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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Moment of Truth and Why it Matters

My book is coming out in print today! I know I've been talking about almost nothing else, but it's so huge in my mind that it's taking over. After today I promise a greater variety of topics, but I reserve today to be all about ME and MY BOOK!

This book is the culmination of a life-long dream. I've always wanted to be a writer, and now I am. It's incredible. I'm an author. For real. People have purchased my book. I have a copy of my book. It is the single most overwhelming feeling I've ever had. When I got married I was so excited I couldn't stop grinning. When I gave birth (both times) I was grateful and tired and HUNGRY for the first time in months. This is simply mind-blowing. It's hard to comprehend that it's finally happened, and the first person who pinches me to wake me up is going to get punched in the throat. 

That's why I wrote a book, to be an author. Why I wrote this book is different. I was a very lonely teenager who struggled to find friends and to feel like I mattered. I spent years with my internal monologue whispering things like, "If they get to know the real you, they won't like you," and "People either hurt you or leave you," and other insidious self-esteem killing things. I know now that I had moderate depression, and that I was lucky to have found so much solace in reading. I also know that those feelings of disconnect and self-doubt are common in teenagers, and that I wasn't the only one who felt so completely alone and cut off. 

I still feel lonely sometimes. There are ways in which being a married adult parent is more lonely than being a teenager, because we don't have school every day to force us into contact with our peers. Spouses work late and we're busy with our children and our chores to the exclusion to time to spend with friends, and friends are even harder to find because often the sole prerequisite we employ in finding other adults to spend time with is the ages of their children. "I have a five year old and you have a five year old" is a tenuous link to forge a friendship on.

We get swallowed in our role as "mom" or "dad," we get lost in our jobs or volunteer work, we lose our sense of self. And we get lonely because it's been so long since we've seen us. And we think we're fine, because we're rolling along checking off our lists and going through life getting things done and forgetting that the point of all this is to find joy. 

Now I work with the youth, the young women specifically, and I wanted to tell them so many things that I've learned growing up. Then I realized I wanted to tell every teenager everywhere these things. So I wrote this book to tell them and to tell everyone that we are not alone, there are people all around us who love us and want to help us, even if the people we feel we should trust betray us. I wrote this book to say that we are not all special, we are each special, and we must believe that we can do greater things than we ever believed ourselves capable of doing. I wrote this book as an urban fantasy so that the messages could come across without feeling preachy or trite.

And it is a good book. People I've never heard of are leaving reviews on Amazon saying they couldn't put it down or they've read it twice already. did a review because I wrote the novel on my iPad, and even he said he started reading it for the technology story but was hooked by the writing and the plot within a few paragraphs. 

There is no bad language. There are elements of romance but it isn't a romance. You can feel comfortable buying and recommending this book to anyone based on its own merits, and not for any other reasons. I'm proud of my book, but even more, it has a message that I want to get out to everyone.

And of course I want it to do well, so I can keep doing this. I have three more books plotted out for this series and a whole other trilogy I want to do later, all of which revolve around the same themes: we are not alone, but we need to reach out to others. We are capable of greater things than we think possible. And we must believe that amazing, miraculous things can happen to us, in our own lives. Not just other people, but to us each individually. I'm not alone anymore, and all I can think about is going back into that blackness and yelling in the dark until everyone else knows they aren't alone either. 

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