Tag Archives: Infertility

The Sum of My Parts

Mothers Day 2015 - Be Brave

We live – yes, we do – in a reality show culture. One that demands, seduces, cajoles us into telling our secrets for the world’s consumption and criticism.

There’s a vulnerability in doing this, absolutely. Sometimes the entire story is not ours to tell; sometimes people are still alive or too young to understand; sometimes the words of those we once loved haunt us (sometimes you tell people too much, Melissa; you need to learn sometimes you don’t need to share everything with the world); sometimes dusty contracts and unspoken agreements make us hesitant.

We know all this, we live with all this, and so it is often too easy to stay silent, to not hit publish, to go quietly about our lives, albeit with a reminder here and there: a medical professional who asks a common question, the colleague who is just making conversation about do you have kids, that gaggle of moms in the playgroup who relish in rehashing pregnancy details you know nothing about. Even those instances don’t bother you anymore because you’ve learned how to smile and adopt a version of the truth. It’s not that we forget, but rather it’s more of a feeling that we’ve put that away. We’ve dealt with that; we’ve gotten the therapy; we’ve moved emotionally to a much brighter place which – hell, look at that – might even feel like something called …


Until you read the words from someone who sounds like you, way back then, in May 1985 and in the days, months, years, decades after. Someone probably much younger than you and most likely a teen who is just finding out, who is questioning, struggling, hurting like hell. You’ve lived what she is living because you, like her, are also 1 in 5,000 women with this (MRKH, an abbreviation for Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome) and without that (a uterus). You have something to offer, a perspective to share, a glimpse of a life that – I promise you, girlfriend, I pinky-swear to you – is not defined by one missing part.

Because we are not the sum of our parts.

This thing that looks like acceptance has not come to me easily or overnight, because as we all know, acceptance rarely shows up gift-wrapped at the door. For most of us, it is the sum of many things.




It is true that I am not a numbers person except for dates.  I remember so many of them, and those tend to be the ones I respect and honor and measure the distance between here and there. They are mile markers, rest stops on this journey of life which leads me to reflections and blog posts like this one that beg the question of what I’m called to do with this, what it all means, where it will lead.

Sharing this through the writing – a memoir that says what you need to say and also protects others, perhaps? – is something that feels possible (there’s even a working title) yet there’s a holding back perhaps for reasons I don’t know or understand. It is scary as hell and it is easy to tell yourself to wait for the right publication, the perfect time, to listen to the ghosts – sometimes you tell people too much, Melissa; you need to learn sometimes you don’t need to share everything with the world – to live in the what-if’s and the maybes instead of the hell, yes. There’s a sense of not wanting to give it all away at once and certainly not for free; yet at the same time, I believe we are given what we have to help others and to connect amidst the risks that will always be there and the internal chorus of what will they think. This business of life is too damn short, and the timing will never, ever seem right. We would not be here, would not have what we have – these kids, this strength, each other – if others did not take a risk and do exactly that.

I believe in having no regrets, in living out loud, and celebrating our truth. Some days that is easier than others, but it is in the doing that gives us our power, adding up piece by piece to reveal our greatest strengths.

Photo above is of a Bravelet, my Mother’s Day 2015 gift to myself and which benefits the amazing work of the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation.

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Reflections on Crossing the Moon: A Journey Through Infertility, by Paulette Bates Alden

Crossing the Moon

Crossing the Moon
Paulette Bates Alden 
Hungry Mind Press 
295 pages

It’s not often that I revisit our infertility days.

Occasionally, of course, reminders surface – the most prominent ones being the almost-12 year old twins currently living with me and The Husband.

Sometimes there are other remnants.

A question from a new friend, or from an ever-so-inquisitive daughter.

A name.

A forgotten song.

For just a moment – or a few moments – I’m back to the future, like Marty McFly in his DeLorean.

I don’t stay long. Just long enough to still have a sense of wonder of it all, and gratitude, and amazement that despite everything in the past baker’s dozen years, this really happened and yes, Melissa, this really is your life.

