Guest Post: Top Ten Reasons to Attend Camp Widow

Carole Brody Fleet from Widows Wear Stilettos (WWS) has kindly allowed me to reproduce her "Top Ten Reasons to Attend Camp Widow." (Please note: Camp Widow is an inclusive, LGBT-friendly event for men and women of ALL AGES. For those who are in a relationship, your date or SO is welcome at all the social events.)

10. The People You'll Meet: Unlike the people that you are around in your daily life, every single person at Camp Widow is exactly like you. They have either lived or are living the widowhood experience. They are all ages. They come from all over the world. They are from all walks of life. Most importantly, you will be surrounded by people who "get" what you're going through – and will go "through it" right along with you.

9. The Location: Camp Widow returns to the gorgeous San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA. Located right on the water, it's a beautiful place to spend a weekend vacation. Many of your workshops and activities will include a gorgeous ocean view – and don't forget to take a break outside in the "tropics" – how does a cool drink or cocktail at the pool bar sound?

8. The Education: You'll learn from, meet personally & interact with authors & experts in all areas of loss & loss recovery. Choose workshops that fit your healing journey needs…financial planning, dating & finding love again, helping your grieving children, learning how to move forward while honoring your past – you'll learn all this & more. Plus lots of photo ops with your favorite authors & experts…FUN!

7. Shopping: Need we say more? Remember, WWS teaches that you need tools to help your healing & you'll find some of the best tools in the world at Camp. Browse the exclusive Camp bookstore & pick up popular books & other goodies… and don't forget the lunchtime Resource Expo for even more shopping & learning opportunities.

6. The Activities: From the welcome reception on Friday night to the farewell buffet on Sunday morning, you're going to have your choice of fantastic activities; workshops, banquets, music – even a 5K walk/run for the "ambitious" among you. And perhaps most importantly – you'll get to enjoy amazing "girlfriend time"…the BEST! (Note: widowed men are welcome -- no one will be alone!).

5. The Food: Bring your appetite to San Diego because you're going to be fed a LOT - & it's fantastic! The "light" fare at the welcome reception will blow you away & you'll dine in fine style at the semi-formal "No Date Required" banquet on Saturday night. And if you think you're going to walk / run it off at the 5K on Sunday…don't be fooled; they're going to fill you right back up at the breakfast buffet!

4. The "Attitude Adjustment": Does the name "Camp Widow" bring to mind a lot of people sitting around depressed & crying? You couldn't be more mistaken. You'll be uplifted, inspired & even laughing. PS: If those tears do come, that's OK too – there's always someone nearby to put their arms around you & let you know it's going to be OK.

3. Friends Forever: Feeling a little broken in the spirit department? Welcome to your personal "Spirit Repair". You're going to meet the most remarkable women at Camp & you'll make friends that you'll keep for the rest of your life. You'll exchange pictures, hugs, cards, tears, recipes, laughter & experience bonding unlike any other – because remember, everyone at Camp is exactly like you.

2. Do You Love Surprises?: ALL Widows Wear Stilettos attendees at Camp Widow (who RSVP either on FB's RSVP "Accepted" page OR send an RSVP to WidowsWStilettos@aol.com) are receiving a "surprise" from WWS.


1. Your life will be changed forever in ways you can't imagine. Enough said.

Camp Widow details

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I have been feeling like I live in Brazil. Not the country (is it “third world” or not?), the movie.

We were without electricity for four days due to wild thunderstorms. This, 24 hours after returning from a week away with very spotty internet and phone service. It doesn’t sound so hard (and the weather wasn’t as hot as it might have been) but the scenario started to feel stressful for mellow me by the third day when I realized the power utility had no idea what was going on. When I ran out of towels. Oh, and when all of the adjacent blocks got their power back, all within 48 hours.


The power company has opened a special line for this crisis and to provide “service restoration times.” I call and they say they don’t have a time for my address yet, I should call back that evening.

I call back and they say Thursday at 11:30 pm. Conveniently, a time when the call center is closed.

I am pretty sure they are making this up. No one has even been out to look at the downed tree yet. It is Tuesday afternoon.

Why does it have to get dark so early? It’s hot as summer.

Doing dishes by hand, by candlelight, does seem to get better results than we’ve been getting from our dishwasher. Hey, silver lining.


My daughter asks me when we’re going to have normal breakfast again (toast instead of raw bread, real fruit not raisins, butter). I tell her when the power comes back on, we’ll replace all the food we had to throw out of the refrigerator and freezer. She asks, with a big smile, “Are we poor now?”

