So Many Thanks
Friends who followed me through the year Dad fell ill were loyal and kind and sensitive to our plight.
Thanks to Mahala Donaghy for remaining steadfastly hilarious. Storm Large is one of the most talented mo-fo’s around, and also the most generous, foul-mouthed sisters one could ask for, two characteristics that are NOT mutually exclusive.
Megan DiLullo, special commendation goes to you for introducing me to the TNB circus and believing I had the chops, and your an appreciation for great art.
The 48th Ave Posse, the best block in all of the US of A. Even those of you who moved off of it, you lunatics.
Sean Cox, an astute listener and great storyteller in his own right. Geof and Stephanie Templeton, the best family I could ask for. Despite troubling illness in her own family, Stephanie took one for the team by reading my book, a painful commitment--and then insisted on keeping it because it gave her solace. James Beaton and Joelle Flegal, thanks for letting me fall apart in your kitchen.
We first met Cheryl Strayed and Brian Lindstrom in Sayulita, Mexico at an auspicious moment: Dad was restored, briefly, to what appeared to be complete health; and I was just generating my first interest as a writer with an audience. This couple welcomed us with our families’ peculiar similarities as though we had planned a family vacation together all along. It was a magical moment in Dad's good night.
The Nervous Breakdown literary journal was home for me, one which kept me plugging along as a writer when other issues were pressing. Thanks to everyone there, who wrote comments, shared their thoughts and gave advice about how to turn this project into a book which people other than myself might read. It’s a side of writing I know little about, and the writers there were extraordinarily generous with their time. Brad Listi, Erika Rae, Robin Antalek, Irene Zion, Uche Ogbuji: you are all rock stars.
Ronlyn Domingue, once a complete stranger, offered to read the manuscript, and it’s not too much to say that her wise council made the book a reality. NW writers: Sean Beaudoin, James Bernard Frost, Greg Robillard, Meg Worden, Gloria Harrison, Kerry Cohen: Sorry I disappeared without a bubble. But LOOK! I'm back!
Don Mitchell and Ruth Thompson, I promise we'll come back to the Big Island someday.
Greg Olear and Sean Beaudoin, so much thanks for making The Weeklings, with the modest belief that good writing on the internet deserves to be paid for, even in token amounts.
Carol Park and Kelsey Grey, thank you both for being family in spirit, and Kelsey, for being Dad's extra daughter when he missed me.
Mira Bartók, aspiring monotreme, was like a long-lost cousin after I met her. I miss you. Sorry I disappeared from the internet but it was driving me insane.
My mother Jane Fudge and her husband Bob Stokes kept family life on an even keel when the going got tough. Both Bob and Mom read the text with compassion and, in the case of my mother, the eye of a professional editor. She used a red pen with great skill.
I have to thank Lars, the love of my life, for letting Dad keep me to himself at the end. It was the most painful separation we ever suffered, but Dad was grateful, and so am I. Sweetest Milo, my sun rising in the east, I love you.
And Chris. We lost Dad but gained each other. It was a great gift.
The Nervous Breakdown was the place where I earned my stripes as an unpaid writer with a large amazing community of other unpaid writers, all trying to make sense of the internet landscape. What we all found was each other, and sometimes even an audience; I loved the hell out of it.
Other essays from Dad's exit also were first featured on The Nervous Breakdown, in slightly different forms.