Over the weekend, I got a tremendous compliment. An author called me up, and told me that they cried reading The Frailty of Flesh. Which made me feel a bit better about the fact that I’d cried while writing it.
Seriously, it’s a huge compliment. And I’m fortunate that a few blurbs are starting to trickle in. Some are still thinking over what to say on the record, but I did get this one:
"An unflinching look into the dark heart of family dysfunction, The Frailty of Flesh raises difficult questions and shuns easy answers. Sandra Ruttan writes with passion and honesty about every parent’s worst nightmare and the result is an emotionally wrenching experience. "
-- Sean Chercover, author of TRIGGER CITY and BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD.
Leaving all with the certainty that Frailty will be a lighthearted, cheery read. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you in the fall that it’s the perfect book to give Mom for Christmas.
Seriously, it’s a tough book, and any parent is going to feel it, on some level. Your kids… your greatest hopes, your deepest fears.
I think if the early indications are anything to go by, I’m going to have to give out Kleenex with this one.
But there can also be tears of joy, which leads me to the big news…
When they’re babies, you alternate between wishing they could stay that way forever…
…and wondering when they’ll grow up.
You go through rolls and rolls of film, trying to capture them on that special occasion, at that certain age.
And there are times they threaten to hurt you if you take one more lousy photo.
As they get older I guess it’s an age thing, because there are times I really don’t understand her choice in clothing styles.
And, as is true of most teenagers, she can often be oblivious to danger lurking in caves behind her.
However, today is one of those days there’s no real image that can convey what we have to celebrate. Not yet, anyway.
But soon enough, there will be. Word has come that my 13-year-old niece, Arrielle, has made the finals in a poetry competition she entered.
We don’t know if she’ll win or place, but as a finalist it means her story is going to be included in a print anthology.
Yes, at the age of 13 I had my first newspaper column.
And at the age of 13 my niece has surpassed me, and is going to see her name published in a book. It’s a good thing that the manuscript she’s working on (I’m not joking) is fantasy, or by the time she’s 20 she’d be overshadowing me as an author.
We’re all so proud. Three cheers for Arrielle.
And for now, I’ll rest easy that Dashiell seems more intent on strumming than storytelling.