I tell her that in this country, even poor people usually have refrigerators. Then I recall the 5 kinds of bottled salad dressing I threw out and regret my callousness. But even in Brazil they have internet access. I tell her, no, this would be much worse if we were poor. But Mommy’s still frustrated.

Our home phone, run off our cable, is down. The cell phone is barely working. Whether it’s always being on low power, or a tower is down, I can’t be sure. I am conserving minutes and charge in case of a real emergency.

My mother calls and complains for 5 minutes that she is confused because she got my cell voice mail when she called our home number.

Everything is winding down, and I’m out of clean underwear.


I am a social media consultant preparing a PowerPoint for a conference and two client proposals and I can’t get on the internet except on my phone. It would be nice to fix that typo in my resume and respond to the edits on my catalog essay, but I can’t get online unless I run to Starbucks. Where I already spent all morning. AFTER drinking room temperature, supersweet bottled Frappuchinos.

I can get a few things done, as long as I spend a lot of time driving place to place for power and wifi, but not enough. My kid is delightful, doesn't mind a bit, except that she is pretty sure that I made it up about the TV. She gets extra playdates and that's fine.


I am getting in touch with the helpless and silent rage that fills me at times. This isn’t like someone is dying right next to me, but the uncertainly, the increasing dread that it will never turn, is suffocating. And the heat’s building up again.


My daughter is learning the complex meaning of the valuable term “room temperature.”


Linesmen from neighboring states are here to work 16-hour shifts to fix it. But there are still trucks patching potholes (why do we need roads if all the businesses are closed?). We hear scuttlebutt that the Governor has offered resources for tree removal and the power company said, No, thank you, we’re fine.


There was chatter on our neighborhood listserv saying that the company listed a fallen tree on our block as the culprit in just 5 outages, when there are at least 50. The power company made it clear they were trying to deal with problems affecting the most customers, first. So I called in to be counted.

The automated system asked me to confirm my address. I haven’t lived at that address for 8 months. I punched through to get a person.
“I’m trying to report an outage but your system is picking up my OLD address.”
“I’ll look that up… which number is yours?”
(I told her)
“And you live at (old address)?”
“No, we moved in November, now we live at (new address).”
“And your number is (old home number)?”
“No, it’s the number I’m calling you from, which your system understood…”
“Oh I see, the problem is that number is listed as your work number.”
“How is that the problem? You shouldn’t have the old address connected with any of my numbers. Work or home, I still moved. Can you change it?”
(click click click)
“Okay, that’s done. Now where is your outage?”
(I give her the new address).
“We already have a report of that outage.”
“They said they want every household to file a separate report so you know how many people are affected.”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s already in the system.”
“Would you please make another report or record or whatever? Your online map shows only 5 houses affected and it’s been three days. If someone knew it was really 50 families maybe people would get to it sooner.”
“Oh. All. Right.” She sounded like my exasperated but resigned first-grader.
“Could I please speak to an executive about the confusing orders we’re receiving about whether to call? I’d like to clear up the confusion on my neighborhood listserv. It’s hundreds of your customers chattering about this.”
She might have shuffled some papers. “No one is available right now. Someone will get back to you this evening.”
They never did. Probably called the old number.


On the listserv a neighbor reported: “It seems we may be caught in a loop between the power company and the county. My wife spoke with the power company this morning and they said they can't touch the lines until the county clears the tree. A county employee came by on our street tonight to look at the tree and he said they can't remove the tree until the power company clears the lines.”

Buttle, Tuttle. What difference does it make?


On Wednesday I get an email from the power company telling me it’s best to keep my fridge and freezer door closed because the cold will keep most food okay for 24 to 48 hours. It has been 72 hours.

The email advises us to dispose of meat, dairy, and eggs first and check the USDA web site for details. Eggs don’t actually need to be refrigerated. I ponder using my scarce charge to check USDA.

I don’t know why I’d bother. I’ve already thrown everything out and propped the doors open so it doesn’t get too moldy. The inside of my fridge smells warm and brown, like moss might if you kept it locked up for a while.


I loved that being responsible meant throwing out tons of food. Imagine the rat carnival this will spawn! For the past few weeks our neighborhood listserv has been all about rats, crazy backtalk, energized. Accusations of cheap birdseed and compost piles fly.

