I met Shauna Glenn at BlogHer a few months back and we ended up spending the majority of the weekend together.
I had been following her on Twitter and Facebook for some time, but just recently started reading her blog on a regular basis. She’s hilarious in real life and in her writing. She’s sweet, honest, and vulgar, the perfect combination required for me to want to return each and every day to discover her latest adventure.
While we were in Chicago, I took a picture of Shauna in the BlogHer bookstore, holding her book, Heaping Spoonful, but for some reason I didn’t buy a copy. I think I figured I’d convince her to sleep with me somehow and she’d end up sending me a signed copy (or dedicating her next book to me). We did sleep together while we were in Chicago, but I never got up the nerve to ask her to send me a copy of her book. So, I finally purchased one online and it showed up yesterday.
Actually, before I get into the details of her book, I have to share this story – which Shauna will appreciate (it’s really all about her right now, anyway!). So, yesterday, I dropped off my son at school and came home to work on some blog posts for next week. I finally decided to take a shower around two o’clock in the afternoon. I really didn’t think too much about it and got dressed rather quickly before heading out to meet another friend for drinks (a story for another day).
I did notice as I was leaving the house that both doors were slightly ajar. The main door wasn’t closed all the way and the outside screen door was wide open. Not unusual for me to leave that one open but I did sort of hesitate as I thought about being in the shower and having someone walk into my house. Embarrassing and kinda scary, right?
Well, it wasn’t until I got home later that night, about 10pm, that I noticed two boxes inside my house that I did not put there! One was clearly a book and immediately I knew it was Heaping Spoonful but before I could get comfortable and start reading it, I was trying to play back in my mind the afternoon and how my Mailman could have convinced himself that it was OK to leave my packages INSIDE my condo. I mean, really? He’s left things on my patio hundreds of times before or outside the front door. Why, oh why would he think it was alright to step inside my place to set down the packages?
So, now I’m afraid for my life and if anything should happen to me, you’ll know to contact the Post Office right away, right?
Moving on to the whole point of this rambling post, I did manage to (lock the doors and) get comfy enough to start reading Shauna’s book. I knew that it was about a woman who lost her husband (it says so on the back of the book) but I also knew, from reading Shauna’s blog and following her Twitter stream that she is a riot. So her book was going to be funny! A funny book about a widow dealing with the loss of her husband, right?
I had NO IDEA her book was going to bring me to tears over and over again.
Heaping Spoonful (recipes included)
I fell in love with Claire immediately. And then I couldn’t put the book down. Actually, I did, in between chapters, to wipe away my tears – and to send a Direct Message (DM) to Shauna – every few minutes – on Twitter, expressing my pure delight in the fact that her book was affecting me in such a way. I haven’t read a book from start to finish like that in a long time!
Usually, when I’m reading late at night, my eyes get tired and at some point the words start running into each other and I finally decide to close the book for the night. Other times, I get to a point in the story where I’m just not as invested as I would hope to be and I close the book, for good. I don’t like reading books that I can’t finish, but let’s face it, not every story appeals to every reader.
Shauna Glenn’s book appealed to me on so many levels that at some point I had to stop and think about how she had gotten inside my brain to steal my stories. Not like I lived Claire’s life, or vice versa, but the way she experienced grief and loss reminded me of the emotions I felt (and continue to feel) over the end of my marriage. Being a single mom, I get that too.
Dating and making a fool of yourself – Yep, been there!
For those of you who don’t want to know what happens in Heaping Spoonful, don’t read this next section…
I felt the pain and shock all over again of miscarriage along with Claire and the slap-in-the-face of being abandoned by the person she needed the most – at that time.
The part of the story that made me literally sit up and cry out was when Claire heard the story of how Henry met his fiance, Rebecca. Those who follow me will know my story and how I recently connected with my college crush, how we dated other people and set our feelings for each other aside until just last month (much like the story of Henry and Rebecca).
All of these little coincidences between the characters in Shauna’s book and my own life left me feeling even more convinced that people, books and relationships come into our lives for a reason – and at the perfect time.
I’m so pleased that Shauna Glenn – and her writing – came into my life. She has reached me in such a way that I know I have become a better writer, a more honest, forgiving, and a loving partner and friend and she has inspired me to put my own bittersweet experiences down on paper, finally.
If her writing could be summed up in one word it would be this – perfection.
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting
Peace Begins in the Home