Thursday, May 30, 2013

Flamingos, Coyotes and Books. Oh, my....

In the last three days:
I walked downstairs to find this:
(the kicker is that big sis tied the string too tight and we had trouble getting it off her face)

I packed a picnic to enjoy some calm family time at the park and instead got this:

Pulled out of my driveway yesterday to find this guy waiting at the end of my street:
(It's a wild coyote, people! But that is probably redundant. I don't think there are tame coyotes)

And to add to all this madness, today is my book's birthday. Today, boxes in little bookstores, in little towns, will open and someone will reach down, pull out my little book and set it on a little shelf.

Isn't it amazing how so many little things put together can feel so big?

But just to clarify- My daughter turned into a flamingo and it was a coyote, people!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What makes it so special...

Last night was a night that I didn't think I would experience in my lifetime.
We launched On Little Wings at one of the most respected book stores in America.
But that isn't what made it so special.

We packed it to capacity. 
but that isn't what made it so special.

We catered amazing food for almost 100 people.
But that isn't what made it so special.
(But definitely delicious. Thank you to my caterer!)

I had the best florist in Kansas City doing my flowers.
But that isn't what made it so special.
(but it is what made it so beautiful. Thanks to An Eclectic Stem!)

I got to sign a lot of books for family, friends and strangers who are now friends.
But that isn't what made it so special.

When the bookstore owner came over and told me that he'd rarely seen a debut launch with such a huge, energetic attendance, that was amazing, but still not what made it so special.

Then he said that the entire store was filled with an overwhelming spirit of love and kindness....
And he hit the nail on the head.
Last night an entire shop was filled to the brim with good, caring, generous people who had nothing but encouraging words to say.
So what exactly made it so special?

Each one of you.
Truly, thank you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is that camera on?

Yesterday I let the girls miss a couple of hours of school, but it was for a fun reason.
I had my first live television interview and since the Cowgirl is obsessed with the idea of being famous on TV, I thought she should see what television is really like:
People running around, tripping over cords, panicking when the internet goes out, fretting over microphone wires and talking to a mostly empty room.
I was hoping to cure her by showing her the wizard behind the curtain.
My segment got moved at the last minute so I was sitting in the wings when people started waving at me to run and I was hurdling over extension cords in my heels and hoping that I didn't sit up there and pass out and drool all over the host's shoes. I barely made it to my seat in time.
And I was terrified to look at the camera, (which so adds ten pounds! That's my story and I'm sticking to it...) because they told me not to and it is really hard not to when it is in your face!
Throughout the entire interview the Dancer was doing this:
because she thought I could see her.
And then it was all over (They could have asked me my opinion on American Alligators being shipped to Uzbekistan to fight insurgents and I think I would have come up with some sort of answer. My brain was in a do or die mode.)
And the girls got to chum up with the beautiful girl on TV and eat the strawberries that the man from the farmer's market brought for his spot and have their pictures taken and I was thinking maybe my "TV-isn't-so-great-plan" had backfired.
I explained to the Cowgirl that television is a lot of work and worry and being famous is silly and unimportant and we got up to the leave the studio.
And then the weather man came in.
And did his thing in front of the green screen.
And I was thinking, "Oh my goodness, I know you. Can I have your autograph?"

Friday, May 3, 2013

It just doesn't happen

There are those things in life that are not supposed to happen.

Pigs don't fly.
Hell doesn't freeze over.
You won't win the lottery.
You won't get a package in the mail one day from one of the biggest publishers in the world with your name on the front.
It won't snow in May when the day before was 80 degrees.

Oh, wait.

I forgot that life doesn't follow its own rules.

Yesterday on the way home from school we rolled down our windows to catch the monstrous white flakes falling wet and heavy from the white sky. We pulled over and jumped  outside into the wind and put our hands out and faces up and stuck out our tongues and did the snow dance.
In May.
When Wednesday was 80 degrees and it felt too hot to mow the grass.

And then, just to prove that the universe will never run out surprises to throw at us, a package was dropped on my snowy porch on this fine May morning.

Sometimes it snows in May. And only when it breaks all the rules and wasn't supposed to happen, do the snowflakes taste like miracles.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just don't sound like an idiot...

I had my first public speaking engagement as an official author.

I was the keynote speaker at the Olathe Friends of the Library fundraiser and I got to stand up in front of 200 people for over half an hour and tell them why libraries are amazing and authors are a little crazy.
Because we are.
It's not a normal existence.
Expose my innermost thoughts?
Face years of relentless rejection?
Sit alone at a table in a bookstore trying not to make people feel awkward for ignoring me?
Get paid in peanuts and pennies.
Yeah, don't everyone rush at once.
But still... still... it has a ring to it. I'm an author. 
My sister came into town and my family showed up and the room was packed and I had three thoughts in my head- Don't stutter. Don't say "Ummm." Don't sound like an idiot.
It all passed in a blur, but the response was great.
You know how the Artist is always cool as a cucumber? He was almost giddy.
You know my in-laws who modeled the cool as a cucumber thing- they got me this whopping bouquet after the event ended!

And yesterday while I was grabbing books at the library a librarian pulled me over to her desk and said, "I want you to see something."
It was the holds list. 30 days before my book hits the shelves dozens of people are lined up to check it out and read it.
Is it appropriate to hug a librarian? Would anyone understand if I cried right in front of the travel tourism shelf?
Don't worry. I had my mantra.
Cool as a cucumber.
Don't sound like an idiot.
"That's great," I said with a smile. "I hope they like it."
Which translated into Tapper speak is roughly, "Well, punch a duck and break the sound barrier, that is bloomin' awesome!"
Or something thereabouts. Tapper speak is a really hard language to interpret...

p.s. I do not actually advocate punching ducks. Stay cool and love the birds, people.