We’re too like rats. We like the same things, and they are similarly social and family-oriented. That’s why they’re always around us. People only complain when they see them. If you really want to stop rats, you should stop eating, or at least, stop wasting food. Although rats can live on paper, drywall, and sewage. It’s your damn water feature that attracts them. Rats can’t carry water.

No one is talking about rats any more. A real emergency seems to bring out the best in people without suppressing their charming crankiness.


I fantasize about creating Molotov cocktails out of rotten jars of bleu cheese dressing and lobbing them at the power company’s headquarters.


The power company is expected to announce earnings this week. I’m not feeling much like paying the next bill they send. Listserv’ers suggest calling all the major media outlets but don’t provide the numbers. A newspaper columnist is screeching about his street, too.


Only 10,000 customers still without power. Nine thousand of them are due to one station problem. I start to doubt they will ever get around to our street. Our wonderful street which shoulder-to-shoulder shoveled a path out of 3 feet of snow this past winter. By hand. Maybe the grid is really going down.

The weather report shows more fierce storms headed our way.


There’s an article in the paper about the power company’s social media person, who started full time the morning after the storms. He’s doing okay and has a sense of humor. At least it shows that his bosses believe there will still be an internet in September.


I check my phone constantly for updates. Now there are five trucks on site. One from the power company, four from tree trimming subcontractors. Three hours later the joyous messages begin. A hundred machines washing seven hundred towels start up with happy hums.

I am plugged back in.

It'll be okay.

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Camp Widow: Your chance to hear witness

Peer support saved my life when I was widowed with a young child. And while the internet is great for “cybergrieving,” there are many advantages to seeing other folks on similar journeys in the flesh, or, as we’ve come to call it, “in real life.”

Young widows (under 55) tend to be rare enough that most of us don’t have someone nearby or even access to a support group. We’re usually left with our websites, bulletin boards, blogs, and Facebook. While there are invaluable, you shouldn’t forego a chance to see – hug – exist together in a room with dozens of others like you. And actually -- even with those of different ages, different paths of life, different parenting statuses: the connection of losing a partner overcomes the differences between us.

It’s odd to me, an agnostic, that I must use religious language to describe this: I say “witness,” “testimony.” The first time I met a young widow – before Gavin died – I was in awe simply that she existed. This was hope to me, and healing: to SEE someone ALIVE after a similar ordeal, including the next bits, which I couldn’t imagine, and would surely be much worse: her husband was not just ill but had DIED. I was still in denial, but meeting her helped me see that his death was possible and my life after was likely. Why? I don’t know, it’s magic. But there is more powerful to touch than to read: even though sometimes we find a friend, sister or twin from reading the words of a widow we can be changed being faced with a real widow who you can hug or ask a question (“are you real?”). Maybe it's more "real." Whatever makes it so, presence matters.

So Camp Widow is a unique chance to witness the hope and healing of a hundred people like me, like you, each different – but with similar challenges and a commitment to get through them. This is the second year of this exceptional event, which will be held August 6-8 in San Diego. Camp Widow is hosted by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, a non-profit, non-sectarian organization which publishes the exceptional blog, Widow's Voice.

This year I’ll be presenting a session about how we share online. But it wasn’t my online friends that got me out of my rut: real widowed people in a real-life peer support group were my rock and my energy drink, combined. So I have been talking about Camp Widow a LOT on Facebook and Twitter, where I connect with a few thousand bereaved people and those who love and support them.

And you know, I hear objections, obstacles, and problems. Like:

I don’t want to be in a room full of strangers.
That’s funny, because some of the people who attended last year said it was one of the few times they felt they were NOT alone:

“Last year I went on my own. Hadn't talked to any other widows online that were attending, no faces to look for, no previous connections. As soon as I walked in the room I no longer felt alone.” (Jerilynn)

“Everyone was on the same page. It was as if there was an unwritten code that we could talk freely with one another without fear of being judged or criticized. Everyone was so supportive. Nothing was ‘off limits.’ The weekend wasn’t a pity party, but one of support, validation, and laughter…I felt comfortable. I felt understood. I felt accepted....” (Mary)

This year it will be even easier to fit in. A cadre of extroverts will serve as “ambassadors” and make sure no one is hanging back. If you need an introduction, a hand to guide you, or some help choosing from the 24 amazing workshops, an ambassador will be there for you!

The last thing I need is to be around a bunch of weepy depressing old ladies.

