Ladies & Gents:
Throughout the week, I drop notes into a draft of what I'll send out on Monday. The notes I left for what should have been last week's newsletter – they seem like they're from a lifetime ago. My world stopped on January 4, and is slowly coming back now. I'm still locked in monstrous grief. My mom says I'm doing better, but I'm not back to myself – and I don't think I will be for some time. Emily wound herself around my heart and does not want to let go. I don't think I want her to – not entirely. I need it right now, and I'll need it when I get another dog, whenever that may be. Not anytime soon though.
I've been flattened, but I haven't been completely out of touch with the world. One concept I've seen floating around is "Sober January," where people take a month off from drinking. I did this in August 2015. I'm glad I did because it changed my relationship with alcohol to the point that I really don't drink anymore. I haven't hand a hangover since January 1, 2016. And I'm really glad that I did it when life was generally calm because I was used to not drinking by the time my life started to slide, and when it skid out of control, I was prepared to confront my challenges head on instead of behind a haze. I had two drinks the night Emily died – two Angry Orchard Ciders for my little angry dog. I drank half of a Mad Elf the first night that I stayed home by myself – and dumped the other half down the drain. Other than that, it's been pretty booze free. I'm glad that I made this shift. I think being hungover would have made a hard time even harder. So if you're doing Sober January, or thought about doing a Sober February – hang in there. Do it. It was worth it, at least for me.
"Winter Boots That are Warm, Weather-Proof and Still Look Good" Do you guys know about Racked? I started following them on twitter then pitched them this idea. It's about shopping, but it's about a lot more than that. I have two more stories in the works. Keep an eye on them. They're doing interesting stuff.
Jen Talks About Her Book
"Memoir author's marketing success story" on Build Book Buzz
What I'm Reading
I read all of Lauren Grodstein's Our Short History without realizing she's part of the faculty at Rutgers University-Camden, which is where I earned my master's degree in English Literature. Good job Jen. I didn't know if a book about dying was one I should have been reading at the time, but I liked it. The press guy at Algonquin sent this to me in the same package as Tom McAllister's The Young Widower's Handbook, which I reviewed for an upcoming issue of Philadelphia Magazine. That too is about death. Sheesh Algonquin. What's going on over there? (I kid). Now I'm reading Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan. A friend gave this to me. I'm going to Paris for the first week of February (what I'm trying not to call the grief trip, but it's the grief trip since I never would have taken this trip if she was still here). Coco Chanel and her ties to Nazis came up in The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne. I need to read more in that series.
What I'm Watching
Funny stuff, mostly. I've bounced between my parents' houses in the last week and a half. Mom and I watched Some Like It Hot and The LEGO Movie. I also re-watched Guardians of the Galaxy, which makes me jazzed for the upcoming sequel. I have been half watching Foyle's War – which is good and my attention span is not. And the last Sherlock? Hmmmm. I have mixed thoughts but I won't say here in case you haven't seen it. At my dad's, I worked while watching TCM. They play a lot of old old movies in the morning. The only one I remember was My Favorite Wife, which was delightful. I felt like it was getting me ready for the next podcast season of You Must Remember This. And speaking of podcasts! Tom Hanks guest hosted this week's Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me. It was delightful, not only because he's a good host (shocking) but because how much fun he had with it. You could tell he's a long time listener and a fan. Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me was the first podcast I ever took out with me running. About six years ago, I won the limerick challenge. And then I got to know Peter Sagal and he blurbed my book. Running has been one of the few normal things I've been doing, though it hasn't been easy. Knowing I could listen to a podcast like this while out there kept me going. So thanks NPR and Tom Hanks. And Peter Sagal too.
And you guys. So many of you have sent me kind notes about Emily. It means a lot. It really does.