Okay, here's something you really shouldn't miss. One of my favourite writers, Kelly Link, author of the critically acclaimed -- and very fabulous -- story collections Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners, is doing a blog tour for her Young Adult collection Pretty Monsters. She is doing guest posts for a number of blogs and they are riveting. Link recently had a baby girl, Ursula*, who was born at 24 weeks and therefore had a long and harrowing stay in the NICU. Start here:
I could hardly stand being in the NICU at first. We knew that Ursula’s situation was precarious. Almost half of babies born at 24 weeks don’t survive. (Before my pregnancy became high risk, I didn’t know that any babies could be born so early, so small, and go on to thrive.) A majority of those babies that do survive end up with serious complications of one kind or another due to the therapies that keep them alive as well as due, simply, to their extreme prematurity. The gregarious nurse assigned to Ursula that first day told us immediately, well, it’s good that she’s a girl. Girls have a better chance of survival. The next day when we went up, he said, well, she’s still alive. The first twenty-four hours are really crucial. The next day he said, she’s still alive — that’s good. The first 48 hours are crucial. After a week had passed, when a nurse told us that the first week was the period of greatest danger — and so it was a good sign that she had made it through — we weren’t surprised.
Then go here:
I didn’t write any stories during this period. Maybe this is because the kinds of stories that I write don’t have the kind of happy, conclusive ending that I longed for, so badly, for so many months, in my own life. Maybe I didn’t write because it was always going to be hard to write while you are a new parent.
I was never the girl the vampire fell in love with. Or the girl who discovered her destiny was to kick vampire ass. For that matter, for a long time I was sure that I would never find love. I was fairly sure I would end up an old maid, living in a house full of cats. Except even cats were never as smitten with me as I with them. I would have been the old maid living in a house full of iguanas. I’ve had a pet iguana: it doesn’t break your heart that your iguana doesn’t love you. You don’t expect love from an iguana. But I digress. What I’m trying to say is that many of my characters are faint of heart, like me. They aren’t especially heroic. If they get involved in dramatic situations, let’s say, with werewolves, it tends to be a terrible mistake: maybe they did something stupid. Or maybe someone else dragged them in. Me, I’ve always been concerned about the fact that I can’t drive stick shift. Come the zombie apocalypse, or the werewolf attack, I’ll be the one sitting in the driver’s seat of the getaway car, crying hysterically while I flood the clutch.
And here Kelly provides lists of her favourite romance and paranormal romance novels and favourite paranormal romance in other media. I'm bookmarking those, so I can work my way through them.
*Kelly's baby daughter's name, Ursula, means "Little Bear." The Little Dipper is also known as Ursa Minor or Little Bear and it contains within its constellation Polaris, the North Star, which is the most well-known and widely used directional star. Clearly Ursula is a very good name.