What if We Were Duct Tape?

Last year, when I wasn’t as close to 40, I bought a satchel for my writing travels. Gray as a morning dove, it offered pockets for my laptop, manuscript and cell phone. It was young, beautiful and perfect.

The first strap broke in the Philly airport after enduring 6 hours of being overstuffed with books and that extra outfit for “just in case.” My blue travel purse was also inside–the one that didn’t have to be big enough to fit wipes, snacks and a good sized collection of Minion bandaids.

Thankfully, I had packed duct tape in case my Leeloo Dallas suspenders had an accident (because a writers conference for speculative fiction writers must have cosplay).satchel

By the time the strap on my blue purse broke, I was running on a lot of adrenaline and little sleep, so I don’t remember if it was during Tosca Lee’s or Thomas Locke’s class but I didn’t stress it too much–the purse was about a decade old.

It was when a second strap on my newer satchel broke that I began to look around me…was it during the paranormal panel?

What does this mean?

I laid the irreparable blue purse to rest back in the Villanova dorm room, then grabbed the bright orange duct tape and reinforced all four straps of my satchel. I figured I should be thankful for the duct tape than pout over the out-of-place patches of my dove-gray beauty.

Now that I’m home (a few breaths from 40) and shopping for a heavy duty yet attractive bag, I’m staring at Oksana Chusovitina on the TV screen. I see her solid form, her poise and most of all–the lack of fear in her eyes. She’s a 41-year-old Olympic Gymnast.

Wow. I smile and realize, of course–She’s duct tape.

She’s the sturdy bridge between the young and old, standing in front of the world and reminding us to quit underestimating ourselves. We may feel out of place, but like those of us who immerse ourselves in speculative thought, she simply asked, “What if?”

Will You Climb?

My son is going through an “I can’t” stage. He “can’t” eat but a millimeter of meat. He “can’t” run and play with his sister if she (and her longer legs) runs faster than he does. He “can’t” squeeze less than an ocean of toothpaste onto his toothbrush.

We encourage (Make) him to go through with his cants for obvious (you will respect me now) reasons, but we mostly don’t want him to be okay with giving up. Health problems have kept him from running and sporting like a 5 yr-old-boy should, so at a young age, he has reached that mountain he’s unable to spell yet: adversity. He’s happy by nature, but sometimes a challenge wells up in him so much that it lights his attitude like a flickering bulb. When his sister beats him to the swing set and the trampoline and the kitchen where cookies are fresh from the oven, his faces scrunches up into a million red creases of agony.

I decided to tell him about David the shepherd boy, who from a young age had to 100_1834kill lions and giants. I tell him how David had to run for years and hide in caves to avoid being murdered by a jealous king. How he had moments of overwhelming anguish, but despite those odds he didn’t let the cants lead him.

I know I’ve had days where the cants try to lead me. But I see Noah, and then drag my eyes to the sky.

If God gave David a mountain to climb in order to become a king, He will take our hands too, guiding us through the steepest crags to become what we are meant to be. One step at a time.


I truly hope you have a good Monday. Thank you, loyal friends, for coming back each week.

I wrote about another mountain–one where everything extraordinary has been banned by man. If you’d be interested in a review copy of Wake, visit Story Cartel (soon) to get yours.