Family Friday: Analog(ue)

My family and its history is a huge influence on the things I write. Each Friday, I take a look at some of the research or real life that’s inspired my make-believe.

This week, I listened to a particularly poignant episode of my new favorite podcast, Analog(ue), a show by tech geeks that is ostensibly about feelings. Episode #5, “The Only Way Out Is Through,” features hosts Casey Liss and Myke Hurley speaking with guest Stephen Hackett about what it’s like to share private family matters on the Internet.

I first became aware of Liss via blogger Marco Arment, whose work I’ve been following for some time. A couple of months back, Arment linked to a post on on Liss’ site titled “Finally” that really hit home with me. It’s about Casey and his wife’s struggle with infertility and how they overcame it.

For those of you don’t know, both of my children were conceived through in-vitro fertilization, so I’ve been where the Lisses almost had to go.

Hackett, on the other hand, has been through things that I don’t know anything about and that I wish no one had to go through. His son has a rare kind of brain tumor and Hackett, like Liss, has chronicled his family’s struggles online.

I used to write about my family quite a lot in this space, even publishing a book of letters I wrote to my daughter Kaylee while she was in utero (a book I plan on re-releasing this fall). But it’s something I’ve gotten away from. I’m not entirely sure why. Hearing this episode of Analog(ue) reminded me of the cathartic power of sharing real-life family stories, not just fictional ones.

That, plus: Heather Armstrong’s Dooce is one the sites I’ve followed forever, and her newsletters to her daughter Leta (and, later, to both of her daughters) were my models for the letters to Kaylee. She puts both the hard times and the funny times out there, so I’m thinking, “Why can’t I?”

Therefore—that read ‘so’ in the first draft, but I’m feeling fiddly tonight and have just decided I’ve used ‘so’ too much—expect a little bit more of that in this space in the future (and a little bit less of this spitballing, which is due to it being late on Friday and me not having a topic in advance). There will still be healthy doses of my family’s past, but I think it might be good to sprinkle a bit of the present in there too. Every once in a while, y’know? To mix it up.