Happy Independence Day!

I love this time of year. Especially when I'm not working. I had to work through Saturday night, got off a bit early to flex off some training time, woke up this afternoon and had an awesome workout. Then I ran to the fireworks store, bought some good ones, hit the grocery store for our barbeque, and worked an off-duty special for some extra cash. I texted back and forth with my daughter a good bit today, she's excited about us celebrating the fourth tomorrow. So am I. I just feel amazing right now, and there are probably a few reasons for that.  

Firstly, Kris Smith is pretty awesome. I grew up with him, from grade school through high school. I get to see him at my guys weekend each year in Delaware. Another classmate of ours put on Facebook how she was reading Gray, for her summer reading. Kris commented underneath, "Cough Cough," and added the link to Amazon for my book. Erin, (the girl who put the original comment) responded with, "This is actually going to be my book club pick for October. I'm giving David Heaton 12 guaranteed purchases with this book pick! I'm hoping I can have the author skype in to the session..."

Well, hell yeah I can.

I think anyone who tries something like writing a book, or playing in a band, silently hopes for huge success and fame. And I'd be lying if that never crossed my mind. But each time it does, I've always caught myself and kept myself in check. I don't want E.L. James success. Would it be great to be able to write full time? Absolutely it would. One of the ways I've tried to keep myself grounded is to tell myself that all I want to do is attend a book club about my book.

Thanks to Kris and Erin, it looks like that may just happen.

How freaking cool is that? It's freaking cool.

And the book did sell last week. My author rank jumped into the top eight thousand in thriller writers June 26th. That's out of forty thousand. The sales rank jumped as well. These aren't friends buying the book at this point. These are sales from people I probably don't know, may even be reading this, if you are, thanks.  

That is also pretty freaking cool.

And while I am super stoked to be getting to do a book club, and any success the book has obviously has an impact on how happy I am, the real reason I'm happy is because I'm off tomorrow.

Our neighborhood usually has a good turnout at the neighborhood pool. And this will be my friend Michelle's last July 4th in our neighborhood. She sold her townhome last week and has to be out by mid-July. I'm going to miss the hell out of her, she's an amazing person, so I'm glad I'm off and hope we get to hang out tomorrow.

I couldn't imagine a more American woman than Michelle. I really couldn't.

She's smart, strong willed, grounded in her beliefs, caring, beautiful, independent, and a pretty amazing cook. She's been raising two boys on her own for over ten years now, her oldest is in middle school. And she's done an amazing job with both boys. They are respectful young men, even though she's been on her own for most of their lives. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

She likes her beer cold, isn't afraid to tell you how she feels, always has her house that she bought on her own decorated for the season, loves her kids, loves her church, loves her family, and could probably kick most guys asses if they threatened any of that.

She is the American woman.

I'm sad to see her go. But, I think this is a test of true friendship, I'm happy she is getting out of here. I know she has been aching to get out of our neighborhood for a while for a lot of different reasons. It can be hard living in a townhome community. And I'm happy that she is able to do that.

I can't think of anyone who deserves happiness more than her right now. Her townhome sold one day after it had been listed. If that brings her happiness, I'm happy for her.

And if anyone ever thought I was the type to write outlines and planned my writing, this post would be a great example of why I don't. I worked a six hour special tonight and thought tirelessly about what my blog post this week was going to be about. And I couldn't come up with a damn thing. (I was going to write about how much I appreciate the 4th, and hate it when people thank me for my service when I'm in uniform)

Then I realized I was just happy. And that happiness comes from more than what I've put here. But it's happiness nonetheless.

So thanks, Kris, and Erin. And Michelle, I know we won't lose touch. And while I'm going to miss you, I'm happy for you.

And to all the guys and girls out there that volunteer to protect this amazing country. We couldn't thank you enough. I know a girl who lives on the other street, for a couple more weeks anyway, who is the quintessential American woman.

I know she is because she is thanking you also, silently, as she raises her kids to do the same.  

And her boys will eventually do that with their kids. Because she raised them right.

I don't know how to describe this country better than that. And it's a pretty amazing country with amazing people. Happy 4th.