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On that book tour I used the phrase “Help, thanks, wow” and my publisher, who’s not at all spiritual was really taken and he said, “I want a cup of that.” So I ended up writing Help, Thanks, Wow.
Then there were the shootings at Sandy Hook, and I was just stopped in my tracks, more than I was even with 9/11. I have a little one at home, a grandchild, and I have a Sunday School class of young kids, and I just felt like, how can I keep telling them that they are loved and safe when 20 of their colleagues got mowed down by another crazy person with a gun?
When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored.
We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.
ANNE LAMOTT, Sixty feels exactly like 50, with aching feet and more forgetfulness.... Your inside person is soul, is heart, in the eternal now, the ageless, the old, the young, all the ages you've ever been.
ANNE LAMOTT, In biblical times, they used to stone a few thirteen-year-olds with some regularity, which helped keep the others quiet and at home.
To me, he is just everything that is wrong with the world, a bullying obstructionist blowhard liar (not to put too fine a point on it).
ANNE LAMOTT, I don't know why life isn't constructed to be seamless and safe, why we make such glaring mistakes, things fall so short of our expectations, and our hearts get broken and our kids do scary things and our parents get old and don't always remember to put pants on before they go out for a stroll.
But please; lest you think that you don’t have to read the entire article because I’ve quoted it out for you, well, I haven’t. Sometimes, folks, you have to go through a year of that before God/The Universe/coincidence/OKCupid/____(insert your answer here) sends you a breakthrough, ya know?
In fact I had a contract about five years ago to do a collection of new and old pieces on grief.
But then my son got pregnant at 19 and my publisher asked if we’d do a sequel to Operating Instructions.
BUSTLE: In the last three years you’ve published Help, Thanks, Wow (2012), Stitches (2013), and now Small Victories: Spotting Improbably Moments of Grace.
These three books seem to form a kind of trilogy on coping with the struggles and victories of everyday life. ANNE LAMOTT: I wanted to do [a collection] for a very long time.
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It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea.