Sometimes you get a chance to do something really novel with your kids—and I don’t mean a junket to Cabo or a ski vacation to Whistler. As the mother of two boys ages 29 and 27, I can attest to the fact that such opportunities are few and far between.
So, welcome to my website—a project my older son and I have collaborated on for the past five months.
It has been a rare chance to get to know him better. At every turn, he had a bright new idea, and I could only appreciate the knowledge and the savvy he brought to helping me create a site that would inform my readers and let them enjoy various features about both my life and my work.
Though he had lots of experience developing community for Bleacher Report, a sports media company he started with three of his high school friends in 2005 that has since grown into the largest provider of sports content on the web, with my website he had a chance to wear some hats he hadn’t previously—in particular, that of Product Guru.
He was determined to bring all the knowledge he possessed in a professional capacity, and then whatever else he knew on a gut level, to this site. It was a pleasure to see him accomplish this end so effectively.
What did this collaboration do for our relationship?
We have always been close, sharing a special connection that comes through our similar personalities and abilities. He is the sort of warm, sensitive guy who likes to experiment with creative, entrepreneurial situations, and we’ve always connected along those lines.
This project tapped into our mutual interests and approaches, and enabled us to forge a new kind of relationship: one as adult friends.
When your children are babies and toddlers you worry about everything from SIDS to getting them accepted into the appropriate nursery school. Then, when they are teenagers, you worry about drugs and the right colleges. When they become young adults, you worry because you no longer have control over them, and their lives are their own, for better or worse, and there is absolutely nothing you can do if their love affairs crack up and they suffer, or if they lose their jobs and it takes boring month after month for them to find another.
It is hard to forge a friendship with someone who used to depend on you for everything. They are always your children and you will always worry about them for better or worse, even when they marry and have children of their own.
I’d like to tell you a bit about what you will find here courtesy of this collaboration with my son: the website itself is unique because it has elaborate and special features we developed as a team. I am both proud and amazed at what we have created. A few of these features are listed below.
“Linda’s Library” takes you right into my books, allows you to read long excerpts, and then enables you to buy any one of them directly with the push of a button, if you are interested.
“The Writing Cottage” invites you into my working space from the moment its doors swing open in welcome, and shows you the myriad tools I use, and the advice I have to give burgeoning writers about the craft of writing.
“Gulliver’s Garden,” honors my Dalmatian, who died this past year, and whom I miss terribly, with articles I have written about him, and little snippets about his personality; it is one of the sections people mention most when they write to me on my “contact” page.
In “Articles and Essays,” you can lift every article and essay I have ever written off of a newspaper spindle, so you can read the full text of all my short pieces written during my thirty-six years as an author.
But perhaps the neatest section of all takes you to a “Message Board,” where you as a reader can converse either solely with me, or with all sorts of other readers in a group conversation—similar to the sort of discussion you would have in a book group, with different threads, voices and ideas all running concurrently. And of course, there is this “Blog” here, in which I am going to ruminate out loud about whatever I feel like, or just things I perceive as interesting topics about which to talk.
But back to my son. He helped me create these sections, eleven in total, which bring to you the best of, and all of, my life as an author. This has forged an extraordinary link between us. So let this first blog of mine serve as a tribute to the wonderful young adult my son has become. I couldn’t have brought this website to you, my readers, without him.