My book came. From signing the contract to holding it in my hands it took nine months and right now I want to swaddle Mother of My Son (M.O.M.S. and ironically, I didn’t plan that) in a blanket and parade it up and down the street asking people, “Isn’t it pretty?”
My daughter saw my book and said, “You’re famous!”
“Hardly famous, Sweetie,” I said. “I don’t want to be famous, I just want to write.” Sometimes the two go hand in hand; more often they do not.
Regardless of the reviews MOMS will soon garner, it is so fun to hold and smell and run my hands over the smooth cover, and yet knowing how much time, effort, tears, prayers, rejections, rewrites, went into the thing, it’s also strange. Twelve years of my life (off and on, but still) not to mention blood, sweat, and tears, (Ok maybe not blood and sweat but definitely tears) went into its conception, execution, and publication and many times I wondered if I was stark raving mad to pursue a thing like writing a novel and finding a publisher. And now, as I hold it, I wonder… how can all of that be wrapped up in this one pretty yet simple book? It’s like watching Jeannie get sucked into her bottle—how can all of her fit into that tiny capsule?
Now that it’s tangible, I’m reading it, and I didn’t think I would. Didn’t think I could. But I’m remembering what was going on in my life when I strung certain words together, thinking about how some scenes used to go on for pages and pages but, for the sake of pacing, are now whittled down to mere sentences.
So while today, May 24th, marks the birthday of my book it also, for me in a way, marks its death because up until now this story has been my make-believe, private world and now it is utterly, irrevocably, public. It’s wonderful, in an “I-can’t believe-it-happened” way, but also somewhat unsettling. These characters I know so well, who’ve driven me crazy at times, are no longer just mine, they now belong to the reader. In a way, I’ve already moved on from them, left them for a new set of imaginary friends who’ve totally captivated my attention and time, who are murmuring that it’s time for me to tell their story.
So, so long Amber. So long Beth and Michael. Welcome to the world of readers. You may be loved (I hope) you may be judged (I’m realistic) you may be misunderstood (we all are). Above all, I hope you will be evokers of empathy. Because when you strip it down, that’s the purpose of story, the reason why books are born.
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Congratulations to Sarah P from Louisville, KY – our ‘Facebook share’ winner!