I am filled with gratitude tonight. Not because it was just Thanksgiving. Not because I’m finally getting well after a month long fight with sinus infections and vertigo. Not because my son called and gave me enough notice to help him edit his final papers for his first semester at college (he’s planning ahead!). Not because my daughter is being nice tonight (sometimes a feat for her 15-year old soul). Not because my back and neck are finally starting to heal after the car accident this summer. Not just because life is good.
Well, of course, because of all of those things. But tonight, I’m grateful for you.
That’s right. You. A reader. On December 18th, it will be a year since I was brave enough to publish Gridley Girls, which as you know, is the not-very-fictional novel of my life — warts and all. In the last year, I have been humbled and amazed to watch my friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers embrace my little book. So much so that I was brave enough to take it off the market, hire a publicity team and start all over. For realsies, as I like to say. All because of you.
I’m in the waiting stage now. I have boxes (and boxes) of hardback books just waiting to be sold. I have publishing deals to think about or the decision to continue with my boutique publishing house. If I were to let it, it could consume me. Eat at me. Keep me awake at night. Instead, I gave it up to God long ago. The way I see it, since this book came to me in my dreams, I think God wrote it. So I figure, if God wrote it, he’ll surely sell it too. Right?
Makes sense to me.
I decided to go out on a limb and sell advance copies for the holidays, to my friends and relatives. It will raise money for future publicity and it will keep Gridley Girls alive until this summer. And anyone who’s read Gridley Girls knows, keeping things alive is very important to me. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
And what happened from my little Facebook post suggesting that Gridley Girls is the perfect holiday gift for any girl aged 12 to 80? The requests have come flooding in. I don’t care if I live at the post office the next few weeks. Keith over at the Long Lake USPS is one of my favorite guys and not just because he bought a copy for his wife after he saw me mailing so many copies out.
You guys are great. You’re awesome. This has been the scariest ride of my life. Publishing such a personal story. Sharing such intimate details of my life with the world is more frightening than walking down the aisle at your giant wedding. Scarier than having that first baby. I’m not good with the unknown but you’ve all helped walk me down that aisle. You’re the proverbial father, holding my arm and telling me “it’s gonna be alright”. Thank you. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you’ll probably ever know.
Gridley Girls is a story of friendship, love, betrayal and most of all, hope. It is my love-letter to my Gridley Girls (and guys) who have made my life so meaningful. If you haven’t read it, I hope you will and I hope to hear from you when you’re done. But if you haven’t read it, that’s okay too, cuz as my friend Doug P. likes to say, “You’ve already won. You did it. You wrote a book.” You’re right, Doug. Thanks. Thank you, Jesus and thank YOU.