i almost forgot it was coming. i knew it should arrive sometime this week, i'd gotten the e-mail letting me know it was shipped. but in the craziness of my normal, i almost forgot.
and then, i was holding it. i didn't even wait until i got in the car before ripping open the packaging and pulling out my novel - a real flesh and blood copy. i sat there in the hot Texas sun just staring at it.
it's really here, i thought. and then i kinda felt like i wanted to puke.
for writers, i think there's this moment where you realize all your work - all your tears - all the sleepless nights spent pounding away at the keyboard, it's wrapped into this neat little binding people call a book. and others can read it. others can hate it. others can form opinions on why you wrote it and what you really meant by the plot and characters.
it's all a little maddening.
it's all a little magical.
holding the book in my hand, i fought this tension of grabbing everyone i saw by the collar and showing them my book and wanting to hide. seriously. never before have i felt like i wanted to jump out of my body while simultaneously wanting to crawl into a corner and pretend anonymity.
so i opted for a compromise, and posted pictures and sent texts to my closest friends. it felt like i was sharing a secret and the rush of adrenaline in letting them see was absolutely invigorating. it was somewhere in these moments i realized i was right in the middle of where i was supposed to be - that everything leading up to this afternoon had been good and well spent and providential.
i mean, isn't grace everywhere - just waiting to be snatched and held in order to be let go and shared?
when russ got home, he asked me where my book was - he wanted to hold it. he opened it, closed it, glanced at the cover and turned it over to read the back. his fingers brushed over my name on the spine. he looked at me and gave me the smile that drives me absolutely crazy and whispered these are your words.
and i had to breathe in quick because the tears were fast. these are my words, and they are real and in print and i'm holding them in my hand, just like i held them in my heart for so many years.
all things really are made new, you know.