The eve of the release of my first books is just a few days away. Shades of Truth and Flickering Hope will both be released November 15. These past few weeks have been surreal, both very ordinary, and also extraordinary. I've held my books in my hands for the first time. Signed books. Heard back from readers who read the books and sent me stunning comments that took my breath away. Prepared book presentations. And I've continued to do all my real-life chores. Like laundry. It's hard to believe that one can do laundry a few days before one of her biggest dreams comes true, right?
Today is a perfect day to send out a huge universal thank you, Sadie-style. Sadie, the main character in my books, loves to make top-ten lists. So here's my Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For...
Number 10- The Young Inklings
These incredible young people have inspired me, challenged me, and reminded me when I'm most ready to give up that nothing is impossible.
Number 9- The Ocean
The final revision on each of these books was done to the music of crashing waves, sitting in my car at the shore. The wind blew fresh air into all the dusty corners.
Number 8- My Critique Partners
How can you thank friends who drop everything to read, and reread, and reread your developing manuscript? Without their sharp eyes and probing questions, the books would not be what they are.
Number 7- My Friends
Oh, their patience! They've stuck with me, even when I've disappeared for months at a time, and cheered me on all the while.
Number 6- My Parents
Even in those terrifying moments when I was exhausted, confused, frustrated, when I couldn't string two words together, my parents believed in my dream. Their belief has been a touchstone for my whole life.
Number 5- My Husband
Yes, there were days when I wrote instead of vaccuming, instead of doing the dishes, when I blatantly ignored the growing pile of laundry. And yet, even when it wasn't always comfortable, he continued to encourage me to follow my dream.
Number 4- Honest Editors
For a long while, I tried to write without revealing myself. I tried to write without taking risks, or being vulnerable. And then a few editors called me out. Did I really want to be a writer? If so, I had to take the leap. I did, and it made all the difference.
Number 3- Anne Ursu
Everyone needs someone who can see not only who they are in this moment, but who they have the potential to be. My graduate advisor, Anne Ursu, was that person for me. She cheered me on and stood steadfastly by as I fought through my fears.
Number 2- Emily Greco
My best friend, Emily Greco, is the person I can call when I've lost all perspective. Gently, kindly, she reminds me that I've been here before. That I'm on a journey. That ups and downs are part of being an artist. And then she tempts me with red vines and swedish fish. After which, I cannot remain unhappy.
Number 1- Failures
I struggled for most of my life to avoid failure. But looking back, the failures were so much more important than the successes, in leading me to this moment. So, most of all, I'm grateful for all of the moments when I crashed and burned. And to everyone on this list that helped me get back up and keep going.