This week has been nothing but disbelief and unfathomable heartache. How the families of Newtown will hold each other together and stay alive is a mystery, but one steeped in the only thing that matters, what their children have become - pure love. I don't know what else to say and like most people wasn't planning on saying anything, but I started typing and apparently here it is. I've been answering my ten year old's millions of questions about what happens when we die, when a child dies, will I go with her if she dies. Which, to that last one I've told her - honestly? Yes. She is my only and I think I would. I would be right behind her. The only thing I can think each day since Friday is please, please let those families find a way to live for each other and the siblings of the babies - the young and the grown-up, they are all someone's babies - not with them anymore. There is so much love there, you can tell from the words and images coming from that beautiful town and its brave families, and I believe they will. They'll make it. My book, centered around the paralyzing grief wrought by the death of a child, begins with the words of Thorton Wilder:
"There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
Nothing beyond that makes any sense lately, so that's the last I'll say about it.
This year has been, on the writing adventure tip, amazing - and continues to be nuts. To write the book one has kept in one's head for years is joyful, to find a agent to edit and represent it, then for that agent to sell it? That is a dream. But publishing, I continue to learn, is loopy! Months have passed since the sale and I'm working every day to finish a second book, and in that time my agent has moved to a fabulous new Agency and my book given to a new editor. Which is scary, as the original editor chose the book on purpose, because she wanted it - I worried the new editor was being given my book and the poor woman would have had no choice. Which, you know - yikes. But lo and behold, what an amazing, smart, totally enthusiastic editor she is! She loves the story, has a ton of ideas to make is amazing...I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with this person, and how lucky my book is to be in such good hands.
I hope 2012 has been vivid for you as well, heartbreak tempered with the balm of love, and humanity - bright and dark - explored and learned from. Which yes, is cornball but what the hell else can we cling to in moments like these? We're lucky to be here, every minute, every person we love and who loves us is a gift. I wish you all a warm, sparkly New Year and let's send ourselves off to write stories for us all. There is nothing better in the world than a good book, the best of which are comfort and love themselves. We know that much is true.