On Monday the advance copy of my book arrived!!!! I still kind of can't believe it. I sat down immediately and started to read it from cover to cover. It's just such an incredible experience. I actually kept it to myself for a day and didn't tell anybody just because I felt like I needed to absorb it all a little first. This book was a very long time in coming. I sent my first e-mail proposal 22 months ago. It was pretty rough and I'm so grateful to North Light's acquisitions editor for looking past that roughness and helping me to refine and develop it before taking it to the publishing board. They then look at your proposal, outline, artwork, etc. and decide if this is something that will fit them and they think they can sell. They vote and the very nervous author then gets an e-mail saying it's a go, at which point she's in a moms group meeting and screams and then quickly covers her mouth hoping no one heard. Of course they all did and are curious so after the meeting you tell a few of them that you are going to be an author. Seriously.
THEN the work begins, you develop a list of projects (20+), trusting all the while that you will be able to make them all, because when you handed in your list there were a few things on there that you'd never actually made before. But you thought they would be really cool if you could, then you spend the next few months figuring out how to make the things you said you could. All the while trusting in God to give you the answers you don't yet have when you need them. Your mother tells you she doesn't want to see you with another art supply in your hands again-ever- because all you do when you come visit is hand over the kid and start to work. Of course she loves the kid to death and doesn't really mind. And she might be a wee bit proud of you, just tired of not seeing much of you. Your husband's looking a little neglected and is sick of jarred spaghetti, but is being super supportive because you're doing this together and you both know when you hold the book in your hands it will all be so worth it, and he knows how badly you want it and wants it for you (cause he's sweet like that).
You lean on your friends and your family and somehow the work gets done and it's amazing. Then all you have to do is step out the projects for the photo shoot, fly to Cincinnati for the week long photo shoot, and when you come home everyone is so glad you're finally done. Then you break it to them that you still have to write the book. So you spend your Christmas vacation writing the content. All the while loving it and hoping that as you write others will hear your voice and be inspired by it. You of course pretend it's this awful chore but you truly love having this chance to encourage and share your experiences with others.
Then there's a few rewrites, editing, back and forth between your fabulous editor and you, and then you wait. And wait. The book is going to design, it's going to editing, it's doing all these things without you now and after a while you start to see snatches of what it might look like but still you don't quite know.
So when the Fed ex truck pulls up and hands you your book, it's amazing. Like holding your baby for the first time you can't quite believe that this- came from you. It looks a little like you and a little like all the other talented people who worked on it. It combines your vision with your editor's, the designer's, and every one else who had a hand in shaping it. But you're truly absolutely holding it in your hands. So that's when I sat down and read it cover to cover. I was reacquainting myself with my words and art. It was consuming and wonderful and I almost missed picking up my son from school. So you toss it in your purse and run to pick him up and he's the very first person you show. He says he's already seen all your art and doesn't need to see it again- oh, and weren't there some Oreo's?
And slowly you start to share it with the people you wrote it for, other bloggers, other mommies, other artists who are seeking inspiration, or haven't yet dared to call themselves artists. And you hope and pray that they will be inspired and encouraged and go out and make tons and tons of art, now with a clearer idea of who they are as artists and what inspires them. You hope they appreciate it a little more than your 5 year old does, and maybe even enjoy it with some Oreo's.
The book is being sold now as a pre-sale through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other sites. Amazon gives the release date as Nov. 17th. Crazy!