* * * *

I was reminded of the infertility days earlier this week and in my typical style, I went all fangirl on Facebook.

Indulge me in a fangirl moment. Paulette Bates Alden just friended me on Goodreads. She wrote the most transformative, inspiring, mind-shifting (for me) memoir that I read during our infertility days (CROSSING THE MOON). One of the best books ever.#verklempt

Thus begat an email exchange with Paulette about Crossing the Moon (among other things), which is A FREE DOWNLOAD TODAY THROUGH OCTOBER 12 on Amazon.

I can’t really put into words how important this book was for me when I read it back in 1997. Well, I think it was 1997. Honestly, it could have been anytime between 1996 (when it was published) and 2000. Those days of driving 25 minutes to the infertility clinic to get blood drawn before turning around and driving the opposite direction to work, of waiting on HcG counts like they were Powerball numbers (which they kind of were), of constantly feeling like a pendulum of “should we or should we not?” emotions all seem so very far away now.

What I remember distinctly is reading Crossing the Moon on the porch of our townhouse, watching the sun go down and feeling like this nightly ritual was a metaphor for this seemingly futile quest. (Ours was a six year infertility journey.) Crossing the Moon was one of those books that arrived when I was struggling with some big, life-changing decisions – namely, whether I truly wanted to continue down this road in pursuit of some nebulous, definitely no-way-in-hell-are-you-getting-your-money-back guarantee goal.

I wasn’t in this alone, of course. Like the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

Or, in our case, a whole damn team of fertility specialists to drive you to the dance.

Before childfree was a lifestyle choice touted on magazine covers, there was Paulette Bates Alden quietly in the shadows with Crossing the Moon, a little memoir that even she admits didn’t get much attention when it was published in 1996. But it’s about so much more.

As the jacket cover says, “the author recounts her initial ambivalance about motherhood, the pain and frustration of following a course of treatment for infertility, and ultimately the birth of a new self: a writer, comfortable at last with her family of two. Inevitably, the book also touches a wide array of other issues: aging parents; being raised Southern and female in the fifties; the trade-offs between a life of work and one devoted to nurture; coping with grief and loss.”

As much as I love Crossing the Moon, it’s not one of those books I re-read often. It’s rare that I re-read any book, but with this, I hadn’t cracked the spine for quite some time.

When Paulette got in touch on Goodreads, I told her I’d be happy to do a blog post promoting Crossing the Moon being available as a free download. (That wasn’t the reason for her reaching out; that happened to be coincidental. And even if it was, I wouldn’t have cared.) So I decided to re-read the lines I’d underlined so long ago, to try and figure out, why, exactly, they were so resonant to me then and why they are still important all these 16+ years later.

(Yes, I underlined. In a book. So unusual for me, but I guess somehow I knew that I’d need to access these words in the future.)

“I had been going along so nicely, I thought, my ducks if not in a row at least in a circle, thinking I knew who I was, that I understood my life, when suddenly I felt like one of those contestants on To Tell the Truth: Will the real me please stand up? Several of us did. There was the me who felt her heart would break if I didn’t have a child, the me who felt her life would be over if I did, and the me who was stumbling around as if shell-shocked going “But …but …but …”  (pg. 37)

“I had always assumed that the past, like the future, would always be there, but lately I was getting the feeling that I was wrong on both counts. Both were in danger of disappearing.” (pg. 38)

“I felt that I was an either-or sort of person, someone who could do either motherhood or writing ‘right’ – but not both of them. I was someone who had to choose. But for all my talk about choices, I was afraid to make them, because choosing meant giving something up.” (pg. 111-112)

Make no mistake: here, in 2013, I don’t regret our choice. Not for a minute. Still, it feels like exhuming a body, reading these phrases again. A glimpse down the path not taken, as if I had had the ability then to peek into this crystal ball and see this life and the manifestations of these decisions.

