BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

ChristmasSnowBoyBrevity‘s Holiday Smile essay blizzard continues:

For his middle school’s Christmas show, my little brother John and his classmates sang holiday standards.  During their renditions of songs such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a few students kept their heads turned to the floor. They focused on their feet.

John, though, loved the spotlight. He acted as though he fronted a boyband. “Frosty the Snowman” elicited a Chorus-line-kick from him. “O Christmas Tree,” a mini-breakdance. After almost every song, he took a bow. Near the end of the performance, Mom cried, silently, regal-like.

When Mom had found out John would be born with Down syndrome, no one in my family knew what to expect. Two open-heart surgeries, an at-home breathing machine, and twelve years had passed since his birth. Now, he starred in a middle school Christmas show. John took his “curtain…

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“In Dirty Socks and Pine Needles, Tyler Gillespie elegantly uses his storytelling to weave his strange, off-kilter childhood memories into a collection of melancholic beauty.  Gillespie’s stories are brave, honest, and seamlessly told with an innocence that has the ability to unlock the dark memories most have buried in their consciousness. There is no better talent than turning heartache into beauty and with Dirty Sock and Pine Needles, Gillespie has mastered this art flawlessly.”

— Franki Elliot, author of Piano Rats

buy dirty socks and pine needles here.  write a review!

My debut book Dirty Socks and Pine Needles was released today! My publisher released it two weeks early, because it is “a good way for readers to start the summer.

I am so excited for people to read it.

Check it out here

It’s $2.99

“We do not choose our family. We love them or want to love them. We embrace them or run from them. We leave them or become them.

Through it all, we are linked by the commonality of a shared blood, and in Dirty Socks and Pine Needles, a sweet and funny eBook single from Sibling Rivalry Press, Tyler Gillespie explores that link by way of the intricate relationships between parent and child, grandmother and grandson, grandfather and grandson, nephew and uncle, and older and younger brother.

The resulting vignettes paint a portrait of a family and the tender-hearted boy at its center, whose first images of himself come from the reflections of those around him.”