Before the 2016 Presidential election, I wrote about real estate, my Irish Catholic childhood in Boston and the 13 dogs that have defined the chapters of my life. For most writers, however, this election has brought into stark reality the responsibility for all of us to speak truth to power.
Good writing requires insight, creativity, emotion, genuineness, and humor. I write to connect with
other human beings; to engage their uniqueness, thoughtfulness, curiosity and when it’s appropriate (or not), make them laugh. Now I must add that it is also a writer’s responsibility to be vulnerable to the truth—to kneel at its altar.
As a woman born in the ‘50s, I spent most of my life constrained by a sense of oppression—seen and unseen—that I was unable to overcome. It’s only as a writer that I can call it out louder and clearer than I was ever able to do as an employee, athlete, spouse, mother and citizen. I’m still working on a memoir, and my story about puppy mills is as crucial as ever, but they come with a more nuanced look at how coercion and cruelty can shape a life and a nation.
If I were to have a grave marker, which I won’t because I will be cremated and my ashes thrown out to sea along with the ashes of every dog I’ve ever had, (in little flowered boxes in the closet opposite the washer/dryer, just as an FYI), I want it to say, “Wake up, people!”