Guest Blog: Connie L. Smith

When asked about what motivates me as a writer, there’s really only one sufficient answer: my mom.

My wonderfully quirky mom who taught me what it means to pour yourself into other people and love from the very bottom of your heart.

The woman who reminded me to enjoy the little things in life and who always knew what to say to ease my burdens.

The woman who would sit with me for hours watching Food Network or make my favorite meal for my birthday.

The woman who sang me to sleep, wiped away my tears, nursed me back to health, and held me when I was scared.

The woman who tore my world to pieces when she left us last year.

I won’t focus on the negatives for this post, like the heartache and hurt. Like Mom, I’ll make the decision to look to the brighter things and focus on just how she continues to inspire me.

I’ve read/heard people say that your mom taught you how to do everything except live without her, but I don’t really agree. By the time I was born, my mom had already lost one brother and her dad. In my lifetime, I saw her lose her mom, a brother, and a sister—and worst of all for her, my dad. No, she didn’t sit me down and explain to me every detail about how life would change after she passed, but she showed me. I saw her hurt. I saw her need a minute. And I saw her recover. How? She focused on the positive—her kids, her grandkids, and the random things she enjoyed in life.

This was a woman who knew how hard life could be, but could still find joy in sitting on the front porch with a word search, playing with her grandbabies, or watching the same movies over and over. She found joy in those little things, and through that, she taught me to keep going. She taught me to keep loving and living, and if you do, there are still good things that give you reasons to smile and be happy. You may miss what’s behind, but always—always—focus on the present. In that, she didn’t let life beat her, and I’m so proud of her for that. It inspires me to be that committed to contentment and happiness, like she was.

She inspires me because one of the most precious gifts one human can give another is life, and she only gave that gift to four people in the history of the universe. I’m one of them. As much as I treasure old photographs and sentimental objects, the life I have is a much more precious gift. The best way to honor her, then, is to take care of that precious gift. Every breath I breathe is an ongoing gift from her, and it’s an opportunity to do something to honor her. I’m a living, breathing piece of her, so the best I can do for her is to make the most out of this life. That’s how I keep her close—by taking care of what’s in me from her. That’s how I honor her—by living the life she gave me to its fullest.

She inspires me to accomplish my dreams because she accomplished hers—and because she told me she didn’t want me to stop. I remember this moment so distinctly. We were in the living room, and she told me that she didn’t want me to stop writing books. I don’t remember her ever saying that about any other educational or professional thing I ever did. This is the one thing she wanted me to stick to. How better to pay her tribute, with that in mind, than to push to make this dream a reality?

She inspires me by popping up in things I write. I’ve written three songs about her since she passed, and she’s making major influences on my upcoming Christmas book. It helps me cope, and it helps her live on in the one thing she didn’t want me to let go of. I think she’d be okay with that.
I love her, and I miss her every day. But writing is one way that I keep her with me, and that’s inspiration enough to keep me writing for the rest of my days.

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Book to Promote:
Within the Essence (The Division: Book One)
Blurb: As the demons near, the Essences rise…

AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.

Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.

Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?

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