When Life Hits Us and Forces Our Fingers Off the Keyboard

If we’re serious about publication, then we have to be equally serious about our writing time. We need to schedule it in and prioritize it. We shouldn’t approach it with the attitude—“If I find time, I’ll write, and if I don’t, I won’t.” No one will make it far with a haphazard writing schedule.

Most of us know what we need to do, but struggle with the reality of finding a writing routine that works for us. We find ourselves waking up in the dark hours of the morning, staying up too late, and sacrificing sleep. We end up saying no to friends and fun activities in our continuous battle to squeeze in time for our writing.

We try so hard to stay self-disciplined and stick to our hodge-podge routine. But suddenly, BAM—life hits us and forces our fingers off the keyboard. The unexpected, the call of real life shouts at us and demands all of our attention and energy.

What should we do then?

Real life hit me last week in a couple of different ways. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard about our adventure with baby squirrels. One afternoon last week, my two youngest discovered a tiny creature attempting to crawl around on the ground underneath a scraggly elm tree in our back yard. Upon closer examination we realized it was a baby red squirrel. It barely had its eyes open and could hardly hold up its head.

I quickly cautioned the children against touching it, knowing in some cases parents will reject a baby that has human scent. While they hovered around it, I rushed inside and sent out a cry for help on Facebook and Twitter.

Within minutes, people responded with all kinds of ideas. One local friend sent me the phone number of rescue specialist, and I immediately contacted her. The specialist directed us to leave the baby alone for a while to allow the mama squirrel the opportunity to get it and return it to the nest high in the tree. If the mama didn’t retrieve it by nightfall, we needed to bring it in, feed it water, and keep it warm.

Of course, the mama didn’t show up and so we had a house guest for the night. The next morning we tried again to lure the mama to her baby. But we didn’t see or hear her. By that time, we started syringe feeding Squeakers. As we worked to save his precious little life, we noticed three more baby squirrels clinging to the bark high near the nest.

The short of the long story is that eventually the other three either fell off or crawled low enough for us to reach them. We spent hours syringe feeding all FOUR of them kitten formula diluted with warm water. Over the phone, the specialist walked us step-by-step through what to do and believed something must have happened to the mother. Without their mother to nurse, hunger had driven the babies from their safe nest.

During the busy hours trying to save the lives of the tiny squirrels, I reluctantly gave up hope of meeting my daily writing goals. I knew I could try really hard to squeeze it in and get frustrated with every interruption, or I could just lower my expectations and embrace the chaos of the moment.

Amidst all of the squirrel feedings, the phone rang. It was my husband calling to let me know he’d just received news that his dad was dying and had less than a month to live.

With tears in my eyes, I gazed at the baby squirrel cupped in my palm with its paper thin claws, shivering body, and the formula dribbling down its chin. And I realized at that moment just how fragile life can be.

Yes, we need to have commitment to our writing. We have to set writing goals, push ourselves to stick to them, and viciously guard our writing time from outside distractions. But when real life drops into our hands (sometimes literally) and forces our fingers from the keyboard, we need to remind ourselves that life is short and delicate.

Life is like a hungry baby squirrel clinging precariously to a tree, or a 65 year old man hanging on to each breath until he can say good-bye to his sons. We never know when we’ll lose our own delicate grasp on life.

My encouragement to all of us (myself included) is to use our writing gifts with all of the passion and purpose inside us. But there are times when we need to lower our expectations, give ourselves a break, and embrace the interruptions life hands us.

Sometimes life is too short. We should live each moment to the fullest before it’s our turn to let go.

What interruptions has life handed you? How do you know when to push through the distractions and keep on writing? And how do you decide when to embrace the chaos and give yourself a break?

P.S. A local rescuer expert now has the squirrels in her care. Even though we miss the babies, we know she'll be able to take care of them properly and eventually release them back into the wild (maybe even into our back yard!). And my husband flew half-way across the country and is saying good-bye to his dad.


  1. This is making me tear up. :-( What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law...

    The squirrels are adorable. When I was in fourth grade two babies fell right outside our door and for days we took care of them. It was a great experience. When I met my husband, he had a pet squirrel too.

    I'm glad you were able to find someone to care for them. I hope this week goes smoothly for all of you.