YOU have obviously never been around a group of bereaved people in their natural settings.

“Widows know how to party. … It was powerful to be with 150 people who have at one time cried like I cried, curled on the floor in desperation, and believed that we would never stand again. … What connected us was not death, but it was having had to consciously decide to live.” (Melodie)

“You probably would not picture a whole bunch of crazy ladies at a Pops-in-the-park concert getting shushed and then ignoring the shushes by jumping up in seats, screaming, dancing and waving their arms wildly to the music … Such aliveness you never did see.” (Abby)

All right, I’m fun. But there will be no one else like me.

There will be: Men. Women. Widowed people of ALL AGES. LGBT widowed people. People who are actively parents, and those who are childless. Americans. Canadians. Married, umarried, partners of all legal status, and REMARRIED widowed people AND their partners. People of color. Writers, bloggers, artists. People who want the world to change. People who are grateful for today. We’re all different, but we can ALL learn from each other.

“It took about 10 seconds meeting widows at the first Widows Conference last summer in San Diego to get that we do get it; we get each other; we understand the journey; the diversity of the stuff and oh how we wished each other the most authentic of all good stuff to happen.......” (Sandra)

“The bottom line is we all fit into each others shoes. That was the magic.” (Carole)

I’m doing just fine… dammit!

I’m sure you are, honey. But you know? You don’t have to say that around us. We’ve been there… or as close as it gets. You’re an extraordinary person with inner strength and a really supportive community and a freezer full of casseroles. You can do it all on your own.

Grief is not an illness. It can’t be “fixed.” But it’s a lot easier to get through with energy, ideas, and the kinship of others who’ve been there. Yes, each path is different and there are parts where you must walk alone: but we need all the help we can get – and when that help is fun, who can say no?

“Words can't begin to describe what a wonderful time I had in San Diego this past weekend! I learned and healed more than I have in the last 1 1/2 years, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to go and be a part of this experience.” (Deborah)

“I have made some close connections that I know will stand the test of time. The other thing I saw happening is that women in the throes of grief were able to see, feel, and touch hope.” (Mie)

Fine! I’ll come. But I hate hugs!

No problem, dude/ette. We’re making a special badge for you. It smells really bad and should keep away unwanted physical affection. We’ll still be happy to see you – just stand over there, please!

But I don’t want to be a widow. Maybe I’ll come next year. Wait, next year I hope I really won’t feel like a widow.
The last word is from Melodie: “I felt... normal. I love these people now, because over these years we shared the most intimate and profound of life experiences. …Who would have guessed that it would take a widows' conference to enable me to stop feeling like a widow?” (Melodie)

Camp Widow details

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Open House

So I went to an open house at the Divinity School one evening a few weeks ago. Over a meal, we introduced ourselves. I started off the third table of prospective seminarians:

“Hi, I’m Supa Dupa Fresh, I live nearby with my husband and young daughter. I’m an agnostic, but I am evangelical about three things: 1) Unitarian Universalism, my chosen religion; 2) technology and its power to connect people, especially small communities who would otherwise be dispersed; and 3) the incredible ability we each have to recover from loss, which I lived through when I was widowed nearly four years ago, when my daughter was a toddler.

“Unlike the rest of you, I have to say I’m not really sure WHO it was that called me… [pauses for laughter… hears crickets] but I’ve received a call to ministry very similar to what several of you have described and I think in a lot of ways it would be a terrific direction for me. I’m fortunate have the opportunity to explore new options at this stage of my life, and I thank all of you here tonight with me for being part of my journey.”

I told Mr. Fresh how my joke fell flat and how that, in itself, was funny to me. He tends to be very realpolitik about social interactions, which is a very gentle way, I think, to say that he thinks about war more than warmth.

“You have it all wrong,” he said (I expected that.) “First of all, they don’t know what a Unitarian is. I doubt many of them even know what you meant by ‘agnostic,’ and if they did, all they thought when they heard you was about the points they would get by converting you after dinner. You were just FRESH MEAT.”

As sweet as these future peer seminarians were (every single one an earnest Christian), I kind of think he has a point. But if I do go to Divinity School, I won’t be at all afraid: I know what I believe and that it’s a journey. I’m not attached to agnosticism – if anything, I’d like to be certain once in a while and maybe right a small percentage of those times.

At least around my husband.

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Local man rests in peace: Harvey Pekar, grandfather of blogging, dies at 70

He died
. What more is there to say about Harvey Pekar’s death yesterday, at age 70?

