Well, you sure can’t say I haven’t kept my word about not clogging your inbox, can you? Unless you’ve seen my occasional posts on Instagram and/or Facebook, or maybe better, followed me on Book Bub for the book reviews I post, in the unlikely chance it even crossed your mind in the past two years, you might have wondered if I’d fallen off the earth.
Not quite. The truth is I’ve found it a lot more difficult to be funny or come up with interesting things to share since my son died. I’ve wondered: do I talk about it, or just stay quiet until the world feels more normal? While I value being real and open, everyone is slogging through their own grief over something, and I doubt readers particularly want to wade into mine. But now there are increasing sources of grief for us all in the wider world, and I’m beginning to think the world just isn’t going to feel more normal, ever. So I’m realizing it’s up to me, up to all of us, to keep finding sources of laughter, beauty, joy, and to be conscious about it as one way of resisting the pain and sorrow of what we see happening in the world.
We all have to actively work for what we value and believe in, but often it’s tiring, draining work. It can become like being out in the forest picking up trash left by people too oblivious or uncaring to pick up after themselves. That example leaps to mind for a reason: my friend Barb and I find soda cans, beer bottles, Starbucks plastic, and fast food wrappers miles inside the nature preserve where we hike our dogs, and we’re not muttering kind words for those who threw it trailside as we bend to pick it up. I have to remind myself to look up, too, to forest bathe, take in the restorative beauty, to find the joy and carry that out with me, also.
So I’m including a few pictures of the spring and summer joys I’ve had while polishing up the next novel, which I’m thrilled to be able to tell you will be published next July 10. More about that coming later. For now, in the comments section, maybe you could name one or more experiences or sights that have fed your spirit this season?
And to thank you for still being there, I’m offering a signed copy–inscribed, too, if you wish–of any of the following books to a randomly selected reader who puts a request in the comments section. It will come with a gift card to Starbucks, because who can’t find something to drink at a Starbucks??? And what goes better with a book than an indulgent drink? Here’s the choice of books available:
Where the Trail Grows Faint: A Year In the Life of A Therapy Dog Team (creative nonfiction), or one of these novels: A Matter of Mercy, Remember My Beauties, The Testament of Harold’s Wife, The Book of CarolSue. To find out what any of these are about, consult the BOOKS section of my website by clicking on that link at the top of this page.