These candy bars cost five dollars each. THEY. ARE. WORTH. FIVE. DOLLARS.
I am home and sick and worn to a nub from tour. I walked in my door and my immune system crashed from all the breathing in airplane air which is full of plague rat dander and leprosy spores.
BUT LOOK I AM HEROICALLY BLOGGING ANYWAY, WHICH IS AMAZING! You should probably send me Zzang WOWSA and WHAT THE FUDGE bars. *nod nod nod* No, actually, I am checking in with you because you are SO NICE. I know you are so nice, because I am starting to get a lot of little emails from you, oh my best beloveds, frantically and kindly PACKED with amusing cat photos and no questions. How wonderful you are!
SO. I have been RUDELY silent and you have been SWEETLY worried. I need to say to you: I am not dead. No one is dead, and nothing bad is currently happening. Heh.
OH EXCEPT THIS IS MODERATELY BAD AND DEAD: Our microwave. It died a sad, abrupt death, and when the delivery fellow came with the new one, he found the old one had been….creatively installed.
It was hanging in there via duct tape, fairy spittle, and hope. He felt unequal to the task of putting the new one in, and so he abandoned it, still factory boxed, in the middle of my kitchen floor. And there it remains. Even as I write this, Mango is sprawled on its sealed top, luxuriously bathing his personal areas.
The microwave feels less than fulfilled as a cat bidet. It wishes to steam my Trader Joe’s green beans and make SmartPop 100 calorie bag popcorn three times in a row because that is not enough popcorn, ORVILLE. I am just saying.
Scott can’t install it though. He isn’t sure HOW. He says we have to hire a HANDY MAN but I am not sure those still exist? DO THEY EXIST?
By the way? I am SO tired I could not remember the word bidet when I was writing this. All I could think was DUVET. I DO know the difference. If I did not know the difference I bet no one would have ever agreed to be my roommate in college.
I sat here for a good two minutes, creating mucus and saying DUVET? DUVET? Over and over to myself, and then I went to Google and typed in, “what do you wash your butt with in France,” and Google IMMEDIATELY said BIDET and gave me the wiki bidet link.
Google is hideously invasive and scans everything I do to poke better advertising at me and I DO NOT CARE because their product is so good. Want a RETINAL SCAN, Google? Go for it. NEED SOME OF MY BLOOD? That sounds reasonable! Just keep sticking the wiki-bidet link in the TOP Slot when I ask what to wash a cat butt with in France and we are good, you and I.
I have very little “brand” loyalty, but the ones I have are intense and I actually think they are RATIONAL and not tucked into my brain by ad algorhythms.
I like Google. I like Coke. I like Mr Clean Magic Erasers. I like Zzang Candy Bars from Zingermans. But I REALLY think I like them because these things all do what they say they will do better than the other things like them. I think Mr Clean Magic Erasers may ACTUALLY be made out of magic.
What about you? Are you AD IMMUNE like I foolishly think I am? What brands are you loyal to because they are BETTER? Also, more importantly: Are you alive? I hope nothing bad is happening. DO you need a funny cat picture?
I was home from tour for Thanksgiving – I head back out on the road again TOMORROW for the last leg. If you live in any of these places left on tour, please come on out! ALSO If you WON Virtual Book Tour, please send me a snail addy or whatever I need to get it to you. I have about half the addresses I need. Both prints and half the MoM copies shipped. NO EARRINGS as of yet, and still half the MoM copies are on my dining room table, waiting to knwo where to go.
Here is a snapshot of my break.
I get off a plane and stagger home, smelling like airport. I drift asleep twice while bathing. I have a local event about 2 hours away, and I am fresh off a plane, blind with tired and SUPER punchy. It is storming like WHOA. I am scared I might fall asleep FOR REAL, so I start streaming some cheesy nighttime soapy show about vampires off the internet as I flop on the sofa with my feet in Scott’s lap. We watch silently together, me engrossed, Scott impassive.
