Courtney and Henry

I suppose it takes a certain amount courage for a writer to pull “back the curtain” and lay themselves mostly bare for all the world to see (and, ultimately, comment on), though I never really thought about it in those terms when I was writing “Dear Ashley.” What I did think about, however, is the extraordinary amount of courage and love required for others to give a writer “permission” to use pieces of their stories, so that the writer can better and more clearly convey the intricacies of their own, particularly when those “pieces” deal with matters of the heart.  And yet, that is precisely the gift that my friends, Courtney Elizabeth Stewart and Henry Rojas, bestowed on me in the early stages of the creative process.  I can’t overstate the profound sense of trust associated with giving that kind of a gift or the depth of the gratitude I felt and continue to feel as the recipient. “Dear Ashley” is immeasurably better, more intimate and more compelling because two extraordinary people unselfishly and, as Henry is want to say, “unabashedly,” agreed to join in the sharing.

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