You could say that Cleveland has lost its bard, blogging’s grandfather has slipped off, and the muse of diaristic comix artists like Seth, Joe Matt, and Chester Brown had moved off to the happy hunting ground, and you’d capture a little bit of his cultural importance and some of the people he touched. Course, to really do that, you have to include all the people who loved American Splendor, his annual, diaristic comic book drawn by other artists, genius all around, or who saw the major motion picture of the same name, starring Paul Giamatti, which wasn’t terrible. On a bad day, he might argue that you’d also need to include all the veterans whose medical files he handled in his day job at the Cleveland VA hospital, none of whom were aware of his labor on their behalf.

Pekar’s work elevated one man’s ordinary days – “the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about” -- to the point of either a story worth listening to (and looking at, using the pens of talented cartoonists from R. Crumb to Josh Neufeld) or possibly a part of history. Books, after all, used to be evidence that you mattered. Now, who knows?

Or you could think of the space this loss leaves for Joyce Brabner, his wife, who he met after she wrote to him looking for a copy of one of his books. She’s one of those, I suppose, who’s grateful there aren’t so many cool independent bookstores like the one I used to run, where I first encountered American Splendor and the cohort of folks my own age who worshipped, but couldn’t entirely “get,” Pekar: we understood his genius but to really respect the voice, I think you have to get beat down a few times by middle-class life, which didn’t happen to most of us till at least our thirties.

R. Crumb called Pekar’s subject matter “so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic.” I’ve always loved that intersection of real life and art, the making holy of the ordinary act, the Virgin in the pancake. So Pekar was a big influence on me, though I first identified my adoration of this stream in Fluxus and later, in my own living. The confessional comix, especially by the Canadians who followed in his autobiographical footsteps (though they did their own spectacular drawing), the ordinary heroics and dramatics of people bottled for reality television, the combination of artistry and self-sacrifice and voice exercise that we know as blogging: none of these would be the same without Harvey Pekar, and they all move me.

Pekar was more than all this, and less: a regular cranky middle-aged guy, a pugilistic guest on Letterman, an aficionado of antique Jazz, a writer and speaker and someone who lived among us. I thought of him as a better “Local Man” than the one featured in the Onion headlines: but Local Man was a fiction disgused as something real and boring, and Pekar showed the real and boring as epic and valuable.

Each of his stories was an anticlimax: his work with Brabner, “Our Cancer Year,” served not to inspire Gavin and I through our battle, but to validate that our fight was as ordinary as the year before or after, only with more vomit. It wasn't true for us, but every cancer is different and every person is different: witness still helps you get through.

In the end, he just died. My eulogy: Harvey, we hardly knew ye; rest in peace, old stranger, old friend.

(Photo of Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner at Hallwalls, Buffalo, N.Y. Oct. 4, 1985. Courtesy of Hallwalls' archive. Used under Creative Commons licensing.)

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What is a "remarried widow?"

A remarried widow shouldn’t exist. People ask her, “how can you call yourself a widow if you’re also married?” She’s milking the label. They don’t know what it was like to be married, widowed, and single all at the same time, 3 labels she never chose to wear together. She’s already cheated on a dead man. Nothing gets more absurd beyond that, so she keeps the labels that fit.

A remarried widow may be two things at one time, but she can never be what she was before.

A remarried widow is used to being a problem to somebody. She knows there’s not that much in life that she can control so she doesn’t accept a lot of the rules that others live with.

A remarried widow is grieving, but she is not alone.

A remarried widow is comfortable being two things at once, satisfied with ambiguity, and secure in her definition.

A remarried widow raises children who have one Daddy who died and another Daddy who met him a few times and thought he was a good guy and who will show up at soccer practice.

A remarried woman has made some tough decisions, and has also been presented with some easy choices.

A remarried widow enjoyed her independence, for a moment.

A remarried widow is sharing a story with a happy ending, and she knows you’re comfortable hearing about it only because of the last bits. She accepts this frustrating aspect of socializing but she is still thankful to own all the earlier parts of the story, too, as well as what may be next.

A remarried widow says, in public, that she knows how lucky she is to have had two great loves in one lifetime. Secretly she thinks it’s an option for everyone.

A remarried widow is not remotely interested in your “epic” kitchen remodel.

A remarried widow inspires women whose lives are recently broken, especially those who can’t imagine kissing someone new.