Improbably Gorgeous Lady with Heaving Bosoms: But this can never be! For I am betrothed to Jonathan!
Improbably Gorgeous Man who Cannot Act, God Bless Him: Jonathan need never know. This thing between us, it is real!
*She stares with naked longing at Man Who Can’t Act, who stares back, blank as printer paper*
Improbably Gorgeous Lady with Heaving Bosoms: No! No! It is wrong.
Scott, in a perfect, intonation free parody of Improbably Gorgeous Man who Cannot Act: Maybe we could just make out a little. And touch each other in our bathing suit areas.
I laugh and laugh until I fall off the sofa. I am CHOKING and dying of laugh. I can’t BREATHE. Scott stares down at me calmly.
Scott: I’m driving you.
So he drives me. We are in the car, and the storm rages ON, CRAZY driving rain and thunderous thunders. My cell rings. It is my friend Alison. I answer and we start chatting, but then the traffic and raging storm sounds register.
Alison: WAIT! WAIT! Are you DRIVING in this mess and talking on the phone like a crazy person?
Me: Oh, no no. Scott is driving me. I was so punchy and giggley he didn’t want me to operate machinery. He was pretty sure I would miss my turn, accidentally cross into Florida, drive into the ocean, and die.
Alison: That sounds about right. You know, when I try to imagine you before Scott, like, what your life looked like… How did you…not die? I cannot imagine it. Seriously.
Me: I was exactly like a Roomba. I would trundle around in loops until I crashed into a wall, and then I would turn and careen off a different way.
Alison: Sounds about right.
Scott: You were nothing like a Roomba.
Me: Yes, I WAS! I was EXACTLY like a Roomba.
Scott: *sadly, with infinite kindness* Baby. I love you. But Roombas clean things.
Then I laughed so hard we literally had to pull off the highway so I could go to the bathroom.
It’s funny because it’s TRUE.
I am much more rested now, and READY FOR ROUND TWO. Oh yeah. Ready to run out into the country and ask you all… What major household cleaning appliance would YOU be, assuming the appliance did not actually have to clean things? (Okay, I may still be a TINY bit punchy.)
TODAY my guest blog is a REALLY OFF THE WALL q and a courtesy of Powell’s, featuring hand puppets, cats, yoga, and various kinds of banging. Here we have no blog. Just a winner announcement.
So, remember the PRIZES for the VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR? No? You can see them here. We did it just like the Oscars, except I wore a black bag from the thrift shop instead of Vintage Valentino, we mercifully skipped the dance montage, and no one played us off if we talked too much. If you didnt; make it to the Decatur Launch last night, I show you my pimp MADONNA TRUTH OR DARE blinged out spectators. (I can hear Macklemore saying, But $^!#, it was 99 CENTS…) Maisy has some COOL BOOTS though, huh?
ALL WHO PARTICIPATED — I ADORE YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!! If you WON, send me a quick email with this info:
1) YOUR SNAIL ADDRESS (if you won a physical object) or the email you want your CODE sent to if you won the audio DL code.
2) If you won the Bridget art, you need to choose from a 13 X 16 gallery quality giclée print, a tote bag, a T shirt, or a set of 10 boxed notecards. Not telling me makes me think you want the print
3) If you won My Own Miraculous My Own Miraculous in non audio book form tell me if you want a code for your e-reader, what reader you use, the email addy to send it to, or if you want a paper one, your snail addy.
I will get these mailed when I am home at THANKSGIVING
SO last night I was in FAIRHOPE, doing a book tour event, and I was supposed to stay over but I just kinda—I needed to be home. SO I cancelled my hotel reservation (THEY WERE SO NICE TO LET ME without making me cry or even explain too much) and I drove 6 hours into the black night.
I put the audiobook I had been listening to on HOLD and swapped to listening to a Reacher novel because Dick Hill will keep you AWAKE as he describes how Reacher hands a beat down to evil.
