Thursday, April 2, 2009
Keri Mikulski Tackles the D-Word
Wow, Lauren! This blog is amazing and so thoughtful! Thanks so much for asking me to join the party. J I’m psyched to read WILLOW. I’ve heard nothing but fabulous things about the book. Congrats and kudos to Julia!
Although, I haven’t read WILLOW yet, from reading reviews and raves, I’ve heard Julia does an amazing job of writing about death.
Death. This particular five-letter word can wreck havoc on my life, my psyche, and my soul, like nothing else. I consider myself pretty upbeat, but death cuts deep every time and although I don’t discuss it publicly, death has visited my family a little too often lately.
Another time in my life death wrecked havoc was my first brush with the dreaded subject about twenty-two years ago. My dad sat hunched on his brown Lazy boy chair after a trip to the hospital. His eyes were bloodshot and blank and he held my small hand as I sat on the armrest. Then, he broke the news that my beloved Aunt Suzanne died of a heart attack earlier that morning.
Everyone has one. A favorite relative. Whether it’s an aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, or even a distant cousin. Aunt Suzanne was mine. I absolutely and positively adored her.
At first, it didn’t register. Dead? Like my mom’s distant relative who died last month and was sick for years? But, I hung out with her two days ago and she was joking and smiling and young and laughing like always. Not sick.
Then, I stiffened when I realized I never said goodbye. The last time I saw her, I left her house like a typical Saturday, climbed into the backseat of my dad’s 1987 black Cougar while she lovingly smacked my back and I laughed, but one thing was different. I never kissed her goodbye. With this revelation, my body instantly filled with remorse, guilt, and dread. I always kissed her goodbye. And the last time, the most important time, I didn’t.
Like Amanda, death fueled my writing. A few weeks later, my mom suggested I write down every single Aunt Suzanne memory I could remember. I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote and kept writing until my hand throbbed. And I’m still writing today. In fact, I recently sent a WIP entitled PINKED to my agent. There’s a spunky, fun, joking, laughing, goofy aunt character in PINKED. Guess who? I might not be able to bring Aunt Suzanne back, but she’ll always live on in my writing.
On a brighter note, Julia emailed me recently to share her handbag obsession. As a self confessed handbagaholic, I can’t wait to check out her designs.
Happy Release Day, Julia!
Thank you so much, Keri Mikulski (Screwball)!!