the Riskies. It’s what I’ve been doing. Though I’m often too tired to comment, I visit as often as I can, because so many posts make me smile. Here are just a few of my favorites from this year:

So thanks to my fellow Riskies and to everyone in our community. You are the lights in the tunnel.

No Risky celebration is complete without prizes. To enter the drawing for a copy of the anthology HIS BLUSHING BRIDE which includes my novella, “The Wedding Wager” along with stories by Alice Holden and our dear friend Regina Scott, just tell us some of your favorite posts this year. Or if you’d like, share something that helped you make it through a personal “tunnel” of your own.