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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Daddy's (not so) disappearing act

Finding Daddy

“Where’s Daddy?”

My son’s recent answers to this question are the subject of a short, silly guest post “Daddy’s (not so) disappearing act” over at Holdin’ Holden.

If (a) your attention span at the moment can only be measured in nanoseconds, like that of yours truly and/or (b) you like adorable pictures of Li’l D on his tricycle, this is possibly the post for you.

After you’re done, poke around the blog a little. Jenny’s got lots of good stuff there, and on her Facebook page!

(And if you’d like to hear my son’s sweet giggling? Click here.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In pictures (and words!), a year of being an author

A year ago today, I published my first novel. More on that--and what this picture means!--here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On bald heads & being unending

Although this post begins with a tragedy, it is a post about hope.

I was thrift store hopping in 2003 when I missed a call from a girlfriend. Stepping out from the thrift store I’d been shopping at, I dialed my voicemail access number. I knew something was wrong when my new voicemail began not with “Hi, Debbie!” but “Oh, Deb.”

Only a handful of seconds later, I sank to the sidewalk and thought, “No. No, this is a terrible joke. This can’t have happened.”

But it had.

Months later, I continued to struggle with how suddenly lives could be ended. I found solace only in my long nighttime runs, during which my thoughts ran even further and wider than my legs.

Finish line

One evening shortly before the 2004 marathon that would be my first, I noticed a car passing by me slowly and repeatedly. I started getting anxious about how dark it was, how long it had been since I’d seen another person, how if someone managed to get me into their car, there’d be no one around to notice.

I ran in the direction of the nearest police station and I prayed. The car fell away, eventually, but the adrenaline didn’t.

I wondered about what would have happened if the ending there had been different. Would my friends remember me for all the happy memories we shared, or would they remember only how my life ended?

The thought horrified me. As I wept while running homeward, I thought over and over again: We are so much more than the ways that we end.

Afterward, I endeavored to remember those who had died not for how their lives concluded, but for who they were while they lived. For their lives.

And yet, when my friend Karin began daily posting links to a blog series about a young girl’s struggle with cancer, I thought, “Gah, why would I want to read so extensively about a girl’s death?”

Donna the Fairy Flower (photo used with permission from Mary Tyler Mom)

It was only when I read Karin’s husband Chris’s Freshly Pressed entry about why they are going “Blissfully Bald” that I understood just how much I had misunderstood. This wasn’t a story about a girl’s death to cancer.

It was a story about a girl’s life.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

One amazing year & many thanks


I've kept online journals in some form or another since 1995, but it was January 14, 2011 that I began "blogging."

That day, I wrote about some YA novels I'd penned while I was living in Japan. Specifically, I wrote an entry ("On writing books & golden stars") about my chagrin at failing to write a single perfect novel the first time around, and how my mom's death finally spurred me to forego unattainable perfection for the attainable satisfaction of holding in my hands a perfect-to-me book with my own name on it.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Up (again) with the pen, down (again) with the pitchfork!

Shiny blue light, inspire me!

I’ve been feeling quiet the last few days.

There’s a lot behind most silences. In this case, my silence is inspired by a gathering resolve.

Yep, you read that right: “resolve.” I know this is traditionally the time of making, revising, breaking and occasionally keeping resolutions, but I tend not to be the resolution-making sort.*

It’s been months since I told myself I’d begin editing The Monster’s Daughter’s sequel in earnest. And yet, so far I’ve only mustered a few hours of editing here and there. I’ve persistently traded the deep, lasting gratification of moving closer to completing a dear project for the instant gratification of an online exchange or nineteen.

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