Last night, I was a guest at a book group, a fun group of eleven women, who read my latest book, Fractured Not Broken. They treated me like a STAR. Here’s the cake they had made to welcome me. Notice the pineapples–these are symbolic in the book. The cake had two yummy different flavors–part lemon, part chocolate. My faves! (How did Rita know?)
L- R back row Rita, Mary Jo, Me, Val, Dorothy, Barb and Dianne
Front row L-R Joyce, Sherry, Kate and Judy
Rita, who organized the event, brought me chocolates, and Sherry, my new best friend from Macy’s, brought me a coffee mug and 25% off coupons. (Notice the missing chocolates below.) How did they know that my favorite writing snacks are coffee and chocolate? Maybe that’s cliche, because all writers like both, but hey, I’m all about cliches then!
I didn’t know any of these women before this event, but when I left I felt like I had 11 new BFF’s. They opened their hearts to me and Kelly’s amazing story.
How did we meet?
One day when I was in South Bend visiting the Apple store, I stopped in at Macy’s to buy a comforter. I overheard the sales lady (Sherry) talking to another customer. She mentioned she was an IU graduate and sports lover. When I heard this, I asked her if she remembered a basketball player in 1999, a guy who’s in Kelly’s book, and she did! I mentioned that I’d written a book about a part of his story and she seemed interested, but I never thought anything more about it.
Six months later, a friend of hers (Rita) sent me an email. “Our book group is reading your book. Will you come as our guest?”
I couldn’t wait! (I rarely get out of my writing den!)
Sitting with eleven women I’d never met before who knew Kelly’s family intimately because they read the book, was surreal. They had great questions and prompted quality discussions.
They shared how Kelly’s story moved them and inspired them, how they were in awe of Brenda’s strength, and how they found hope and faith in the world. We laughed. Some said they cried when they read the book. They shared stories of their own, and we talked about other great books.
THIS is why I write–to go to book groups and drink wine, eat cake, receive gifts and feel famous. For a minute.
Not really, but it was an added bonus!
I write to entertain, inspire, bring thought to social issues, meet readers who care, and make new friends.
How to shrink a big head:
When I left the gathering, I could barely walk my head was so large and heavy from all their praise, but when I got home and opened my email, I found a letter than shrunk my head in a nano second.
The email was a critique from my editor on one of my works-in-progress, a YA novel. Reality sunk fast and hard. I had a lot more work to do before the book was ready to publish. Yep, life is like that. Reality can knock the sense right back into you.
I was reminded that I’m a flawed person like everyone else–no better, no worse, no more talented or gifted than the next person. I need to keep writing because there are important stories to tell, but I still have a lot to learn. If I’m going to improve my writing the only cure is to: 1) Take two bites of humble pie, and 2) Keep writing.
My hubby, companion, cheerleader and chauffeur
THANK you hubby for driving me to this event. THANK YOU South Bend ladies. I hope to see you again! You were a class act.
What do you love best about your writing journey?