Crossing the Moon - newMy hardback edition of Crossing the Moon has a different cover than this one that’s currently free on Amazon. (You’re getting the point of this post, aren’t you?) This one has a subtitle that mine lacks: “A woman’s struggle to have a child yields a joyful surprise – the birth of a new self.”

And that’s it, right there. That’s what I couldn’t quite see all those years ago. We could have gone in any direction all those years ago, and no matter what happened, that would have been the result. A new self.

What I didn’t realize is that it was the journey itself that gave birth to the new self. One that would have been born no matter what path we chose. 


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light to guide you (for mother’s day)

On this Mother’s Day, my boy will be the chalice lighter at church this morning. 

It’s especially significant, I think, because tomorrow marks 28 years since learning that becoming a mom would take a very different path than most travel. Little did we know. 

And that’s what today, all of our days, are really all about, aren’t they? We forge our own paths and our own way as mothers and as women. As people. We do the very best we can in the face of obstacles, big and small. 

And whether you’re a mother in the traditional Hallmark sense, or as a different definition that has special meaning for your life, know that on this day and every day you are a light to those on your path.

Happy Mother’s Day. 

photo taken by me, April 2009. 

I am an Amazon.com Affiliate. Making a purchase via any of the Amazon.com links on The Betty and Boo Chronicles will result in my earning a small percentage in commission, which will be used to support the upkeep of this blog, as well as the real-life versions of Betty and Boo. Thank you! copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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Book Review: The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant: An Adoption Story, by Dan Savage

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant: An Adoption Story
by Dan Savage
246 pages

Can I just say, right from the get-go, that I love Dan Savage? Love. Him. I’d heard of his sex-advice column “Savage Love” before his phenomenal “It Gets Better” project, but The Kid is the first book of Savage’s I’ve read.

And I love this book too. I mean, I don’t think there was a page – hell, probably a paragraph – that didn’t have me either laughing or or smiling knowingly (as knowingly as I could smile without actually not having gone through the adoption process per se – we came pretty close to it – but especially at the parts early in the book where Savage writes about being at a seminar with other infertile couples pursuing adoption.)

“When I hit puberty, I got the news that I was functionally infertile. But the straight couples at the seminar had only recently gotten that news, and they were still adjusting to it.  How much we had in common with them was driven home by the rhetoric the counselors used during the seminar. It was the rhetoric of coming out. The straight couples were encouraged to accept what they could not change. In time, they’d see their ‘problem’ as a blessing. It was important to tell family and friends the truth, even if they might not understand at first. They might in their ignorance ask hurtful questions, but be patient and try to answer. And while it is possible to live a lie, possible to adopt a child and pass it off as your biological child, no one can spend a lifetime in the closet. Now we all had some common ground.” (pg. 26)

Savage takes his reader through the entire adoption process, from his and Terry’s decision to adopt, to the seminar mentioned above, to asking their neighbors (whom they either didn’t know well or not at all) for letters of recommendation, to writing a Dear Birthparent letter and meeting a birthmother. (Savage’s satirical “anti-birthparent letter” makes for some of the most hilarious reading in The Kid):

“We are Terry and Dan. Yes, we are both men, and we would like to adopt your baby! …. We have been with each other for three months. We hope to adopt a baby soon, as gay relationships don’t usually last longer than six or seven months. ….Dan is fifty-nine years old, has heart trouble, smokes three packs a day, and will be the sole means of support for our little family.  Terry is seventeen years old and emulates Martha Stewart in every possible way, including Martha’s emotional distance and passive-aggressiveness.  ….Most of our friends are in the music industry and addicted to hard drugs. They are all very excited about baby-sitting! As most of them use only heroin and not dangerous hallucinogenics, the odds that one of them will pop the baby into the microwave are pretty low.”  (pg. 89-90)

At one point, you begin to wonder if this adoption thing is really going to work itself out for Dan and Terry.  (I’ll let you read the book for yourself to find out.)  I was completely hooked and invested in this story and could not put this down, especially for the last third of the book. In a very good way, Dan takes his reader along for the the good, the bad, and the ugly of this adoption ride – a hilarious one, by the way, because his descriptions of arguing with Terry over the music played in the car during their frequent seven hour rides from Seattle to Portland are priceless … and universal to all relationships, gay or straight.