I arrived at 3 and my cat came and SAT ON ME and made his rumbley noise and the dogs acted like they had thought I was dead this WHOLE time and now look! Glorious! Glorious! She RETURNS! And I slept in my own personal bed with my own personal husband.
This morning I got up and went to my own personal yoga class and got their early enough put my mat RIGHT WHERE I LIKE IT BEST and one of my favorite teachers was running it and she said, “I KNOW THIS IS THE SOUTH BUT I AM GOING TO SAY PELVIC BONE A LOT TODAY. And She DID. She said PELVIC BONE a lot and no one died, even though it is Georgia.
A call this a good day, already, and tonight is my home town BOOK LAUNCH. Please come if you are at all near Decatur. First Baptist Church. 7 PM.
This afternoon I will gather up papers and do the VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH PRIZE DRAWINGS so the results shoudl be in on that TOMORROW AM before I hop a plane.
Today I am guest blogging RIGHT HERE, and if you click, you will see me publicly apologizing to Jessica Handler AND giving you five pieces of SMUG ADVICE you DID NOT EVEN ASK FOR.
You are welcome.
I AM ON THE ROAD. I MISS YOU ALREADY. I hope to see you on the tour, and then it will be harder to miss you, because you will be there. If yu cannot be there, you can still get on on the virtual book tour. Just have the orders in before 4 PM EST! You can see the button in the TOP LEFT SIDEBAR, just hit that!
Here is a thing you can listen to while you wash the dishes, if you like. It has video too, but it is just me making crazy rubbery faces and dripping madness foam and having google eye. Oh, there is a little Ansley. It’s my BOOK TRIB Chat from yesterday. They asked great questions.
LOOK what I will be doing this afternoon. 4 PM EST. You come, too. Pretty please? Sugar etc? It will be fun.
THIS IS WHERE THE CHAT TAKES PLACE (to be clear) (because I got a couple of asky emails)
I am going to put on eyeliner and a nice top. SECRETLY, you and I will both know that from the waist down it is a horrorful wasteland consisting of those floppulant pink fantasy Francy-pants I dug out of a dumpster in Avignon and bare Winter Feet in DESPERATE NEED of Pedicurating.
BUT the parts on camera are going to look moderately mentally well. I will look as much like my author photo as I humanly can without photoshop to smooth the rage horn wrinkles on my forehead into Faux-Botoxian smoothness. THIS I VOW.
Come hang with me? Click the image above to go to the place and learn how to be at the thing (That was fancy technical internet talk!)
I meant to do a CONTEST this week. I meant to do a LOT of things. Heh. Because you know it is tomorrow, right? SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY comes out tomorrow. But you knwo this has nto been a smooth fall, personally speaking, and no, we are still nto talkign about it. No real new news to report, for good or ill.
HEY LOOK OVER HERE AT THIS HAPPY SHINY THING: I had a fantastic idea for the TACKIEST CONTEST EVER. SO fun and downright filthy. Here is the idea: You know that NEW FOX SHOW Almost Human about Hot Robot Cop? I was going to have you in the comments explain how the show would approach, broach, cover and establish that Hot Robot Cop has a full set of working robot man bits. Whoever came closest to the actual explanation would win a copy of SIGNED SELS and an adorable baby paper MoM.
But Joshilyn, you say, how do you know that the show will establish this fact? HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW THAT HE IS A FULLY FUNCTIONING MALE ROBOT?
Beloveds, I say back, I know because 1) Look at the actor. Please. He is PAST regular crazy TV show hot and into excessive amounts of wrongful hotness. He is GRATUITOUSLY hot. And more importantly and telling: 2) THE SHOW IS ON FOX.
So, we can assume, yes? Yes. VERY safely. Hot Cop Bot is a fully functioning simulator of all things human. He may not EAT, but I promise you, I know, I am sure, and I would bet my dogs that this robot will be making the sexes before Season 2.
I haven’t seen the pilot yet— we do not have cable—- but I plan to watch it on the internets as soon as I have 60 consecutive minutes. If they do not establish it this episode maybe we can still do the contest.
Did you see it, the pilot? Without spoilering it for me, tell me, is it GOOD? Is it as cheesy and superb as I HOPE WITH ALL MY HOPES? And DO they establish his *cough* possible functions in this ep?
By the way, in case I did not mention it for 15 consecutive seconds, SELS COMES OUT TOMORROW.
That means….TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR. *panic* *run in circles* *scream*
No, no, do not panic or run in circles or scream. I will do all that. I AM doing all that. You? All YOU have to do is PARTICIPATE *beam*.
The VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR is explained here if you do not know what that is—Plus you can see all the FUN PRIZE DRAWING LOOTS for participants! And I dearly deeply wish you would tweet or facebook or email this page here to ANYONE who might not know or might have forgotten because it is the LAST DAY. I am packing my crazy ugly shoes! I am tweezing my eyebrows! BOOK LAUNCH TOMORROW.
1) Truck Splits to Enya would be a great weirdo garage band name. Imagine a kind of peg-jeaned band with throw-back mod hair and a retro-amusing take on synthesizers.
2) I asked you for funny cat videos and no huggings, and OH did you respond. I have seen EPIC cat videos, including one where these two cats FIGHT and 2 pigeons pick a cat team and fight on his side to help WITH NO IRONY. Pigeons do not GET irony. These two pigeons DO get to strike a blow for all bird-kind as they beat the crap out of Losing Cat. Sadly, soon after filming ceased, Winning Cat ate one or both of them. *beam* Because cats may not get Irony, but MAN, do they love that Alannis Morisette song. And also they love eating pigeons.
3) You also sent funny dog videos, misadventures in autofill, links to ALLIE BROSH’s genius blog, and Spock pr0n. When is a good day for Spock pR0n? You ask. But I know this is a trick question! EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY FOR SPOCK pR0n! Thank you. You are the best. You are just the very best and that is all.
4) You are the double PLUS best because one of you sent THIS. This is the MOST AMAZING CRAZY THING I have ever seen on the internet. And I have seen MANY, MANY things on the internet. As a thank you gift to you, oh Beloveds, I pass it along. Because *boggle* YOU ARE WELCOME.
5) You know my new mental illness green sustainability unicorn initiative where I am not buying ANY new clothes (barring shoes, underpants, swimsuits, because, ew) for at least a year? And maybe you think this is no big deal because I could just not buy ANY clothes for a year, yes? Except no, because to nutshell the last 5 years—-I got sick, I went to bed for a year, I gained a buncha weight, had a bunch of surgery, and POST the surgery, nothing I did shifted the weight.
SO. 2 years ago I decided my heavier self was just HOW I WAS NOW and accepted it and sang LEARNING TO LOVE MY LARGER BUTT IS THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL in the shower, etc etc, but as part of that love of self I kept obsessively doing yoga and eating ALL THE FRUIT and—-Eventually. SLowly. Grindingly. Invisibly. At the speed of continental drift—- I dropped two dress sizes.
Of course, as part of my accepting myself phase I got rid of all my old, smaller clothes because “I will never wear those again and that is okay because I am beautiful and valuable.*hug hug hug*”
Of course that is TRUE, my value as a human being is NOT related to my pants size, NO ONE’S IS, but couldn’t I have believed this and STILL boxed up my smaller clothes, JUST IN CASE?
OH AND GUESS WHAT! File under: I never don’t learn NOTHING. Six months ago I boxed up all my old larger clothes and sent THEM to Good Will because “I will never be that size again etc etc” and then The Unspeakable Thing We Do Not Speak Of began and I have gained at LEAST five pounds. Maybe more. OH HA HA! CATS! I BEGIN TO SEE YOUR POINT ABOUT THAT SONG!
Said all that to say: I bought MANY things last night at THE THRIFT SHOP including NEVER WORN SHOES (not NEW TO ME and also CHEAP so allowable under unicorn rules). I am a leeeeetle hinky about thrift shop shoes (because, FUNGUS!), but I know they did not get worn because the ORIGINAL price tag is PRISTINE ON THE SOLE. And I also know they did not get worn because I LOOKED AT THEM WITH MY EYES.
