Burn Brightly

There are days when I wake up and turn on the news and think, How did we come to this?  When I watch people interact with each other, when I see what passes for entertainment, and know that we are following in the footsteps of Rome, a long slow sad decline.

The last few days have been like that. Blame it on the rain, blame it on missing vacation, blame it on this manuscript that is trying to kill me.  It has been gray.

But the lovely thing about being part of a community of wise and thoughtful writers is that there’s always someone with a hand outstretched, virtual or no.  Yesterday the wonderful Therese Walsh (author of The Moon Sisters, which you ought to go and preorder now, because I got to read it in advance and it is a fabulous book) posted a quote on Facebook which I’ve been pondering ever since.

“There is darkness in the world but we don’t have to give way to despair. One of the best themes in The Lord of the Rings is that despair is the ultimate crime. Winter is coming, but you can light the torches and drink the wine and gather around the fire and continue to fight the good fight.” – George R.R. Martin

There’s always been strife and craziness. I look at histories set in the Wild West, I read biographies of men and women from the World Wars, I read about the Inquisition and the Black Plague and I think holy crap. What has always pulled us out of the those times are the people who refuse to bow to them, who stand with their backs to the darkness and toast the light, who become a beacon themselves if need be.

So cheers, my friends.  On this rainy afternoon, burn brightly.

Posted in

Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on January 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I set my trilogy against the fall of the Roman Empire. This is very much a part of my mindset. Every time one of my nieces reads People Magazine rather than a novel, or compliments Beonce’s clothing–or worse, wears something that she’s seen a “famous” person wearing (yikes)–I die a little inside. Lately it seems “Winter,” literally and figuratively.

    Thanks for lighting the torches and pouring the wine. I’m still up for fighting the good fight, Liz!

    Oh, and must agree about preordering The Moon Sisters being a must! So special, as is its author!

    • liz on January 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      I’m happy to pass the wine any time, Vaughn — and I’m hoping for spring, both literally and figuratively. (And I knew you’d love The Moon Sisters too!)

    • Therese Walsh on January 14, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Did someone say “wine”? I’m there.

      Thank you, V! I can’t wait until your books are out there in the world and we can shout out for you. Talk about a special author and a great person…

  2. Therese Walsh on January 14, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Boy, oh, boy, did I love that quote. I’m glad it touched you, too, Liz. And thank you for the kind shout out!

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