“Beautiful Sorrows” by Mercedes M. Yardley
October 5, 2012 § 11 Comments
Mercedes Yardley was one of the first writers I “met” on twitter. She is a kindred soul and we became fast friends. A few years later, her family took a trip to Disney World. At the time, I only lived an hour away, so I packed up my family, and drove out to meet her. We recognized each other right away. Our daughters pointed out that they owned the dress the other was wearing. Her son immediately sat down in our double stroller and HAD AT a bag of Cheese Nips (my kind of kid). Good times were had, especially under a quirky arch.
Our time together was dear and a little strange. Yes, Mercedes and I have both fallen off the Tree of Crazy and Odd and hit every branch on the way down. But I say “strange” because up until that point, we’d only been our public online selves. Yes, we’d had private conversations about real, every day life, but online, Mercedes and I (along with other crazy twitter friends) talked of swords, ninja fights, high kicks, and karaoke battles.
In person, we were mothers, trying to talk to each other while keeping sharp objects away from our children. Our kindred selves, but tamer versions. Our time under this arch is special to me. We wrote our names somewhere on the walls.
I asked Mercedes a about special trip she’s taken, a place or experience that would stick with her. She said there were many places:
I went to Paris as a teenager and saw Romeo and Juliette’s veranda. There’s a place called Adam-Ondi-Ahman out in Missouri. It really has a special spirit there. I went to the hiding place of Anne Frank in Amsterdam. That might be the answer. It was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. Also, once when we were flying to Finland, I felt this sort of…it was almost a physical tug on the plane. I wanted to hop out and go to wherever we were flying over. It was crazy; I went to the back of the plane and paced around a bit because I had this nervous energy. Turned out we were flying over Scotland, where my family roots are. I wanted to go there so badly! I felt like the land itself was calling me.
She has the most incredible heart, amazing writing talent, conviction and character beyond belief (dear readers, if you knew what I did you would cry in the best possible way). I admire her and have loved seeing her writing career take off. Her book of short stories from Shock Totem is out now and it is breath-taking. She’s given me a paper back copy of Beautiful Sorrows to give away.
She writes with hope, strength, and clarity, but in this lovely lyrical way. If you’d like a sample of her writing, one of my favorite very short pieces she’s written is Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. First line: “We invited my dad’s killer over to dinner once.”
To win this book, leave a travel experience of your own in the comments section. Is there a place or person you visited that meant something special? Entries will close Thursday, October 11, at midnight (central). The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday the 12th. Can’t wait to read them!
If you simply cannot wait and want to order it from Shock Totem, please go here.