One more Christmas present

I have been away from my blog and everyone else’s ever since I got the new job, because my work load suddenly tripled, my sanity level red-lined, and time to do anything beyond what’s absolutely necessary for survival dwindled down to a fond memory. Many things have suffered: I said to my son the other day, “I remember when I used to be nice to people.”

Nevertheless, since it’s Christmas, I wanted to take a few minutes in support of  friend, client, fellow writer, and Very Good Man–Jose Chaves–to let everyone know that for today only, you can download for free a Kindle version of his wonderful memoir, The Contract of Love.

This book is my last editing project, and even though I have read it many times over the several years and multiple versions I worked with, it still makes me laugh and cry every few pages. It’s one of those rare books that deliver at the end, instead of trailing off or falling apart–and that’s because it reflects the real-life trajectory of its author.

My son and I spent Christmas eve with Jose’s family last night–it’s the kind of house where kids, friends, and neighbors congregate spontaneously, with or without an invitation, where people laugh and sing and nobody cares whether it’s on key, where ten different conversations  about everything from philosophy to skateboarding are going on at once, where people are happy without being drunk, high without being drugged, and close without dishonesty or compromise.

I am giving away the ending of the story, but I don’t think that will spoil the read–because don’t we all want to hear about how someone survived the deep pain we are all familiar with, and even transcended it?

I know that every such story helps heal my own childhood damage, and that makes such work a particularly appropriate Christmas gift: it’s like a light in this dark world whenever one of us reaches for love, and finds it.

Click here for your present, and Merry Christmas!

12/28 update:

If you missed the Christmas giveaway, you can still get the Kindle book for free by clicking on the above link on January 12 (and only January 12). Happy New Year!

About Barbara Sullivan

Writer, editor, teacher, introvert, contrarian, union thug
This entry was posted in Love, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to One more Christmas present

  1. theotheri says:

    I was guessing that your cyber-silence was a result of your new job. I do hope, even if it’s keeping you mega-busy, that you are finding it a fulfilling enterprise.

    Thank you for the Christmas present. I’ve downloaded it and am eagerly looking forward to the read. Sounds like an uplifting and challenging story.

    And finally, best wishes to you for the new year – all 365 days. I hope you’ll have time to visit us on your blog at least once or twice during 2013. Still, I know the busy feeling. Didn’t there used to be 24 real authentic hours in each day?

    • Thanks so much for understanding! I know you’ve been there too. Yes, teaching is not only a fulfilling enterprise, it’s probably the best thing I’ve done with my tattered life other than having loved a handful of people very much and reasonably well. Still, working in education today feels like landing a job on the Titanic (see the poem below that I wrote a couple of years ago):

      Community College

      I love the stained carpets,
      the broken equipment,
      the valiant IT guys who keep trying
      to fix things, showing up like
      Jedi with giant coffee cups.
      I love the single remaining, hard-used
      computer lab, and the inadequate
      parking that brings out students’
      predatory instincts. I love that there
      have been fistfights over spaces,
      and that everyone drives a junker.
      I love the cafeteria line, where we
      who were never fed at home can get
      turkey and dressing every Thursday,
      and tacos, reliably, on Tuesdays.
      I love the part-time, adjunct
      faculty working like the crew of
      this nation’s Titanic to unlock
      the gates in steerage for those
      coming up behind them. I love
      the teenagers with pierced lips,
      and the old heavyweights like me,
      struggling for breath on the stairs,
      hauling five hundred dollars worth
      of knowledge in a backpack on wheels.
      I love the thrill and terror in the eyes
      of these people who have seen it all,
      and still not given up. And yes,
      I love even the swastika tattoo I glimpsed
      on someone’s back in the financial aid line,
      because it is behind him now, because
      he is here for something more than skin deep,
      something more painful than ink:
      he is here to learn something
      he does not already know.

      • theotheri says:

        In the seasonal rush, I forgot to tell you how much your poem resonates for me. Even though it has been filled with many gifts for which I am deeply grateful, I rarely look back on my life with nostalgia. But every once in a while, I remember teaching and I still can miss it like a lost lover.

        • Yeah–I wrote that one term when I wasn’t teaching, wandering the hall late at night when no one else was around. When I’m actively teaching, there’s no time for such niceties as reflection! As a lover, it’s insatiable–all I want to do during the term is get some sleep. 🙂

          • theotheri says:

            Well, I’ll be honest. I always loved teaching best during the summer when I wasn’t teaching at all.

            Don’t respond to this – get some sleep!

            And happy new year once again. Terry

  2. So lovely to hear from you, and glad the job is panning out well. Thanks for the heads-up on this beautiful book; and happy Christmas to you and yours!

    • Thanks, Kate. I miss reading your blog, but am inspired and comforted to see it still arriving in my inbox. At least somebody is still looking out the window, watching the lamp post at the forest’s edge, and reporting on developments in that adjacent world that will always be more real to me than this one.

  3. You are just amazing. That’s all I have to say.

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