This next one’s for you…

I have a theory that every writer has a series of “touch point” moments in life. These touch points illuminate your path and confirm that you don’t just “like” to write–writing isn’t something that you just do–you HAVE to write, and a writer is something that you are.

This week I said goodbye to my aunt Rachel as she passed away at a local hospital in Tucson. I’ve been thinking often of the holidays I’d spend at her house with my family, watching A Christmas Story on repeat while we ate duck, and the wonderful chorizo stuffing she made for us just six short days ago before we sat down and had Thanksgiving dinner together. I’ve been thinking of her Jane Lynch impressions as she hosted Hollywood Game Night sessions with the family. I’ve been thinking of the huge supply of handmade scarves and beanie caps in my favorite color patterns (cardinal red and navy blue, charcoal and a light dusty grey, and a series of browns) she would mail to me just before the Virginia winters got really harsh.

I’ve been thinking of the last thing my Aunt Rachel wrote to me. I had just finished the first draft of The Carver, and she told me “I have no doubts in my mind that this will be successful.”

For my 25th birthday, she bought me a vinyl-bound notebook and she wrote “I hope you’ll use this for your new book!” This week is a touch point in my life and in my written journey as I remember this fantastic woman. I will, Aunt Rachel. This next one’s for you.

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