Hello, is this thing on???

It's near the end of April, and I've been back to work now for nearly seven months. You can tell, because I haven't updated here since the New Year; I had to keep myself focused on pushing forward with final revisions, one page at a time, and it went as slowly as it sounds. ;)

I feel forever grateful for the sabbatical I took to complete the initial draft of the manuscript. I don't know that I would have been able to accomplish such a seemingly insurmountable goal without having done so.

It has taken me since the beginning of this year to finalize the last draft — honestly, after working all day, I'm mentally and creatively exhausted — but I set a goal for myself, and was determined to achieve it, so I can finally say that Cherry Lane is officially ready for a flurry of agent submissions.

I'm very happy with where everything landed, quite excited even, and owe a million thank yous to the tremendously talented folks that I was lucky enough to work with throughout the process who provided such thoughtful guidance and feedback. I couldn't have done it without you. As self-reliant as I've become as the years have passed, one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn is how to ask for help when I need it, and I'm blown away by how beautiful life can become through the art of collaboration.

So where does it all go from here?

My dream is to work with an agent who connects with the manuscript, who feels passionately about the subject matter, and inspired to help me shape and refine this work so that it can become the best it can possibly be before reaching all of you.

Then, I hope to one day have the opportunity to speak about my experiences, especially to students getting ready to start out in the field of social work, to provide a personal account of how easy it is to fall through the cracks, and to raise awareness that "the system," although designed to help, still fails many abuse sufferers that go unnoticed. 

And I'd like to honor the 38 million women in the U.S. who have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes, and the nearly 10 million children who witness domestic violence annually, by donating a portion of the sale of each book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

We, as a society, can do better than these horrific statistics suggest. 

Finally, I'm planning to write another book depicting my spiral into escapism as I ran at a breakneck speed into my twenties, showcasing how children raised in abusive environments tend to encounter repeating themes in the challenges they face as they mature into adulthood.

Victim's of abuse do not simply get over it; rather, it is something we forever survive.

With hard work and determination, I'll be able to do all of the above... but keep your fingers crossed for me as well, because a little luck goes a long way. 

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