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Do we merely exist or do we live?

Many of my thoughts these past few weeks have been about my pup, Nara, who passed away on April 10, 2017. I loved her dearly and miss her daily. I often find myself wondering what she thought about in those last days. Was she happy? Scared? Strong? Ready for the next step? I like to think that I know, but all I know is what's in my heart. Nara lived life with abandon. She played, she ran, she slept, she ate, she ran some more, and always looked like she had a smile on her face. Mere existence wasn't enough for her, though I imagine being waited on daily didn't hurt.

Do we merely exist or do we live? I often worry that I spend too much time living vicariously through my characters and stories. I use to spend a lot more time in the real world than I seem to these days. There's always another chapter to write, another book to read, and because I enjoy writing and reading so much, that should be enough . . . right?

I used to think so, but since Nara's passing, I've once again been reminded at how fragile life can be, and it's a reminder that had made me reflect on my own life and what more I can do to live it fully, rather than simply exist and go through the motions. When I start to get in one of these moods—and it's been a number of years—I tend to pick up and move, ready for something different and fun and exciting.

I crave adventure as much as I love being at home, a trait I tend to share with many of the heroines in my stories. It's not easy to keep myself living in the real world when my imagination is so much fun, but as they say, "living life to the fullest" is a tremendous gift. Don't we owe it ourselves and those around us to make the most of it? It's easier sometimes to live through the men and women in books, yet when I go out into the "real world" I find ordinary people to be quite extraordinary.

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MK McClintock writes stories for those who enjoy escaping to another time and place, where their imaginations are free and open to simple pleasures and stories with plenty of happy-ever-afters—at least for the good guys. Villains get a different kind of ending.


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