I have to say: It's been a good week.
Jane took the above photo when we were visiting friends last month in Door County, Wisoncsin. She took it on our last night up there, the same day I received news that The Rumpus was going to publish my essay, "An Epilogue to the Unread," which went live earlier this week. This was a difficult essay to write, in more ways than one, and I was incredibly grateful Roxane Gay accepted it in such a great publication. That night, when the sun was setting in Gills Rock and Jane snapped the above photo, I was thinking of Mom and The Rumpus and that essay I'd spent so much time trying to get right.
Speaking of Mom...I was doing a little searching and found, on my very own website, this email, transcribed by Jane a little over five years ago, not long after I returned from waiting tables at Bread Loaf. The books she's talking about at first, in case you aren't sure, is the Twilight series. Then she moves on to Christopher Paolini's Inheritace Cycle:
How have you been getting along without Chad? Have you heard from him? I don't have his e-mail address, so I can't e-mail him.
I just finished the 2 books you gave me for my birthday. I just got on Amazon and ordered the 3rd one of the series. There was a video with the author that I listened to. She is going to have a 4th and final book in the series. I can't wait to get the third one. Hard telling when the 4th will come out. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed them. They are kind of a teen-age vampire-werewolf menage a trois. Pretty COOL!!!
Then I got online to find out when the 3rd book of the Inheritance Trilogy was coming out. You guys gave me those too; Elder and Eldest, the dragon books? I just loved those. Christopher Paolini is the young author. He still doesn't have a release date yet for the 3rd book. I have been waiting forever for it! Someone needs to tell him to grow up and finish the trilogy!! He isn't one of the authors at Chad's seminar, is he?
Anyway, just wanted to thank you again for my birthday books. I LOVED THEM!
Your, obviously very immature, mother-in-law,
It was pretty heartbreaking to come across that email, I have to admit, but it was also pretty sweet; it's very Mom. I mean, she somehow didn't have my email address. And that bit about the "teen-age vampire-werewolf menage a trois?" Hilarious.
The reaction to the essay I wrote about Mom was pretty amazing. I mean, Cheryl Strayed wrote things about it. And longreads picked it up. But besides all of that, I also received several emails from strangers, and Facebook messages, and numerous mentions on twitter, and really, it was so great. I don't think I've ever had that kind of reaction to something I've written.
And then yesterday, the first advance copy of Tell Everyone I Said Hi showed up on my doorstep.
Look at it! It's my book! Right there on my doorstep.
All of this has happened so fast, I kind of can't believe it. And the book: It really looks amazing. I'm not kidding. I've been turning the thing over in my hands for about the past 36 hours. I can't get over it.
We're leaving soon for vacation, and the plan is to photograph the book in various locales along the way. A blog post is most definitely forthcoming.