Friday, April 18, 2003

An amazing thing happened yesterday.

The Book of Dead Birds started off as a poem about all the dead birds I've come across in my life. The first one was when I was 6. I was walking home from school and my friend Sonja and I found a dead baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. It was featherless; its eyes hadn't opened yet. It was the first time I had seen a dead thing, and it had a huge impact on me. When we got back to my house, my friend Sonja and I put together an elaborate ritual to honor the dead bird's life.

Flash forward 29 years. The book is about to come out. A reporter (actually my good friend Donna) and a photographer from the local paper came to my house today to do a story about the book. They wanted to take a shot of me on my front porch. When I sat down on the bench that's built into the end of the porch, what did I see next to me but a dead baby bird, featherless, its eyes closed. It looked exactly like the one that had started me on this whole journey. Total full circle.

The photographer took some pictures of the dead bird. I don't know if that image will end up in the paper--the editors might be squeamish about it--but I'm going to try to get a copy.

My daughter and I had a little ritual to bury the bird (she said things similar to what I had said as a girl). I am blown away.

Another cool thing yesterday: I found out that O Magazine calls my book "a moving and perceptive first novel." Yay!

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