Today is the big day! I'm so nervous and excited that I had trouble sleeping last night. I keep obsessing over small things, though, like should I have more to drink than what I've planned for and should I use plastic tablecloths or just wash the tables when it's over. What I should be thinking about is that I haven't even decided what passages to read or even how many passages to read.
Before I start thinking too much about what will happen today, though, I want to step back and talk about all that I have to be thankful for. And, despite (and also because of) the troubles of the last months, I do have so much.
My parents opened their home to me without hesitation. It can't be easy to rearrange your house and life to take in another adult and yet they have done it without any fanfare. What I've learned from them is you just help family.
I'm also greatly blessed by my other family, my church family. I celebrated Thanksgiving last night with some folks who have become quite special to me over the years. They love me unconditionally and include me in their family celebrations just like I'm one of their own and make me feel completely welcome. And there are so many other people at my church who have been just as welcoming and loving. They've shared in my sorrow in the loss of my marriage and in my joy with the publication of my book and I thank God for them every day.
And, of course, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to publish my book. Technology is definitely a two-edged sword in many ways, but one of the ways in which it is a blessing is that it affords folks like me unprecedented opportunity to publish our books in a non-traditional way that simply didn't exist before the Internet came along. Even ten or fifteen years ago, I would still be agonizing over finding an agent or publisher who would be willing to take a chance on me as a writer, but today, I'm able to go it on my own and leave the decision as to whether my work is worth reading with the proper people--the readers. If my book is good and enough people say so, word will spread and I'll be successful. But if I don't succeed, I'll know it's because my writing truly wasn't good enough to become popular and not because some agent didn't pick me off the slush pile.
I could go on and on, but I won't--something for which anyone who is reading this will be thankful. I'll end with one last reminder that my launch party is today at 4:30 at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg. If you can't make it but would like a copy of Harsh Prey, click here.