Pivotal moments

I’m working on SPARK (The Elemental Series, Book 2) right now, and I’ve been thinking a lot about pivotal moments. I know good plotting is always about choices (good or bad), especially when each choice leads to a new conflict.

About ten years ago, I was driving somewhere for work, and I knew I needed gas. I could have made it to my destination without stopping, so I considered waiting and going after. But I had a little bit of time to kill, and I kinda needed a stick of gum before meeting new people, so I decided to stop first.

If you’re familiar with Westminster, Maryland, you’ll know that Route 140 is basically a four lane highway, divided by a grass median, with lots of shops and gas stations and restaurants all the way from Reisterstown to Union Bridge — with lots of space between. I stopped at an Amoco Station, shoved the gas pump into the car, and walked into the little shop.

When I went in, the shop was completely silent. There was a guy behind the counter, and there was another man standing a few feet back, his hands in the pocket of his sweatshirt. Since it was Westminster, which is mostly farm land when you get past the shops, both guys were pretty casual, both needed a shave, and neither was older than thirty-five.

But they were just standing there. No one was saying anything.

So I grabbed a pack of gum from in front of the register, glanced at the guy with his hands in his pockets, and said, “I don’t want to jump in front of you.”

He hesitated and said, “No. No, you go ahead.”

And while I was paying, he walked out.

I stood there with cash in my hand, but the cashier watched the guy leave. Then he finally took my cash and rang me up.

While he was handing me my change, he said, “I’m glad you walked in. That guy was about to pull a gun on me.”

A gun! I’d walked in on an almost-holdup!

Now, I have no idea whether the guy really had a gun in the pocket of his sweatshirt. I was in my early twenties, and I lived a pretty sheltered life. The cashier could have been wrong.

But it was a pivotal moment in a lot of ways. That guy could have pulled a gun. He could have shot the cashier. He could have shot me. He could have held us hostage.

Moreover, I could have kept on driving, gotten gas after my meeting, and that guy could have held up the store without interruption.

I know this is a pretty boring story, now that you know how it ended.

But I think that’s why I keep thinking about it. Because it could have been so much more exciting (and not necessarily in a good way), just by virtue of one choice.

Can you think of any pivotal moments in your life? Any time that a choice may have seemed like nothing, but turned out to be huge?


What makes you pick up a book?

I’ve been thinking about the books I read, and why I pick them up.

I’ll admit: I’m a review reader. But I usually go back and read the reviews after I’ve read a book.

If I see a lot of people mentioning a book on Twitter, I’ll download the sample to my Kindle. Same goes for a blog review that piques my interest. (I found Beastly through a blog review, and it’s one of my favorite books.)

Even still, this is only sometimes. Like if I have my Kindle handy, or if I’m not in the middle of reading something else.

We all talk about word of mouth. That’s what sells books. You could have a hundred good reviews on Goodreads, but if people aren’t actually telling someone else to read your book, it doesn’t have as much weight. If I’d looked up Boy Toy on Goodreads and read the mixed reviews, I might not have read the book. But I asked my buddy Sarah Fine for a recommendation, and she said to read it.

I read it. I loved it. You should too. I actually read it twice.

But see? Even that doesn’t carry as much weight unless you know me. Even if you know me, it doesn’t carry as much weight unless I say, “YOU. You must read this book.”

I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary YA, unless it’s on the heavier side. I enjoy Simone Elkeles, Gail Giles, things like that.

But last year, every time I turned around, people were saying, “You have to read Anna and the French Kiss.” So I knew I had to read it.

I read it. I loved it. (It’s by Stephanie Perkins. You should read it, too.)

When both Sarah Maas and Bobbie Goettler told me I needed to read Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand, and these are two people who live on opposite sides of the country and could not be more different, I knew I had to pick it up.

I read it. I loved it. (Are you sensing a theme?)

I might not have picked up any of these books if people hadn’t practically shoved them into my hands and said, “HERE. YOU. Read this.”

Everyone reads books they can’t put down. What, in a book, makes you not just review it well, but press it into the hands of someone else? What makes you sit up and say, “HERE. YOU. Read this.”

For me, it’s the understanding of human nature, mixed with an element of surprise. Not the jump-out-and-say-boo kind of surprise. Just something unexpected happening to people I genuinely care about. It’s about a book I can’t put down, not for a minute, not even when I’m feeding the baby. It’s a book that I’ll stay up late to read.

