Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Bond Villain, a New Heart, and a Birthday Card

Kings College Hospital

Late last year, the love of my life almost died. It was a strange course of events that came out of the blue, kept us in a foreign hospital for twenty days, and introduced us to an amazing surgeon who looked a bit like a Bond villain but gave him a new heart.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, can put things in perspective like loss, or the realization of the potential for it. Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for it.

The Bond Villain Surgeon
I thought that with a new perspective a zest or surge of creativity might come. That my love of writing would transcend into this balls-out mission to do it because life is short, and life is precious.

That. Didn't. Happen.

Which left me to consider: maybe I don't really want it. When I lined up all the things that are really important in my life, was writing still there? For months I wasn't sure. I didn't write a word (outside of work stuff and a sad attempt at revisions) for five months. That's almost half a year. That's the longest I've gone without personal or creative writing in my life.

I fell off the critique partner wagon. I couldn't read my friend's stuff with a critical eye when so much of what I knew or what I thought I knew seemed to be in flux. Writing is hard work. It takes dedication, time, and you must love it.

I didn't think I even missed it.

I was ready to acknowledge that writing didn't make it to the line up. That I must not really have wanted it. How could I if on the other side of crisis, the drive was no longer there? I was almost ready to write my critique group and tell them I was out.


But every day as I open my fridge, my hand brushes past a very important birthday card. Probably the greatest birthday card I've ever gotten.

It was a shock, in more ways than one, to even receive the card. Because we'd been gone for so long, the card had gotten lumped in with all the holiday cards and I didn't open them for a while. When I did, I soon realized it was a very unexpected birthday card and inside it said:

I want to see that goddamn 
book on the shelves!
And the other goddamn book!
And the other goddamn book!

I say unexpected, not for the message, but for the sender. Though in retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised, it was so him. My friend, and literally one of the first two people I trusted to read something of mine, had passed away in June. 

Of course it made me cry when I got it, because it made me miss him. But more importantly it has served as a constant reminder of the amazing and wonderful spirit he brought to this world, and that knowing him is a gift that will last forever. So every time I look at it, I think of him and smile.

The day I was ready to say goodbye to writing the card practically jumped out at me. Okay, it actually did. I knocked it off the fridge as I opened it. When I picked it up it was like he'd reached out to say, "what the hell, lady?" 

Like flashes in a movie montage, I remembered how much joy writing brought me, and how much I loved sharing stories with people. And how having him read them gave me the courage to make it more than a closeted hobby.

That day I wrote 2,500 words.

It's been a long journey from December 9th to now. Filled with all kinds of turns and doubts and love. It took me a while and I needed the help of a very good friend, but writing has once again joined the line up of most important things in my life. I couldn't be more grateful for my life, my husband, and the people who love and encourage me (especially the ones that are not here but never leave). I can only hope to do as much for them.


  1. I'm so happy (and so not surprised either) that ken played a hand in reminding you of your passion for writing. Given the events of the last few months, it sometimes takes time (and a good friend) to get back in the saddle. I'm excited for you, and looking forward to reading and hearing about your writing adventures. Write on!

    1. Thank you. You and he were truly working for the "House of Courage" ;p when you read my stuff. His card reminded me of that. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you too! And if anyone wants to know more about the amazing fellow behind the card or his partner, check out

  2. Min,
    I'm so glad you found that card. You're an awesome writer! Sometimes it just takes us a bit to get back into the groove and well, someone obviously still wanted you to do what you love!


  3. Aww, such a sweet, sad, and inspirational story. I'm glad you chose to continue writing because I believe these events in your life will make you a stronger writer. And one day your readers will profit from that.
    I look forward to hold a Miranda Buchanan book in my hand.
    Hugs! Miss you!

  4. Min I got teary reading this. I'm so glad you found Ken's card. He was right. Anyone who's read even just a page of your stuff knows what an awesome writer you are. So here's to seeing that goddam book on the shelves. And the next. And many more after that.