It’s that time of year when the publishing world really starts buzzing with Best Books of the Year lists and speculation about the big awards. I was going to blog about this today–what it’s like to be making a list, or to see friends and associates winning awards and gathering buzz as the major awards draw near.
But really, after last week, it feels so inconsequential. And I realize how much in life is fragile, and how easily the dark overtakes the light.
And this is the darkest time of the year.
If there is one place in the world I have encountered the light, it is in the company of writers. It is in the glorious pages of their books, but even more, it is in their hearts, their humor, their kindness. I want to share each little flame of light that has come to me in this community–each a brilliant candle to drive away the dark.
Tamara Smith, who spent fifty dollars to overnight mail a homemade pie full of fresh blueberries for my birthday, which she knew was falling 10 days after my father’s death. Did I mention that Tam lives in Vermont, and I’m in Colorado?
Jean Reidy, whose Light Up the Library auction raised $8,500 for libraries and literacy in Uganda
Ruth McNally Barshaw, who upon hearing of a young fan constrained to a back brace for scoliosis, drew the child into one of her Ellie McDoodle books.
People from the Kansas SCBWI who came up with An Abundance of Ukuleles for Mike Jung when he lost his (Note: An Abundance of Ukuleles is Mike’s next book title. I’m sure John Green won’t mind.)
Kate Messner, with help from Joanne Levy, who organized KidLit Cares Superstorm Sandy Relief Effort, which raised $60,038 for the American Red Cross.
Erin Murphy and all the people of her agency who banded together to start a fund for agency members in need, starting with the members left for days without power by Sandy.
Deborah Underwood, who sensed the chocolate bars in the grocery store wanted to be sent to me, so she bought them and sent them. I don’t know exactly how they knew I was struggling emotionally, but they did.
All the members of the audience that night, whose love made that performance awesome.
The EMUs Debuters, who behind the scenes of this blog offer each other all the emotional support and talk therapy needed at awkward, “I’ve got to know but am afraid to ask” debut moments.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt, who founded Book Train to give new books to foster kids, who have so little of their own.
The light, my friends, is stronger than the dark, if we have the faith to let it be. That is why this week, the darkest of the year, I invite you all to offer up (in the comments) the moments and friends that have lit your life.
Be a light.
Defeat the dark.