Dear blog followers,
I need to step back from The Ripple Effect: Stories of Gun Violence Survivors blog, so I can devote my time to other kinds of writing — still about survivors of gun violence.
Also, since I am back at my full-time teaching job in Flagstaff, I am not traveling as much across the country to meet with survivors as I did during the past year. So, while I still have hours of audio to transcribe, I won’t be doing new interviews for a while now.
This is not a good-bye, but a thank you: To all the survivors who shared their heartfelt stories with me over the past year. I always have you close to my heart. I will not forget you and the journeys you are on. Since launching this blog on the first anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, I have met so many wonderful people.
And to you, readers, thank you for giving me feedback and cheering me on as I shared the moving stories of others.
Since June 2018, I traveled thousands of miles to nearly a dozen locations across the country, talked with approximately three dozen survivors of gun violence, and interviewed people for nearly 100 hours. I talked to survivors in their homes, at coffee shops, in libraries and restaurants, and sitting in the sunshine at public spaces.
I was touched by how many of you let me into your lives. I watched the tears come with your story telling, the anger come from the violence of the shootings, and the warmth come from your hearts.
While this blog is on hiatus, I will still post from time to time, and hope by next summer to give you an update on my other writing — still focused on survivors of gun violence. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, I hope you stay safe, engaged, and in the now.
Mary Tolan is a fiction writer and journalist. Her first published book Mars Hill Murder, a mystery set in Flagstaff, will be published by The Wild Rose Press in autumn of 2023.