Deborah LeBlanc is the award-winning, best-selling author of The Witch, Grave Intent, Ghost Box, and, most recently, Toe to Toe and Voices. She’s also the founder of Literacy Inc., a paranormal researcher, and, back when I was working on my first novel, my mentor. It’s in large part due to her hard work that I’m here today as a writer.
WHEN LIFE GETS IN THE WAY—PAY ATTENTION!
By Deborah LeBlanc
When JG asked me to do a blog for his site, I was honored and put some thought into what subject matter might be most helpful to his readers. Amidst all the pondering, only one thing really stuck out. Life—period.
Sometimes life gets in the way of best laid plans. I know this first hand. In 2014, I lost a three-year-old granddaughter, then my youngest daughter four months later. Life ceased to exist for me for quite some time after that. Both girls were such a huge part of my world that everything else seemed so radically insignificant. As a writer, I had deadlines that I allowed to die. For months, I could barely speak a coherent sentence without bursting into tears because some word, smell, or thought brought one or both of the girls to mind. Thankfully, I have great people who work for the company I own. Had it not been for them, I could have cared less if the business went down the toilet. I had nightmares so horrific that, for a time, I didn’t know if I was dreaming or awake. It all felt the same.
|Toe to Toe, coming soon|
Then slowly . . . very slowly, things started to come into focus for me. My babies were gone, and nothing I could do would bring them back. And trust me, being a ‘fixer’ that realization was a major milestone for me. I starting seeing and feeling the sun when it beamed through a cloudless day. I heard birds singing and smiled at the sound instead of wanting to shoot them out of the trees simply for living. Although I’m still convinced that the universe can be a cruel bitch, I mean truly, the order of things was way out of whack. I was supposed to be in the ground WAY before my beloved daughter and granddaughter were. But there simply is no answer as to why, other than being the cruel bitch it can be, the universe decided that this was the way it was going to be…period. There were no answers to all of my ‘why’ questions and still aren’t. The difference between now and then, however, is I’ve quit asking and have somehow, someway come to accept what is.
Although my life will never be the same, all of that trauma did get me to realize how much we take for granted every day. We get so busy with stuff that we forget what’s really important as far as our existence is concerned. I believe we’re here on this planet to learn and love. To share some glimmer of hope to others whenever possible. To listen, really listen when someone speaks to us so they know they’ve been heard, seen, and matter. All the rest of the stuff in life is filler. We work to put food on the table for our families, but work is just part of the ‘stuff.’ Family, no matter how large or small, near or far, is what matters the most. As do friends we cherish.
|Voices, coming soon|
By the time I ‘woke up’ after losing so much, I made sure to pay attention to whom I DID have in my life and made a vow to do a little something special each day to make those I love know they’re loved unconditionally. Funny thing is, the more I lived according to that creed, the rest of the ‘stuff’ that fills life became easier and less stressful.
My businesses are flourishing, and I’m grateful for that, especially during a time when so many people are being laid off of work. But what I’m most grateful for are the people who work with me. And I think reminding them about how important they are in my life causes a chain reaction of sorts. They know they’re important, business grows. Who’d of thought it could be that simple.
|The Through The Veil investigation team|
I’m writing again because it’s what I love to do, but it takes a second seat to my new creed. And lo and behold, wouldn’t you know that by simply starting again with a new mind set, I’ve got more books to write than I know what to do with, have my second audio book coming out in eight weeks, and am part of a soon-to-air paranormal investigation show called Through the Veil.
My life will never be the same—in many good ways. I’ll always carry this hole in my heart for my lost loved ones, but I’ve learned that sharing what’s left of that heart as often and as much as I can each day with others makes that hole feel less and less like the Grand Canyon.
|Zspot, written as RH Masters|
And thanks, JG, for giving me a chance to share with your readers. And thank all of you reading this for making the time to read it!
With a grateful heart,
Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning, best-selling author and business owner from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a licensed death scene investigator, has been a paranormal investigator for over twenty years, and is currently the house clairsendium (part clairvoyant, part medium) for the upcoming paranormal investigation television show, Through the Veil.
|Deborah speaking to high school students as part of Literacy Inc.|
She served four years as president of the Horror Writers Association, eight years as president of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana, and two years as president of Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter. In 2007, Deborah founded Literacy Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America’s teens. Deborah also takes her passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country.