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Bright Lights, Big City

I know I am the least consistent blogger on the planet, but it’s been a busy month. I’m finishing up a book, attending children’s school programs, preparing presentations for writing conferences, and have recently returned from New York.

New York was awesome. Aside from an absolutely terrifying subway ride with a crazy racist (is there any other kind?), the trip was delightful. Honestly, in my 38 years on this planet, I’ve never once witnessed racism and hate to that degree. I always knew it existed in the world, but it has never been so in my face before. Since it was the most frightening and ugly experience of my life (and I’m old and desensitized), you can imagine what it might have been like for my 14 year old daughter.

She wept for the lack of humanity in humans for quite a long time after we’d departed the train. It broke my heart to see her belief in basic goodness stripped from her so completely. But to my husband’s credit, he stood up for the four young men who were under attack by that horrible angry man. Since he did take a stand, he became the center of the man’s attack for the rest of the train ride. But he bore it well, and cracked the joke that he bet our daughter had never heard her dad called names like that before. It was genuinely awful and unfortunately the bright lights of the big city were dimmed just a bit.

But the rest of the trip was great. Mary Poppins was delightful, the park beautiful as ever, and the subway musicians on key and awesome. My street vendor in Washington Square who has great curry was still there and the food was worth the return trip. And really, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, it’s just fun to  be with my family. Due to the recent unpleasantness regarding terrorism in NYC, security was heightened to an amazing degree. I haven’t seen that much visible policing since just after 9/11. We even had an armed escort from the coast guard while we rode the Staten Island Ferry.

My daughter said she’d be willing to go again, but only if her dad was with her. 🙂

Over the last few weeks I’ve written 100 new pages in my work in progress, which fills me with glee and a wee bit of vexation since it should be a higher page count, but I’m glad to be moving forward. Great things are on the horizon for publishing; stay tuned for more news which should be coming in the next couple of months.

And something I’ve taken away from my trip to the big city is that we all have opportunities every day to offer kindness to one another. I hope to waste fewer of those opportunities in the future, because in spite of a crazy man on the subway, I believe there is greatness in humanity. There really is.

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3 Responses
  1. Amanda Paige says:

    Julie, besides the racist incident, your experience sounds like fun! I LOVE Mary Poppins! (I’ve only ever watched it on video though.)

    Anyway, I remember meeting you at the conference when you were checking out the book I was buying. You seemed really nice, so I had to look you up! =)

  2. Kimberly says:

    Sounds like you’re married to a wonderful example of that greatness in humanity. Glad the rest of the trip was positive, what an awesome experience overall!

  3. mary says:

    Wow – sounds like and eventful trip. Your husband is awesome for not hiding and you two look so cute together. 100 pages is awesome – wish I could get that much done so quickly – I’m a slow writer.

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