Just a note

Many thanks to Women and Words for posting my guest blog about Giraffe People today. This has been quite a week. My second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, won the Great Northwest Book Festival, which is particularly exciting because I can’t think about Spokane without thinking about that novel. Young family. Young adulthood. The horrible cost of getting away with things.

I’ve been ill with the joint-aching sinus-infection thing that’s going around, and yesterday I helped the second graders paint their dinosaur models in the hallway, sort of on butcher paper. Some had paint in their hair, on their ears, down their shins, and they were so gleeful about the opportunity to paint their animals — made from recycled cardboard — that they each kept up a running monologue of all progress. “Look! I’m painting the tail! And next I’m probably going to paint that leg. And then that one!”

“Mine has three eyes,” Gavin said. “Its name is Oddosaurus.”

Yes. Yes, quite. Joy in every direction. I’m grateful for the stories that exist, and the stories forming. Tomorrow we have a date for the Dinosaur Museum where Gavin will take us on a tour of painted dinosaurs, drawn dinosaurs, dinosaur research papers and 3-D dinosaur exhibits. I will think of the little boy who whispered, “My dad is going to kill me.”

“How come?”

“This shirt is new.”

“I promise all that paint will wash out.”

“Will you tell him? Maybe you could write him a note?”

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