A remarried widow wears black, but never to weddings.

A remarried widow is pretty judgmental about most divorces.

A remarried widow recognizes her duties and her pleasures.

A remarried widow cries at weddings, funerals, and birthdays.

A remarried widow has really good life insurance coverage and so does her husband.

A remarried widow does not want to go through it again, but doesn’t want to die first, either.

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(About the image: This is a sign telling the mosquitoes not to come in our house. “Can the mosquitoes read the sign?” I ask. “That’s why I made it a PICTURE,” she says with confidence.)

This morning as I rearranged my closet in the new house for the hundredth time, just to find a pair of socks, I spilled a box. Boxes in my house are interesting because they usually contain all the things that can’t be filed somewhere, that don’t seem to fit in an easy place – sometimes they bear a label that attempts to bind them up as if they belonged somewhere. I box them because I want to understand them, or at least, get them out of the way without learning more from them.

This box that broke open on my foot let go some of its usual, box-like insufficiently described complexity, remnants of life, odd ends too good to throw out, including home medical supplies. A pillbox with 28 compartments that was expensive. Gauze pads, plain and backed, two sizes, two different types of medical tape. Tiny alcohol swabs to clean injection sites for follistim or IL-2 (or umbilical cord stumps).

Four years after death, 5 years after IL-2, 6 years after cleaning her tiny stump, 7 years after fertility treatment. Am I ready to throw it out yet?

How many other topics are resting, sort of labeled, sort of shelved in my computer and in my other brain, the meat one?

My anniversary season ends tomorrow with the fourth birthday after Gavin’s death, one month after the fourth anniversary of his death. It’s as good a time to clean house as any and there are fireflies all around that house, reminding me that random flickering can be gorgeous. (Why can’t they sneak inside instead of mosquitoes?)

Here are some of the balls of string and broken clocks I haven’t wanted to talk about:
• Gavin’s ashes and their disposition.
• My daughter’s current attitude about our loss.
• All the observations I make of my child at the same age I once was.
• Bloggy content about TV shows, movies, and celebrity mortality and morbidity.
• Philosophies of life, learning, and faith.
• What I’ve done wrong and who I’ve hurt.
• My many non-blog projects.
• My paying work.
• All the really smart, brilliant, wonderful people around me doing the good work.
• Insights about working with social media for maximum bang and buck and deepest connections.
• My delays, my procrastinations, my pains.
• Stories about how different we are or how I’m alone.
• The day we went back to get Shortie an X-ray at the same place where Gavin got his scans (including the ones that were bad, the ones that were misread, the ones that gave us hope).
• How I’ve developed a health issue with every part of the body that matches Gavin’s faults, piece by piece and system by system.

There are others that I will fix up to show you:
• My hopes for the world, my fears for my body.
• Stories that you have asked me to tell about dating, about parenting, about rising back up.
• My big ideas about grief and my keys to change the world so we can fit better in it.
• Your brilliance and your shining light and how I’ve watched you learn from each other, how bravely you’ve shared (I’ll never use anything without your permission).
• Introductions to some people I have loved, dearly and deeply.
• Surprises from my child, and what I’ve learned, and what I look forward to.
• And it is only fun, I think, if once in a while I can preach, pretend I have the answers, and act like I think I’m smarter than other people. I’m sure those are the times I fool no one, but some of the ideas are gems, and some of what I’ve learned in life so far is true, and I know I’ve helped a few people, on some odd days, to find their lights.

Writing is, at its best, like opening a vein. Having an audience gives you better odds of responding with the right tone, the right story, but it has its own dynamic. Before the internet most writers wrote their first work alone and only met the audience and its crippling desires and pulls afterwards. Strangely enough most authors only make money after the first book, if they have proved to even have an audience.

Blogging is different, much faster, much less finished. Writing on computer makes it easy to collect and lose ideas and notes if you want to, if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. A lot of blogging is about stretching your ideas out for as long as possible to create the most impressions. I’m not sure I’m cut out for that.

Writing for you is hard work (work I’ve chosen and which I love). My voice turns ponderous so often, and sometimes people respond to the stuff that’s the heaviest at the time when I don’t want to let it out, and sometimes you laugh at my jokes when I’m succeeding at distracting you or myself.

Sometimes I’m contradictory. Occasionally I have incredible focus and a great idea.

But that box's contents are all over my foot. I have to throw some things out. The deadline is tomorrow. Which means, what, I start then, right?

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