  2. This is an awesome post, Jody. I thought you were going to say 'write no matter what,' But this is so much more honest. And my life often throws curves like these. I am learning to let go and trust that God knew what was going to happen before it happened and he isn't panicked so why should I be. I am learning to live by a new grace and freedom. I am committed to my writing. But life happens. And I won't ignore my babies or husband for writing. Sometimes writing must take a back seat. As it should in the face of such circumstances.

    btw- I love those baby squirrels!!! HOW CUTE!!!

  3. Wow, talk about life pitching curve balls.

    Although, not being one, I can't speak as a writer (which often keeps me from commenting here)...
    I think that knowing and quantifying one's priorities is the easiest way of deciding when to adapt to changing circumstances and when to doggedly stick to one's chosen path. That regardless of what one does in life.

    My condolences for your father in law.

  4. This is a beautiful post, Jody. And I'm thoroughly impressed that your dog didn't go insane.

    So sorry about your father-in-law. Prayers for him and your family.

  5. Squeakers, cute name, cute baby. What a cool experience to have.

  6. Oh my, what cute little guys! Ask me sometime about my adventure with a squirrel. It involved our playful dog, traumatized squirrel and an anxious trip to the vet;)
    Life has a way of demanding we reset our priorities or goals for the day doesn't it!
    So sorry about your father-in-law, sending prayers your way.

  7. I'm so very sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Many prayers being said for you farmily.

    And you are so right. There are always interruptions - some we can push away, put up a wall, or work around, and some we have to embrace and focus on. If we have our priorities straight, like you do, it's easy to tell the difference.

  8. Writing is a balancing act, but life is important, too. It doesn't interfere, it only makes us better writers. Even when we aren't sitting at the keyboard, we are squirreling experiences and nuggests of truth away for the moments when we can finally sit down at type them up.

    Best wishes to you, your husband, his father and the baby squirrels!

  9. So sorry for your Father in law. The squirrels were a great lesson in love for your kids. Life seems to be interrupting me lately also :O)

  10. Oh Jody, this post was so clearly written from your heart. Thinking of you, and your family.

  11. What a wonderful post, Jody! I loved that vision of you cupping the babies in your hand.

    My mom once bottle fed the Baylor Bear mascot's cub, and then I shared with you the story of the wild rabbits...

    Hmmm. When do I know when to raise up the red flag to writing? Only by the Holy Spirit's promptings. It can be hard to listen!


  12. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. And yes, the squirrels are cute.

    Right now, I am not writing anything much, because in less than 2 weeks difficult final exams are pending. Usually, unless something really terrible happens, I try to squeeze in some writing time, but right now... well, those 2 weeks won't harm me. I hope.

  13. Where to begin? ;) I smile b/c you know I know the message behind this post well. It's so hard for me to slow down b/c I'm always excited to write, but after my father passed away over a month ago I took several weeks off from blogging (which felt like an eternity, btw). I didn't get much done other than the occasional edit. But now I'm back. And I live and breathe a richer perspective on just how fragile this life is.

    Sending love and prayers,

  14. Thanks for the peek into your life. I really enjoyed this post.I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Please extend my sympathy to your husband.

    I live right where you are every day -- in our situation.

    One thing God showed me is that I write from a soul, and that soul lives a life which nourishes it and helps it to mature. So life is writing, in the sense that seeds are the plants they will become.

    Living a deep, vibrant, courageous life will make possible the type of writing that inspires others to live well.

  15. I'm very sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Hugs!
    The squirrels were/are so cute. I'm so glad you were able to save them.
    I have writing goals and schedules, but real life does set in. One of the beautiful things about writing, even if published, is there is a bit of flexible time. Sure we have to be disciplined, but we can readjust when and how much we write when the real world presses in.
    As an unpublished writer, I still treat this as a profession tho' I don't get paid. My immediate family is on board, but I do break for visitors, high holidays and my DH and DD's events. I try to write a little every day, even if it is just a half an hour, during those events. That way I don't return to my full time pursuit empty headed.

    The key is to be flexible. Life happens. I write because it is easy to adjust to things when life happens.

  16. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's dad. that is never easy, no matter what age we are!

