To quote a friend (author Randy Henderson), yesterday was my Dream Come True Day.
For which I hauled out my first book, written in what must have been 3rd or 4th grade. I wrote about it here, long ago, but to recap it’s about a girl who inexplicably lives in Dallas (I grew up in Montana), cons her parents into letting her win a horse that turns out to be a Pegasus, and adventures until she and the steed are eaten by a large green dragon. Chomp. The End.
Little could I have dreamed all those many years ago (and they are many) that I’d spend the day awash in love and support from all corners of the globe, all corners of time, and all corners of my life. That I’d spend an evening at the podium of one of my favorite bookstores looking at a room crammed with friends and supporters who came to listen to me read, and bought all but one of the books in stock. Or that I’d close out the night with five of my close friends, shutting out a bar full of quiz teams, waltzing in and whooping the next closest team by twenty points. That I’d be unable to sleep, the day swimming hazy and the night’s full moon bathing the room with light. There are no words for the gratitude I feel, for the love I hope I reflected back to my friends and community. I couldn’t do this without them. I’m so glad I don’t have to.
There were so many great surprises yesterday. People who came who I hadn’t expected. Happy tears. Flowers. Champagne.
But one of the most wonderful points of the evening yesterday was when a bookstore employee named Anna approached me before the reading. (I can’t even type this without crying.) She thanked me for writing the book and said she’d had trouble putting it down because it was the book she’d needed in her life just then. And I couldn’t tell her this without completely dissolving, but one of the many reasons I wrote LTZ was because I had just finished a book (also an epistolary novel) that I had very much needed in my life. To be able to give that back — even to just one beautiful young woman — well, it makes every bad day, every bad review, every all-nighter worth it. This is why we read and write, for the call and response, for someone to say I see you. I see you: friends, lovers, dreamers, optimists, bartenders, unicorn farmers, readers. Thank you to those who’ve taken this journey with me so far and all of you who have yet to and will someday. xo
Photo: Gracie Doyle, Publicist Extraordinaire.