The happiest surprise of publishing Safe as Houses has been the people who have reached out to me at readings and on all sorts of social media (is that how you pluralize that?) to tell me how they appreciated the stories. “Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours” seems to have particularly resonated with a few people who have, like me, gone through a period of time feeling like an alien on the earth. I wrote that story during a difficult time when I needed to make myself laugh. It was beyond worth it if it helps anyone else. Though I’ve written back and bent the ears of anyone who has reached out to me, I want to say again: your words are not lost on me. I think you are so brave and I thank you for sharing your stories with me. So many people seem to have had the experience of being ostracized for being different that I feel certain we “aliens” are never truly alone.