  17. This was definitly a post from the heart. I am so sorry for your husband and what he is going through right now. My own dad ended up in the hospital this week with a heart that is ready to give up and I'll be on the opposite side of the country, but he isn't 65 and that is so young.
    I think when those moments in our life come, we need to let the writing go and be there. That is life and we become better writers because of these life moments as well. Praying!

  18. This post drips with depth and truth. Our fingers are not meant to stay glued to the keyboard, but to touch life and love and beauty--and let it go. And pour it out through our fingers. Precious post. Made me smile and cry.

    Hugs and prayers.

  19. My thoughts are with you and your husband.

    One of the things the difficulties in my own life for the past 6 months has taught me is to be gentle to myself.

    Those of us who are artists are acutely sensitive to emotions and events that happen around us. It can be hard to deal with the pain and grief, especially when we also place such high expectations on ourselves.

    I have tried to let myself feel what I must feel, and understand that pushing to simply produce in those times doesn't work for me.

    Rather than beat myself up, I journalled, wrote poetry, and worked on editing while I dealt with health, family, and household issues that had to take precedence.

  20. A great story of life and loss. It seems like my life and emotional energy has been spent with family issues this last year. I spend a lot of my day either counseling the distraught or praying about how to counsel them! But lately, I have found that God gives me rest from that so I can collect my thoughts to write. I think we all have baby squirrels in our lives!

  21. OH Jody, this is such a poignant post because it is so true. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with acute leukemia and given only days to live, everything stopped. I am so sorry about your father-in-law. But the time I spent with her was so precious. Our writing is precious and important, but the people in our lives are much more so. And the time we devote to them will enrich our writing in the end.

  22. Great reminder, thank you. My Mom recently passed away. This involved so many things, including a trip out of state and family visits (to our home). It has been a challenging time, but God's grace has been abundant.

    Glad the squirrels are okay:)

  23. The fragility of life is never more clear when you hold a little one (baby or animal) and are overwhelmed by their neediness. Hugs to you and prayers for your FIL... :(

  24. Jody, I'm so sorry about your FIL. I'm glad your husband is able to go to him.

    Last year my writing life was back-burnered when my MIL was dying. I knew it was the right thing to do.

  25. I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Jody. My prayers are with you and your family.

  26. Jody, this is beautiful. Life is fragile and precious, and I'm praying for special moments with your father-in-law in the days ahead.

    We'll be moving in the weeks ahead, right when I'll have my first edtis to work through. I'm trying to do as much as I can now, anticipating what life is throwing at me soon.

    Please keep us updated on everything.

  27. I'm so sorry to hear about your father in law, Jody. Sending up a prayer for you and your family...


  28. Thanks for this post, Jody. I've been trying to decide this very thing recently. We found out a few weeks ago that we're expecting out third baby and pregnancy is really hard on me. I've tried to keep up with the writing, but it's been hard. I'm glad for the reminder to embrace life. It's way more important.

  29. I'm sorry about your father-in-law. And it sounds like the babies are in safe hands now. I too had life intervene in my writing schedule and lower me to half speed last weekend. My son had a huge birthday party and I was busy cleaning and entertaining. I was exhausted come Sunday. And wouldn't you know it, right at the climax of my WIP! A least now I have something to look forward to. ;)

  30. "But there are times when we need to lower our expectations, give ourselves a break, and embrace the interruptions life hands us."

    I, too, thought you were going to say, "Write no matter what!" Thank you for acknowledging that sometimes life gets in the way and takes precedence. Sometimes it is for a day, sometimes it is for a season.

    I'm just emerging from a season of just taking care of life, while putting writing on the backburner. I don't feel guilty about it at all. God has given me grace not to beat myself up over it.

    Thanks for the great post. I enjoy the glimpses into your regular life. I am sorry for your father-in-law's illness. Praying God will give strength to all of you.

  31. My prayers are with you and your husband and your husband's family. I have been where you are, and it is no fun at all.

  32. Such a timely post, as today I'm finding it hard to work or write after hearing news of a good friend's partner passing away.

    You're right. Life is short, and each moment precious. I'm letting myself sit in those feelings for now, and later I'll write through them.

    Sending my thoughts and prayers to your family.

