We Are The Boat

Many thanks for your mail. It has been such a balm to read your notes, and to know we're all in this big boat together.

Hugs to all of you who have lost editors and authors, and jobs and projects and more this past year or two -- it is such a difficult time right now in publishing.

We're all going to hold on to the sides of this boat together and sail forth into calm seas. Yes? Yes. There is safe harbor ahead.

In the meantime, let me tell you what helps.

A change of scenery helps.

It helps to have a boy play a tuba. Meet my Minister of Music. (Don't you think we need one of these in the next administration's cabinet?)

A drizzly afternoon of board games and tea helps.

A walk to the lake helps. So do silly dogs.

Handmade meals help.

Beautifully stacked wood and a crackling fire helps.

"Who's the tallest?" contests help.

Wii Music helps! So does having your Minister of Music download six hours worth of his favorite music onto your laptop for your listening edification and pleasure. I am flying a red-eye home on Thursday at midnight, and I will be able to plug in and enjoy Bob Marley, The Amnesty Trio, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Coldplay, Def Leppard, The Eagles, Hootie and the Blowfish, James Brown, Joe Cocker, Modest Mouse, Steve Miller Band, Taj Mahal, Canadian Brass, and my personal new favorite, Panic at the Disco. Thank you, Minister.

Thank you, Family.

It helps to be surrounded by love, and it helps to have a purpose other than "the end" on a manuscript, too. Today I will spend the day at Grass Lake Elementary School in Kent, and tomorrow I will hang with students and teachers at Glenridge in Renton, before being whisked away to dinner with friends and then to the airport and home, back to Atlanta.

We'll do good work today, talking about personal narratives and working with them after school with teachers. Today I feel like I live a charmed life and want to enjoy every second, even those seconds that toss me overboard.

There is lots to be learned in the choppy sea of uncertainty. For one thing, I am always reminded of how good the good times are, and how they always -- always -- circle around and come into port again. We create safe harbors for one another. It is one of the things I love about being human and telling stories.


  1. I log on and am reading We Are the Boat (and humming We are the World under my breath)not realizing I had missed your previous post--until I hear one of my coworkers moaning in your behalf. I am so sorry that you have more challenges when you have just nearly recovered drowning in the sea of revisions. This book will find a new champion to help you shape it and push it out into the sunlight.Shalom, Indyannie

  2. Thank you so much, indyannie. I appreciate your (artful!) words.


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