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Good New Year, All . . .

Well, it appears I am starting the new year by looking back (and looking at this photo, far, far back). I was clearly in my twenties then, completely in love with all things musical, and sporting a giant afro. Yes, me and some most excellent Bose speakers - what more can I say. And we still believed in owning encyclopedias back then!

Anyway, this year opens very excitingly, with the publication of a memoir (also, a look back, to my growing years and our not-always perfect family). This book (Table Scraps, named after the title essay) will be different from the short stories. It's still about Louisiana, but much more personal, as memoir typically is. I anticipate that some people may find it less palatable because it reveals a set of truths about our young family that some may not wish to hear, especially at this late date, when both my mother and father have passed on. I have done my best to represent those days well, though, and I am indeed finally publishing the essays (many of which are close to twenty years old) because I know how strongly my father believed in making up for, as Ben Franklin said, the "errata" of his life. In writing these essays over the years, I realized just how much my father wanted others to know that people can change, if they truly want to, and that he did indeed change. That is a powerful message for a book, and this is why I am happy to share my memoir with you.

Otherwise, I hope that you are doing well and you are happy. I hope that you are loving those whom you crave, caring for those whom you should, and learning from those whom you are fortunate enough to have. All the best in this new year and decade. J.

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