This blog was going to be all about publishing Discord's Child and Artists & Liars on both Smashwords and Kindle, with the annoyances caused by not formatting everything properly the first time around. (I thoroughly recommend making sure that all original formatting is taken off before you begin and starting again from scratch, having backed everything up first, of course.) However, the news that Alice Herz-Sommer has died made that seem rather trivial.
Alice Herz-Sommer was believed to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust at 110 years. During the war she was sent to Theresienstadt and her husband and many of her family were killed. She was a pianist and performing concerts in the camp helped her to keep going. Although she was Jewish, she said that Beethoven was her religion and credited music along with her optimistic nature for her long life. Despite what she must have suffered under the Nazi regime, she apparently bore no grudges and was not bitter.
I only heard about her a few years ago, but I've tried to learn from her. Whenever I question the value of my writing and think it's a useless occupation, I think of Alice Herz-Sommer and how music made her life worth living when she had little else. Like music, writing can educate and inspire. Even if all a writer does is entertain someone and make them forget their troubles for a few minutes, surely what they have done is worthwhile.