I’m not saying it’s easy to write books like that. I’m just saying that’s what makes me recommend a book.

What about you? What works? What doesn’t?

Peer pressure

First off, thank you for all the congratulatory emails, and tweets, and Facebook posts, and blog comments. You guys are great. And Baby Sam (a boy!) is doing really well. Here’s the obligatory cute baby picture.

I feel terrible about leaving you without content for the last few weeks. I’ve always been an industry blog addict, and it seems that everyone shuts down their blog during August. Lately, a lot of blogs are shutting down, period. I miss Editorial Ass. Editorial Anonymous. Even Pimp My Novel is shutting down for a while.

I’m crying. Do you hear me crying? I am.

But none of that has anything to do with peer pressure, which is what I wanted to comment on today.

I write YA. You know I write YA. But it means that I spend a lot of my time trying to remember what it was like to be a teenager. Sometimes, that’s really difficult.

Other times, it’s really easy. Like when I think about the guy I dated in high school. We dated for two years. I loved him. He was wonderful, and well-raised, and fun, and funny, and we had a good time together. He dumped me because I wouldn’t have sex with him (I wasn’t ready), and all his friends were pressuring him to “do it.” He went to an all boys’ school, I went to an all girls’ school. Every year, my school had a variety show called The Coffee House, and because I played the piano, I was called on for any songs people wanted to sing. My ex-boyfriend came to the show shortly after we’d broken up, for whatever reason.

Wait, I know the reason. To tell me, during intermission, that he’d started dating another girl. One who “did it” with him on their second date. In the back seat of his Nissan Sentra.

(Sexy, right?)

I was crushed. I almost couldn’t go back for the second half of the show. I remember sobbing in the darkened school library. I mean, it’s one thing to dump someone because you’re not getting what you want. It’s entirely another to come back and slap them in the face with the fact that you found someone who will.

And all because of peer pressure.

My four-year-old goes to pre-K at a local private school. In the morning, they have eighth graders who direct the flow of student traffic, and hold the doors for parents, things like that. This year, the boy who holds the door is very polite. When he opens the door for me, he makes eye contact and says, “Good morning.” When I leave, he says, “Have a good day.” From what I can tell, he does this for everyone.

Because I was raised to be polite, I always respond in kind.

A few days ago, his friends were hassling him. Mocking him. “Ooooh, good morning!” and making kiss-up noises, things like that.

He ignores them, and keeps doing it.

But it made me wonder. By the time he reaches his senior year of high school, are his friends going to break him down? Is he going to start being a jerk, just because it finally got to be too much effort to be polite? Is he going to break some girl’s heart, just because his friends kept mocking him?

The sad thing is, he’ll probably get more girls (or guys, no judgment) if he keeps acting with politeness and confidence. But I know it’s hard to see that when you’re thirteen. Or eighteen.

Or hell, when you’re in your twenties and thirties and beyond.

How have you guys been affected by peer pressure? Does it play a role in your writing? In your life? Do you ever regret following your friends, instead of following your heart?


Kid Rock taught me something about writing. No, seriously.

So, last night, Mike and I were watching The Daily Show. You know, the one with Jon Stewart. This was my husband’s selection. I was just watching until it got to the end so we could watch an old episode of Medium on NetFlix.

Remember, Mike = love of politics. Brigid = trying to keep up with politics for her husband’s sake.

Then the featured guest on The Daily Show was Kid Rock, and I rolled my eyes at my husband and said, “I’m really not a fan of Kid Rock.” I mean, I like that song with Cheryl Crow, and I guess I like that one about summertime, but I’m really not a fan of grungy screaming music, like Badwitdaba. And I’m definitely not a fan of grungy dirty men. It’s just not my thing.

But we watched anyway, because my husband loves Jon Stewart, and you know what was interesting? Jon Stewart started talking about how much he respected Kid Rock, because Kid Rock knew his business. He knew what went on in music production, he know how to handle himself on tour, and he took good care of his kids and was a good father.

After watching that clip, I have new respect for Kid Rock.

But I keep thinking about the part where Jon Stewart was amazed at how much Kid Rock knew about the business. When he asked about it, Kid Rock said that he’d started out sweeping up in a record company. He learned all the terms and grew from there.

