The Big Quiet

The Big Quiet

my first makeshift mask in spring 2020

I am writing this blog post in early 2022, but it is meant to stand in for all the posts I didn’t write in the two years between March 2020 (when the 🦠 hit the fan) and now.

I speak for many working mothers when I say that March 13, 2020 was the day when any breathing room I had disappeared in a puff of disinfectant and Goldfish crumbs. I spent the next 77 weeks squeezing my work into the margins of the day while managing homeschooling/distance learning for four energetic children I dearly love: my two boys plus the two girls in the family we formed a pod with.

we mask in style

In an incredible silver lining, 2020 was also the year my novel was picked up by Pamela Dorman Books at Viking/Penguin. This astoundingly good news prompted a truckload of necessary revisions. I knew this would mean serious work at a time when I had very little childcare. I also knew I could do it. In the hours before sunrise, late at night, anytime my spouse could take over, or when my fellow Fairy Podmother was supervising school, I wrote and rewrote.

All of these were tasks I was so very lucky to do.
And also I cried a lot.
It’s okay if it’s both. 

Anyway, I didn’t have much leisure time in 2020-21, and there is a corresponding gap in my publications.

In that gap is tremendous love: love for the people closest to me and love for my vocation.

My days were not quiet, but my blog sure was. So I’m just leaving this picture here: the hush of snowfall on my front-yard labyrinth. My husband, my mom and I built this labyrinth with our own hands in 2019, breaking and laying stone. I had no idea how much I’d need it just a year later. Walking this path brought me many moments of peace in the exhaustion of 2020-21. I hope you look at it and feel a little peace, too.




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