My name is Kristina McBride.

I write books.

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Working It (the best I can)

On December 9th of 2016, I lost my father. It was fast. And brutal. We thought he had an ear infection. But it was cancer, so far advanced, it had reached his brain, spinal fluid, bones, and lymph nodes. He passed a mere 12 days after diagnosis. (12 days. It still doesn’t seem real.)

 

Dad’s house was three minutes from ours. He was a regular part of our daily lives – from dinners out to BBQs in the backyard, from sporting events for the kids to shopping to just stopping by, Dad has always been there. He has been one of my best friends for most of my life. When I lost him, nothing seemed to matter anymore. I’m an only child, therefore took on the monumental task of settling his estate, including prepping his house for a sale. It was overwhelming, to say the least. Everything else in life kind of just fell away. Including writing. Which my father would have understood, but would also have hated. Dad was one of my biggest supporters in life, but especially when it came to writing.

The last picture taken of me and Dad together. This is at the launch party for A Million Times Goodnight.

The last picture taken of me and Dad together, roughly three months before we lost him. This is at the launch party for my third novel, A Million Times Goodnight. (He had a serious addiction to toothpicks. It’s beyond fabulous that you can see one here.)

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel like writing again. But I had commitments, the first of which was leading the Young Writers seminar at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. Ironically, the workshop kicked off on my father’s birthday – July 8th – the first without him. The location of the event literally butted up to the cemetery where we’d buried him in January. It was heart-wrenching to make the drive every day, to not be able to call him on my way home and give him the run-down of events, as was customary after every author event I had ever attended. But the whole thing – starting on his birthday, seeing headstones as I parked my car – felt healing at the same time. Like somehow, this part had been planned for me.

 

Even more healing? The teens I had the honor of spending the week with. Their energy was limitless, their talent, insight, bravery, and hope knew no bounds. And they were intensely supportive of one another. Just being around them made me feel hopeful. And brave. These teens made me see that I might just be ready to try again some day. I haven’t started writing yet, but I’m close. I can feel a story churning up from the depths of my mind. It’s hazy and needs a good dusting off, but I know I’ll get there. My very fist step in the right direction is due to the Young Writers, and everyone else at Antioch Writers’ Workshop. After the worst 9 months of my life, AWW offered me a soft and safe place to land.

 

 

AWW was held at The University of Dayton this year, a gorgeous campus that I enjoyed exploring.

AWW was held at The University of Dayton this year, a gorgeous campus that I enjoyed exploring.

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A quiet bench – the perfect spot for writing.

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This statue intrigued me. When I went for a closer look, I heard a fountain and found my favorite spot on campus.

My favorite spot at UD.

My favorite spot at UD.

I wish I could include sound effects. This burbling water was soothing to my soul.

I wish I could include sound effects. This burbling water was soothing to my soul.

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Brainstorming Session

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Plotting

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Drafting

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Flowing

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Soaking in the Inspiration

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And a little time for play!

Receiving feedback

Receiving feedback

Evening Readers (such an honor!)

Evening Readers (such an honor!)

Prompt Time

Prompt Time

Beauty

Beauty

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