Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Ah, to come home after a month of travel...

Here's what I came home to: a handsome, somewhat-skinnier husband; a confused but grateful dog; San Antonio's beautiful January weather and crazy drivers; a huge, ominous stack of mail; a very clean apartment. So now what?

I'm thirty. I have a MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. I got my first book published my first book with ATTM and I now have a handful of short publications and a job at a writing center in San Antonio. I have food, shelter, a bunch of student loans, part-time work, and for now, my health. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have everything I ever wanted and more. I have everything but certainty. And philisophically-speaking, do we ever really have that?

Meanwhile, I'm both frightened and thrilled. I have a feeling that 2010 will be full of changes for the Knox-Shanahan household, and I really don't know quite what to expect. Yes, I'm hoping for full-time work that I love, and yes, I'm hoping to write more, but what where and when is yet to be determined. Fifteen years ago, I was a runaway kid, mostly-drunk, and I thought of little outside of what I didn't have. Today, I am consumed by what I do. I'm not rich, by any standards, but today, I feel as though I am.

So, I guess this is a post to reflect my gratitude. I have no delusions about my life being easy this year. Big changes come with big concessions and adjustments, but I am optimistic. Moreover, my writing goals have changed considerable since my trip, thanks to a week of quality time at my father's apartment. I have decided to put "Absurd Hunger" on hold for a little while, and instead I'm returning to my original plan, which was to write Gloria's life story as best as I can. My grandmother's voice was often stifled throughout her life, and what a life it has been. When I showed her my diploma, I saw an appreciation in her eyes that I'd never before seen. My grandmother's dream was to finish her schooling and get her high school diploma, and this never happened for her. We were both drop-outs and we both made some bad decisions, but she didn't have the opportunities I did. Her opposition and survival, a woman who suffered schizophrenic breaks, single motherhood in the 50s and the tough-won love of her mother, is inspiring indeed. Although she is still prone to breaks, she has told me that she is ready to have a voice, and this desire is my daily inspiration. I have her blessing to write her story, and we'll see how it goes...

So, here's to new beginnings!


  1. What a privilage to write her story. hope your year is amazing :)

  2. Fantastic! Sometimes it amazes me when I consider how many chances we get to "do it right." Sounds like you've grabbed one of yours and are running with it.

    Hooking into the point of view of a family member with a story to tell seems to present the chance to better discover our own "story". (I'm lucky to have a couple "characters" who I'm related to who can give me inspiration and direction, as your grandmother does for you.)

    Good luck! I look forward to what you make of your opportunity.


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