One Year Ago…

Dear Sam (SOMEBODY that AIN’T ME),

One year ago, I was still a junior in college;

One year ago, I was only on my third draft of Project Stripes;

One year ago, I never squatted in my life. Now I can push 175 lbs;

One year ago, I never expected to have seen such a great final two books of The Legend of Korra in one year;

One year ago, I never thought I’d tour Italy with a great friend and see things I’ve only experienced in books;

One year ago, I never thought I would love the UK more than I already did;

One year ago, I never anticipated five months would change me so utterly;

One year ago, I landed in London and started a journey that would take me from Edinburgh to Rome, Cardiff to Naples;

One year ago, I never made such close friends in such numbers as I did when at Kingston Uni. I

12 January, 2014 – our first outing downtown
2 January, 2014 - about to fly off.
2 January, 2014 – about to fly off.

just wanted to take a moment and thank my family for the unique opportunity it was to study abroad in London last spring. I learned what it was like to live far from home and thrive there; I learned what it meant to be responsible with how I spent my money, how I traveled, and how to look after myself; I learned how adaptable I really am, and how much I enjoyed immersing myself in other cultures.

If you look at Been There, Done that. Where Next? you’ll find a photo collection of my adventures in Europe. I encourage anyone, student or worker, if you have the chance to travel abroad anywhere, GO! You will not regret it, your wallet might, but you won’t. Seeing a world beyond your suburban neighborhood or city street is like actually stepping into the places you might read in a book. Read Angels&Demons?, go and walk through the Vatican; I did; it’s great. Like Nicholas Sparks?, go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and take a vacation to some of the beaches your favorite character did (I only mention Sparks not because I have read him personally, but I thought I might appeal to a wide variety of readers, and I happen to be from North Carolina). Whatever it may be, I encourage you to explore what was described on the page. I’ve found a lot of inspiration in places I’ve walked through.

As I post this on the dawn of a new year, I think about how many chapters will end only to begin in this quest to serve readers as a full time writer. I am hopeful to document everything here at the Pen-Dragon for you to join me. It’s nice to have company sometimes, if I don’t need to work, haha.

One year from now, I hope to be stronger, in the process of getting a job, and close to if not already having my first novel published. There’s a lot to do. You know where I’ll be.


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