It was cold that day. Odd for Florida.
The brisk, dewy morning stung as I entered the kitchen. Closing the windows left open from the night before, I notice that none of the girls were up yet.
Odd again. Maybe it's because it was so cold downstairs.
Usually the middle girl is down in the dark, hunched over the Wii U as it illuminates her fair face, puzzled but focused.
She doesn't move. Even when you flick the light on and yellow floods the room around her, her body is frozen in an almost dreamlike suspense.
Only her thumbs move on the tablet's tiny joy sticks.
Every morning she's down there in the dark, face lit up in yellows, blues, reds and greens, shifting and twisting across her pore-less skin.
Not this morning though. This morning it's just me. Me and the cat about to be crushed underfoot as he stops and purrs and moves forward again before abruptly stopping.
I walk past the island and up to the fridge to get my Brita jug of double-filtered water.
It's an odd feeling. In a house full of young children, a husband, and two pets, but you're alone. It's quiet and you're alone.
It makes me think of summer time. Back when I woke up at five o'clock in the morning to write before the kids woke.
I don't know if I could do that again.
I can try, but the nights aren't as kind to my prematurely aging body.
No, I will try again.
There are dishes in the sink, toys sprawled across the kitchen table, papers scattered across the island, but I'm at peace for a moment.
I sit down with my tall, pink sports bottle filled to the top with refrigerator-cold water.
Although I like being by myself, there's no lonelier a feeling than being in a house full of people and being alone.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
My fingers are crossed, but I'm not sure if that's enough anymore.
They always end up letting you down.
It always happens in droves.
She caught me with the knife when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.
Something I learned as a visual artist and writer is that some of the best healing comes from expression.
There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
I was the only teenager at Writers in Paradise with Dennis Lehane, Sterling Watson and other well-known authors back in 2006.