At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful Barbara Wilson is here to share a story. Also, Barbara is giving away 1 ecopy of Not the Real Jupiter. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Barbara.
A long time ago I had a part-time job as a secretary on the pediatric ward of Group Health Hospital in Seattle. I saw so much kindness there, from the nurses and aides, and from the parents of the kids who were ill or recovering.
Every day was a lesson in giving and receiving. I had my own opportunities to be kind to a weary mother or a scared kid, whether it was just listening or saying something reassuring, or hanging out in the playroom doing a jigsaw puzzle with a child in a wheelchair.
There are lots of chances to do kind things for kids.
But what I’ve come to realize is that the kindness of children towards us older people is special when it happens. I haven’t had children myself, but I played a role as an aunt to my brother’s children, and now I’m a great aunt to an eleven-year-old girl named Chase.
She lives with her parents in New Mexico, so I don’t visit often, but I feel a connection with her when we do meet. We’re both imaginative, and we were slow to read, then suddenly, books meant everything. Lately, she’s started sending me postcards or short emails.
Most of them just say, “I love you, Aunt B.” Or “You’re so grate!” Or “I miss you so much!!”
I joke to my wife Betsy, “Oh, finally, someone in my family who likes me!”
What I mean is that, although my brother and his kids aren’t particularly homophobic and have always been “fine” with my being a lesbian, it has never been easy to feel seen or fully accepted by them. But Chase does see me somehow, just like I see her.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Chase’s mom Jenny, my niece, telling me that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be having a double mastectomy. Jenny is only forty-one. My own mother died of breast cancer when she was forty-two and I was twelve.
I know that Jenny will need my kindness in the months to come, and so will Chase. But what sustains me now is that on her own, without prompting, Chase sends me postcards, and when I get one of them, I feel as if all is well, no matter what happens.
That’s a kindness I didn’t ever expect from anyone in my family. And it’s so “grate.”
by Barbara Wilson
Join traveling translator Cassandra Reilly as she solves a new mystery in Lambda Literary Award winner Barbara Wilson’s series about the London-based, Irish-American sleuth. In Not the Real Jupiter Cassandra is translating two manuscripts from Spanish. One of them is a collection of stories of speculative fiction by her old friend, the Uruguayan writer Luisa Montiflores. When editorial complications threaten its publication by an independent press in Portland, Cassandra travels from Luisa’s apartment in Montevideo to the coast of Oregon to meet the publisher and sort things out. Only to find that those complications now include a body that fell—or was pushed—over the side of a bluff. Under suspicion herself and ordered not to leave the country, Cassandra heads to Portland to do her own investigation. Here she encounters Latina writers, a well-known children’s author, and an attractive librarian in her quest to solve the mystery and get back home to London. Not yet retired—and still game for almost anything—Cassandra finds the trail is more tangled and fraught with family secrets than she ever imagined. Barbara Wilson’s previous Cassandra Reilly mysteries include Gaudí Afternoon and The Case of the Orphaned Bassoonists.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Barbara Wilson is the author of seven previous mysteries, including Gaudí Afternoon, which introduced translator sleuth Cassandra Reilly and was made into a movie starring Judy Davis and Marcia Gay Hardin. She is a winner of two Lambda Literary awards and the British Crime Writers’ award for best thriller set in Europe. As Barbara Sjoholm, she is the author of fiction and narrative nonfiction, and a translator whose work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts. For her contributions to lesbian literature she received the 2020 GCLS Trailblazer Award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
CONNECT WITH BARBARA WILSON
Thanks so much for stopping by today and have a lovely day!
Miranda & TB