Friday, October 09, 2009

In My Own Two Hands

My copies of the book arrived in the mail from Seal Press yesterday.

I know I've been all-book-all-the-time lately, running my mouth off about THE BOOK! THE AMAZING BOOK! THE FACT THAT I HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN A BOOK!, and possibly driving all my readers (and non-readers) crazy and making everyone think I'm conceited and annoying, but that is perfectly fine with me. Because words can't fully express the joy I feel at seeing one of my lifetime dreams come true, that of seeing my byline printed in a book. I am proud of all my writing--magazine, newspaper, literary journal, online--but there is something about the old-school, elegant permanence of an actual, bound book that makes it so much more special.

I can't tell you how proud I was to open the book, turn to the table of contents, and look myself up on page 173. I re-read my whole essay and gave thanks to the wonderful Megan McMorris for choosing it out of a submission pool of hundreds, and then using her editing skills to make it better than it had been. She's a dream to work with, and a truly joyful supporter of her writers. Plus, I can't WAIT to read the other 35 essays in the book in full. There are some amazing "letters" in there!

Well-known blogger Eden Kennedy says that writing well is the best revenge, and while I personally think that line is BRILLIANT, I didn't write this essay--a "letter" to a former friend--to get revenge. I wrote it because I had a story to tell, and maybe even moreso, because writing about the failed friendship served the necessary purpose of allowing me to process it, come to a conclusion about it, put it aside.

And that's all I'm going to say about writing well and revenge.

Sorry it's all blurry. I have not yet perfected the art of taking close-ups like this with our digital camera.


latisha said...

uber congrats shan! major big deal. brag on sister. you earned it!!!!!!

donna said...

Congratulations again.

As for taking close-ups with your camera.... it should have a "macro" mode, usually marked with a flower. Put it on that mode and you'll be able to take clear pics of close ups (anything closer than 2-3 feet).

Megan said...

You're a dream to work with too, Shannon! Can't wait to hear you read in Chicago! I was driving up to Seattle yesterday (reading is in just a couple hours here!) and called my sister en route. She was telling me about some of her favorites and she mentioned yours specifically. She's a non-mom and thought your take on it was really interesting. I wanted to pass along the compliment to my most enthusiastic contributor! :-)

Mom said...

Mom read and digested the entire book in a less than 48-hour stay with Shannon's family and enjoyed it immensely. (And this in addition to reading endless books to and playing with my sweet granddaughters!) Of course page 173 held my favorite essay but they're all so good! Everyone: Read it!

Donna said...

Nonna is so sweet and supportive. And of course, being a writer herself, likely a critical reader, too!