But I think it’s more than that. I think there’s a tendency, once you start getting somewhere, to forget that there’s one person in control of your destiny: YOU.

Just because you have an agent or a book deal doesn’t mean you should forget about the publishing industry. I still read industry blogs every single day. I read Publisher’s Marketplace to see what’s selling. I read agent blogs to see what they’re looking for. I read editor blogs because they’re jaded and funny. NO! I’m totally kidding. I read editor blogs because I’m curious what they’re looking for, and they have a different insight from the agent blogs.

I read links about new e-Book advances. About new e-Readers. About self-publishing phenoms. About teens having books banned in their schools. About what people are reading. I read the local news, and not just for my locality. (I love going to CNN and reading all the US links. And I mean all of them.) I want to know what’s going on in the world. You want to know where you can really get some good ideas to jumpstart a story? Read some local news articles. In Incendiary, the sequel to Elemental, I wanted to write a scene at a party where some kids would be goofing off with fire, using aerosol cans and a stick to make a homemade blowtorch. I thought to myself, “Would kids really be that stupid?”

And then the next day, there was an article on CNN about teenagers messing around with aerosol cans and a bonfire, and getting injured.

So yes. Kids would really be that stupid.

But I digress.

There’s a natural tendency to get to a point and let the experts handle what they handle. And that’s okay. There’s a reason you want an agent and an editor. They are your experts, and their opinion matters a whole lot. (I’m so lucky to have such great ones.) I don’t keep up on industry news so I can nitpick and second guess. I keep up on industry news because I want to be as informed as I can. I want to be a professional artist, not someone who has to be dragged out of a ladies room at 3am, coked up with hair a mess, with a handler hissing, “You have to be on Regis and Kelly in three hours!”

I want responsibility. 

I want to be in control of my destiny.

In short, when I grow up, I want to be just like Kid Rock.

 (Here’s a link to the clip of the show, if you’re curious: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-july-12-2011/kid-rock)

Money talks, and … well, you know how the rest goes

So I was going to do a post about money this morning, but it’s early, and I’m tired, and I figured I’d just spend my thirty minutes before the kid wakes up reading other people’s blogs.

Then I stumbled upon this post by Tahereh Mafi, a very talented young writer who has a book coming out this fall. (Check out her blog, too.)

But Tahereh (can we be on a first name basis in the blogosphere?) talks about money. And since my mind was already on writing and money, I said to myself, “Dude. Respond.”

Here’s the question her reader asked:

I have a problem. I’ve always always always wanted to write, but I don’t think it’s going to pay too well unless I write about vampires or magical kids. So I’m thinking I’ll be something science-y. But I love writing, so I’ll miss out on it if I become something science-y. WHAT SHOULD I DO?!?!

 And here’s the link (same as above) to what Tahereh responds. 

Before anyone thinks I’m going the wrong way with this, I agree with every word Tahereh says in the response. Writing is not for the faint of heart. The media sometimes makes it seem like you can sit in your apartment for a few months, churn out a novel, and someone will hand you a million dollar check. It takes passion, and drive, and love for storytelling. If you want to write, and writing makes you happy, do it.

But here’s what I think Tahereh missed: this questioner can do both.

One of the greatest things about writing is that you don’t need a degree (I don’t have one), you don’t need anyone’s permission, you don’t need an office, you don’t need a coat and tie, and you sure as hell don’t need to do it between 9 and 5. All you need is the desire to write, and the passion to make your writing great.

I’m thirty-three years old. I have the corporate career, and I have a good salary. I have the single family house with the chain-link fence and two cars and two dogs and almost-three kids and every electronic gadget my husband convinces me we need.

I’m also a writer, and I also have a book deal.

So are a lot of people. You can do both.

Here’s the other thing: a book deal is not a guarantee. When the auction was over and I knew I had a deal with Kensington, the first person I talked to (after my family) was my boss. I told him exactly how much money I was getting, and I reassured him that I wasn’t quitting anytime soon. Just because I have money now doesn’t mean it’s going to keep flowing in droves.

Besides, say you land a big advance. Do you know how much of that money is going to taxes? If you make over $379,000 in 2011, 35% of that is going to taxes. That’s after you pay 15% to your agent. (Please note, I am not a tax professional, and this is solely for illustrative purposes.) But that’s 50% of your money, gone before you get to spend a dime. That’s not even taking into account what you have to pay the state! I can guarantee that’s not going to last for the rest of your life. It might last a good long time, don’t get me wrong. But that’s still not a guarantee.

