Reading at my local independent bookstore. Faces of friends smiling kindly at me, with an occasional stranger there as well. I begin hesitant. Unsure. I have never done a reading of my own material before. But as I read I gain confidence. My characters take over. It is their experience that I am sharing. Soon I hit my stride, explaining, exhorting, extolling. This is the story of the women’s movement that I lived and I am proud to share it. This is also the story of inequities addressed, and it is the inequities that stir me. I say, “Look at what we accomplished! Title IX and the result of thousands of girls yelling ‘yee-haw’ as they burst onto the field. Sexual harassment no longer okay. Fathers able to carry their children about without inviting scorn. And on and on and on.” And then I pause. Wait. This work is so far from done. I read statistics about inequities in pay. I read statistics about maternal deaths and infant mortality rates and how we still are not fairly represented in our Congress or in our statehouses or how our children still don’t have affordable care. My passion rises. I am loving this work. The bookstore sells every copy of TAKE ME TO MERCY that they have on hand. I stumble home through the night on my husbands’ arm. Content.