Hello Readers : )
Starting out the week with an interesting guest post by author Shari A. Brady.
About the author:
Shari A. Brady is a native Chicagoan and previously had so many careers she’s lost count. A graduate of Loyola University’s Business School and University of Chicago’s Creative Writing program, she’s finally a full-time writer, a dream she’s carried with her since she was twelve. She lives in suburban Chicago with her awesome husband, two of the best kids ever, and their shelter dog, Betty Queen Elizabeth. This is her first novel and her last career.
She is the author of:
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye
Before Carmella D’Agostino’s older sister Francesca died, she worked at the bakery and wrote songs, but now she writes lists. Lists like ten reasons why it’s her fault Francesca’s dead, or five reasons why she should try and win Howie back, or one reason why she needs to stop lying to everyone, including herself.
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is an extraordinary novel about one family’s struggle to make sense of their world after losing a family member to addiction. Through sixteen-year-old Carmella’s eyes, we witness the courage and strength it takes to overcome the consequences of grief, guilt and co-dependency.
With conviction and determination, Carmella shows us what can happen when we’re open to love, feel the pain of our loss, and have the courage to accept the truth of our lives.
“Carmella, pull yourself together.” My father slams the window completely shut, then reaches his hand out. I stare at my dad’s hand and remember when things were different with him and me, when his outstretched hand meant he needed me to give him the hammer or the nail or whatever we were fixing. I want to go back to that time when we’d go to the hardware store to get what we needed so we could hang a picture or fix the sink or trim the lower branches of the pine tree in the front yard. I want to go back to a time when our whole lives weren’t about trying to fix Francesca.
Shari A. Brady was kind enough to write a piece about fear.
Everyone has fears and eventually we all figure out ways to deal with them one way or another. There’s no question I’m not alone in having a fear of flying and the way I deal with it is by free writing.
Last month my whole family flew out east for a beach vacation. I was fortunate to have an extremely smooth flight (not always my case, but that’s another story altogether) on the way back to Chicago. And a smooth bump-free ride means I’m much more relaxed and my brain can snap out of its fight or flight response. So as I sat there, the engines humming, I pondered this notion of fear and stumbled on a thought:
You have to let go of who you are in order to discover who you can become.
After I wrote that down, I thought about how hard it is to let go and how true this is especially for Carmella, or for anyone who is co-dependent, in an unhealthy relationship, in a job they hate, or feels they need to make any kind of ginormous change in their life. For Carmella, she’s faced with making some huge changes in how she reacts and relates to people and because of this, I thought about questions she would ask herself. She might wonder, what will happen if everyone doesn’t like how I’m changing and they desert me and leave me completely and utterly alone? Carmella fears this (don’t we all?). She’s changing, her parents are changing and she’s going to embark on her first romantic relationship. Carmella’s had a huge loss and now she’s seeing the world through an entirely new lens. Everything is changed. Nothing is the same.
How scary is that?
So then I got to thinking, aren’t we all a victim of our own fears in some way? How many times do we make a decision based purely on fear of rejection or isolation? And what about other fears, such as flying? Do we face it and get our sorry self on that airplane? Or run away from it, denying ourselves whatever lies ahead for us on the other end of that runway? How many times does a fear of something or someone render us paralyzed?
I’m glad I continue to face my fear of flying and I’m glad while facing my fear last month, I could be relaxed enough to think about Carmella. And like all great characters, she brings questions to the forefront of our mind, gives us some answers and provides insight into the ever-perplexing notion of the human condition.
For more information about the author and book, please visit the author website.
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Thank you Shari A. Brady for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.