by Leonardo DiSalvatore

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My crybaby tendencies didn’t start or end with my dog. Take my dad. He’d been in a nursing home for years by that point. He developed Alzheimer’s early. The descent was brutal and swift. As if that wasn’t enough, he had pancreatic cancer – automatically terminal and unimaginably excruciating.

I stopped visiting around that time. Not because I didn’t want to see him, but because I couldn’t do it to him. Just try to imagine – you’re in horrific pain, you don’t know who or where you are, and your only visitor is a gaunt stranger who bursts into tears whenever they see you.

I scared him to death whenever I visited. I made his disorienting painful days that much worse. Stole what little peace he had.

So I stopped.

I meant to sit with him at the end, when he’d be in a drug-induced sleep so deep he wouldn’t notice me holding his hands and sobbing. But I wasn’t there when he died. I was at my doctor’s office, digesting the news that I, too, was going to be sick for the rest of my life.

I dreamed about my dad that night. He was trapped in the hedge and screaming for help. I tried to show him the way out for what felt like hours, but I was invisible. He couldn’t see me or hear me. As far as he knew, he was alone. Somehow, in that irrepressible logic of dreams, I knew it was my fault.

I woke up crying.

It was enough. I’d had enough.

I’m not stupid or naïve. Life is a tide. And the shitty truth is some of us live on a stormy coast.

I knew this.

But I wanted a break. Just a couple of hours where I didn’t feel sad.

So I went online, hoping to stumble on some kind of guided imagery technique or hypnotic ASMR. Something to create an artificially happy place, at least for a little while.

I tried everything. Nothing worked. I kept searching anyway, trawling increasingly weird websites far into the night because the search itself was addicting. Not a happy place, but certainly a distracting one.

Sometime in the middle of the fifth night, I found an ancient Geocities page titled:

A recipe for happiness

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156108145
Publisher: Leonardo DiSalvatore
Publication date: 09/23/2018
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 680,243
File size: 161 KB

About the Author

Leonardo DiSalvatore never envisioned sharing his writing with the public. Throughout his life he lived for writing stories for himself. They came alive in his mind so vividly and without any limitations to his imagination. He found that was really what was storytelling. The writing part was as Neil Gaimen put it, the boring part. He did it for pure fun and escapism. When he writes he calls it his Narnia, eluding to the fact that he detaches from this world and is off world building with characters to inhibit his worlds. But then DiSalvatore was challenged when someone close to him asked why he wasnt sharing the gift God had bestowed upon him and said he was selfish for not showing the world his craft. From then on Leonardo began writing stories that he loved and so he began. Sharing his stories with many that couldnt get enough of his words and his signature twists. A vision was captured. From then on he surrounded himself with only positive and most importantly: inspiration. He started writing 6,000 words a day then made a daring switch writing on his mobile. As fate would have it all the stars were aligned. Leonardo began writing 10,000 words a day. He wrote all the time, any chance he had. He was riddled at times with self doubt but alas, the people that were there for him found him when he was lost at sea. He since went on to compile over 170 short stories. He has written novels but for the first time ever he is publishing one publicly all over again to share with everyone. The thing is, he only started publicly sharing his work a year ago. Soon, they will know of his trails and tribulations. How high he had to climb how hard he had to pull the sword out of the stone meant for him...blah blah blah You get it. I love writing and I love readers more because without them, I have no foundation. So, i write and try to deliver the kind of content that will make sure the reader will invest their time in me. I want them to find a new author in me. I want to hear from them and talk with them, with you.

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