From The Things I Wish I’d Said:
“I know it’s happened to you . . . You find yourself in a situation that takes you by surprise. A confrontation, perhaps, and you’re expected to respond. You say what immediately comes to mind or something simple, maybe even inane and walk away. Seconds later the perfect comeback line pops into your brain and you wish in vain for the opportunity to push an imaginary rewind button to recite the enlightened script inside your head.”
In her second book, The Things I Wish I’d Said, Michele Cozzens revisits a selection of previously published newspaper columns to offer observations on the same topics with a new perspective, contemplating the things she wishes she’d said.
In this sometimes wry but always warm look at family life, The Things I Wish I’d Said reprints columns published in the early 1990s from her weekly Lifestyle feature in The Montclarion newspaper, where the criteria was everything had to be true and not too political. The author then responds to each piece with what she calls “a more mature eye and a bit mushier brain.” She responds first and foremost as a mother.
The book was inspired by the death of her mother, and when Michele discovered an album her mother had kept of all her former newspaper columns.
This former professional disc golfer (Frisbee golf) and Deadhead (Grateful Dead groupie) with Midwestern roots, explores light topics from baby showers, kids’ birthday parties and being an A-list volunteer, to home improvement and gardening, bad haircuts and blossoming out of an awkward youth. She also digs deep and shares intimate feelings about sexual harassment, the Disastrous First Marriage, and grief over the deaths of her mother and young niece, who suffered a fatal heart attack after taking the herb ephedra.
After her niece’s death, the author donated proceeds from her book sales to the cause of herb awareness. Spreading information at a grassroots level, the organization HerBeware (“Just because it’s all natural, it doesn’t mean it’s safe”) applauds the FDA’s decision to ban ephedra.
Michele VanOrt Cozzens is a talented writer with a broad range. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll want to read more.
“The Things I Wish I’d Said is a look at how aging, parenthood and the death of her mother have changed her view of the world. Cozzens writes with emotional intimacy. Her subject matter is universal.”
—Arizona Daily Star
“Running the gamut of emotions, the stories are about real life, and will touch chords of recognition in every reader. Funny, poignant, reflective or sad, it takes you deep down into the soul of the author, and will alternately touch your heart and your funny bone.”
—Amanda Richards, Amazon.com top 50 reviewer
“There is a section in the book (titled “Wings”) that is honestly one of the sweetest and most romantic things that I have ever read(and I am a guy). I actually walked around the office, demanding that people read particular sections of the book and brought it home for my girlfriend to read as well.”
—J.S. Wilke, Tampa, Florida
“The Things I Wish I’d Said provides a nostalgic look at many issues that effected me during the second half of the 20th century … baby boomers will love it. Michele has a true gift when it comes to writing. She vividly describes situations and events that are sometimes serious and adds humor into almost every topic.”
—C.J. Craig, Wakefield, Rhode Island