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There are different kinds of ends


Last week I came to the end of my new book. I’m different now, and so is it—including the ending, which took my breath away when I wrote it. I did not know it would end this way. I think you will be surprised too.

Completing a book is really more of a beginning though—the start of the journey between reader and page. How that trip will go is as yet unknown.

This is the first book I finished without my Dad here to read it. To tell me—in gratifyingly elaborate detail—the aspects he liked and details he relished, plus where he sees it as fitting on the great literary ladder, so many of whose rungs he introduced me to. The loss of that takes my breath away in a whole other way, a ghastly one.

When I felt as if I couldn’t dig deeply enough to finish this book, my Dad spurred me on. Even after his own ending, he was still there. And that’s a beginning too.

Speaking of fathers and books

The Road Remembered

The Road Remembered by Kaye D. Schmitz will take you on a historically accurate journey through a terrifying, tumultuous time during which heroes were born.

The author delved deeply into interviews with WWII veterans to create her fictional tale.

A not-to-miss novel for history buffs, readers of war tales, and anyone who’s loved a soldier.

On Mail and Mourning

You all have been wonderful, reaching out in the wake of my dear father’s death. Cards, gifts, notes of shared experiences have all been bright spots in a desperately hard time. I was upset to learn that some of my mail may’ve gone missing or was delayed; please note my change of address below to correct this problem. And if you sent something and I have not responded, assume that it sadly did not arrive. I have taken joy in writing back to each and every one of you.

Another read about loss and love

Shadow Music

Derek McFadden is a latter-day Mitch Albom on the subjects of love, loss, and spirituality. Here’s a little on his latest:

Have you ever wanted to spend more time with someone you've lost?

I wrote The Last Christmas Gift to deal with a break-up and my path moving forward in this life. I wanted to have that discussion with the man who always knew what to say to encourage or set me straight. My grandfather, Papa Dick. This Christmas will mark our eighteenth holiday without him.

In order to visit him, a ferry ride was required. A ride on which my papa and I will have our last conversation. And on which he will give me The Last Christmas Gift.

We Planted a Tree

Memorial Tree

I live in a very small house—whose limitations I could bemoan for hours; go on, I dare you to try me—but the tradeoff is that we get to be surrounded by beautiful land. Meadows, mountains, a creek that roars after a good rainfall or snowmelt. And now we’ve added a tree for my Dad.

It’s a chestnut—he loved anything praline so I hope to make a scrummy dessert a few years hence. Also, a chestnut tree requires a mate, just like my Dad did. May it grow tall and strong for generations, living outdoors as my father does inside me.


As this year comes to its end

December 31st

You all have been key and crucial parts of this year and as we say goodbye to it, I know that greeting the new one will be better with all of you there. In whatever way you mark this season, and with whatever holes you need to fill, I wish you peace, abundance, and a series of new beginnings.


Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,


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