Twenty-five years ago today. No wonder my parents were so freaked out — we *were* babies…
Of course there was a musical number.
It’s my wedding anniversary today.
It’s also my bookiversary — one year ago today “This.” plopped out into the world, giving me one more thing in my life to be both proud and angsty about.
And yes, it is also April Fools’ and it’s no coincidence these things happened on this day. If I could have figured out the way to totally control the arrivals of any of my children, this would also be their birthday. I love April Fools’.
So much to celebrate today.
Back before we had an acronym for Sheltering in Place and Corona was just a not-very-good beer*, I had thoughts of having some sort of blowout shindig to honor these things along with some kinda big birthdays and No. 2’s upcoming high school graduation. I had grand visions of twinkling party lights and a taco truck and drinks mixed up at our newly installed bar (that was well-timed for a quarantine) and possibly a karaoke machine. Maybe it’ll still happen. We’ll see.
This was going to be the year that we went back to celebrating our anniversary the way we used to BK (Before Kids, not Burger King): with a trip. Now that they’re older and there’s backup, i.e., grandparents who live close enough to hear sirens and/or any loud parties, we figured we could get away with going away. Of course coronavirus had other ideas. At the very least, I might break out the tiara I bought a few years back (because every girl should have one). BUT I’m not pulling on my wedding dress like that lady whose kids wanted her to wear it for lunch because, quite frankly, my dress would not fit and then I’d spiral into a depression.
On a side note, did you know that 25 years of marriage is only worth silver? Stinking silver? WTH? In this day and age, the modern gift should be a second home in Hawaii.
In book-related news, I stopped checking my Amazon rankings awhile ago because I prefer to remember that joyous day I hit triple-digits. That was a good day. It wasn’t such a good day when I found out I miscalculated my royalties and discovered that for all this time and effort I made… $500. Being an indie writer makes journalism look lucrative.
But that’s OK!
Money isn’t what matters. What matters is the people who told me they picked “This.” for their book club to read. What matters is the friend who held a reading for me. What matters is the other friend who popped up at a signing and took pictures. What matters is the friends who sped over from a self-defense class with their younger daughters — we had done this together with our oldest kids, an event I wrote about in “This.” — to make it in time to have me sign their copies. What matters is the people I don’t know but who said they read my newspaper column for years and wanted a book. What matters is the old friends I reconnected with and the new ones I made because of “This.” What matters is all the people who posted or texted pictures of themselves on vacation with my book, even though they didn’t take me. What matters is the people who took the time to write a review, who spent their money to buy something *I* wrote. Every nice thing everyone said or texted or posted, I hold in my heart. All those things were truly special. They more than made up for the ego-bruising that also came as a result of this book. And that stupid, one-word review from Vic.**
Publishing a book was scary, exhilarating, nerve-wracking and a bucket-list item. Glad I get to cross that one off.
Sometimes I get down because I didn’t want to admit it, but I hoped “This.” would be the little indie book that blew up and captured the country’s attention for a little bit, but not in a Jeanine Cummins kind of way. I suppose it could still happen, especially if you bought it on Amazon right now and ordered copies for your closest 10,009 friends and then banged out a positive review. It could be one word***, it’s OK! No one expects a dissertation! You’re not the writer!
But I realize in this current, unprecedented, completely whackadoodle time, it’s absolutely fine to be the little, mostly unnoticed thing that gives someone a smidge of joy. My book is a lot like those rocks I posted about earlier this week. Sure some people didn’t notice “This.” but those who did appreciated it — and that’s what matters.
*That’s what people say anyway, I am not a beer girl so I wouldn’t personally know.
**Still not over that Amazon.com review that gave me three stars and simply said “Gift.”
*** Suggestion: awesome.