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A trumpet fanfare would be nice. Some sort of celebration—noise, cheering, a hoopla, whatever a hoopla is but it sounds fun.

I finished a book. And then I finished another one. Hip-hip-hooray!

Angel’s Very Big Bag of Rocks is headed to the printer. The idea for this little picture book originated years ago when I thought about what it cost a person to hold on to grudges—to want to get even. Doing so is a burden. It depresses the spirit. It’s like pulling a huge bag of rocks. The first step in freeing yourself from this heavy load is wanting to. It’s a choice, like nearly everything else. First, we choose to let go.

Ashley Keyes illustrated the book. She brought a wonderful, fun vision. Her four little girls helped with the end pages. I am thrilled with the way it turned out. I anticipate in three to four weeks it will be available.

And now for the second book. The title remains fluid. Currently, I am calling it Doing Time in Purgatory: A Medical Memoir about Female Identity. That sounds like something a gynecologist would write, doesn’t it, —about medicine and what it means to be a woman. Purgatory refers to the room I write in. You will have to read the book to see how it came to be named Purgatory, but the name remains today, thirty years later. Now, having moved from Tucson twelve years ago where Purgatory 1.0 came into existence, I write in Purgatory 2.0, an upper story room that looks south toward an ancient fig tree and my mother’s ancestral home.

In 1991, I attended a medical conference that uprooted my life. I experienced panic, anxiety, depression and other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Purgatory is the story about what happened next. It contains patient stories, essays, and journal entries that reflect the immediacy of the journey I was on.

Strangely, I don’t want fanfare to celebrate the completion of this book. Rather, I want quiet and meditation. There are times I find it hard to believe Purgatory is my story. This is much I forgot about my childhood. After the conference, I vowed I would not forget again, that I would keep a record. This book is that record.

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