...right before my eyes. Today three more boxes will arrive with 55 more books. That makes a total of 75 that will sit in my living room tonight, ready for distribution to bookstores and gift shops who have already said yes, for mailing to those who pre-ordered, and for the book launch party on Sunday afternoon.
I've spent two and a half years working on PAINTING LILY. More Friday and Saturday nights than I care to admit to, home alone with my computer, pen and paper. Sunday afternoons. Early mornings. Late nights when I couldn't sleep and a line of text or dialogue would wake me up and demand to be written.
Sunday, just two days from now, PAINTING LILY ceases to be my private project, and is birthed to the world. It feels sacred, scary, and exhilarating all in the same breath. I can't wait for others to read her, look forward to eager discussion, and fear criticism.
But it's too late to worry about any of that, really. Because she is what she is. Lily is fiction. Based perhaps in stories shared with me by others, and yes, some fragments of my own life. Fictional characters and scenes, but they have become near and dear to my heart.
Those of you who know me know that I'm more comfortable than most at public speaking. Wrote and delivered the eulogy for my mother's memorial service, and got through without teary breaks. But each and every time I've rehearsed what I plan to say this Sunday afternoon, to thank those present for their love and support along the way - well, is the word blubber descriptive enough? I have tears in my eyes right now just thinking about it.
It's been an emotional week. But I must say I am more happy, genuinely, to my core, than I have been in perhaps years. Please, if you are in the area, come share the moments with me. It's been a glorious ride, getting to this point. And I have a feeling the best is yet to come.
With deepest love and gratitude, and thanks to God...