Nevis Cave Chronicles: Navigating the Writing Rapids of Triumphs and Tragedies

I recently finished Taraji P. Henson's captivating memoir, Around the Way Girl. "...all I had to do was be patient, shut out the noise, and stay focused, and joy will come in the morning..." was one line that resonated deeply with me. That poignant statement reflects her resilience and determination in overcoming numerous struggles and obstacles on her journey. Taraji was refreshingly raw, honest, and unapologetic, reminding us that the path to success is rarely smooth or easy.

Her memoir prompted me to reflect on the importance of transparency and authenticity with the fans who help us reach our goals, which is why I want to honestly answer the most asked question in the recent survey: “When will the next book be released?”

Many of you who have been with me since the beginning witnessed the consistent release of books up until around 2016, when Desire's Chase was released. It was during this pivotal year that my life took an unexpected turn.

My beloved older and only sister, a pillar of strength and love throughout my life, fell gravely ill. Despite my desperate desire to be by her side, circumstances dictated that I remained in the U.S. Each day became a battle as I grappled with the guilt and anguish of not being physically present for her. The task of writing Pleasing Mindy became an insurmountable challenge as thoughts of my sister's suffering consumed my every moment.

Tragically, just weeks after my eventual decision to travel to the Caribbean to be by her side, fate intervened with heartbreaking finality. In September of 2017, my sister passed away, leaving behind a chasm of loss that shattered me in ways I could never have imagined. Returning home to bid farewell to my beloved sister was both a solemn duty and a profound honor. As I stood before family and friends, and delivered her eulogy, I found myself enveloped in a bittersweet mixture of grief and gratitude. In those moments, I felt the weight of her absence keenly, yet I was also reminded of the privilege of sharing cherished memories and celebrating her remarkable life.

I returned to the U.S. with a heart still broken, yet determined to finish Pleasing Mindy, knowing that it was what she would want me to do. With each word, I felt her presence guiding me forward.

In July of 2020, amidst my ongoing struggle with my sister’s loss, one of my favorite brothers, who had been battling what his family initially believed to be Alzheimer's for nine years, passed away. The heartache of losing him was compounded by the realities of the pandemic, which prevented me from attending his funeral. Our bond had been deeply rooted, nurtured by shared childhood memories and a mutual passion for literature, and his death, especially so soon after my sister’s, felt like a crushing blow, leaving me once again with overwhelming grief. I felt isolated from the people with whom I truly wanted to be, and alone in my grief.

Less that two years later, just as I dared to hope for smoother waters ahead, tragedy struck again in January of 2022.

Head on over to Substack to read the rest of my journey through triumphs and tragedies...

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