Said every next victim of every slasher flick ever made. Extra points if he or she also just had sex and/or went to a dark part of the house alone to retrieve a beer in the dimly lit garage.

Right now, I feel like that character. Over the past year plus, I’ve tried to remember to write a new blog entry, write more, read more, and so forth, but life always got in the way. I just had my second child, a boy named Asher, in August. So most of this year was spent pregnant. That’s certainly not an excuse to not blog, but that wasn’t the only major event that happened to me in 2017.

In the early hours of January 1, my 21-year-old brother was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver. It took me several months before I didn’t wake up and have to remember all over again, crying, still in disbelief. This was something I only ever read about happening to other people. In my first ever novel I wrote, my thesis manuscript, something similar happened. But I never thought I would experience something so horrific and heartbreaking in my own life. Every day, I put on his remembrance bracelet and vow to live for his memory. If anything, his death has taught me we could all be that character from the horror movie — we may think we’ll be “right back” to do whatever it is we want to do but don’t make time for, but we aren’t promised tomorrow. Anything could happen.

So today, even though I’m exhausted from caring for my newborn, I’m making the choice to not leave the metaphorical house party that is my writing career. I don’t need that beer. Instead, I’m going to stay put with the characters in my head, and put their stories to page.

So, if you’re still on this journey with me, buckle up. The ride may be bumpy, but I’m moving forward. Because I believe in my dreams. And you should believe in yours, too.