Thank you for checking out my newsletter! You can read the archives and subscribe. My first full-length short story collection, Even Greater Mistakes, is out today! It features some tales that won the Hugo, Sturgeon and Locus Awards. You can get it in any place that's not trapped in a time bubble where they constantly relive the same day in 1927. I also published two other books in 2021: my young adult space fantasy Victories Greater Than Death, and Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories. Also, check out the podcast I co-host, Our Opinions Are Correct.
1) I was a baby, and my parents had just gotten home from the store, with me in the car with them. They left me in the car while they unloaded all the bags of stuff from the trunk from the back of our brand new hatchback. While they were moving all their bags inside, the parking brake slipped and the station wagon rolled backwards down the steep grade of our driveway. The car picked up speed as it rolled about a quarter mile down to the road below, and then finally collided with a mailbox across the street. My parents later said that they were sure I would have been killed on impact, if they had not invested in what was then a fairly new technology: car seats.
I didn't know about this for years. But when I was nine or ten, I was in the car with my dad and we drove past someone who was driving with their baby perched on their lap in the driver's seat. My father --- who never lost his temper, especially at strangers --- became red-faced with anger that anyone would endanger a child this way. It was some time after that I learned that a car seat had saved my life.
2) My mom was doing graduate school in the UK, so my father took a mostly unpaid sabbatical and we moved the entire family there for a couple years or so. There was a ginormous lake near where we were living, and one day we went swimming there. This is one of my earliest memories: bobbing around happily in the water until some force grabbed a hold of my leg and swept me under the surface. I barely knew what was happening until it was too far gone: some undercurrent, some greedy lake spirit, had grabbed hold of me and was pulling me farther and deeper. My mother realized just in time that my head was no longer bobbing above the surface, and jumped in the lake. The next thing I knew, she was grabbing me and lifting me out of the water, then towing me back to dry land. My parents were freaked out, but I remember being sort of amused by the whole thing. There was a TV show and book series at the time called Lizzie Dripping, and I just kept repeating, I'm Lizzie Dripping, I'm Lizzie Dripping, as I trailed water all the way home.