Now, that all being said, this book is not going to appeal to everyone … say, umm … folks identifying with certain religious or political groups. Savage is no-holds-barred here when talking about his life and relationship with Terry (and, well … certain religious and political groups). There’s more than a decent share of description of certain private acts and whatnot, which might offend some people … but then again, if you’re offended by certain words and different lifestyles, you’re probably not going to be picking up and reading a book with the subtitle “What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant.”

Savage knows that, and that’s okay with him.

It’s a surreal experience, knowing that this book was published in 1999 and reading it 14 years later.

“Until same-sex marriage was legal, something I expected to happen around the time my children’s children’s children were long dead, I could only call Terry my husband or spouse if I was willing to say those words with little quotation marks stuck on each end. This I was unwilling to do.” pg. 11

Savage is akin to Nostradamus with some of his thoughts (“If the religious right is serious about ‘washing the stain of homosexuality off the face of this great nation,’ as one fundy web site I read puts it, there will have to be more murders. Few gays and lesbians will subject themselves to ‘reparative therapy’ quacks and the vast majority of us have no interest in becoming ‘ex-gay.’ Homosexual behavior cannot be eliminated without eliminating homosexual people.” pg. 19). 

Remember, this is 1999.

As funny as The Kid is, this is also an incredibly personal book.  Savage’s writing about the impact of his parents’ divorce and his relationship with his father are especially revealing. By bringing his family and Terry’s into the narrative, too, and again, we see dynamics of our own extended family relationships and realize that perhaps … maybe we’re not so different after all.

copyright 2013, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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Book Review: The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child
by Eowyn Ivey
A Reagan Arthur Book
Little, Brown and Company 
388 pages

“Dear, sweet Mabel,’ she said. ‘We never know what is going to happen, do we? Life is always throwing us this way and that. That’s where the adventure is. Not knowing where you’ll end up or how you’ll fare. It’s all a mystery, and when we say any different, we’re just lying to ourselves. Tell me, when have you felt more alive?'” (pg. 258)

I had no intentions of reading this book. NONE. As soon as I heard that it was about a childless couple grieving the loss of their stillborn child, I thought: NO. THANK. YOU. Hell to the no.

And set amidst the tundra of Alaska, in the dead of winter, to boot? Yeah, good times. I mean, I like my depressing literary shit as much as the next person, but this sounded like a bit too much even for my threshold.


But then blogger after blogger started raving about this, and then I realized it was based on a fairy tale, and you have to have a heart made out of an icicle in order to be able to resist a fairy tale.

(Although, I will say this: if you are a current infertility patient or grieving the loss of a child, this is likely to not be the book for you. I’m a decade out of that world, of which I still sometimes feel like I still have one foot in, and The Snow Child still managed to dredge up a well of emotions from our infertility days. There’s no way in hell I would have been able to read this during our journey. I’m just saying.)

That disclaimer being said, The Snow Child is an absolutely amazing book. It’s the story of Jack and Mabel, a childless couple who have been married for many years. In their individual ways, they are each still grieving the loss of their only child who was stillborn a number of years prior.

They decide to make a new life for themselves by moving to Alaska. This is in 1920, and could not be further from their Pennsylvania homes. Jack is from western Pennsylvania – there’s a reference to the Allegheny, so perhaps he’s a yinzer – and Mabel is a Philly girl, two details of the book that I happened to particularly enjoy.)

Even though they are far from home and despite their efforts to make a new life, Jack and Mabel’s grief over the loss of the baby travels with them and is a constant companion through the years, along with the despair and desperation that they feel amid the barren wilderness. On the night of the first snow of the season, however, Jack and Mabel allow themselves to have a few brief moments of fun by playing in the snow. Like kids, they build a little snow person … a snow child.  They are stunned when, the next morning, their snow creation is gone, replaced by an actual little girl who they will soon discover is named Faina.

