That was my very first book signing! It was so lovely to see friends, family, people I only knew through Facebook and folks I didn’t know.
The second book signing with more friends and see that dude in the middle? My good friend’s stepdad? He’s the one who gave me that last push to actually publish because he told me that I had fans who’d want to read whatever I wrote, even if it was just some PDF they had to download.
As far as I know, This. made it as the book-o-the-month for at least three clubs.
I am thankful.
It’s been a pretty good year.
Got one kid off to her second year in college, another started on her way to a successful senior year and the last one settled in at high school. My biggest accomplishment was writing a book and then publishing it. No, I didn’t get a for realsies publisher, which sucked, but I perservered and made “This.” happen. Not on my own — of course — I had quite the support system — a husband who figured out the confusing computer-y stuff, very patient friends who helped edit and layout the book. Friends and people I barely knew offered advice. People came to my signings and shared positive reviews and heart-lifting compliments. I know how busy life is, each and every person who took the time to trek down and buy a book and ask me to sign it, was just beyond. People posted pictures of themselves on social media with MY book, often in exotic locales, which made me a teensy bit jealous but mostly just made me deliriously happy.
Now in my dreams, “This.” was an NYT bestseller — the little book that could — and I made the rounds on all the big talk shows. In my head, I picked out a dress for Stephen Colbert — pink and gold sequins with thick black straps that would hide the wireless mic well — and some gorgeous black peep-toe stiletto heels that looked hot but were walkable so I wouldn’t face-plant on my way to the blue chair opposite Stephen.
That’s the dress! But not those shoes.
I’d make a witty joke and he’d laugh and I’d pretend to take a sip of water if I felt nervous because I wouldn’t dare take a real sip and then spend the rest of the interview needing to pee.
But this wasn’t real.
What was real — a spot on KGUN 9’s Morning Blend right after a piece on erectile dysfunction. I joke about my segment placement, but I was incredibly grateful to get a spot and I can’t imagine the staff or green room over at Colbert’s could have possibly been any nicer because everyone at KGUN was incredibly charming. I got a story and positive review in the good ol’ Arizona Daily Star, where I spent more than two decades hunkered in the newsroom. None of this I take for granted. I am very, very grateful for it all.
Do I still feel a twinge of jealousy when I hear about a local author landing a publisher when I couldn’t? Of course. Do I feel embarrassed that none of my bazillion hail-Mary messages to celebrities in the hopes that one of them might appreciate this spunky indie writer and decide to take me up on the offer of a free book and then tell everyone to read it were answered? Or even read? Of course that stings. But it’s OK.
It’s all OK.
I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel like going the route I did was tough but it taught me so much. Life is about making the best of what ya got. No one is owed anything. Sometimes people get lucky, really lucky, and sometimes people are brutally unlucky.
Shouldn’t I look like Elle McPherson by now after all this damn CrossFitting? Hell yeah. I don’t BUT I am healthy and I feel lucky to be able to have the ability and the time for an exercise program, despite my chronic whining and wheezing.
Shouldn’t I not have to remind my kids to do their chores every day and yell at them for the half-assed job they do when they do them, especially since I do everything they ask like drive them to basketball practice and the mall? Of course. But my kids are happy and healthy and they have good hearts, if not a good sense of cleanliness, and one day I will stop a block away from the gym or the mall and see how they like it when I don’t completely follow through on a task, but for now I’m going to be happy that all of them will be home for Thanksgiving. I treasure the times we have together, all of us, because the time is coming when everyone will scatter and live their own lives unmanaged by me.
Last but not least, I’m also grateful that there are some of you out there who take the time to regularly read this blog.
Happiest of turkey days to all.