Life, Writing

Tis the Season

Christmas has come on very quickly this year. Not sure how I feel about that. We ended the school year in a bit of a mess. My youngest came down with a fever the Tuesday of their last week so I kept her home and took her to the walk-in on Wednesday morning to have her checked out. Influenza B has been taking kids out left and right in our school. One class actually had half the class gone AND the teacher so they had to combine rooms. It’s been crazy.

I was really hoping little miss didn’t have the flu because of how long kids were out with that…3-5 days. And I wasn’t ready to miss work. I had the sick leave stored up so it wouldn’t hurt but I had things I needed to do and little miss had holiday parties at school she really didn’t want to miss. When she told me it hurt to swallow her yogurt and I added that to the headaches and fever, I thought “Okay good, strep. We can deal with strep. Twelve hours of antibiotics and she’s back in the game.”

I know, that sounds terrible. She’s sick, I should just keep her home. Keep her out of the way of other kids. And we did end up doing that. She missed out on everything because yes, her swab did come back positive for strep, but so did the one for Influenza B. Good times. She never does anything small scale…at all. Even as the doctor was going through the results with me, commenting on how little miss just had to be extra fancy, said child was dancing around the room like a ballerina.

Once we started the antibiotics, she bounced back like all she was dealing with was strep and hasn’t had a fever since Wednesday morning. But with the nurse strongly recommending I keep her home and the hubs having a new job starting out Friday, I had no choice but to stay home from work.

I did make it to work one day…Thursday. Which I was incredibly thankful for.

Working in a detention center has its ups and downs, just as any job working with kids does. Or…any job, for that matter. The big down that comes as an up as well is when the kids get out. It’s great to see them finish what programs they’re in, pass their GED tests, and accomplish things that will help move them forward in a positive direction.

Saying goodbye to them is extremely bittersweet, though.

I’m not the best at not getting emotionally invested with people that I work with on a daily basis. Even when I swear not to get that way, I end up failing. Which isn’t the worst thing. People need to know that they’re cared for and that their lives matter. Kids wrapped up in the system are no different. Yeah, they might have made some not-so-awesome choices but that doesn’t make them any less human and just because they struggle to stay on what others might think of as “the right path” doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of having people care about them.

I feel like I’ve said that before. I probably have. Advocating for kids from rough situations is something I’m really passionate about and always have been.


Two of the kids are getting out over Christmas break. So this past week was my last chance to see them, to wish them good luck, to tell them to take care of themselves and I almost didn’t get that chance. The hubs stayed home with little miss on Thursday so I could get to work and I was downright antsy to get there.

And the bonus? I was able to go there with an update to Army of Outlaws in hand!!

Not many people are following this on Patreon and that’s totally fine. I didn’t expect anyone to, but I really wanted to try something different…like being a sadist who works on two novels at once and has promised to update one twice a month. I wonder where my little miss learned to be so extra…..

One of the kids leaving the center is the one who truly inspired me to start Army of Outlaws and was always so excited (in his own aloof teenage way) to get the next chapter. Without his enthusiasm, I’m not sure I would have ever gotten past chapter one. I put a lot of the character based on him in the update, falling back into my comfort wheelhouse of character development. I thrive more there than I think I do in action scenes. I just hope he likes it.

I wont know because halfway through the last class I have with him, he had to leave. We said our quick goodbye, I told him good luck on his tests, told him to take care of himself. He told me to take care of myself too. And that was it…off he went to hopefully be this amazing man accomplishing everything I know he’s capable of. This kid is wicked smart, you guys.

I know that doesn’t seem like anything out of the norm as far as goodbye’s go but I don’t know…to me it shows a lot of empathy and emotional maturity…to tell someone else that they need to take care of themselves as well and to mean it in a way that isn’t just saying something.

I’m going to miss the kid like crazy and think of him every time I crease my shoes. I’m sure some of you will understand what that means but to those of you who don’t get it, rest assured…I don’t get it either.

I’m going to make sure I continue working towards and end to a story he truly helped get off the ground with the hopes that one day he’ll be walking through a book store and see it sitting on the shelves (God willing, not in the 75% off bin…). How freakin’ cool would that be??

I think that authors are able to pull a lot of the magic that they pull because of outside forces working to inspire them and keep them going. Even if those forces are completely unaware of just how inspiring they are.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and here’s to a fantastic 2020 fueled with inspiration and motivation. See you next year, readers. Thank you for all of your follows, your likes and for being those outside forces that fuel my creativity.

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