How Faina becomes intertwined with Jack and Mabel’s lives is absolutely enchanting, and Eowyn Ivey’s writing is nothing short of magical. She has the ability to take what is an otherwise unbelievable tale and turn it into something that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

You know how the cold winter’s air takes your breath away? That’s this book.

“She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from cloud, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable? ….

You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers.” (pg. 204)

For a book that I had no intentions of reading, this one landed on my list of Best Books I Read in 2012.

5 stars out of 5.

copyright 2013, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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may 13, many years ago

I originally wrote and posted this – a letter to my 16 year old self – here on May 13 of last year. You see, May 13 is a pretty significant day for me. It’s Mother’s Day this year, yes … but it’s also something more. So you’ll understand why I share this again. It’s for me but also for those others who I think about every year on this day and in gratitude for those who were there in days between then and now. 

Dear Melissa,

I’m writing this to you exactly 27 years from now, on May 13, 2012.  You’re still a little bit groggy, still a little bit sick from this morning.  You’re in bed in your blue and white-flowered room, with the same furniture Mommy and Daddy bought you when you were all of three years old.

You’re a news junkie (and at 43, you still are) and you’re watching your city in ruins on the TV that your mother has brought upstairs for you.  You’re watching the burning of an entire Philadelphia block, and I know what you’re thinking. I know it seems like, right now, your life is crumbling like the tinderbox houses on the black and white TV.

In between sleeping off the anesthesia, you’ve been working the phones, crying to your best girlfriends. One is on her way over, right now, and you’ll cry together.  And you’ll remember that you just did this, when your dad died three months earlier. You’ve already come undone from that. And again today, with that one sentence that the doctor said – it’s not going to happen the regular way, but when you’re ready to have kids someday, there’s no telling what they will be able to do in the future – that’s going to change your entire life even more, as if that was even possible.

Oh, but you have no idea how this is going to change your life.  It’s going to shape you, form a significant part of your identity.  For better, yes – and yes, in some ways for worse – but really, trust me – mostly for better.  You can’t see this now.  You don’t want to, I know.

And there will be times when this becomes your only life’s focus and times when you completely forget about it – at least until an innocent comment knocks you for a loop.

That’ll get easier to handle in time, too.  You’ll figure out what to say, in your own words. (You’re a writer, just like you wanted to be; that’s what you do.) You’ll meet some people along the way who will help you through this, people who you will be eternally grateful and thankful to for the way they pulled you out of this abyss.  (You’ll even marry one of them, too.)  They’ll see you for who you are, not as a misfit toy.  

And you’ll return the favor, too.  A guy named Al Gore will invent this thing called the Internet (you will absolutely love it) and you’ll start what will be known as an online listserv, sometime around 1999 or so.  (I know … now in 1985, that seems like just a faraway year in a Prince song, doesn’t it?  But, it will be here before you know it and then it will disappear in the blink of an eye.)  But listen, this listserv thing – and this whole online thing itself , for that matter –   it’ll be pretty darn cool. It will be the beginning of something extraordinary. You’ll start this group for women with the same condition as you – women and girls who have heard the same news from their doctors, from specialists in their fields who had to pull their dusty medical reference books off the shelf to give you a real definition, to make sure they are pronouncing this one in a million seemingly freakish thing in the proper way, with all the researchers’ names in the right order.

Back to that little online group you’ll start with someone just like you.  It’ll start with a couple of you, then a few dozen, and by the time you step away from it a few years later you will have found 5,000 women and girls just like you, all of whom once thought they too were the only one, that there couldn’t be anyone else like them out there.  But there are, and they are in every corner of the globe. You’ll spend your nights talking to each other and exchanging research information, and when you’re ready to create your own families or resolve this in your own ways, they’ll be your support group.  They’ll show you the way.  You’ll think about them every May 13 and more than a few days in between.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: it’ll get better.  You will find people who will love you for who you are.  You will have twins, a boy and girl, and even though there will be challenges with them and more loops thrown, you will have mornings like this one, that you had today, exactly 27 years since you imagined something very different.  It won’t be picture perfect. None of it will be.  Far from it.

