You & Me
Reflections on Becoming Your Dad
Volume I of the Hobblebush Reflections Series
Dan Szczesny is a long-time journalist, author and speaker living in New Hampshire.
He’s written several books of travel memoir (The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, Mosquito Rain), fiction (Sing and Other Stories) and poetry (Invincible One, Poems).
His book, The Nepal Chronicles, about a month long trek to Everest Base Camp and marriage in Kathmandu, won the 2016 New Hampshire state library award for Outstanding Work of Non-Fiction.
His most recent book, The White Mountain: Rediscovering Mount Washington’s Hidden Culture won the 2019 New Hampshire Writer’s Project award for outstanding work of non-fiction, and won the People’s Choice award for non-fiction that year as well.
Dan is also the editor of Murder Ink, a series of New England-based pulp fiction anthologies set in or around the newsroom.
His short story “White Like Marble” was a finalist in the 2017 Ernest Hemingway Foundation Short Shorts Contest, out of the Hemingway birthplace in Oak Park, Ill.
Dan began his career in Buffalo, New York. Since then, he has written for a wide variety of regional and national publications, including the Main Line Times, Philadelphia Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, Princeton Packet, Pennsylvania Magazine, Appalachia Journal, New Hampshire Magazine, AMC Outdoors, Yahoo! Parenting and Huffington Post.
In 2000, he moved to New Hampshire to cover the Presidential Election. In 2001, Dan became Associate Publisher of The Hippo, now the state’s largest arts and entertainment journal.
He’s a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s 4,000-footer club and has written extensively about the outdoors and hiking. He has camped in the Grand Canyon, hiked England’s Coast-to-Coast trail, and trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Dan was a hiking guide and naturalist for Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center in Milton, Massachusetts.
Dan lives in Manchester with his wife and Baby U. For more on Dan's books, visit www.danszczesny.com.
"Through the lens of fatherhood, Dan Szczesny demonstrates what it means to be mindful, curious, and awakened in You & Me: Reflections on Becoming Your Dad. Readers travel through time, experiencing the first five years of Uma’s life through her father’s eyes. Dan takes his vast knowledge and condenses it in a way that brings readers into the moment and goes directly to the heart. He beautifully captures how the moments that create our memories and build relationships, are opportunities for connection and enlightenment. Dan and Uma show us that all we are seeking is right here, in every moment. We just need the eyes to see it.
—Kourtney LaFavre, author of If Sun Could Speak and mom of four kids.
"In today's world where life moves far too quickly, what a delight to stumble upon this beautiful collection. Like a time-capsule full of wondrous observations, we are all at once transported to a slower, more thoughtful world where we witness the passage of time through the eyes of a loving Dad. Dan Szczesny’s delight and simultaneous grief over the inevitable growth of his precious and oh-so-wise young daughter, will resonate with me for a long time to come"
—Kasey Mathews, speaker, coach and author of Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood and A Mom's Guide to Creating a Magical Life, and mom of two kids.
"Lovely and lively reflections on the world of being a dad. One of the purest joys of parenting is that you get to be there as your child becomes who they are, and as it happens, you often find out a lot about who you are, too. These essays show that even as parenting (along with everything else) gets more and more complex, Dan Szczesny keeps this simple, straightforward and important truth close by. If anyone is meant to be a dad, and then to write about how special that can be, then he certainly is."
—Brady Carlson, author of Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation’s Leaders, and dad of three kids.
"Dan Szczesny's connection to our world flows off the page and into us, harkening back to the earthen intuition of the native New England transcendentalists of old, but infused with the complex wisdom and lightness of heart of one who's watched the 20th century blend clumsily into the 21st. Where the book shines, however, is in his palpable connection with his daughter and grasp of the gifts both of childhood and, especially, of parenthood. Within each short, meditative chapter, we not only see life through Dan's insightful eyes—which miss nothing about this enchanted, ordinary place—but we see the kind of parent that we ourselves aspire to be.
—Chris DiLoreto, Creative Director, Monadnock Underground, and a dad of three kids.
"During my very first nannying gig, I was sternly attempting to coerce my young charge to walk down the sidewalk on a beautiful afternoon. He ignored me, squatting down and squealing 'It’s a sign of spring!' at a tiny violet unfurling from a crack in the sidewalk. In this book, Dan Szczesny offers us a dazzling handful of these gems, illuminating a deeply spiritual dimension of parenthood. His stories about experiences with his daughter invite us to open ourselves to the hints of the divine that grow in unexpected cracks, even when they arrive crying at 2 AM or dressed in a superhero cape."
—Zoë Wroten-Heinzmann, Religious Educator at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Peterborough, and a mom of two kids
176 pp, Paperback
Publication Date: June 2020