  33. My heart, prayers, and warm wishes go out to you, your husband, and your families.

    The baby squirrels are super cute.

  34. I'm sorry about your father-in-law, I'll send prayers your way.

    Real life hit me a couple of months ago, which is why I had to take a blogging break. It also ended up a break from my writing. But it was necessary and another one of those times when doing something I didn't want to do helped me learn and grow.

  35. Oh Jody - first praying for your husband, father-in-law, and family in general.

    Squirrels - AWWW!

    Third - yes! I love writing and I want to pursue it, but as much as I want to be professional and treat it like a serious career we can't ever let it become our Everthing. Then it's just another filthy idol in our lives. We all have to have balance and careers just don't make good end-all be-all goals! But by the same token if we are serious about publication, if we are passionate about our careers and if we have purpose in our writing then we need to spend time working diligently so that when catastrophe occurs we can set aside our writing time without having to just give up on it altogether. In fact, wow, that was what I needed to hear. Time to stop the blog circuit and go polish a manuscript and work on getting to the submitting stage. Thanks!

  36. Jody, I am so sorry about your father in law. Words seem inadequate.

    I can relate to life's interruptions. I found out I am pregnant last week and it feels like my world has stopped.

    I can't write. I can't read. I can't interact in the blogsphere. I can barely lift my head from the pillow. I feel consumed with uncertainity and shock. Couple that with the intense nausea and I'm ready to slip back into hysterics.

    I pray that these feelings will pass quickly. God, please.

  37. We're on the same wave-length this week. On Saturday I wrote about identifying priorities and making excuses. I've just returned from a week away for a granddaughter's wedding and extended family visit. I did very little writing but feel the time was well spent. Life's "unexpectedness" is a growing experience, and our writing is all about life. Even when we're taking a necessary break, our work will eventually benefit.

    There's no question where your priorities need to be right now. My prayer goes out to you, your husband and his father as you all go through this difficult time.

  38. I'm so sorry about your father-in-law. Your family (your husband especially) will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    I was following your squirrel debacle on Twitter - I'm so glad that they were in good hands (yours!).

    I had to lower my expectations over the last few months and I'm so glad that I did. I am much happier now - and I think much more productive - than I've ever been.

    Blessings to you...

  39. First off, condolences to you and your family, we'll be praying for you guys.

    Life distractions? I've had a few this year, but the most recent is my 8 year old daughter being diagnosed with a probable seizure disorder, and my older daughter is still dealing with the effects of a concussion she suffered in February.

    I've had extra doctor appointments, not to mention multiple neurology appointments, time spent on the phone with said doctors and nurses, as well as time spent at school working with the younger daughter's teachers and school nurse.

    She has the seizures at night, and I don't sleep well right now. We have a baby monitor in her room and every sound wakes me up. I listen to see if she needs me. It's been going on for a few weeks, and I'm exhausted mentally and physically.

    Those are my most recent real life intrusions.

    How do I decide whether or not to take time off? I ask myself if I would take off from a paid job. If the answer is yes, I feel okay about it. If the answer is no, I sit down and get back to work.

    Recently, it's a mish mash of working and life for me.

    The great thing about life intruding though, it's great inspiration for later.

  40. This was so right on time for me. Earlier today I tweeted about trying to find more time to work on my own personal writing projects.

    Talk about putting things in perspective.

    Thanks for sharing . . . and doing it so beautifully.


  41. Amazed by what you and your family did for the squirrels, and so sorry to hear about your father-in-law.

    Sometimes life interjects and the event is short-lived. But sometimes it's an event of duration. I think this affects whether one can "push through" or not. For longer duration events, it may be necessary to take a break, which becomes evident when you find yourself fighting against yourself to pursue your writing--or whatever your passion--only to fail miserably time and again.

    It's all about priorities. Breaks are okay, and they don't have to 100%. Maybe a writer steps back from working on her favored project, but does some other types of writing, or simply stays connected within the writing community. I had to do this over the last year, and I've been much happier, able to focus on the life events that require my attention, than when I was trying to do it all.

  42. What a poignant post, and I hope your husband is spending some wonderful moments with his dad.

    My pregnancy has forced me to reevaluate writing goals, but since it's a planned event, I'm staying focused to finish editing and rewrites before my baby arrives. I think especially when the events are unexpected, it's a time to step back for a moment, reevaluate, and then determine if writing needs to step aside for the time being.

