A letter to my second daughter on her second birthday

We talked a lot about your name, your Mom and me, on that first drive home from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Your middle name came first: “Victoria”. It had two meanings. First, because that was your great-grandfather’s middle name, Victor. But on that long drive home in the dark, it was the second meaning — the literal definition of the word “victor” — that stood out to us, because it was what we needed you to be. 

For someone who supposedly knows how to use words good and stuff, I will forever lack the ones to describe the immediate weeks that followed that trip. On any one of those days, I would have traded everything to know you would be okay. But life is funny and strange and altogether unpredictable, and sometimes you find immutable truths in unexpected places. Because it was in those dark moments, when you were only a middle name and a fuzzy black-and-white outline on a screen, that I knew with absolute certainty that I loved you more than just about anything in this world. 

And while I am often wrong (especially on any Final Jeopardy questions about music or geography) and will continue to be (especially as you grow older and your sentences increasingly start with But Daaaaaaaad…), I wasn’t here. In fact, there are few things — if any — that I’ve been more right about in my life.

Because several months later, you came into this world crying and not 10 minutes later you pooped on that little heat-lamp table that looks like a much fancier version of the kind that keeps fried chicken warm at Hollywood Fried Chicken and suddenly me and your Mom were crying, too, because you’d pooped and I will never again be so happy in my life to see another living creature poop. 

In that moment, you’d come to embody that middle name your Mom and me had dreamed up for you when, in those fleeting moments, spread apart like the streetlights headed northbound toward home after that first visit to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we dared to allow ourselves to hope.

I am such a lucky man. I have your mother and your sister and a roof over my head and food and family and friends. And now I have you and I often wonder how it is that I’ve been so lucky. Not just for everything that happened before you were born, but for every moment you’ve given me after. How am I so lucky that I get to be your Dad?

You are fearless and kind and bumps and bruises. You are smart and adventurous and painfully observant. You are smiles and giggles and eyes so big and wide that life can’t help but pour in through them. You are a sister and a daughter and someone who, even so young, is unafraid to love.

And perhaps most fittingly, you are my living, laughing, reminder to never lose hope.

That is your secret, that singularly magic word. Even before you were born you gave us hope, and it is my own hope that you carry that with you, always, and share it with the world. As I’m sure you’ll learn one day, the world will never have enough of it.

May you always have your indomitable spirit, your dauntless enthusiasm, your wellspring of kindness. May you always dare to hope and dream, even in the dark stretches between streetlights. And may you always know, that even before you were born, you were loved beyond words. 

And you always will be. 

THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE is coming to NY Comic Con

I am becoming more and more convinced that the summer didn’t actually happen, and everything I thought that happened was one long fever dream. That, or time has been sucked through a tear in the space-time continuum. Either way, goodbye, summer. My lack of interest in anything pumpkin related means I will miss you terribly.

It’s September now, which means THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE‘s release date can now be measured in weeks instead of months. There’s been some nice things said about it: Publisher’s Weekly did a very nice review, as did Shelf Awareness. Booklist gave it a starred review. Barnes & Noble added it to its list of Best Fantasy books to read in September. Goodreads has been a bit of a mixed bag, with some people seeming to have thoroughly enjoy it, while others would — to borrow a phrase from the book itself — like to see me chained to the bottom of an active volcano (see here). On the whole, I’m thrilled people are even paying attention to it, to be honest. That said, it’s nice that sentiments seem to be mostly positive. Silver linings and all that.

In other news, I’ll be at New York Comic Con this year. Despite having lived across the river from it for almost all of my life, I’ve never been, so it’s strange my first time there will be in a professional capacity. All the same, I’m very excited. Carly will undoubtedly have to give me the talk — you know the one: the “no, Dear, there is no room in the house for a life-size replica of 90’s era Gambit from the X-Men” talk. She will win that discussion, mostly because I rather enjoy her being my wife and not, say, my ex-wife.

So, my current schedule for Comic Con:

Friday, 10/7 4:30-5:00pm, I’ll be at the Simon & Schuster booth (Booth 2128) doing a giveaway book signing. So if you want to read THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE but also enjoy things like being able to buy food, that’s you best chance to snag a copy on the free. Or swing by just to hang out with your boy. You know, whatever works.

Sunday, 10/9 I’ll be a part of the Myths, Fairy Tales and Legends: Reimagining Classic Stories Panel from 1:15-2:15pm in room 1A18 with a book signing to follow from 2:30-3:30pm. I will be by far the most unheard of, worst dressed panelist there, but c’est la vie. It should be a lot of fun, and the other authors in the panel have some really great stuff as well, so if you’ve got a Sunday ticket, come check it out. I’ve been told panels fill up quickly, so if you’re interested, arrive a bit early.

If you plan on dropping by either of those, shoot me a note: cgigl.author [-at-] [-gmail-] .com or tweet at me @cgigl. I’ll also probably be wandering the floor on Friday (possibly with an extra copy or two), so say hi!

Blog.print(“Hello World”)

So, this is my blog. Me being Colin, you being the Google web crawler bot, most likely. There are many blogs like it, I’m sure. I can promise you my posts will be sporadic, rambling, and generally incomprehensible, which I think covers all my bases as far as “necessary components of an author’s blog” go. Also, because it needs to be said: No, Mom, this isn’t where you go to search for things — you want Google.

To be honest, I don’t really have any concrete plans for this place. I started this mostly because I wrote a book, and sometimes I’d like to talk about it with people who aren’t my wonderful wife, Carly (MWWC for short) or my Dad, both of whom will probably hang themselves the first chance they get if they have to hear about “the book” anymore. I don’t intend to post exclusively about that, though, mostly because I’ll hang myself if that’s all I talk about.

If you can tell by my Twitter account, following Arsenal FC occupies a fair amount of my time. To any of you misguided souls who have the misfortune of supporting any other soccer/football club, you have both my condolences and assurances that I do not gloat about the Arsenal — I fear the karmic wrath of the football Gods in the same way I fear  a President Donald Trump. I also grew up playing video games, and since I have yet to actually grow up, I still do, so I imagine that topic will crop up on occasion.

Whatever happens, hopefully this will be the first post of many to come. I doubt it, because, ya know, ME, but still. Positive thoughts.