This 8 minute video is so powerful. Thank you, Jamal Edwards, The Guardian, and all the brave, big-hearted men here. All of this spoke to me, and in particular the importance of catching negative, depressive thoughts and turning them around, before they kill you. Suicide is the number one killer of men under 45 in the UK. In Ireland, it is the leading cause of death in young men aged 15-34. In the US, men die by suicide 3.5 times more than women and the rate of suicide is highest in middle age. And the rates keep rising. I hope to play my own part in changing these startling stats and helping to save lives by encouraging people to not suffer in silence.
My husband, “Have you double-checked? Are you sure it’s THE Elizabeth Strout.”
My first novel, The Weight of Him, published on Valentine’s Day. It’s gotten some very nice coverage for which I’m deeply grateful. In particular, The Nervous Breakdown ran an excerpt here.
There are also a number of interviews conducted by smart, insightful, and dedicated women:
Interview at The Millions with Lauren O’Neal
The Sweetest Debut Interview at Flavorwire with Sarah Seltzer
Interview at Bustle with E. Ce. Miller
Interview in The Mercury News with Georgia Rowe
And then there’s my self-interview at The Nervous Breakdown.
Hey, it’s Cyber Monday! Pre-order The Weight of Him today and I’ll send you a signed bookplate! And, remember, even online shopping can support your local independent bookshop/small business.
I’d like to change the world. Our world needs to be changed. How about you?
I love flowers. Especially roses, orchids, and hydrangeas. Amongst my favorite flowers I favor certain colors–white orchids and hydrangeas, and roses in all colors except red. Which is strange because I love red. Of roses, I prefer palest pink and sunset orange.
Last week I asked my husband to buy roses. We don’t enjoy fresh flowers in our home nearly often enough. I can’t remember which day my husband bought the roses. I think it was Tuesday. The day of the election. That seems about right.
The twelve roses were red. I didn’t want red roses. I was looking forward to roses in palest pink. My husband claims the store only had red roses. I’m not sure I believe him. I think he messed up and he didn’t want trouble.
I don’t know why a dozen roses is right now making me think of the twelve apostles. And Jesus. Jesus discredited. Scorned. Betrayed. Crucified. I think it’s nothing to do with the roses.
I haven’t hurt this hard in a long time. Not since three years ago when I lost four family members over eleven months. I feel too deeply. I’ve always been that way. It’s a gift and a curse. These nights when I can’t sleep, when my heart is racing, when I struggle to breathe, I swear I can feel the fear and the pain of all those millions of others the nation over who are also hurting right now and it’s almost too much to bear.
So much coming at us. What to believe? What to do? My heart beating out a message like morse code, cutting through everything else. Spread love. Stand up to hate. Open the hearts that have closed like a steel gauntlet. I don’t feel strong. Or together. I feel worn down and coming apart. So I’ll have to start slow and tiny. But I will begin and I will persist. As an adult, I’ve always tried to be kind. But I’ve never been kind on a mission. Until now. I’m going to do good, every chance I get, every way I can.
Over this past week, the roses dried, and darkened, and withered. Just as I was throwing them into the compost, I noticed not all the flowers had bowed their heads to death. Who’s to say why these six outlived the other half dozen? How they turned ever more beautiful in their decay? Beautiful and noble. Or is that just me? Maybe I’m seeing in them what I want to see in myself. In each and every one of us.
I’ve lived in San Francisco for over twenty years and I’ve never been to Los Gatos! That will be fixed this Friday when I travel to the 2016 Los Gatos – Listowel Writers’ Festival.
I’m giving a free talk at the Los Gatos Library on Sat., Oct. 8 at 2 pm on my love of reading and why we should all be at it (kinda the same re sex for us adults, I suppose).
On Sun. at 10 am at Village House of Books, I’m reading FOR THE FIRST TIME from a galley of The Weight of Him (also free).
I’m taking Claire McGowan’s crime workshop on Sunday afternoon because I LOVE mysteries and I think it’s about time I wrote one. Crime workshop details here:
I’m excited. I’m nervous. About all of it. If you can, PLEASE JOIN ME. There will be more wine.