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Would Ernest Be Proud?

I admire Hemingway. His stories make me sad, but the shattered shards and broken pieces of wisdom he left behind from real life--the blips and quotes--those words speak to my soul. Those words leave me feeling deeply saddened that Ernest and I never had the opportunity to sit across the table from one another (and maybe Bukowski) at the dinner table, or sit quietly together reading in a room that smelled of well-worn leather chairs. In a strange and inexplicable way, Hemingway's thoughts and quotes are like reading letters that have been tucked safely in an attic trunk, documenting a great uncle's time abroad at war. And SOS from someone I never knew and will never meet, but somehow feel pulsing through my veins.

Tonight I wrote a children's book.

My father has been telling me to write a book for years. I protest every time. I tell him that's like telling every cellist in the world they should become Yo-Yo Ma. "Write a book," my father says, ignoring my excuses, "If you can write one or two good ones, that will be great."

Tonight I wrote a children's book. 

The man I love(d) has been telling me to write a book for two years. "What did you do last weekend?," he asks without fail, "Have you written a children's book yet?"

The answer was always no.

Until it wasn't.

Hemingway once said, “Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start, and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it--don't cheat with it."

I chose to write a children's book instead.