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I write and read, run and teach, mother and wife and daughter (yes, I’m using them as verbs). And I try so hard to keep them all together in a single coherent life of meaning. What I do is write YA historical fiction and sci-fi/fantasy. Teach Spanish. Eat dinner with my family every night at a table with candles lit and media off. I walk my dogs, or I run my dogs. I train for a marathon.  I read what my students tell me to and hope they’ll read what I tell them to.

So what I do is tied up in what I love. My family and my friends. My students. Dogs. Books, especially YA historical fiction and sci-fi/fantasy. Running. Writing.

But what I do also has to tie into what I hate. Cruelty. Torture sucks and discrimination bites. Every kind of torture, including waterboarding. Every kind of discrimination, whether it’s because someone is old or female or poor or a different color, whether someone prays to a different god or falls in love with men instead of women or vice versa. People are different. Let them be. So I have to write about those things. Talk about those things. Act upon those things. If what we love and hate are divorced from what we do, where is the meaning?

And what I do, finally, has to tie in to what I want. What I hunger for. I want the world to stay wild and beautiful. With polar bears and wolves and places where I can run for ten miles without hearing a car. I live in a suburb and I say hello to every crow I see. I once saw a bald eagle at our neighborhood lake, but I see murders of crows (that’s what you call a flock of crows) every day. Sometimes they wake me, shouting from my rooftop. I wonder what they’re saying. Crows are wild, and I get a thrill whenever wilderness breaks through the asphalt. To paraphrase Whitman, I believe that a crow is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels. But let’s leave room for the wolves, too.

Love? Hate? Want? It all comes down to a question of doing.

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