Today is a great day and a very important one. Today is the release day for Darklight and Daydreams! Darklight and Daydreams is a charitable anthology that will benefit disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, and I’m proud to be a part of it. It seems like I’ve been working on this anthology and keeping it a secret forever, but the day has finally come where I can talk about it and what it means to me. I hope you’ll bear with me as I do my best to pull my thoughts together.
Some time ago, I wrote a list of everything I wanted to achieve (large and small) and gave myself the rule that if the opportunities arose the only thing I couldn’t do was say no or talk myself out of it. If you’re a frequent reader of my blog then you know about my health and financial struggles, and it seemed vitally important that I look forward, not only past my temporary situation but in terms of the kind of legacy I want to build and leave behind. The type of person I want to be. This was also around the time hurricanes Harvey and Irma were causing devastation in several places. I’ve been told repeatedly that I’m an overly-sensitive person and as such I have an instinct to want to help people and alleviate suffering whenever I see it. Usually when a disaster occurs people are encouraged to give donations, but as we were struggling financially it was impossible for me to do so. I was upset and I resigned myself to the fact that this was one time I couldn’t help. So I added “find more ways to give back” to my list.
Another goal on my list was to be a part of an anthology. Anthologies always seemed cool to me and it had been a long time since I wrote a short story so I thought it could be something challenging to work towards. Life/the universe/fate/coincidence/serendipity is a funny thing. It has been my experience that when you focus on something, really devote your energy to it, the unexpected happens. A few months later (I don’t even remember how,) I met author Amir Lane, and they had an idea to put together a charitable anthology to benefit Puerto Rico and disaster relief. That’s when the light bulb lit up. I didn’t have any money, but giving back through writing? I could do that. I wanted to do that.
Once Amir officially gave the okay for me to be part of the anthology, I turned my attention to the short story I wanted to write. It had been a year since I’d written anything to completion and there were many times when I doubted whether I’d be able to finish it in time. Whether it would be good enough for this important cause and the standards I hold for myself. In the end, only one thing matters: telling the story. That story became A Brush with Death, and even though it came out completely different from the story I’d first imagined I couldn’t be more proud of it. I’m proud of myself, too. I told my sisters that I’m just doing what I can from where I am, and I want to continue to do that. I want to continue to create, to write and to use that as a way to contribute towards things bigger than myself. Things that matter.
However, what’s most important is supporting the anthology and Puerto Rico. All of the proceeds from Darklight and Daydreams will be donated to the Hispanic Federation to help aid in the relief efforts. The effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico and its residents have been unimaginable. Hurricane Maria has been said to be the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico, with over half a million people still without power. It is also worth noting that as of January 30th, FEMA has stated that they are stopping new shipments of food and water.
How well it does and the amount that gets donated depends not only on the authors, but on readers as well. So I’m asking all of you to support in whatever way you can. Buy the anthology, share posts about it, leave reviews if you read it and tell other people about it. This cause is important to me, and more than just wanting to see the anthology do well, I want it to be something that makes a difference. Let’s put more good into the world.
Right now the anthology is only being offered as an ebook and is currently priced at .99 cents on Amazon. For readers who don’t own a Kindle, the Kindle app can be downloaded on phones, tablets and computers, making it easier to read Kindle books. You can check it out here.
With any project there are so many people involved in getting out into the world. I want to say thank you to Amir Lane for putting the anthology together, for all the work they’ve done and for letting me be a part of it. Thank you to Daqri Bernardo (of Covers by Combs) for designing the beautiful cover and for making our promo banner. Thank you to SM Schmidt for donating it. Thank you to Dionne for the feedback on A Brush with Death and for believing in me and encouraging me through every project. Thank you to my fellow authors: Tracy A. Ball, Kat Cotton, Pauline Creeden, J.A. Culican, Amir Lane, Melissa J. Lytton, Sara R. Perez, Joynell Schultz and Lori Titus for all the work you’ve put into the anthology. Thank you for your stories. Congratulations! We did it.
Thank you to my friends and family for their love and support. Also, a special thank you to my sisters and brother because you’re all ultimately the reason I do everything I do. You’re so much cooler than me and you make me proud everyday. I’m just trying to keep up.
Finally, thank you for reading this (if you’ve read this far) and for helping in whatever way you can. You’re the best! I appreciate it.