Sometimes, because writing is fun, I forget to add a huge disclaimer to these exercises. You know, the one that reads, “Just an exercise, folks!” I enjoyed trying to think of 50 things a person wouldn’t do — the challenge of so many “nevers” intrigued me, as well as trying to insert humor and pathos while the words tumbled out in what I hoped was a pleasing rhythm. I thought parts of it worked. And, yes, of course I mined my own life for ideas — and I labeled it “confessional” to warn people who are adverse to such things — but to read that list and think that is all me would be a mistake.

Thank you.