Peddling my books in 2019 (pre-weight loss)

Gratitude for the chance to do more

My novel Amiga will be released by Black Rose Writing on November 27, 2019. I have been describing my publishing journey in a series of posts. This is the twelfth and final installment of this series as well as my annual Thanksgiving post.

Over the seven months since Amiga was accepted for publication, I’ve had a lot to do. Something I didn’t do was set up a launch party. With my current health efforts, calorie-laden festivities were out, especially when we have a calorie-laden holiday the next day. A book signing? Book signings aren’t a one-time thing. Some authors do them every weekend. I have a book signing set up for December 14 at Beach Town Books in San Clemente, California with more events to come.

How do I mark such a momentous occasion as getting my first novel released by a publisher? By donating blood.

During the holidays, blood supply runs low at a time when people need it the most. My wife and I donate when we can, and we’ll be doing that on Saturday, November 29. Our local Red Cross chapter is offering a $5 Amazon gift card to those who donate.

For me, donating blood isn’t about getting a free gift card, juice, and Cheez-Its. It’s about something I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving—the chance to do more.

For a while, I was not able to donate blood because my blood pressure was too high. Now that I’ve been working on my weight and taking new medication, I should be able to donate blood safely. Being able to give blood is a gift in itself. It means I’m healthy enough to help someone who isn’t.

We usually express gratitude for the things we have, even the bad stuff. Let’s also be also grateful for the things we have the ability to do. Each of us can help other people, comfort the suffering, and stand up for what we believe in. We can show love to our family, build memories, and strengthen bonds with our friends. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life.

Our achievements give us the ability to do even more. The release of Amiga isn’t the end of a publishing journey, but the beginning of a new one. I now have the opportunity to share this book and build connections with readers. By writing, we send out pieces of ourselves to educate, entertain, and inspire. What better way to acknowledge this milestone by giving a bit of myself to help someone in need.

There is no better way for us to express gratitude this holiday season than giving the gift of life. Consider donating blood this holiday season. To learn more, visit your local Red Cross chapter. In the United States, go to