Review: YOU BELONG TO US by Molly McCaffrey


My much admired professor, mentor, and friend, Dr. Molly McCaffrey, launched her memoir, You Belong to Us, today. I preordered my copy and received it a few days ago and have been absolutely blown away by the emotional journey captured within its

Adopted at the age of 6 weeks, Molly grew up knowing she’d been adopted but loving the life she’d lived with her adoptive parents–her real parents.

In her late twenties, out of curiosity about who and where she came from, she hesitantly began the steps required to find her birth mother. Her memoir emotionally chronicles the fear, curiosity, confusion, guilt, and anger that guided her through finding and meeting her birth family.

Her experience was especially emotional because, not only did she find a birth mom, she also found out that, after putting her up for adoption, her birth mother and birth father reconciled, got married, and had four other children who were all Molly’s full-blooded siblings. Instead of finding one person, she found an entire family, most of whom never even knew she existed… some of whom would like to pretend she didn’t.

The book is a very emotional read that begs the question… How much does our biology affect who we become? And is it possible for one person to heal a thirty-year-old “wound” that the other person sees as a blessing?

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the human condition and both our abilities and inabilities to accept, adapt, and move on.

You Belong to Us can be purchased here or at Barnes and Noble.

The Official Story of My Demons and Me — The Long Version

Autobiography of a Dysfunctional Writer –The Extended Version

I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for my entire life, I think. I spent my first fourteen years in a “perfect” family setting (perfect for me). We had cook-outs and parties for holidays. We had a nineteen-foot Christmas tree in our two-story living room, and when I was ten years old, my parents brought home my baby brother, Josh.

Family: The Early Years

I remember feeding him and changing diapers. He was my real-life baby doll. When he would whimper from his crib in the next room, I would run to see if he was okay. Of course, my parents thought it was so sweet. I loved him.

Several years later, we had moved into a bigger home, built a pool, and I started the middle-school/high-school climb. I began doing all the normal stuff that you have to hide from your parents—smoking, drinking, smoking pot, sneaking out.

My dad smoked pot my entire life. It was normal to me. I thought all adults did it. On the weekends, my parents had parties where eight or nine people would sit around getting high and playing cards or dice. All I knew was that I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody at school what my parents did because it was our business. I never told… until it became cool. Then I bragged. “Yeah, I swiped this bud from my dad’s stash. It’s some good shit too.” Continue reading

Day 3 of The Dysfunctional Writer’s 7 Day Book Giveaway

Day 3 of the BookGiveaway!

she's come undone wally lamb

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (paperback)

From Amazon:

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Meet Dolores Price. She’s 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.

I am currently reading The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, and it is an amazing read so far. She’s Come Undone was everything I’d thought it would be. Lamb creates characters who are wide open. You feel their emotions, their ambitions, and their challenges. Dolores Price deals with self-discovery, body image, depression, and becoming the woman she’s meant to be.

To enter the giveaway for this item:

Comment on this post. That’s it. The winner will be chosen out of the people who have commented by the end of the day on January 8 (Central Standard Time).

Sometime on January 9, with help from my husband, I will choose one commenter at random as the winner and provide them with my contact information. The winner will be responsible for contacting me by email with shipping information, and I will ship the book within the following day or two. (Will only ship within the US, sorry!)

←Day 2 of the Book Giveaway                      Day 4 of the Book Giveaway→

Who is The Dysfunctional Writer?

I was considering the best way to really introduce myself without boring you with an essay-type autobiographical post that nobody would read all the way through. So instead, I decided to take all that boring information and spread it out. I’ll just randomly bombard you with useless lists of facts about my life. That way, you’ll all be forced to grow to love me before you realize how screwed up I am. 🙂

My Random Facts for Today. I’ll start with the boring stuff.

My name is Brandy.

I’m 33 years old.

I’ve been married for four years to my best friend, Danny.

I’m a senior at Western Kentucky University and majoring in creative writing and minoring in literature.

I’ve been a freelance writer for four years.

I live with anxiety and depression.

There’s nothing in the world I love to do more than read.

Sometimes, when I have the time to read non-school stuff, I read really crappy mainstream novels.

My husband and I are obsessed with Netflix.

Some of our favorites are Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Hart of Dixie, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Six Feet Under, Nip Tuck, Orange is the New Black, and Roseanne

Some of my favorites are Haven, Drop Dead Diva, Gossip Girl, Revenge

I have no idea when we ever found the time to watch all that TV.

I love writing, but I have a lot of trouble deciding on and being happy with what I want to write about.

Going to college was the best decision I’ve ever made, even though I didn’t start until I was 28.

I have a little brother who is 23, and he’s one of my best friends.

I love reading about writing and talking to other writers.

I’m a narcissist.

I can’t write without complete silence which causes problems with the hubby at times.

I love ranch sunflower seeds.

Three months ago, I quit smoking after twenty years and almost two packs a day. I quit by vaping instead.

I am fashionably challenged.

I have a Red Bull addiction–not for the energy. I just love the taste.

I’m also addicted to Diet Coke.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for three years now.

I quit my job last week, and I’m going to try to write full-time until school is over.

I’m scheduled to graduate in December 2015, but I’m considering stretching it out an extra semester. I’d like the extra time to enter more writing contests and get an internship in before I graduate.

I guess that’s enough for now. I’ll save some for later. 🙂

More Random Facts→