My Friday was wild. I went to the Amazon listing for Memories from Cherry Harvest to add information about an event in Oakland on July 19 at A Great Good Place for Books (7 PM) and I noticed that the publication date for the book had been moved up almost a month. So I emailed my production manager at Counterpoint to ask what was up. She emailed back immediately. She thought she had told me that the pub date had been moved up, apologized for leaving me out of the loop, and informed me that she had received an advance copy of the finished book from the printer the day before! Apparently my copies will be shipped to me next week.
I’m still in shock. Especially since I have not seen a finished copy yet. This has been my dream my whole life. I have struggled to be patient these past months as the publication process has unfolded. I have tried not to think about it so I could sleep at night. I was pacing myself. Only 6 months to go. Now only 5 months. Now only 3. Now next month, oops, no, now NOW. In a flash it happened, rushing to me swifter than expected.
Here is one of my deepest most personal fantasies: A UPS van pulls up in front of my house. The driver gets out and walks to my door. I open the door and sign for a heavy box. The driver hands it to me and walks away. I carry the box into my living room and put it on the floor in front of me and open it up. Inside, a treasure, value more than diamonds, more than rubies, inside are books. All the books are the same. A novel. And I wrote it. I have imagined this scene in detail over and over again for a dozen years. I can see the light on the driver as he walks to my door. It is always late afternoon in summer and the light is golden on the brilliant green trees. My fantasy is going to happen this week.
Today I had a conversation with my father. Dad is a mathematician. He wrote a book in the 1970s that was light years ahead of its time. In the past 10 years Dad’s work has been rediscovered and as it turns out there are many mathematicians who were trying to work out things that Dad had already worked out and described in his book over 30 years ago. In a few weeks Columbia University is hosting a 3-day mathematics conference that will revolve around Dad’s work. Obviously Dad is delighted to have his work back in the spotlight and put to good use. It just goes to show that if we live long enough there’s no telling what will happen. Dad said this to me today, that he had lived long enough to see his work recognized in this way. It has become the foundation for an entire area of mathematics development. In his lifetime.
When I was very young I set out to be a writer. Writing is my passion. Books are my passion. I have always written. I write every day. But I also intended to publish and that was not panning out for me. The years were flying by and I was not accomplishing what I had set out to do. I have been blessed and am grateful for the wonderful life I have had so far. Yet always it bothered me that I had not done this one thing that was so important to me and that I had set out to do. That’s why I self-pubbed The Call to Shakabaz – and that was a very rewarding experience; but did not carry the level of recognition that being published the traditional route has and will do. Perhaps you have experienced the satisfaction of doing what you set out to do in life, but if you have not reached your goal yet, then let me encourage you; encourage; what a great word(!), let me support you in having the courage to hang on to your dream, and to keep working for it, because it may still be coming. It may arrive in a flash.
Now available wherever books are sold.