Anything That Happens is a forthcoming poetry collection published by Press 53 in March 2021. This is my first full-length book.
Presale begins January 2021.
At the age of twenty, Cheryl Wilder got behind the wheel when she was too drunk to drive. She emerged from the car physically whole. Her passenger, a close friend, woke up from a coma four months later with a life-changing brain injury. Anything That Happens follows her journey from a young adult consumed by shame and self-hatred to a woman she can live with… and even respect. Along the way, Wilder marries, has a son, divorces, and cares for her dying mother. Anything That Happens examines what it takes to reconcile a past marked by a grave mistake, a present as caregiver to many, and a future that stretches into one long second chance.
About the title
When someone is looking to heal, they are looking for answers. Answers are not always easy, if there are answers at all. People told me the car crash wasn’t my fault, because it was an accident. The word “accident” was their answer. It didn’t make me feel better, though it seemed to help them move on from the tragedy.
Not until I looked up the definition of “accident” did I realize why the word made me feel lonelier, and even more helpless, than I already did:
accident (‘ӕksidәnt), sb. [a. Fr. accident: —L. accidens. –ent, sb. properly pr. pple. of accid-ӗre to fall, to happen.]
- Anything that happens.
- † a. An occurrence, incident, event. Obs. b. Anything that happens without foresight or expectation; an unusual event, which proceeds from some unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known cause; a casualty, a contingency. the chapter of accidents: the unforeseen course of events. c. esp. An unfortunate event, a disaster, a mishap.
[The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., s.v. “accident.”]