  43. Jody, thank you for this post. My heart goes out to your husband and your family in the illness of a father and grandfather. It is very hard to lose loved ones anytime, but losing them suddenly takes your breath away.

    You capture eloquently what our life here is all about: fragility and beauty and loss. If life weren't so precious, there wouldn't be any point in writing about it, so we do have to love our lives while they happen, even the sad and really hard parts. Writing is wonderful, but it should never edge out living.

  44. Jody, I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Losing a parent is devastating. I lost my father a couple of years ago. It took me almost a year before I felt like I was living "normally" again. A loss like that does make you appreciate the beautiful moments in life a lot more - moments like nursing baby squirrels to life!

    This was a courageous post for you to share. Writing is important, and necessary, but ultimately it is the living, breathing beings with whom we share our lives that are the most important.

    I'll be thinking of you and your family.

  45. Prayers for your family at this difficult time.

    Yes, writing can be impossible at times, but sometimes the forced break can serve to inspire us in ways we can't at first imagine.

  46. (((hugs))) I'm so sorry about your Father-in-law, Jody. It's hard to lose a loved one. And I was following your fun tweets about the squirrels and just shook my head at all you have on your plate!

    My husband's first cousin had a massive heart attack and died in his sleep last week (at age 52)and most of my husband's family came in for the funeral. It was a sad time, but a wonderful time of reunion with family from all over the U.S. It's times like those that make you look at your life and what's important and what can be set aside for a moment.

    Beautiful post, Jody.

  47. Wow, Jody, what an excellent post about an excellent reminder. I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law, and best wishes to your family in dealing with the sad, sudden news.

    (Those baby squirrels are adorable, by the way.)

    - Kayla Olson (owl and sparrow)

  48. I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. You all will be in my prayers.

  49. So sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I know this will be a tough time for your family.

  50. Dear Jody,
    So very sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It's never easy to lose a loved one. My dad and my mother-in-law are having signficant health problems now, and I know it won't be long for either of them.

    Thanks for your transparency in this post. One of my life quotes is from Oswald Chambers who said, "Good is the enemy of best." Sometimes, writing is just a good thing that needs to be sacrificed for the best - being there for your family.

    My condolences to you and your family.

  51. I'm so sorry for your husband. I can't imagine how painful it must be to be told your father only has a month to live. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    Baby squirrels are a worthy interruption to your writing. You won't forget spending the day feeding them with your thrilled children!

    (Today was one big interruption for me. I got into a car accident--everyone's fine!--and let's just say I'm thankful for the giant bag of M&M's I purchased this morning!)

  52. I'm so sorry about your father-in-law, Jody. Praying for your husband, his family and all of you!!

  53. Jody, I know you've had some major things take you off the writing course for large spans of time, and I have as well. I feel like in the last couple years I've gained some important perspective. I'm motivated to write, and for it to be one of the ways I help my family and find fulfillment, but there are other things that are important to me too, and I'm just as motivated to seek those things out. Having lost several friends my age in the last several years, I feel my perspective has come into clearer focus. I don't feel I have the luxury of another 60 years of life. Maybe, but maybe not. So I want to seize all the good things God has put before me, and to not miss anything important while pursuing my writing. My prayer is that I will be able to keep it all in perspective as I move along this journey of life. I'm praying for you, hoping you can move through this storm with grace. What cute squirrels, and what a big heart you have. :)

  54. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

    Those squirrels are very precious. Life can be so hard, and writing can get us through many things. Life has gotten a bit to me lately, hence the reason I quit my blog, but I'm still writing, and that is a great thing. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

  55. May the Lord uphold you and your family as you deal with the pending loss of a beloved man. I'm so glad your husband was able to make the trip to see his father.

  56. I'm so sorry about your father-in-law. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    I'm glad you were able to save those squirrels and I hope they're released in your back yard!

    When interruptions come my way, I take a deep breath and prioritize. Some things can wait-the laundry, for instance–but things like what you dealt with over the weekend are too important.

