30 January 2013


WRITE FOR THE FIGHT (edited by Diane Hughes, cover art by Bea Thompson) is a "collection of seasonal essays" by Tess Hardwick and Tracey M. Hansen, as well as eleven other writers (Gordon Bonnet, Galit Breen, F. Jo Bruce, Derek Flynn, Jesse James Freeman, Laura Kilmartin, Marni Mann, Karla J. Nellenbach, Terry Persun, Laura Tiberio, Laura Zera) who answered the questions:
· What do you miss about being 5 years old?
· What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
· What, at this point in your life, do you want, wish and dream of for your life going forward?
· What would you want said about you on your 80th birthday?
I don't usually read collections like this. In fact, ever since I graduated from college and my grades don't depend upon reading essays, I kind of avoid them like the plague. (If I'm being completely honest, I didn't actually read many of the essays I was supposed to read in college either. You'd be amazed how much you can actually learn if you simply pay attention to the things a teacher says in class!) Anyway, my point is that this isn't normally the kind of book I would pick up if I saw it on the bookstore shelf. The main draw for me initially was the fact that the proceeds from this book go toward breast cancer research. Because I'm always a sucker for a good cause... and after going through my own radiation treatments and such, I sort of have a soft spot for anyone who wants to help kick cancer.
(Yes, I realize that breast cancer and brain tumors aren't the same thing. And since my tumor was "as benign as a brain tumor can be," according to the doctor who took the time to explain my treatments to my totally stressed out mom, I do realize that I'm not actually a "cancer survivor." But trust me, when you're sitting in the cancer center waiting room, getting ready to go in for your sixth week of radiation treatments, or waiting to talk to an oncologist about whether you should start chemotherapy now or if surgery should be the next step, you don't spend your time thinking "that guy with the brain tumor over there understands what I'm going through because we have the same thing but that girl with the breast cancer and the one with the lung cancer will never understand how hard this is." And the one with the breast cancer? Or the one with lung cancer? They aren't setting themselves apart either. We're kind of all in this together.)
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I truly enjoyed this collection. Since the essays were each only a few pages long, it was the perfect "in between" book to pick up for a quick read whenever I only had a minute or two, and the essays were well-written and thought-provoking. I was especially impressed with the variety of writers included in this collection. There was truly a voice for every reader to relate to.
Within this collection, I found writers who made me laugh out loud, some who totally touched my heart and made me cry, and one that I did not care for at all. (Her style totally rubbed me the wrong way, and although I did attempt to read each of her entries to the collection, there was only one that I didn't end up skipping over.) But that's the great thing about it! With 13 authors to choose from (each answering the 4 questions), I didn't even feel like I was missing out when I skipped an essay or two.
And the best part about this book is the way it got me thinking.
· What do I miss about being 5 years old?
· What would I tell my 20-year-old self? (I've already discovered what my 20-year-old self would tell me, but would I have any wisdom to impart to a younger me?)
· What, at this point in my life, do I want, wish and dream of for my life going forward?
· What would I want said about me on my 80th birthday?
I'm going to give it some thought... and this weekend, I'll try to answer these questions.
What about you? How would you answer?


  1. I miss the endless hours playing outdoors! Finding the cave under the forsythia branches, or climbing our evergreen and sitting among the branches, building a fort, "spying" on the neighborhood with my best friend, sister, or myself. Even falling off the largest boulder in the woods, earning the scar I still carry on my hand, was an adventure. It was a gift to play, free, safe, and love what I was doing enough to regret having to drag myself back to the house when I heard Dad ring the cowbell.Thanks for leading me back to those memories!