I used to think that writers were quiet people who hid and typed at all hours of the night, but now I understand that any writer worth her salt has to live first and write second.

If you don't live, you don't have anything to say.  I have lived, and my god, but I've lived a little too much and too hard at times.

These days, my favorite hours are spent writing or with my son and husband, surfing and romping the Atlantic coast.  I loathe when people say "Have a blessed day," but I've had a blessed life or a charmed life or a lucky one, however you want to dub it.

During my early twenties, many people predicted that I would grow up to be a bag lady or go insane or both.  I was too sensitive.  No one really expected me to be successful at anything, but I've been a good student, a school teacher, a mom, a surrogate mom, and a novelist.  Lately, I'm building barn doors for my house because a hollow door, in my opinion, is a pointless door. I'm making dresses and art and writing like a fiend. Two new books on the way: Lost in the Beehive and George Glass Loves Lily Snow.

Did I ever doubt myself?  Sometimes.  But not as much as you'd think.  I've set goals for myself, often unspoken, and I've decided as I've gotten older and wiser, to be nice to myself.  The world isn't such a nice place sometimes.  We'd better be good to ourselves.  I was not always kind to myself, but I always persevered.  I could be hit, knocked down, duped, and still make my history exam and leave with a perfect score.  My life was pretty fucked up for a long time.  Sigh.  I was never stupid, just mistaken about what love is and what love means.  I thought it meant pain and sacrifice and dramatics.  Only later, after years of looking inward, did I understand that it meant kindness and peacefulness and goodness.  First and foremost, friendship.  I could write a book About Me.

I love my husband.  He was my best friend for ten years.  I love my son.  He is my sunshine.  I love my dog and my lizard and my extended family.  Life is good.  When I was younger, I used to panic if life was too good; I'd think my own death or a family member's death was imminent.  Who was I to deserve such happiness?

Who am I to deserve happiness?  I am just like you!  I am worthy!  We don't know the hands we're dealt, and that's why we live day-to-day, reveling in the joy we find.  Into the fire.  I am a marshmallow, crispy scorched black on the outside and gooey white on the inside.  Mmmmm.

Eat me up.        


  1. Just listened to you on Writers on Writing. Inspiring and kind. Thank you (hoping I'm not scorched all the way through)!

  2. Just finished Above Us Only Sky, having gotten it this week at the Corolla library, highly recommended by the librarian. I am awestruck by your talent. That you could conceive of this story and craft it so well while drawing compelling characters vividly is just amazing. I finished it on the beach today and am already missing Prudence, her spirit and her wings. I write too, having just published a narrative nonfiction about my stunningly dysfunctional extended family. (The title pretty much says it all: Tales From The Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives.) I am reasonably confident in my ability to tell a good true story and make it compelling. But to do what you do -- to write a story based on the whims or fantasies or thoughts in your head and make it so gripping with characters who live and breathe for the reader, that's a talent I so envy and admire. So few do it as well as you did. I wrote an Amazon review. I hope you seek a million! I've been joking that if anyone makes a movie of my book I'd like young me to be played by Jennifer Lawrence and current (aka Old) me to be played by Susan Sarandon. But, I'll tell you what. If you sell movie rights, I'll let you have Jennifer for your Prudence. :) Hope to meet you someday somewhere on the OBX so I can tell you in person how fantastic your work is. You have a gift for sure.

    1. Thank you, Debby. I'm like a whole year late in responding. I love meeting other writers! Email me if you see this. micheleyoungstone@gmail.com

  3. That should have said, "sell a million." I did say I was a writer, clearly I'm not a proofreader!