{acknowledgements again}

We’ve had this talk before, where I see the [TK] left deliberately blank in my copy editing notes and feel like I Ought To Say Something, but, in an effort to be true to my actual self, whose lack of reading of acknowledgements is a fact of my own existence, each time I resist. I put in a dedication – those are meant to be short. But, until I start writing nonfiction, or at the very least, unless it’s in a fiction book where I make wide use of nonfiction sources, I don’t see myself writing acknowledgements.

Not that my work exists in a vacuum. I know very well that I could acknowledge my writing group in every single book I write. They have to put up with me backing up, turning, and staggering forward again, like a drunken Roomba trying to avoid a spot in the carpet. They’re good people who listen to me agonize, and read my efforts that sometimes don’t cover much new ground. However, I do the same for them, and that’s our contract – we read each other’s worst crap, so it gets better.

Not that I don’t owe gratitude to the number of websites, books, and references materials I do use. To the therapists whose articles in Psychology Today inform some of my conclusions. To the sociologists whose work on humanity in groups helps me understand what I want to see, and how I want to explain it. The fact is, I have a ton of acknowledgements I could write, but I write children’s books. Kids don’t read those things, and writing something in a children’s book not intended for children feels kind of pretentious – from me, anyway – to write.

So, once again, I lay my acknowledgements here – where very few people will still read them, but where I feel like less of a soppy dolt for inflicting them on the world at large, vague and large as my gratitude tends to be.

♦ ♦ ♦

I acknowledge that the known world is, for many, decaying into entropy, by design. Things are no longer meant to be counted on, including goods and services, social media sites (sigh, Twixter), and more. Via capitalism we’re meant to propel civilization forward in a world largely indifferent to human needs and desires, basic things like facts, and fundamental human connection. We live in a hellscape, and it’s largely of our own making.

And yet, Science.

It is likely not easy to be in science in this environment. It is about as easy as it is to be a junior high girl, and yet, exactly like junior high girls, science keeps going. Inquiry keeps being fueled by inquiring minds. Rigor and clarity and research goes on. Answers people dismiss and dislike are produced, and methodologies which help and heal are discovered. And some of it is published online and I don’t quite understand it, but I acknowledge it: thank you to the scientists who published studies and grad school papers where I could find them, to use in my novel about a girl who discovered that sometimes girls are just mean, but that knowing your worth and holding onto that are the biggest things you can learn to do. Thank you, Science, for continuing to know your own worth in a world where liars hold office, and attempt to use the lever of government to remake the world in their image. Thank you, Science, for being there, even when my shaky Creationist-raised hold on you means I’m not entirely positive of what is in my hands. Thank you, scientists, who keep trying to explain.

Thank you, Dr. Faucci, you poor, patient man.

Thank you, Hank Green for educating a great many of us, and thank you, Brothers Green, for existing, and reminding us that science and faith can exist, and love each other without being awful about it.

I acknowledge that junior high is awful, the world is terrible, and yet, Science exists. And so here, my last acknowledgement – in spite of everything, we have something for which to be thankful.