If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m a big fan of Emily McDowell and her art. Her prints and cards make me laugh, wince, and know that I’m not alone. These are a couple of my longtime favorites:
When Emily was 24 years old, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After 9 months of chemo and radiation, she went into remission and has been cancer-free since.
Emily writes, “The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called “sir” by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.” Her experience inspired her Empathy Cards collection. Here are three of my favorites.
Emily and I agree that getting a card in the mail or receiving a phone call nurtures connection in a way our digital world can’t. I wanted to share these with you because everyone of us is called upon to navigate these deep, swift waters and I think these cards are a wonderful way to say, “I’m here.” Showing up for people and following through on being there is everything.
Here are a few ways to connect with Emily:
Store | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Check out her store and her blog – I think you’ll love it!
My good friend Katherine Center has a new book out – Happiness for Beginners. I’ve fallen in love with her books over the years – the characters are imperfect, vulnerable, and always funny. She can write a falling-down-and-getting-back-up story like nobody’s business. And she’s also a 5th generation Texan so there’s always a little emotional pig-wrestling and ass-kicking in her books.
Photo by Karen Walrond
I’ve never been able to wrap words around why I enjoy her books so much until last week. We were talking about writing and Katherine said, “Many authors in my genre pull readers through their books using despair. I believe people gravitate toward hope just as much so that’s what I use. I want my books to be a bright spot – and not just when people are holding the book in their hands and reading it. I want people to smile after they set the book down to go to work, drive carpool, or unload the dishwasher.”
That’s exactly how I feel when I’m reading her work.
Katherine’s last book, The Lost Husband, was a page-turner (Caution: I came very close to moving to the Texas Hill Country and buying a goat farm after reading it). It’s been optioned for a film which makes perfect sense. It’s one of those books that unfolds as a movie in your mind as you read it.
Vicky Wight – whose company optioned The Lost Husband – and Katherine are doing a free Twitter VIDEO chat on Wednesday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m to talk about Katherine’s books. That gives you just enough time to read the new book so you can ask questions! More info on the video chat is here.
You can get your copy of Happiness for Beginners here and listen to a Houston Public Radio interview with Katherine here.
Below is a video that our friend Karen Walrond made of Katherine at her house. I love what she says about our messy amazing lives. ENJOY!