While I was gone: a misbegotten fireplace fire, and kindness

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Winter hit hard in these parts—as snow became rain became ice, trees keeled and broke, and hundreds of thousands lost power. The world was dark, dystopian, empty-seeming. We lasted for two days here, until a carefully tended fire in our own fireplace smoked out the house, thanks to an invisible, inoperative damper. Staying close to the burnt hearth was not an option.

And so we slipped away. I read three incredible books over those two days and am eager to share my thoughts with you here. (And will soon.) For now, I want to thank a few people who buoyed me through the storm.

First, Beth Hoffman (of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking for Me), for so generously sharing her thoughts about my memoir Nest. Flight. Sky. with her legions of fans. This unforeseen generosity was such a huge surprise and so very welcome in the life of this mini-memoir. It was a gift.

Also, all thanks to Serena Agusto-Cox, who reviewed Nest. Flight. Sky. so kindly. Serena bought this $2.99 Shebook at once, read at once, and stopped to share her thoughts. That makes a huge difference, and I'm so appreciative. (I'm also so appreciative to Susan Tekulve, who was the very first to read and to write to me of this.)

Deep thanks as well to Ed Goldberg, who received an early copy of Going Over and wrote so beautifully about it in a review that touches on my work over time—all those themes that have held me in their grip. Ed, your shared faith in the intelligence of readers and their willingness to go deep means so much to me. You posted your review at just the right time.

Finally, Jessica Keener and Jamie Krug, big thanks to you—for sharing word of Handling the Truth with those you feel might learn something about confession and language, search and story in those pages. Books like mine survive through word of mouth. You keep giving Handling wings.


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