When I first started blogging five years ago now, one of the bloggers who most riveted me was Maggie May Ethridge at Flux Capacitor. It was Maggie May who first led me to Mary Moon and The Tearful Dishwasher, pillars of my whole blogging experience along with others of you here. And it was Maggie who brought home to me so forcefully how gorgeous and unflinching was some of the writing happening online. My God, this woman could write! But not only that, she wrote her truth deeply and close to the bone, insisting on love, the joy and anguish of marriage and motherhood right there on the screen. Maggie allowed us to inhabit her truth, because none of us is immune, we all suffer, we all feel this desolation sometimes, none of us escapes the hard parts, but oh, we are not alone, and if we're lucky the love weaving through can be sublime, as Maggie showed us.
Her "Scenes form A Marriage" posts in particular scorched and hollowed me out. She wrote the particulars of marriage to the love of her life, a man in the grip of bipolar 2, and the emotion she dared to excavate, the truths she laid bare, were intimate and unexpectedly familiar, and the only reason we hadn't understood our commonality before was because no one had expressed it quite like Maggie did.
Today, Maggie's book, Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes from a Marriage, is out from Shebooks.net, which publishes short ebooks by women in the genres of literary memoir, fiction and journalism. I'm an editor for Shebooks; it's work I truly love, and I can tell you Maggie's book is a brilliant light in the wilderness of mental illness and married life, a love story for the ages, and Maggie writes it like no one else. For $2.99 you can get her book here. You'll be riveted, your heart will be broken, you'll be elevated, healed, provoked, enthralled. Because this is Maggie May Ethridge we're talking about. My God, this woman can write.
On a related note, Shebooks has just launched an exciting Kickstarter Equal Writes Campaign. Watch the video and be inspired. Consider giving a dollar, or ten. And please tell everyone.