Saturday, November 21, 2009


Yesterday I received the advance reading copies of my new book, THE HARD KIND OF PROMISE. I am so happy with the book’s cover and, as always, am looking forward to the reviews.

The book is about best friends and what can happen to them in middle school. But as we adults know, lots of things can happen to best friends no matter what their ages.

I lost a lot of friends within the five years following my divorce. I’m thinking of four women in particular, all people I thought I’d have as friends for the rest of my life. I still miss all of them a lot.

When this kind of thing happens, you spend a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong. (Well, you do if you’re me.) One woman was, I think, mentally ill. Two of the women were Professional Moms who let mom-ing get in the way of friendship. The fourth, a dear friend since high school, well, I just don’t know. She’s the one I miss the most.

Was it my fault? If it had only happened once, I’d have said probably not, but four times? I’ve got to think I had something to do with it. Do I not know how to be a friend? (That’s what the nut job would say.) Was I in a weird place post-divorce, shedding people in a misguided effort to be rid of memories, my old self? Maybe. Did I just get lazy? Well, that sounds like me.

Whatever it was, it continues to eat at me. I wish I could just say, “I’m sorry,” and fix things. But I know that isn’t how friendships work, not always, anyway. Even the strong ones can be brittle, fragile, jagged-edged. Sometimes things are unfixable.

I am grateful beyond words for Tracy and Jim and Ursula and Kathi and Sue and Josine and Karra and Paula (who is proof that sometimes you can just call out of the blue and say, What happened? and everything is miraculously okay again) and The Women Of The List (who deserve and will get a post all to themselves in the near future). I hope we will be friends for the rest of my life. I hope I will be a good friend to all of them and to anyone else who comes along, should I be so lucky.

And I am once again amazed by the ways in which writing for children isn’t really writing for children at all.

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