Friday, August 31, 2012

Guest Post: Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Lilac Wolf and Stuff presents Kristyn Kusek Lewis, author of How Lucky You Are.

Hello! Thanks so much for having me here! With the launch of HOW LUCKY YOU ARE, my first book, just around the corner, I’ve been having lots of conversations with people about the book and my personal journey to publication. Naturally, the first question that people ask is, “So what’s it about?”

My short answer is that it’s about old friends, and how women’s friendships change as we get older. I started writing the book four years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, so I’ve spent a good amount of time contemplating the topic, and I’ve come to the conclusion that often, we don’t take the subject of female friendships all that seriously. The word itself—friendship—conjures up a hokey, Hallmark-y, “aw, that’s sweet” kind of thing, doesn’t it?

But, man, if my girlfriends don’t play an integral role in my everyday life. Don’t yours? The women in my book are all in their mid-thirties, and they all have very different lives—one is a suburban mom, one is working on her husband’s campaign for governor, and the main character, Waverly, is a single bakery owner. Despite the fact that they lead very different lives, they’re in each other’s lives every day. And that’s the way that it is with me. One of my closest friends is single and childless. Another, from middle school, is the stay-at-home mother of four. I used to think, when I was younger, that you really only had one best friend. For some people, that’s true, and that’s wonderful. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m now lucky to have friends from all different stages of my life whom I can call on for various reasons—a parenting question, a work dilemma that needs solving, a clothing crisis, you name it.

But we also compare ourselves to the other women in our lives, don’t we? It’s so easy—hello, Facebook—to look at somebody else’s life from a distance and feel like everyone else has it figured out--the friend with the killer job and the husband who makes dinner every night, the friend who manages to raise her children and run marathons and make every delicious from-scratch meal she posts on Pinterest. The very heart of my book—and, without giving too much away, the source of the title--is the importance of realizing that the perfection thing doesn’t exist. And that, in fact, thinking that everyone else has it all figured out can be a devastatingly dangerous way to live. I know that I, for one, am way more comfortable when I walk into a friend’s messy house than when I walk into something straight out of House Beautiful. So let’s make a pact, shall we? Let’s all vow, together, to put the perfection thing aside. I won’t sweep up the tumbleweeds of dog hair that perpetually line my floorboards before a friend comes to visit. You won’t wipe the breakfast crumbs off of the kitchen table. Neither of us will check our makeup.

Thanks so much for letting me share today!

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