Day 3 of #1000wordsofsummer 2020 August edition

Morning Sprint

Hi friends,

Today you will write 1000 words. You have set a goal for yourself, it’s entirely within reach, and you are an unstoppable force.

Today’s letter will be brief. I just wanted to let you know that you can do this, and I believe in you, and I think you know you can do it, too. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t believe in yourself. You have shown up here for a reason.

Me, I’m just wandering around the house this morning, trying to pick out a little more inspiration from my bookshelves. I loan out a lot of my books, I realized recently. I messaged a friend last week to see if I could borrow her copy of Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, because mine has gone missing, probably enthusiastically pressed in someone’s hands. Yesterday I was looking for Morgan Parker’s There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, only to find that book must have a new home on someone else’s shelf, too. (Fortunately I discovered the first fifteen pages of it online.)

Still sitting in my house this morning, luckily, is one of my favorite collections by one of my favorite poets: Bright Dead Things, by Ada Limon. And within it is the beloved poem, “How to Triumph Like A Girl,” which I recommend reading in its entirety here. (Ada is also a past contributor to #1000wordofsummer.)

If I were the kind of person who went for a morning run (I am not the kind of person who goes for a morning run), and this poem were a song, this is what I would want to be playing for that final sprint. My favorite line from it is the last one, which ends with this triumphant call:

Don’t you want to lift my shirt and see

the huge beating genius machine

that thinks, no, it knows,

it’s going to come in first.

Tonight’s special guest on the chat at Loyalty Books is pretty unstoppable herself: New York Times bestseller Mary H.K. Choi, who is the author of Emergency Contact and, most recently, Permanent Record. Mary asks that you consider donating to this important organization.

Today is the day to come in first.