The first time my words were in print, they were literally in print - handprinted by me at the age of nine (see my blog entry of September 28, 2008 titled First Journey). I was hooked. In high school, I saw my name in a byline for the first time in my school paper. I wanted more.
Whether it has been a press release I wrote for my employer, an article in a trade journal under my name, or a piece in a magazine, seeing my work in print never ceases to be exciting. I covered this subject in a previous blog as well: August 26, 2010's Validation.
A few days ago, I experienced that excitement in a whole new way. For the first time, my literary efforts are in published form in a hardbound book. I've been anticipating the sight of the brown UPS van appearing in front of my house for weeks. When that happened the other day, I knew that the box the carrier was bringing to my doorstep held the complimentary copies of that anthology from the publisher.
Staring at the cover, then carefully turning to the table of contents and seeing my name next to my story title sent a visible shiver through my body. And turning to the pages that presented my essay evoked happy tears and a huge grin. The only downside to the moment was that I was at home alone. My husband was working, so were my son and daughter-in-law, no neighbors were home, and I knew my best girlfriend was also at work. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed my daughter's number and was rewarded when she answered and I could share my elation.
It's odd to me how much this has increased my motivation to get my novel completed - and accepted by a publisher. I'm continuing in earnest on that path. Occasionally, I'll glance over at the bright red cover of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas and it renews my desire to jump that next hurdle. I'll let you know when I get there.