Your book could bomb, and the rest of your contract could be cancelled. The market could change, and people could decide they only want to read books about cyborgs or something. (Or Elementals. Elementals are going to be huge in 2012. Huge, I tell you.) Just like playing poker, you need a lot of skill, but you also need a lot of luck. Some of this publishing game is all about chance.

Here’s my concern for this questioner: what if she forgoes college and that “science-y” career and focuses all her time on writing?

And then, what if she’s no good?

Just like promising athletes, I think an education and the potential for a career is a good thing. Think of it as a fall-back. Have something to do. Just because I don’t have a college degree doesn’t mean I didn’t scrape my way through years of learning the financial industry, and now I have a bunch of licenses that mean the same thing. Just because you love writing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother starting a career.

There is always time to write. Always.

This doesn’t mean it’s easy. You know that funny graphic of the triangle that represents college, and on each point, there are the following options: Good Grades, Social Life, Plenty of Sleep. Then below it, it says, “Life in College: You Only Get Two.”

Guess what? That doesn’t end when you leave college. Just replace “Good Grades” with “Lucrative Career.”

I say if she likes science, I say get that science degree and write in her dorm room. Or get whatever degree will make her happy and fulfilled and employed. Have something to do so you can make the rent while you’re churning out the next Great American Novel. I completely agree with what Tahereh says about not getting a massive degree with a bazillion dollars in student loans to make your parents’ neighbors happy. That’s silly. (Seth Godin has a great post about wasting money on buying a brand instead of buying a degree.) But don’t sit on your parents’ couch for five years and defend yourself that you’re a writer, damn it, either.

You can do both. All of you. Every writer out there can have a career and a child and a husband (or wife) and a house and still have time to write.

You don’t have to choose.

You can be happy and have it all.

I promise.


Clique Clack Boo

So, yeah, I’m going to talk about the YA Mafia.

I don’t usually jump into the middle of these things, because I’m busy, I’m pregnant, and I’m generally late to the party and my hair’s a mess. And most of the time, I don’t have a lot to say that someone else has said better already.

First off, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll sum up. There’s a bunch of talk rolling around the blogosphere and Twitter that cover a few different things. First, that there are killer cliques of YA authors who band together to smite aspiring authors. There’s also some talk about book reviewers getting blacklisted by YA authors and agents for things they’ve posted on the internet.

Here are some links, if you want to read what other people have said (or just to get a feel for the story).

Holly Black: YA Mafia and the Ruination of Careers

Justine Larbalestier: YA Mafias & Other Things You Don’t Need to Worry About

YA Highway: Field Trip Friday Special Edition: The YA Mafia

Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier are great writers, and both those blogs are worth reading, for more than just the YA Mafia stuff. I also enjoy the YA Highway blog, so check it out, too, if you’ve got time.

Here’s some irony for you: when I first heard the term “YA Mafia,” I thought it was a new blog or something. Seriously, I thought, that sounds like a cool group name.

A lot of these posts and blogs talk about whether there is such a thing, whether there are YA cliques, whether powerful authors have the ability to blacklist authors, whether YA writers really do band together and talk smack about the little people. A lot of talk. Really.

Here’s my talk: who cares?

Ten years ago, I learned a fantastic piece of advice that has become my mantra. Sure, I learned it from a woman who was addicted to prescription painkillers who later accused me of sleeping with her husband in a stall in a horse barn, but don’t let that take away from the absolute power of her statement:

You can’t change others. You can only change yourself. 

Let me tell you, this is my go-to mantra. If I have a problem with people, I say it to myself. I might actually mutter it through clenched teeth while my fingernails are digging into my palms, but I say it. And it helps.

First off, I learned really early that there will always be cliques. Always. What can you do about it? Nothing. When you’re outside the clique (especially a clique you want to be in), it’s really easy to feel hurt and disgusted and imagine that the people in that group are all mean and hateful and devoting their time toward your personal ruination.

Guess what? They’re probably not.

You know what else? When people fail at something, a lot of times, we want to look for excuses. It’s a hell of a lot easier to say we were blacklisted by a big agent than to think, “Hey, maybe I should take a look at my writing.”

