Saturday, July 28, 2007

Books In Hand

Well…I promise to get better at blogging. So for any of you who have been checking this spot (and according to my web sources, some of you have been checking), please forgive me.

I’m obviously a novice blogger. Seasoned bloggers understand that blogging requires commitment and attention. I do get that. And I do appreciate the art of blogging. That’s why I’m committed to getting better. It seems that blogging is a skill you learn by doing. So I guess I’m no further behind than anyone else who took a leap one day and decided to launch a blogspot.

And it’s not that I’ve been without news to share. Copies of my book, “Involuntary Joy,” arrived on a huge transport truck last Friday (much bigger than necessary because my books were simply accompanying one of 3Ms’ shipments). We took delivery at 2 p.m., and I was at the post office just after 4 p.m. mailing complimentary copies to friends and relatives who have lived through the writing and self-publishing process with me.

I’d have to describe the ensuing days as hectic—but exciting. They have been filled with calls to independent bookstores, drives to make book deliveries, orders via the Internet, trips to the post office, and both informal and formal book signings.

I honestly can’t describe what it feels like to have the book in printed form in a way I can share with others. Fulfilling? Yes. But not I’m not as over-the-top-elated as someone might think. Instead there is a pervasive peace underscoring everything that is happening. It all feels so: natural. It’s as if part of me is saying: “Why, of course, this is happening. Haven’t we always known it would?”

I don’t know who the “we” is. It's just that I don’t feel alone in any way. A full team of friends helped get me to this point, and our whole family continues to be in this together—Mark, Stross, Skye. Best of all, the events of this past week have felt natural to each one of us. It's as if we feel we are being led somewhere (I think only literally, and not figuratively), and it’s an honor to be on the trip—and deeply satisfying.

Once I know where we are headed, I’ll let you know. I’m being encouraged to find a way to share my book on a broader scale. And I’m very open to that. I know that—just like the way this book finally made it to print—I won’t be able to accomplish that goal (dream?) alone. For those of you who've read the book, I believe I’ll have to find the current that can carry me that direction, and then prepare to enjoy the ride.

Thank you to all who have been so kind and supportive. I’m deeply touched; I’m humbled. You are numbered among my many involuntary joys.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Adventure Begins

After more than a decade of talking about it, I finally did it. I published a book. A memoir even. And soon others will have a chance to read what I've been holding inside.

I think the book might even be described as "a good book." But I'm the author. Authors don't get to decide. It will only be a good book if those who read it want others to read it too. And, a few weeks from now, I may begin to find out if that's what has happened.

Until then I continue to wait.

My waiting has not been unproductive, however. I've spent the time thinking some pretty incredible thoughts (if I do say so myself). The thoughts are more like answers to private questions, or the collective outcome of my personal contemplations. In particular, I've been revisiting a question I first entertained nearly 16 years ago: "What did I hope to accomplish by writing a book anyway?"

No matter when I ask myself the question or how I pose the question to myself, I return to a single answer: I want to get conversations started.

And that probably doesn't surprise anyone who knows me.

So...I'm growing more eager with every passing day. I can't wait to see how the conversation begins.