They are these HIDEOUS SPECTATORS, these SHINY GOLD oxfordy shoes with a leopard-y patterny WEB of buff/nude suede over the gold and a GOLD STRIPED TEENY HEEL and they say, INSIDE THEY SAY…
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
MADONNA: TRUTH OR DARE
OH YEAH BABY! Did you know this was a thing? It is a THING. Madonna shoes. THEY ARE SO EPIC. And PIMP. Lordy, but I love her. These are the CONE BRA of shoes. These shoes are like if bling and ugly got married and went to live on my feet.
Oh, let me Google! I bet they are online. YES! HERE THEY ARE:
SEE? SEE? They come in PINK and GOLD, too but the thrift store only had these, alas. ANYWAY.
I leave on TOUR on TUESDAY. I will be wearing an ALSO THRIFTED crazy brown and black drab MOVIE-STEREOTYPE librarian outfit to the launch. The kind of outfit that is exactly like the ones worn by no real librarian ever, but that you always see in bad TV shows.
You would see me channeling a fake TV librarian in it, all dour and plain in glasses with extra frumpiness and a pinchy-mouth face. THEN! She whips the glasses off and…nope. Never mind. It is still a godawful outfit of terrible drabosity.
Except in my case I am going to DIAL IT UP TO LEVEL AMAZING with GOLD PIMP MADONNA SPECTATORS!
YES! Me and my Truth or Dare shoes are coming to 16 cities…SO go look and come if you can come see my terrifying shoes in person? The tour schedule is HERE.
If you can’t make it, there are still four days to get in on the Virtual Book Tour.
(The VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR is explained here if you do not know what that is—Plus you can see all the FUN PRIZE DRAWING LOOTS for participants!)
EDIT: PLEASE SETTLE AN ARGUMENT: Is “I never don’t learn NOTHING” a clever triple negative that means “I do not ever learn” as I say, or just “a grammatically meaningless poo-pile of word horror” as one of my dearest friends just texted me? Or…is it…BOTH?
DO DOGS BELONG ON THE TABLE? (hint: no)
So, we know from Monday’s blog that there is nothing to see here, right? Just a harmless little box with giant mammals and continents on it, sitting in the middle of the springiest spring meadow that ever sprung. TRA LA.
And it is genuinely a NICE meadow, Beloveds, here 6 days from the release. There are some charming little rabbits and deers in it that are making me quite happy and hopeful.
One deer is named, “SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY is the SHE READS November Book Club Pick.” That is a HUGE yay. She Reads is a national book club comprised of thousands of readers with a huge network of smart book bloggers—it’s a really cool thing for SELS.
I am going to be doing a lot of guest blogging over on that site, and since there is nothing to see HERE, you should definitely go THERE.
Here: Nothing. There: Home movies of my dog being a weirdo.
We all agree then that you should click here? Here is where I am telling you a funny dog story about great big awful tooty Bagel dog and small irksome yammery Ansley dog and there are NO boxes or lids there only meadows. YAY! DOG STORIES! MEADOWS!
In book news, MY OWN MIRACULOUS is currently sitting pretty at number 2 between Dean Koontz and Lee Child (!<3 REACHER!) on the Kindle Singles bestseller list.
It is also only 99 cents right now on KOBO (The Indie Platform for e-books, which may tempt me to finally get myself a reading machine) as well 99 cents as on Kindle and Nook and 1.99 on whatever the heck you MAC people read your books on. You could also get it in PAPER form (THEY ARE SO CUTE!) from your local bookstore, if you are a paper-loving tree murderer like me.
(Every time I say “It is 99 cents” I hear that Macklemore thift shop song in my head, the line where he is so ALL CAPS DELIGHTED about the fur coat that “smells like R Kelly’s Sheets…BUT IT WAS 99 CENTS!!!!” I promise you, Beloveds, MY OWN MIRACULOUS does NOT smell like R. Kelly’s sheets.)
