Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Word(s)!

So I'm sitting at the cashier's desk last night when my cell phone rings. I know it's one of my daughters, and I prepare for some lame excuse she's made up to call me at work. What I hear instead is a squeal, "Your books came! Your books came!"

OMG. So soon? And it's my brother's birthday! I squeal too. Co-worker's heads fly up.

"I'm opening the box."

(I suspect she'd already done that 'cause only a second goes by before she says, "Oooooh! Did you see the back? Did you? It has the cockpit on it!"

No, I'd had no idea what the back looked like, and assumed it would be plain black. This piece of vicarious info thrills me. I glance at the clock. Five thirty. "Bring it up as soon as Daddy gets home." I hang up the phone and squeal again.

Sharon, my co-worker, says to the others. "Her book came."

No way can I sit still now. And the clocks have stopped! The husband is never going to get home. This is torture! My co-workers start teasing, "She's like a kid in a candy store."

Finally, a customer walks in and just when I'm finishing up with him, child number one appears in my periphery and slaps a book on the counter.

For a moment, everything stops. Everything.

There it is.

I pick it up. It looks gorgeous. The cover picture is softer and more elegant in print, the lettering has a dimension that's lost on the computer screen.

I open it. And the first thought that smacks me is: My words.

These are my words. MY words. my WORDS.


I hold it over my head and do a little dance. Press the pages to my nose and sniff.
Co-workers gather and form a ring around me. I check the words again.

They're mine. Yup. Yup. My words.

Sharon is a tough, sarcastic broad. She calls me "Smutty" as in "Hi, Smutty!" or "Smutty's here!". She don't take no shit from no one. Right now, she's tittering like a fan girl. We're giggling. She's feeling my excitement and when I offer her a book, she races over to her purse for the money and a pen. And she buys my words.

My words.


I spend the rest of my shift in a gooey haze, fondling my book, checking to make sure mistakes were corrected. And reading my words in print for the very first time. They look different in print. Somehow better. More sturdy. More forever.

After a while, it hits me that I'm a professional. My words were strung together well enough to be in a book--just like Jenny Cruisie's were. Or Nora's. Or any other author I've admired over the years. I'll be in the same bookstore as them. I'm part of a larger picture, and it's awesome in the truest sense.

My words. And they arrived on Robbie's birthday.



Blogger Kris Starr said...

You just gave me goosebumps, you goober!


Enjoy it, revel in it -- 'cause you *so* deserve it!!!

K., your friend, the broad. ;)

February 16, 2006 10:54 AM  
Blogger THIS! Christine said...

Oh Ann,

I'm so thrilled for you. I'm feeling all squeeeeeeeeeee!
I'm afraid you're just going to have to visualise the bear hug and screech in your ear this time round.

Here's a bud to share your joy with. Sing, dance, wave your arms around. Enjoy!



February 16, 2006 2:32 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

I'm sitting here crying. I am so excited, happy...chuffed for you my love.

This is the first of many, many. I just know it.

I'm so damned proud of you, Ann.


February 17, 2006 1:58 AM  
Blogger Rae said...

Ordered it last night. Cannot wait until it gets here. Can't wait to hold it and show it off to the world.

February 17, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

That’s fantastic, Ann!

I’ll bet your local bookstore will be wondering why they see you casually strolling past the erotic romance section twice a day from now on and grinning madly. LOL

There’s just nothing like seeing your words all packaged and presented to the reading public on a bookstore shelf! Big congrats, kiddo!

February 17, 2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Bron said...

Congratulations, Ann! You made me all teary-eyed with this entry - you so deserve this joy and excitement.

It's a great book, and I'm sure it will fly off the shelves. I wish EC published in Australia, so you could come and do a booksigning or three - and I'd love to see you write a series about our bush pilots :-) I'd help with the research ;-)

February 18, 2006 10:30 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

You guys are GREAT! It's wonderful to have folks who understand what this means to share it with!

Bron--might take you up on that! Of course, it'd require a trip out to the bush, a tiresome burden I'm willing to shoulder. I'm such a martyr for my writing. *gg*

Daisy--I'll definitely be skulking by the romance section, waiting to pounce on any poor soul who happens to pick up a copy. LOL.

Rae you awesome gal! I'll be right there in line for yours too. Eddie is right up there with Arnie as one of my favorite heroes!

X--I think I heard your squeeee on the cold front that just swooped down this way. And the Numa dance is so my Internet fav. I sing it whenever I feel blue.

Kris--keep those goosebumps under glass. Your time will be upon us sooner than we think. It's gonna be the first Caveman book I buy. I'm saving that honor for you!

February 19, 2006 6:51 PM  

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