I was camping in Cades Cove, just me and my dog in a tent in the Great Smoky Mountains.
It was a magical weekend. I was researching Three Fatal Blows, my planned third book in the Number Series, which would feature Aramis Black on the run with a kid who knows details of a local drug operation. If all went as scheduled, it would be my 13th book.
It was June, the night was warm, and I unzipped the screen cover in hopes of seeing the stars. Instead, to my amazement, the towering trees and bushes just outside were pulsing and glowing with the light of ten thousand fireflies.
My dog and I sat and watched this natural, neverending fireworks display. Hours later, it was still going, silent and beautiful.
Unfortunately, the magic did not travel home with us.
My small but dedicated publisher at the time struggled to get my Numbers Series into bookstores, and as a result, my third book in the series was cancelled before I even started writing. I still have hopes of reviving it someday through a GoFundMe campaign.
Miracles and magic are wonderful.
They are real. I believe.
I also know life isn't paint-by-numbers, and sometimes the things we think are lining up simply weave and wobble out of view.
Did I go wrong somewhere? Was it ever meant to be? Were the signs just fireflies for the sake of my own awe and wonder?
I don't know. I didn't then and don't now.
Three Fatal Blows never came to be, and my sweet puppy is no longer with us. But I still believe.
Yes, deep down, I still believe.