For Carrie

I've wanted to write about the passing of Carrie Fisher for a while, but it's hard to find the words. And now that we're nearing the 40th anniversary, it's become more poignant to me because I never met her in person. I wish I had, and now it's difficult to address someone who's had an impact on your life, but has passed on before you've thanked her. I live in a world where I believe I have all the time to do what I want to do, but not what I need to do. Perhaps that's the folly of youth mixed into an era of technological distraction.

As you grow older, the people who've shaped your childhood and adolescence pass away. You may not be at the age where you start to consider your own mortality, but it hits you--time is fleeting and the most valuable time you have is to thank the ones for having a positive and profound impact on your life--parents, teachers, friends, role models, and mentors.

I wasn't even six years old when I saw Princess Leia in the theater for the first time. It's forever etched in my mind the moment she stood as the small bright light against the looming dark. 

Carrie Frances Fisher and her alter ego Princess Leia Organa had a huge impact on my life. I still look for books with strong female leads. I'm often disappointed, sometimes surprised, but I remain hopeful. I'm not the only one writing these kinds of female characters. I see these qualities in the friends & family around me. Lucas wrote the lines, but Carrie gave Leia the voice and the soul to the kind of person I want my daughters to grow up to be. It's no surprise to anyone that my oldest carries her namesake.

RIP Carrie Fisher--you've been struck down, but you've become more powerful than anyone could possibly imagine. You are written in the stars and forever in our hearts.

Kenneth Britz