Sunday, November 09, 2008
Two in one day
Will wonders ever cease?
I just got off the phone -- again. This time I was talking to my aunt who is also my biological mother. She had just heard about one of the stories I'd written for a Cup of Comfort anthology. After calling Mom and getting a list of all the other anthologies, she got copies of them and read them from the beginning. The first one she read was Love is Enough from Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul
As I reread the story after John read it yesterday, it hit me that I had included her in that story and I was a little nervous about her reading it. The story still makes me cry and I wrote it. She mentioned it when we talked on this phone this evening and she said it made her cry and that she was very proud of me. She had called her sister, my Aunt Wilma, who also got a postcard from me about the latest book, A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer's. Aunt Wilma wanted to know if there were other books and she wrote down the list and went out to buy all the books and read them. I have no idea what Aunt Wilma thinks about my writing, but Ann told me I have a way with words and she thought my stories were the best ones in the books. Isn't family prejudice wonderful? Makes me wish for thousands more just like them.
I have spent most of the day on the phone with friends and family and answering emails from friends and family who all got the word that Past Imperfect has been bought. They're all anxious to read the book, which won't be out until next year. I'm still going through the contract, which is basic boiler plate, and noting things that still need to be negotiated. I have two more books almost ready to put out there and I have no doubt at all they will also be picked up. One book was written in August and the other started a few years ago and put aside while I wrote book reviews, articles, stories and columns. I think it's time to finish it and put it out there.
About the only thing missing right now is being able to share this with Dad. In many ways, he's the person who got me fired up and putting more of my writing out into the world. I know he'd be proud of me because he was proud of everything I've accomplished so far. To him, I was already a best selling author.
It's a little daunting to know that soon there will be a book with only my name under the title and more than a little overwhelming that so many of my family and friends, most of who have supported and encouraged me all these years, aren't shy about sharing their congratulations and pride even though things are not as good for them right now as they are for me. It was hard for me sometimes, as proud and happy as I am for my friends and family's success, not to wonder why, after all the hard work and time I've put in, I didn't have more of what they had. I didn't and don't begrudge them their happiness, but I wanted a small piece of it for myself. This year, I have been amply rewarded for my sometimes reluctant patience and tenacity, and I know even though everyone is happy for me a small part of them wonders when it will be their turn again.
I don't have a lot of money and each month I still struggle to pay the bills and keep some food on the table (and books on the shelves), but over the past few months I feel richer than Midas and blessed, not only because my stories and books are being published, but because I have the most wonderful and faithful and amazing group of friends and family. The words are mine (and sometimes my editors') but my success and happiness I willingly share with all of you, as long as you understand I don't plan to share the checks (that goes for my sister Carol who keeps asking me when she's getting her share). I still have land to buy and a cabin higher up in the mountains to build and furnish.
Thank you all for your friendship. I couldn't have made it this far without giving up without you.