  57. This post really hit close to home this week, because I've been struggling with trying to "do it all" lately.

    I am so, so sorry about your father-in-law, and I wish you all peace and comfort as you come to terms with it.

    And I'm glad the baby squirrels are okay. :-)

  58. Thank you for all of your thoughts regarding my father-in-law! I can feel your love and it means so much! :-)

  59. I weep as I read this post, Jody. I'm happy for the fur babies to be rescued, but sad for your husband having to say goodbye to his dad. I did that last May, and it tear your insides out.

    Praying for your family, to experience God's unbounded grace.

    Love you,

  60. Jody, I am so incredibly sorry about your father-in-law. I pray that your husband finds peace, even as he sits by his father's side until the end.

    Thank you for sharing the story of the squirrels though. So many people would not have helped animals like that, probably because so many dislike squirrels. Being a lover of all animals myself though, I hope I would do as much as you have. God bless you and yours, through your tragedies and triumphs.

  61. Soooo many "interruptions" this past spring, though I hate to refer to the things that have happened as such. We had a death in the family, our oldest is graduating, and I had my appendix out. Wow, I totally need a sanity break! Sometimes I'm not sure how to get back on track, but through it all I finished a rough draft.

  62. Thank you for your honesty and openess. The fragility of life reminds us how precious each moment is, whether we spend that moment cuddling our family, or writing something we hope will be worthwhile.
    I feel that I am surrounded by distractions some days, and yet sometimes those distractions are divine detours, and sometimes they give me more to write about when my fingers hit the keys again.

  63. I'm very, very sorry about your father-in-law. He, your husband, and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. <3

    I'm terrible at prioritizing, but when too many interruptions come my way, I try to do them in the order of importance. Writing is important to me, but family and school are much more important and deserve the time taken away from writing.

  64. So sorry to hear about your hubby's dad. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. What great care you gave those little squirrels. I love the pic.

    Curve balls a plenty here. Short story? Daughter called in crisis. A. World. Away. Solution included a possible last minute trip to see her, be with her before/during our move. Hmmm. During the crazy times, I use my work to center me.

  65. I am so sorry. Hugs and prayers for you.

    In my own life, illness and family crises and job loss have all done those things. I learned to keep writing through them. Believing God meant me to write, created me for it, means that I MUST, regardless of the circumstances - and the benefits have been amazing.

  66. You hit home with this one...

    My dad has a serious heart valve problem, but can't have the surgery because of his advanced cancer. He is 1000 miles away. I know the call will come.

    You know about my new grandson. That is my 'baby squirrel' story. Taking a break is disappointing, but for now Brady is my priority. Life does happen, and I don't want to miss a moment of it!

  67. Beautiful post. I'm so sorry about your father-in-law. That's so hard. Life IS so precious.

    The little squirrels are adorable--and lucky you found them.

    I'm in a good pattern right now, but we all have the distractions. You're right--we have to schedule and protect our writing time, but there are moments when we just have to embrace the life around us. You have a wonderful attitude, as always.

  68. I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. What amazing synchronicity showing how fragile and beautiful life is. I read somewhere recently from an established writer that it's important to live life, to be in it completely, in order to have anything to write about. It's all about balance, right?

  69. Jody...I'm so sorry to hear about Jeff's dad. Please tell him we'll be praying for him--and all of you--in the days ahead.

    Thanks for taking time to care for these sweet baby squirrels. You did exactly the right thing. He whose eye is on the sparrow will not forget how yours was on the baby squirrel.:-)

    ~ Love, Betsy

  70. Jody,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your father in law. My prayers are with your husband and your family.

    You're so right. We push ourselves and feel horrible when we don't meet a certain quota or criteria but we must remember: LIFE is fragile, beautiful, fleeting. Yes, we must pursue our God-given passions and callings, but it is life that is the most important gift.

    Happy Thursday,

  71. Save this post. I am sure it will continue to inspire you years from now.
    It was beautiful written and said exactly what needed to be said.
    Life is precious and not to be taken for granted.

  72. Oh, the baby squirrel pics are so cute! My kids would love them, too. What an adventure.

    I like your point, that "life is short and delicate." It's good to keep life in perspective, despite our writing passions.

    Terrific post.

  73. I'm very sorry to hear about your father-in-law
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