Lastly, if you can’t make it out to a tour event – and let me say, check? I have gotten ten notes this week saying “I didn’t check your tour because you NEVER come to MICHIGAN and then I just checked it so I could make a sour face and hate you for hating Michigan and OMG YOU ARE COMING TO MICHIGAN!” except, not JUST Michigan. You could say the same sentence except with Florida or Illinois. Point is, I am going some NEW places, maybe near you, as well as a lot of my fave southern stops, and I would LOVE it if you came.
SO go look and come if you can? The tour schedule is HERE.
If you can’t make it, consider supporting one of my fave Indies (and this book. And my career. And my children’s ongoing, expensive addictions to milk and electricity.) and come and have Virtual Book Tour with us.
I think you will enjoy the book— it is:
The #1 Indie Next Pick | An Amazon Best Book of the Month | An Okra Pick | A LibraryReads Selection | A Bloggers Recommend Pick. | The SHE READS November Book Club Pick
That’s a long diverse list of folks who are recommending it.
(The VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR is explained here if you do not know what that is—Plus you can see all the FUN PRIZE DRAWING LOOTS for participants!)
SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY is one of AMAZON’S BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH, Beloveds, and it launches in one week plus one day. That means you have seven days left to come and have Virtual Book Tour with us.
(The VBT is explained here if you do not know what that is—Plus you can see all the FUN PRIZE DRAWING LOOTS for participants!)
Let me tell you, if you read this blog but never open and read the comments, the entry below is the one where you want to read the comments. They are just so perfect and terrible and glorious and human. I read them all week and they made me feel so sad and so happy and so in love with all of you. Some broke my heart. Some mended it. Some did both at once. All of them made me so in love with people, so in love with the frail brave beautiful mortal us.
I’ve had kind of a hard week. I spent it in Alabama, mostly at the hospital waiting for my SLOW SLOW SLOW phone to load my site every hour just to check comments. You have been a bright spot in my life, even though you were talking about how hard and slippery and scary life is, because YES. Because, YES IT IS and somehow you knowing and me knowing and us all marching into it together anyway, because we have no choice, is very beautiful.
I haven’t been talking about my dad’s adventures in medicine because he is a very private person. You know, as my kids get older, and to an extent, as my parents get older, there is less and less I can blog about. Let’s just say it’s been a hard year. A hard fraught year with all flavors or terror, uncertainty, and this week we skipped all that crap and went into downright despair and horror.
We have to pause here and I have to say, if we are going to talk about this, we have to make a pact, and the pact is this: We can talk about it HERE in this blog entry and the comments. I will talk about it later when it must be talked about. In the pauses, even if the pauses are long, You must NEVER NEVER NEVER ask me how my dad is. Ever.
Should our paths cross—on tour—in life—whenever, where ever— this is a topic which MUST NOT BE brought up by you.
You MUST NOT even look at me with warm, moist, loving eyes, as if you KNOW or UNDERSTAND and there is unspoken KINDNESS between us. I cannot stand kindness on my skin right now. Your kindness will actually be a mean thing, because it will make me want to peel my skin off and run away, red and wet and gibbering. The kindest thing you can do is pray for healing and peace and patience (my dad is not a patient healer) and never even tell me you are praying.
THAT is what grace looks like in this case.
How Is Your Dad Doing is a monster sentence. It looms over me. The monster has been around for eleven months now, so it is not a fresh monster. It is an ONGOING monster. I have grabbed the monster and folded it and spindled it and mutilated it and shoved and twisted at it until I have it jammed into a tiny, tiny, tiny box, and then I slammed the lid.
On top of the box, I have piled an elephant and a big house and the continent of Europe and a super-dense black hole and when I ran out of heavy things to pile on top of it, I started piling kittens and feathers and bits of straw and fluff and it takes ALL THOSE THINGS, every ounce, every nano-ounce, to hold the box closed so I can function.
