Oh, hello

So I somehow just realized this thing hasn’t been updated since 2017??? Time is sand through my fingers.

Look, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: there’s a time in early motherhood that you lose yourself. Some manage better than others, when times are normal and they have jobs and schedules and ways to allocate time to themselves. But, well… 2020 happened. And it’s been a lot.

I was just entering my second trimester when Covid shut down the world. I had a three-year-old and soon, a newborn, born in the hospital without visitors, laboring in a mask. I made a whole world in one house, art projects and empty playgrounds, baby on my chest, never alone but always, always lonely.

And in May 2020, my brother died. My big brother, my only brother. I still talk to him daily, see the shadow of him at the kitchen table, in the car, next to me on long walks. I tell him about his nieces, about memories, how much I miss him, the tattoo I got in his honor. He was there with me that day, holding my hand.

Anyway, we stayed locked down for nearly three years, until the little one turned two and could wear a mask in stores and we all had our vaccines. Covid finally caught up with us in January 2023, and now we’re riding the high of at least temporary immunity, of knowing that we weathered it well, of hoping for a future that will approach some normalcy. The big girl is six and in Kindergarten, and the little one is two and in some preschool, but most of her time is still spent climbing on me every waking moment.

I went through a long time where I didn’t write. I didn’t read. I stared blankly at my phone and scrolled reddit. I felt sucked-dry, a bag of bones just getting through the day. I still need to read more. I promised myself 24 books in 2023 and it isn’t going well.

But I’m writing again. Fanfiction at first, to get the wheels greased, to feel the spark rekindle. I have a book in my head I just need to get onto paper. Two, actually. Spring is here. I can step into the sunlight and breathe.

And I wrote an audio script for Zombies, Run!, my favorite running app, and it’s pretty much the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. But I’ll make a separate post for that.

So, universe, I’m here. Still writing. Still being a big ol’ dork writing video game fanfiction and making characters kiss. Still hoping from that call from my agent that someone somewhere wants one of my manuscripts. Never giving up. Working, slowly, toward finding myself again.

Brothers in the Dark

In the midst of Florida’s preparation for Irma, my uncle died. His family hasn’t been able to hold a memorial; they’re all in the direct path of the storm, their time spent boarding up windows and buckling down. No time to mourn as the winds come crashing through. We’ll probably go there, once it all calms, but for now the living must delay honoring the dead.

A story has been on my mind since I spoke to my dad about it a few days ago. My uncle was the eldest, my father the youngest, two of three boys stuck in an abusive and angry home. My uncle, according to my dad, was more of a father figure than their own father.

One night, my uncle returned from boot camp and woke my sleeping father, presenting him with a toy he’d bought overseas. It’s one of my dad’s most cherished possessions, little blocks of wood that make up parts of a face, creating different emotions with the turn of a wrist: an angry eye here, a broad nose there, surprised eyebrows or a thick scowl. My dad still vividly remembers waking in the night, his strong brother in his room like a mirage.

My uncle is dead. He lived a long life, full of multiple marriages and adult children and big stories. Time, our brief lives here on this thin crust of Earth hurtling around the sun, is slippery and elusive, there and gone too fast. When did they get old? When did the children grow, have children of their own?

My uncle is dead, but to my dad he’s still there, still in that childhood bedroom, still in the dark with his brother.