But it will BE.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Doctors have come from distant cities
Just to see me
Stand over my bed
Disbelieving what they’re seeing
They say I must be one of the wonders
Of god’s own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer
No explanation

Newspapers ask intimate questions
Want confessions
They reach into my head
To steal the glory of my story

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of god’s own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer
No explanation

O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She’ll make her way ….

“Wonder” ~ Natalie Merchant

Love, Melissa

(P.S. There are several of you reading this who know what this post is about and what I’m referring to … and that’s because you were there with love, with patience, and with faith.  Maybe not on that exact day, but at some point afterwards on this journey.  You know who you are. Most importantly, I do too.  And today seems like a good day to say thank you and I love you for what you did, for being there, for all of it. If I never said it before, please know that I thought it, many a time, more than you probably can and will ever know.Thank you. Love you.)

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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The Sunday Salon: A Million Book Bloggers Can Sometimes Be Right

I’m not usually one who jumps on the latest book bandwagon and reads something just because everyone says it is the most amazing book ever.  In fact, I’m actually the opposite. If everyone is raving about how wonderful a particular book is, I tend to be even more cynical of such hype because … well, (because I’m cynical) and because such hype has tended to disappoint me in the past.

Not this time.

You have to be in hibernation to not have heard of the blogger buzz surrounding Eowyn Ivey’s debut novel, The Snow Child. Set in 1920, this is the story of Jack and Mabel who are grieving the loss of their stillborn child, albeit in their own separate way. They’re trying to make a new start for themselves by establishing a homestead in the Alaskan wilderness, which is about as far away from Mabel’s family’s home in Philadelphia and Jack’s family farm along the Allegheny River as one can possibly get.  During a snowfall, Mabel and Jack build a snow child … which comes to life in this enchanting story that is based on a fairy tale.

Eowyn Ivey’s prose in  The Snow Child reads like a fairy tale; it is transformative and magical and absolutely captivating.  I cannot put this down.  So many bloggers have said that this is a book that you want to savor, yet you want to read in one sitting in order to find out what happens.  They are so right.  

See, this is one of the things I adore about this book blogging community of ours. I would have seen this on the New Books shelf at my library, read the description on the book jacket and seen the words “both still deeply longing for the child it’s now impossible for them to have” in reference to Jack and Mabel and immediately thought NO. THANK. YOU. As someone who has gone through infertility hell, you don’t forget those days too easily. Nor do I tend to seek out novels with this as a theme, but I thought I would make an exception for this.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I absolutely did not expect this – a book that I want to stay up all night to read. Seriously, this is that kind of book. I’m convinced The Snow Child is going to be among my favorite books of 2012. And this Eowyn Ivey? You keep an eye on her, too, because she is a writer worth watching and keeping an eye on.  She is going to do great things.  (She HAS done great things with this book.)

Anyway. Some housekeeping business. Since this is the first Salon of a new month, it’s time for a look back at February’s reading. The short month was definitely reflected in the quantity of books read, with only 4 books total.  But the quality was much better than January, which was just OK.  My four February books were:

The Forgotten Waltz, by Anne Enright 

American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds
by James Maguire 

I didn’t finish any audiobooks in February, mainly because I tend to listen to my audiobooks mostly in the car and I didn’t have too many long drives on my work schedule this month. I’m currently listening to Memoirs of a Geisha (I know, I can’t believe I’ve never read this!) which contains 15 CDs, making it  one of the longer ones that I’ve listened to.  I’m finding this fascinating, though, and even though I’m only listening to it for about 30 minutes here and there, it’s definitely keeping my interest and attention.

Between that and The Snow Child, March is definitely starting off on a good note, literary-speaking. (It’s also looking like a good month on the home front, but that will have to be a separate post … maybe as soon as tomorrow.)

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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