Or to think, “Hey, maybe I failed.”

Here’s the thing: you can’t stop YA writers (or anyone else) from making friends. Sure, I see authors sharing private cover art on Twitter, or talking sorta secretly about inside information, and I immediately get that little gut clench that says, “I wanna know! I wanna be in your circle!”

But then I realize that I have conversations on Twitter all the time with Sarah Maas, and people are probably thinking the same thing about us.

Actually, considering our last Twitter conversation involved Sarah taking my eyeballs and keeping them in a jar on her desk, people are likely thinking we’re disgusting.

ANYWAY. I digress.

There’s also some talk about a book blogger who was forced to take down her blog, because she’d heard that it was going to hurt her potential for finding an agent or selling a novel. I feel badly that she felt the need to do that, but she made the choice to do it. No one forced her to. She couldn’t change the way other people were treating her, so she changed her blog and stopped reviewing books.

Look, people, from a mother, here’s another mantra: Life is full of choices, and sometimes they’re hard.

Sometimes I want to blog about something that happened at work. I’m deathly terrified that I’ll lose my job, so I don’t. (Buy lots of copies of ELEMENTAL in 2012, and maybe I can quit my job. Then I’ll share all the stories you want.) Sometimes I want to blog about my family, but I don’t want to put my husband in a compromising position, so I don’t. (My mother, however, is fair game.)

Sometimes I read a book that sucks, and I don’t talk about it.

The only person who can make or break you is you.

Here’s a little story. I once saw this guy on the news, crying about the fact that he was losing his home and his business. The government was seizing everything he had, and he didn’t know how he was going to provide for his family. A family who was used to high-end cars, a personal maid and butler, a huge mansion of a house. The poor, persecuted man. The big, bad government was after him.

Because he didn’t pay his taxes.

I didn’t feel any pity for that guy. He didn’t pay his taxes! I mean, come on! You can’t complain about someone coming after you, if you do something wrong in the first place.

I hope I’m drawing a parallel here, but just in case: if you openly trash people online, and they turn around and refuse to support you (or even actively bash you in return), well, you can’t really point any fingers, can you? I’m not saying it’s mature, I’m just saying you can’t be surprised when it happens.

Remember: you can’t change others, you can only change yourself.

You can’t stop the YA Mafia (seriously, I love the name. I want to join.) if it even exists. You can’t stop cliques. You can’t stop people from being friends. As my husband likes to say, you make your own stress. If you don’t like seeing authors interact on Twitter, stop following them. No, even better, go make your own friends and talk to them.

I have a three-year-old son, and I’m constantly telling him, “Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Worry about what you are doing.” I used to teach riding lessons, and I would say it all the time to those teenagers, too. “But, Miss Brigid!” they would cry. “So-and-so is jumping three feet! Why can’t I jump three feet??” Then they’d make snarky remarks about the other girl. She’s nasty. She abuses her horse. Her parents buy her everything. She thinks she’s so much better than everyone.

Yeah, because being a bitch is going to get you to jump three feet.

Wrong. Riding better is going to get you to jump three feet.

When I sold my book to K Teen, I immediately went to see what other authors had been acquired by my editor for the same line. Did I look at their badass cover art and squish up my mouth and talk smack about them? Hell, no. I sent Erica O’Rourke an email and said, “We need to be friends.”

(And people, you need to put her book on your to-read list ASAP. It sounds insanely hot. One of the love interests is the main character’s bodyguard. I actually might need to break into Erica’s house and steal the page proofs.)

(Don’t tell her I said that. Just in case someone actually, you know, breaks into her house and steals page proofs.)

I know I’m dissolving into rambles. I just hate when people get fired up and get their feelings hurt online. Take a step back. Repeat that first mantra to yourself.

I can’t change others. I can only change myself.

It’s powerful. It helps.

Now go out there and make some friends of your own.


P.S. – I’m on twitter and Facebook. I’d love to be your friend. We can talk about extricating eyeballs all day.


Guess what? It’s 2010. Your privacy? It’s a big illusion.

I reveal a lot of stuff on the internet. Does it bother me? No. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Regularly. If you Google my name, you find my blog, my Facebook and Twitter site, my LinkedIn account (which I don’t update), and my actual work website. From there, you can find out my work email address, not to mention the physical location of where I work, and my direct phone number. There’s even a picture in case you don’t know what I look like.

