Thursday, October 14

Because I just had to see it...

A mix of awe and anxiety coursed through me Tuesday as I walked through the front doors of a local bookstore. I'd already told my youngest no gasping, no yelling, "That's my mother!" when and if my new novel was already on display. We made a sharp right-hand turn into a area filled with tables and scrap booking supplies so I could catch my breath. My daughter's face contorted in amusement as she whispered through pursed lips, "Look over my right shoulder. There it is!"

My heart somersaulted. Tears pressed at the backs of my eyes. There it was indeed. My book. My novel. Not just obscure occupation on a lowly, remote shelf, but prominent display with the works of other authors. Authors I love and admire and respect.

What the heck was my book doing with theirs?

I turned away.

Keeping to the absolute fringes of the bookstore, I made my way past cards and art and t-shirts and posters and skirts and dresses. I didn't dare look back at the display, didn't dare breathe.

What if the book with my name on the cover disappeared?

What if it was all a dream?

My second daughter walked in and we shooshed her over to our hiding spot. By this time the employees of the beautiful little store had noticed us--they probably thought we were casing the place. They politely asked if there was anything they could help us find. We smiled and told them no thank you. My two daughters looked like cats who'd eaten canaries--trying not to laugh at their insane mother. I don't even want to know what I looked like. Probably ashen and shaky--like a criminal trying to case the place.

We moved to the cookbook section where we stroked the pages of Annette Lyon's new book, Chocolate Never Faileth. With its scalloped pages and gorgeous photos of scrumptious chocolate masterpieces, the book is sincerely drop-dead wonderful! (It's what I'm getting friends and family for Christmas--and I've dropped enough hints that I'm optimistic it will show up under my tree as well).

When I finally decided to leave my giggling girls behind and move to another section of the store, I passed the display and let myself have a brief glance. The book was there--really there. And it took a few moments of meandering through art prints before I was sure I wasn't going to more than shed only a few tears--that I wasn't going to outright cry. Cry hard.

I didn't want to scare the employees so I held myself together.

I ended up finding a book of Sudoku puzzles for my mother-in-law. As I approached the register, my girls brought to my attention a second, and a third, display of the book. My knees shook. My voice squeaked when I spoke to the cashier, who was super-kind, and probably relieved I was leaving with my enthusiastic entourage. I paid in quarters, thanked her for her kindness, and left the store without letting on that I was the author of the novel in three displays.

Because after years of self-doubt, and trepidation, and thinking maybe I'd make a better fast-food fry cook than author, after overcoming fears only those closest to me understand, my novel is in print. I feel blessed--so blessed--and happy, giddy, anxious, and freaked out all at once.

And I just had to see it on the shelves for myself...


Karen Hoover said...

Congratulations, Lori!!! I understand the feeling all too well. I'm so totally happy for you!

Misha said...

My word that is so awesome!

I am very happy for you. :-)

lovesAbJennBrett said...

So proud of you mom! love you so much! Thank you for sharing your great love of books with me as a child, as they are now a precious part of mine and the girls lives! So proud that my prego hormones are trying to make me bawl! You are everything you set out to be and I love your wonderful example.

Dilemma said...

What an emotional experience for you! I can't wait to see the displays and get a copy for myself! Love you Lori! ~Diana~

Lori said...

Karen, you're such a sweetheart! My road to publishing novels--my true dream--has been long and difficult, but oh so worth it! The best part has been meeting wonderful people like you!

Misha, thank you so much for your comments!

Gosh, Gar, what more can someone ever ask for than to be valued by their children? You mean everything to me. I love you with all my heart. You are a wonderful, wonderful mother to the girls and this new little spirit is so lucky to be coming into your care.

Diana, you're awesome. You're someone I've looked up to forever--you have always impressed me with your example of genuine kindness and compassion. Sincere thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Love you too!

WritingNut said...

Congratulations! What amazing and exciting news!

lila Check said...

wow!!! fabulous,I can just imagine how you felt!
i love your lovely blog and will be back often to read more!
hugs and congratulations,

Tersa said...

That is so awesome!!!! Congrats, Lori!

Lori said...

WritingNut: I'm very excited--thank you! And thank you for following. I've enjoyed visiting your blog and reading your posts on writing. I look forward to going back to learn more.

Lila: Thank you for your comments, and for following. I've just had the pleasure of visiting your blog--your photographs are stunning!

Thank you, Tersa. It is definitely a dream come true!

Foxglove Spires said...

Congratulations! I have just found your most wonderful blog and adore this post, this is something I can envisage doing with my precious daughter. My first children's book is to be released in January and it would fill me with ever so much joy to see it in a prominent place in a bookshop.

I wish you every success with this book and all your future ones. I am defiantly going to join your blog so I will not miss any of your beautiful posts.

Have a most wonderful and inspiring day. xxx

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