It's a cold, wet Sunday afternoon. Feels like fall already here in Vermont. A good day to sit quietly sipping my coffee and flipping through the pages of my book for excerpts to use for my blog tour and for readings at my launch events. It's official in just two days. My memoir will be published and out there for anyone who wishes to read it. People keep saying, "You must be so excited," and I am, but the excitement is only one of the many emotions swirling inside as Tuesday approaches. I fancy myself a writer, yet I cannot find the words to express what this process has been for me. So, on this cold, rainy day I reflect.
I remember the day I discovered that memoir was the way to tell my story, it felt like my voice found its home. I remember every painful draft and edit, and there were many. I remember every memory brought to the present moment and experienced again and again with every rewrite. I remember the relief at finding my editor, Nickey, who lived in a different state than I, knowing I wouldn't have to look in her eyes as she reacted to my words before her. I remember a promise made to never share the details of my relationship with Joy and the shame at admitting my experience with Aunt Pat. I remember the day the final edits of the final version were completed. I remember the hundreds of queries written, the torture of writing a synopsis. I remember the Writer's Tears shared with my sister in Ireland after every three rejections and I remember celebrating the day She Writes Press accepted my manuscript. I remember all of it.
While I was writing The First Signs of April and even throughout this publishing process I never really thought about anyone actually reading it. Writing is such a solitary experience. Aside from my dogs laying at my feet while I wrote, it was just me stepping back in time and creating a new world where only myself and my characters existed. And on Tuesday there it is being published and shared. What was once private is now public. Yes, that is the whole point yet I never imagined how it would actually feel. I'm hearing from people I haven't heard from in over thirty years and I realize that in fact maybe people are going to read my book. And I wonder what it will be like to stand before them and speak about my process and read bits of my story to them. To really share from the inside, out. I have to admit I'm a bit anxious about that.
It has been an incredible journey and I realize today that it isn't over with the publication of my book. It's simply moving in a new direction. I am excited. And too, I find myself crying tender tears at the memory of it all while giggling with excitement for all that is yet to come. In fact at this very moment the song I imagine hearing as my story ends when it is made into a movie is playing-I know, but humor me. A girl can imagine...and I remember...and I dream. So, maybe that's what I can say about it all. I am excited, and I remember while holding all of it in a very sacred space in my heart. The private process is mine while I can share the end result with the world. Perhaps that's what it means to be a writer.
I'm grateful for all of the support I am receiving. Your excitement helps me to stay present and focused on the good that this process really has been and continues to be. And for any of you so inclined to read my story, I welcome you to my sacred space. I hope you will find meaning there.
Look for The First Signs of April on Tuesday and remember if you want your local bookstore to carry it just ask them. And while you're at it, maybe suggest a launch event too. Till Tuesday....