I hate that picture. Don’t go looking for it.

If you bother to go to the next few pages of search results, you’ll find all kinds of blog comments I’ve made (boring), and a picture of my kids in The Baltimore Sun from last December. I’m not revealing state secrets here — it’s right there on the web. There’s nothing I can do about it.

You keep going? You’ll find my home address eventually, along with the taxation value of my home. You’ll find my maiden name, and how fast I ran my leg of the relay in the 2005 Baltimore Marathon.

You won’t find my cell phone number, though, which I find odd. Cell phone numbers never show up anywhere.

My mom is kind of a freak about privacy. She tears her address off junk mail before throwing it away. Her address. You know, the street number that’s right on the front of her house. Did you know that in Anne Arundel County, you can look up anyone’s water bill or property tax notice? You don’t even know their name. Just their street number and road name.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I read this article in The Baltimore Sun. Since I know people don’t like clicking on links (I mean, why would you want to leave my blog??), I’ll just sum up. Some guy bought a motorcycle, along with a helmet with a video camera mounted on it. He was acting like a tool on I-95 and driving like a maniac, and a plainclothes police officer (in an unmarked car) pulled him over.

The guy recorded the whole interaction. Then he posted it on YouTube. (I know you all want to see that, so it’s at the end of this entry.)

The cops had a problem with it. (Hey, I get it.)

They arrested him and searched his place. They pressed some serious charges, and the guy was looking at real jail time, as well as losing his job and government security clearance.

This went to court, and the guy won.

Here’s the thing: everyone has a camera nowadays. We have no right to expect privacy from anyone else — especially if we’re working in a public capacity like a police officer. I have a friend who doesn’t want any pictures of herself on the Internet. She doesn’t have a Facebook account, and when I once posted some pictures on Facebook that included her, she asked me to take them down.

But unfortunately, she doesn’t know everyone who was at that party, so she can’t ask them all to take her pictures down. And they’re all up there. All over the place. I’m sure people have pictures of me that I’m not aware of. I’ve been captured in videos and found them on the web later. It’s life. It’s 2010.

There’s a pretty steep learning curve here. I discussed this with my husband the other night, and I said, “I think this will affect human behavior for the better. As more and more people are caught on tape doing bad things, people will realize they need to be aware of what they’re doing.”

He said, “No, it will make things worse. Just like this jackass who was driving on I-95 and doing wheelies just because he had a camera on his helmet.”

I hope I’m right.

But unfortunately, I think he is. Just today, I read an article about a college student who killed himself after his roommate activated his webcam remotely, then posted the poor, unsuspecting kid’s private, intimate moments on the web.

What do you guys think? As privacy becomes more of an illusion, are people going to continue acting like idiots? Or are we just going to be more aware of it because of the prevalence of information?

You know, information that’s available, right here on the Internet.



When we’re kids, we’re taught to turn the other cheek, to take the road less traveled, to be the bigger person. It builds character, makes us a better human being. It helps us grow into a model citizen.

Make the right choice, our parents say. Healthy versus fast food. Thoughtful discussion versus profanity. Drug free versus substance abuse. Save versus spend.

After all, without challenge, there is no victory. Right?

I don’t have a college degree, and for all I do and know at work, I still recognize that, deep down, I’m really just a knowledgeable secretary. I’m a smart person — 1400 on my SATs. I walked away from a full scholarship to the University of Maryland. That was an easy choice at the time. My family was going through a great deal of difficulty, and college was just too much to deal with. But now, though I make a decent living, I’m still just a secretary.

I could go back to college. I could make the choice to sacrifice my writing, my time with my children, time with my husband. I could get a degree, lose this stigma of being “just” a secretary. On one hand, I think it’s good to feel humbled sometimes, because it gives us motivation to work harder. Though maybe I’m just saying that to sound motivational. Maybe it really makes us want to burrow deeper.

It’s easy to feel trapped by the choices we’ve made. But we’re not trapped by our decisions. Every day is a choice. It doesn’t seem like it, sometimes, because we’re so strongly pulled to mother our children, to honor our husbands, to keep traveling the rut we’ve dug.

But that’s still a choice.

And just because it’s easier to keep traveling down our chosen paths doesn’t mean it’s wrong.