By Debbie Macomber

Like most of us, I've had a number of setbacks in my life. I'm dyslexic and didn't learn to read until age 10. When I speak to writers groups I like to tell the story of the long, bumpy road I traveled on the road to publication. Getting that first book accepted by a publisher was one of the hardest accomplishments of my life. My manuscripts were rejected so fast they hit me in the back of the head on the way home from the post office.

At one point, after five years and four completed manuscripts, an editor told me that the best thing I could do with my manuscript was to toss it in the garbage. (Interestingly enough, that book was my first sale.) To say I was discouraged and depressed would be a gross understatement. When I tell this story I mention that after listening to the editor I went home, laid down on the sofa and didn't move the rest of the day. Frankly, I'd never been that depressed in my life. Then I pause and say, "That was before our children were teenagers. They taught me what real depression is." Our children are our greatest joy and our biggest challenges. When they hurt, we hurt, when they make mistakes the hardest job we have as parents is to bite our tongues instead of giving unwanted advice. Jack has struggled with his relationship with his son and Olivia and Grace have faced challenges with their daughters, as well. As with a majority of my stories, the circumstances are taken from real life. So if these episodes feel real to you, now you know why. For more from Debbie, visit her website!