It's early Sunday morning. My husband is still asleep. I've been getting up at 6am for 7 days now because I have a book due tomorrow. It's overdue - it actually was due 12-1 and I got an extension. My dear friend and critique partner Anna Adams has been critiquing it and I'm doing the edits before I send it in. It's very time consuming, and difficult to do with tears running down my cheeks.
Since Friday, I've been crying. Since 20 tiny children were gunned down, along with five educators including a 27 year old teacher who protected her class with her life and a principal who I actually wish had been armed (odd thought, but if principals at schools were trained and allowed to carry a gun, maybe she could have took him down before he killed so many.) My daughter is a teacher, and she was once five years old. I know she'd give her life for her kids, just as any mother would give her life for her own. At the thought of this happening in her school - any school - I want to shrivel up and die.
I cannot imagine the horrible grief and pain the parents of those murdered children must be feeling. Every time I think about it, I weep. It's difficult to write romance when I feel so surrounded by darkness. My writing friend Eileen Nauman said we need to try and focus on the brightness within us and send it out into the world to try and dispel the darkness. I'm trying, oh how I'm trying, but at times the darkness seems to overwhelm me.
But we can't let it win.
On Facebook and Twitter, I've seen discussions spiral into hatefulness. Gun control is a hot topic. I will say up front, we are an armed family. My husband is getting his CHL (Concealed handgun license). Personally, I abhor guns. I'm afraid of them. I don't hunt, don't shoot, but I can tell you this, I would if it meant defending a small child or anyone that I loved. Including my dogs.
People kill people. Criminals will find a way to get weapons. Just like the car is not at fault when a drunk driver kills someone, I don't feel that banning guns is the way to solve this. Maybe stricter gun law will help, but I honestly don't think so. I think the problem runs deeper. What the hell is wrong with a society where a grown man feels it necessary and right to slaughter innocent children?
I don't have the solution. Hell, I can barely even deal with the pain. All I know is this is usually the most joyous time of the year. I've got to find a way to get back to that joy. And to banish the darkness.
But right now, I've got to get back to revising the book.