ALL OF THE HUMBLING REMINDERS . . . Along The Way . . .
It never fails. Whenever I find myself on the verge of crossing my arms, frowning, shaking my head and muttering, "To hell with it all" some tiny spark appears along my path and shines a bit of much needed light my way.
Sometimes these sparks appear in the form of fan letters from folks I've never met before. One kind reader wrote, "Hi Lori, I just finished reading your book After The Dance and wanted to let you know how much I truly loved it. I don't know if Carl was really a beggin brother or if he was just a man who had no problem showing his feelings. I need me a brother like that . . . Thanks again, I think I'm gonna read this for a 3rd time." Oh yeah, you best believe I grinned behind that for days (LOL).
Other times the spark will appear in the form of comments from friends. Recently, a dear old friend shared with me how much his father enjoyed After The Dance. For the record, my friend's father is 76 years old and he's experienced a number of health issues of late. But according to my friend, not only was my novel the first book his father had picked up in years, but it appears to have aroused within him a desire to read other things. Wow! I'm telling ya, for a debut author, it doesn't get much better than that (smile).
In the early part of last week, a trip to the mail box revealed that one of my sisters-in-law had sent me a couple of my books and a request to sign them and send them back to her. Similarly, just this past Friday, one of my father's retired miltary buddies shot me an email in which he informed me he was having three more copies (over and beyond the three he'd already purchased) of After The Dance sent to my PO Box and he wanted me to sign them and send them back to him.
And truly, for me, one of the coolest things about this whole experience has been being able to visit various library websites and get a glimpse of just how many folks are interested in my book. At one point last week, 27 of the 28 copies of After The Dance owned by the Memphis Public Library had been checked out. Even better, upon browsing my title at the public library here in Charlotte, I discovered that not only were all 15 copies of my book in circulation, but there were 7 requests currently on file which meant that 7 additional individuals were eagerily awaiting a copy.
I said all of that, not to brag, but to remind myself and any other newbie author out there that this is a journey, one that will be full of ups and downs and more than a few confusing round and arounds. Rather than get bogged down, side-tracked or deterred by any of the numerous insults and disappointments (oh yes, there have been plenty, I'm just not gonna give voice to any of them here . . . well, at least, not yet anyway *smile*) my/our primary task is to learn what we can from it all while staying humble, remembering always to give thanks and keep moving forward, one small step at a time.