birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

If You’re Going To Do It...

I fell on my face. Smack dab on my face. It was raining, and I was running across the parking lot in back of the building where I worked on campus. I don’t know if I slipped, or misjudged the distance, or my shoe fell off. All I know was one second I was running across the median. The next I was on my face. I jumped up and looked around to see if anyone had seen such an amazing feat of uncoordination. Nope. No one around. Whew. It took me a minute to find my shoe. Then I saw blood dripping down my nose.

The cut on the bridge of my nose from my sunglasses took 11 stitches and left a permanent white place where pigment used to be. The cut on my upper lip took 9 stitches and is just a typical stitch scar. Still, on my face. And, my nose was broken and is a little more crooked than it used to be, too.

I talked to a plastic surgeon about scar revision, but that would be another six months of my face being a mess. And the place on the bridge of my nose could never be fixed. I tried to hide the scars with make up at first.

Now I don’t even notice them. About the only time I do is when someone thinks there’s something on my face and tries to helpfully wipe off the white scar. Scars on your face are just so out there.

When the entire editorial staff of a journal I worked for missed a spelling error on the cover—the one word on the cover, by the way. One of the writers in the issue said, “If you’re going to do it, do it big and on the cover.”

Yep, that’s what I did.