Beloveds, I have kids and a job I love and friends I want to keep and dogs who need fresh water in their bowls. SO I can’t sit and look at the monster right now.
Back before I knew how this was going to play out so SLOWLY, I didn’t tell people not to ask me, and EVERY PLACE I WENT people asked me, so I stopped going anyplace and pretty much went to bed, because I had to look at the monster all the time.
Believe that I am dealing with it in little bites and slices, in my own time, in my own way, with my own bizarre freak support system. But I need you to NOT knock a feather off the box. I will talk when I can talk. When I cannot, please let me be silent and send me, as an act of love, funny cat videos.
We can talk HERE, on this SINGLE ENTRY, but beyind that You must NEVER NEVER NEVER ask me how my dad is.
If you ask, you may pull one feather off the box, and it will open and I will to go to bed FOR DAYS AND DAYS and watch season after season of old Joss Whedon shows and eat pounds of sugar and my dogs may DIE of dehydration, and that will be on you. You will have KILLED DOGS. So.
That was a long and emphatic hyper-defensive preface. Sorry. But it is IMPORTANT. SO, I had to say it enough that you knew I really meant it. To reiterate: I meant it.
Here is the short version. Open Heart didn’t solve dad’s rather unique problem—he didn’t have it for the reasons most people do, and it is complicated to explain, so just trust me. It was bad. 10 months of patch and repair with a surgery nearly every month. Dad sick of it. Mom stressed. Me unable to help this man who has always, always, always helped me, no matter what.
Then, a ray of hope: He was accepted into an experimental program involving radiation in DC. He went in October. He had the procedure. We all held our breath. A few happy weeks of genuine recovery and healing and goodness and light at the end of a very bleak tunnel.
Forward to NOW. Last week went like this:
DAY 1: Dad is in the hospital, we aren’t sure what the problem is, but maybe you should go to Alabama.
DAY 2: OH NO! The experimental procedure failed, and doom is upon us.
DAY 3: Wait, Oops! KIDDING! It didn’t and it isn’t. Your dad just overdid it. Silly dad. He felt too good and hurt himself. He can go home tomorrow.
DAY 4: NO! WAIT! THE LAST TEST SAYS IT FAILED! HE CANNOT GO HOME! HE CAN NEVER GO HOME! IT IS ALL DOOM! DOOM! NO RECOURSE IS LEFT! RUN IN CIRCLES SCREAMING, FOR THE END IS NIGH.
DAY 5: Oh, wait. No, no, that test was sensing something else. He is fine actually. Overdid it. Never mind. You can all go home now.
SO that was a long five days of being jerked back and forth on terrible leashes.
Now he is home and I am home and things look good. Monster? Back in box. Continent of Europe? Firmly situated on top of box.
But I tell you all this mostly so I can say —thank you, thank you thank you for telling your stories while I sat with my mom in a hospital room. Inadequate words. Thank you. It meant so much. Thank you. So inadequate to express how human and in community and UN-ALONE I felt, hearing the human chorus of your sorrows while I sat stewing in my own. I traced your paths out with joy and hope, praying for you who have not found those paths yet. I say these inadequate words three times more, hoping the repetition will show you a sliver or a shadow of the huge and fervent gratitude I hold for you: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
With a deft wit and a series of stellar twists, Jackson creates a conventional love story that is also something more: an exploration of what draws people together, and pushes them apart; a commentary on faith’s ability to unite or divide; and a reminder that “death brushing past makes people hungry to connect to other people.” …Jackson’s roller-coaster love story will leave the reader both thoroughly sated and hungry for more. –PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY
I want to ask about your biggest Big Sad, but first, let me remind you, we are coming to the end of the virtual book tour (Explained here if you do not know what that is—Plus you can see all the FUN PRIZE DRAWING LOOTS for participants!)
I would adore for you to be a part of it and help Someone Else’s Love Story have the kind of launch at THE ALABAMA BOOKSMITH (a stellar indie store) that will get it some attention.
