Yesterday, I finished the rough draft of an Amish novel. I’ve been working so hard on this book for the last few weeks, and with Covid still going strong, it’s been different around here. Our son is doing school online, so he’s home, and I’m enjoying having him around, but it does change my writing rhythms.

So while I would have been able to write the last few chapters of this book in a couple of whirlwind writing sessions in the past, this one took longer. So, I was extra-relieved to pull my hero and heroine together at long last.

Love really is the root of all of our longings, isn’t it? It is for me.

I was following a story on Humans of New York on Facebook this last week or so–the story of a woman named Stephanie who was a burlesque dancer in the 70s. She lived a hard, hard life, and she moved in circles I’d personally avoid at all costs… but her way of telling a story draws you in and opens you up to the humanity all around us. She’s funny, insightful, and has the wildest stories about the powerful men who she danced for. The thing that touched me the most about her story was her constant longing to be seen and loved. She was known as Tanqueray, but she longed for someone to see her as herself, and love her.

I’m not sure she ever really found that– in a lasting way, at least–and I wish she had. I wish she’d been able to find that stability and contentment that she’d wanted so badly.

Stephanie, who worked as a burlesque dancer in New York in the 70s

So today, I just want to put that out there. We’ve got so much turmoil in the world right now, but it doesn’t change the basics–we all just long to be seen and loved.

Stephanie was reunited with her son after a long estrangement, and this is what he had to say about what he’d learned through his life and his tumultuous relationship with his birth mother:

Let’s be kind to each other. We need it!