What will you do with your dash?
I recently started revamping several of my books. In the past two-plus years of being an Indie Author, I’ve learned a great deal. And I wanted both my e-book and print-on-demand books to show my abilities as a formatter. So I started with book one and tweaked it. For whatever reason, the proof for the revamped version of The Color of Dawn and the proof for my latest collection, The Eve of Leaving, arrived on the same day. In an odd way, it makes sense that they should have arrived together: both were published on January 4, but two years apart.
As busy as my life has been, I didn’t get a chance to look over the proofs until a couple weeks later. Getting some much needed downtime at a friend’s house, I looked them over for any issues, and was thrilled to see that there actually were no issues. Setting the proof copies down in front of me, I thought of a phrase I’ve heard often, What will you do with your dash? What will you do with your dash? is one of the most thought provoking phrases I’ve come across: it’s a reference to the dash on a person’s tombstone, and states that the start and end dates aren’t as important as what is done with the time in between, the “dash” time, so to speak.
If I were to die right now, in reference to my life as a published author, my start would be The Color of Dawn. My end would be The Eve of Leaving.
A total of twenty-one books I published on my own and three collaborations. It would be two podcasts. It would be a non-profit organization that puts out a yearly anthology to benefit a worth cause. A publishing house. A new career as a professor. Friendships that are as necessary to me as breathing. Three trips I’ll never forget. One week spent with Indie Authors. Losses of loved ones. Medical diagnosis’s I’d rather of not received. Re~learning how to live life. Learning how to balance work and motherhood. Learning the truth behind the words Unconditional Love. And learning to forgive myself.
What have I done with my dash? More than I thought possible.
But most of all, I lived it.