Lament ~ Outside the Margins with Brandon Witt

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Brandon Witt Outside the Margins

A year ago, I had two more weeks of summer and was already dreading going back to school. I’d done the first edits on Then the Stars Fall, and I lamented that I’d not get to write anything else for who knew how long. I had no idea that in about a month’s time, I’d launch the plan that would end my teaching career, sell my house, move, and leap into the world of writing full time. Nor did I realize that a few weeks later, my boyfriend and I would decide that he should dive into travel nursing as well, which was/is wonderful. It never entered my mind that by the time a year rolled around, I would loose both of my boys, Dunkyn in October, and Dolan less than four weeks ago.


So much of this change has been good, things I’ve dreamed about my entire life. Still, changes are filled with stress and fear… fears that the royalty checks aren’t exactly alleviating. And, a couple of those changes have been devastating.

They say that your body can’t tell the difference between good stress and bad stress. I’d say that’s even truer when they’re mixed together.

The identify shift was already in progress, and then Dolan died. As strange as it may sound, more than anything else, or at least combined with everything else, his departure has left me feeling more unsure of who I am than any of the other events. Loosing Dunkyn was like loosing a best friend. Loosing Dolan was as close to loosing a child as I ever want to get. And loosing them both…


Transition is a good thing, even when it’s hard. Or at least, it can be. I’m not one of those people who believe everything happens for a reason. I know I should be, but I’m not. I’ve seen too much child abuse for me to ever accept that. However, I do believe we can use everything that happens, to a point.

One of the transitions I’d like to do is to use this Outside the Margins blog as something greater than as a personal blog/journal. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I’d like it to be used in a loftier manner than an outpouring of my inner workings. Even if today’s post says differently. (If any of you have insight into what is needed or desired, don’t hesitate to say so.)

I guess I will say this, and I’ll pretend it’s for the greater good. Let’s say that it’s for those of you hurting or scared so that you know you’re not alone. And, though I’m sarcastic in my delivery of this, I do mean it. However, I’m selfish enough that even if that isn’t the case, I’m still going to put it out there. Let you see where I am in on this journey of mine.

I’m scared.

I’m hurting and I miss my boys.

I’m beyond insecure in my writing. I thought I was insecure about it before the pressure of success and/or failure had such high self-imposed stakes. (And this is NOT a plea for compliments or reassurance. Actually, I don’t want them. Only time and proof will alleviate these emotions.)

I am grateful that I leapt and that I’m risking. I have to know that I’m giving this everything I have, regardless of the cost.

I’m thankful for every minute I had with my boys.

I’m choosing to believe that I’ll look back at this time as the make it or break it time. When I can point to it and go, ‘Yep, you made it through it, you didn’t give up, and now look where you are.’ And, I’m choosing to believe that future place looks kinda like a fairytale. As dangerous as that may be. If you’re to risk it all, why risk for anything less?

Except for those moments of terror that I allow myself only every so often, I also choose to believe I’m not delusional.

(Now, if you actually read this post, go have some coffee and chocolate. You deserve a pick-me-up.)



~Brandon Witt


About Brandon Witt

Brandon Witt resides in Denver, Colorado. When not snuggled on the couch with his two Corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan, he is more than likely in front of his computer, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding they keys. When he manages to tear himself away from his writing addiction, he passionately takes on the role of a special education teacher during the daylight hours.

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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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7 thoughts on “Lament ~ Outside the Margins with Brandon Witt

  1. Have you given any thought to giving another dog or two a forever home? When I lost my two, I was going to wait a year before thinking about getting another dog. Think I made it six days. I speak from experience when I say nothing fills that void like another furbaby. Dunkyn and Dolan can never be replaced, but you’re such a wonderful dog owner, I hate to see all that love and compassion going to waste when there are so many pups needing someone just like you.

  2. I really wish I had some sage advice for you, some life lesson I picked up along the way and am now able to pass on, but I don’t. Not that I haven’t had (more than) my fair share of life altering moments, but more because I don’t think there’s one hard and fast rule for everybody. In fact, I think it’s a very personal journey.

    Twenty years ago a medical diagnosis set my whole life on its head. Everything I’d taken for granted and the vision I had of my future were suddenly null and void. Eighteen years ago the doctors told my husband they weren’t sure I’d live. It is funny what getting better after you’ve been all but written off does to your perspective. I no longer worried about never being able to work full time again. I accepted that the rest of my life was probably going to be a financial struggle to some extent at least (I was right about that) and decided that as long as I had a roof over my head, my husband next to me and my daughter in good health, I could deal with that.

    It took me a while but eventually I also allowed myself to follow my dreams. I got a (very) part-time job in the local library service. It’s a dream come true even if I don’t work enough hours to comfortably match the bills. I decided to try my hand and writing and you could have knocked me over with a feather when the books actually got published.

    So, in a long and rather convoluted way my message to you is embrace the fear and run with it. Because you never know what is waiting for you around the next corner. Sometimes our lives aren’t supposed to go the way we would have imagined or hoped, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those lives can’t be beautiful and fulfilling in ways we could have never predicted.

    I firmly believe we regret nothing more than the things we didn’t try or embrace. So regardless of whether or not the next few months or years will be easier or harder than you can now imagine, I have no doubt you WILL look back to this time with pride. You followed your heart and gave it your all. You can’t ask more from yourself. Good luck on your journey.

  3. Beautifully said Helena. I’m glad my life didn’t follow the path I originally chose. I’ve met such diverse challenges & people that it is unthinkable to change a thing. Get another fur friend … your heart has a huge kennel that needs filling. They do relieve stress & are rocks of strength and Love. New horizon = new companion! Everyone has moments of fear & terror … even if internal … it’s very REAL. Knowing the fact … you’re half way there … deciding how you’re going to overcome it ….your done! Sometimes just waiting … solves many problems. Your on a new quest … instead of fearing it … look forward to it! You have your army of friends & readers … go get the Holy Grail, Monty! Just don’t forget to take your coconut shells with you! Just Breathe … you will be fine! Love from Alaska

  4. Thank you for the kind words. I truly appreciate it. As far as a new dog, that will happen. I need to wait until next summer in hopes that income will start to come in, but there are no guarantees on that. I may not be able to make it that long, but if I don’t, there is a good chance I’d have to take another job instead of just writing. But, we shall see. 🙂

    • I had NO idea when I asked that question this morning that I would be forced to put my beautiful boy to sleep 12 hrs later. I’m still shell-shocked. I’m glad to hear you plan on getting another at some point, though. Some dog will get the golden ticket. <3

  5. Oh no! 🙁 So sad to hear about Dolan and sending you lots of long distance hugs and love. I hope you find what you want to do on here each month, but never underestimate what effect your blogging about your life happenings (good and bad) do for others. Just the act of sharing is a gift.

  6. I am hoping things work out for you, Brandon. You are an amazing author that deserves to make it in this world. And you are a wonderful person.

    We lost our 14 year old German Shepherd just a week after you lost Dunkyn and you reached out to make me feel better. You will never know what that meant to me. So many of us fans loved your boys too. I still have the button from GRL hanging above my desk at work and they make me smile everyday.

    Lots of hugs for you. You make a huge difference for all of us that love your work. I have faith in you.

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