It is a good book, I promise. In fact, it was just chosen as the #1 IndieNext pick. That means, Independent Bookstores everywhere really want to handsell you this book. They believe in it. They think you should come buy it from them. They are yelling for you to come buy it from them, loud and strong. They are yelling it practically FROM SPACE.
I love them. When I found out about the #1 Indie Next pick I burst into unseemly tears, the kind of ugly-cry in which you trade all your decorum for loads of snot. I made this book, I love it so, and it is so desperately amazing when someone who isn’t my mom loves it, too and says, GOOD JOB. YOU DID A THING THAT IS GOOD.
Come and have Virtual Book Tour with us.
MEANWHILE, I have a bug, and I can’t go to yoga. I MISS YOGA, and this close to release, nerved up beyond all nerved-y-ness, I need my dog to face down and my breathing to be deep. I need the Astrid and Malia classes at Decatur Hot. Their classes are spiritual and deep, but they also have that element of playfulness I need to stick it out.
Yoga has been an amazing discovery for me because it puts me into many shapes. Shapes are good, because historically, I learn to recognize the all the feels I feel from the outside in. I put my body or face in the shape, and then the feeling of the shape happens. Then I match it with the feel I am feeling, and see if they are of a set.
I am not intuitive. I would just as soon live in my occipital lobe. Seriously. When things are bad, my go to move is to crouch back in the darkest cave-iest bit of my brain, munching my own bone marrow just to spite myself.
Sometimes I have no idea what I am feeling until I see what I do. “Oh look,” the omniscient observer who rules my brain-world says coolly, “I seem to be throwing this vase and screaming….I am going to guess I feel some rage. Wait. Maybe I just hate that vase? No. I think it is likely rage. Hm. Interesting.”
I need to go to yoga, because I suspect I am Having a Feeling and I don’t recognize it. It may be just run of the mill impending terror. Not sure yet. Could be something that I actually have to pay attention to and deal with in some way.
P’shaw, I should be praising myself for noticing that I am having a feeling. I do HAVE them, all the time Oh yes, indeed I do! I have MANY feels. In fact, I have ALLLLLLL the feels.
But I am good at not noticing; I suspect that if I chose to lapse into my natural state, I would be a carnivorous narcissist. If you knew me in my late teens/early twenties and I was terrible to you, then I am sorry. I was pretty hateful and lashed at those who dared love me in those days, mostly because I was so so very desperately unhappy.
This dog is having a feeling. A SAD SAD FEELING.
I felt that I had stories to tell. I felt no one was listening. I felt misunderstood and while I was articulate and bright and could SAY A LTO OF THINGS about how I was, explaining my misery in depth did not help me change it or climb out. My words did not change my actions. I SAID I was miserable, and my actions backed it up, but really? I didn’t truly know that my own life was what was making me miserable. I had cause and effect reversed.
I had to do a lot of things to let myself know I was unhappy, like trash valuable longstanding friendships to hang out with wastrels who didn’t actually care if I died because they had lapsed into carnivorous narcissists, too. Me and my new friends were all very clever and funny and heartless, which helped us ignore all the ways we aided and abetted our own misery.
Looking back, I can clearly see that my friends and I, we didn’t really love each other. We didn’t really WANT anything wonderful for each other. We never looked up from gazing deeply into our own navels to DO the things that would help fix ourselves and make us better. Those things seemed hard, and did not come with any guarantees, so we curated our shared misery and normalized it.
Those were, I think, the hardest, darkest saddest years of my life. 11 and 12 were BAD, 13 was an active hell, but Middle School looks like a winning cupcake march at a Halloween lawn party compared to 19, 20, 21…
I am remembering the path back, now. I am trying to retrace it.
My own oldest child is heading toward 17 and senior year with a bullet. On he sails, happy and busy…. But there rocks ahead. He is not good at knowing when he is having a feeling. I want to remember. I want to get better at it. I must be ready to help him navigate.
What was your saddest year? And how did you get out?
You did get out, right?