A little over a week ago my friend Sarah and I became published authors. It's been an amazing 7 days- full of smiles, congratulations, and autographs. September 27, 2012 will be forever ingrained in my memory as the most beautiful autumn day in the history of the world. The warm sunshine and the chameleon fall colors made the drive to Park Printing Solutions completely surreal. The books were supposed to arrive around 11. Joyce from Park Printing was going to call when they were delivered so I could rush right up. By 9am I was pacing like a meth head needing a fix as I waited for the phone call. When it finally came I literally ran from my house to the truck. Yes, that's right...I ran and there wasn't even a bear chasing me!
Just so you know I drive like a maniac. Not so much "swerving in the ditch" kind of crazy but fast for no reason. I have always have. Even when I'm not late...which is hardly ever. On the most boring of days I would give Matt Kenseth a run for his money, so imagine the 40 mile trek in my husband's Dodge Hemi to pick up the first load of books! I had a hard time keeping the speedometer under 80.
I finally set the cruise control because I remembered this whole project was a volunteer effort and I doubted Sarah was going to let me claim a speeding ticket as a necessary expense. I texted Sarah on the way to Verona assuring her I wouldn't look at the books until I was with her. Yes, I was texting and driving just under 80! Looks like maybe I am "swerving in the ditch" kind of crazy behind the wheel after all, huh? Wrong! I use voice activation text for safety. However, my texts are usually completely indecipherable. I sent one last week that read "Can you text me Polish Cities phone number?" Maybe I want to talk to Kraków!
As I backed the big truck up to the loading dock I thought I was going to die from excitement. A years worth of hard work was about to be placed in my hands for the first time. We'd been seeing electronic copies of the book for weeks, but knowing I was about to hold the finished product in my hand was overwhelming. As the door opened I saw Joyce standing just inside with a copy of a shiny orange book. That women was holding our baby, Super Snacks for Super Kids.
We heard that seeing the book might be a little anti-climatic. After working so hard for so long and letting the idea of this build up in our heads we were warned we could actually focus on the one tiny mistake or misprint the book may have instead of focusing all the amazing things we worked so hard on. I was prepared for that. I was actually expecting to have more of that than Sarah. If something is wrong with the recipes we both take the blame because we both compiled, tested and tweaked them together. But if the pictures suck...that's all on me. I prepared myself for the worst case scenario. I was prepared to see pixelated, grainy & blurry photos.
Joyce walked out of the door and handed me the book. It felt solid and substancial. It smelled brand new. It looked beautiful. Joyce said, "Go ahead! Look at it!" I explained my text to Sarah and that I needed going to wait, but I was dying inside to see the photos. I wanted to finally relax, and let go of the worry and self-doubt. I needed to know if the shock, disappointment and humiliation I'd been saving up could be put back where it belonged...in the bathroom ready and waiting for the days I weigh myself.
I told Joyce to open the book to any page. I wanted a glimpse of proof that the photos turned out great. She assured me they did as she cracked the binding for the first time randomly landing on page 42 & 43. There on the page with Quick Baked Apples & Watermelon Berry Sorbet were the most lovely photos I'd ever seen. Photos I had looked at probably 50 times before. But now seeing them printed and bound in a glossy hardcover with my name on it, they looked AMAZING! Not pixelated, not blurry, not grainy at all. I relaxed. I let go. Then I frantically helped load the truck and raced to Mineral Point as fast as I could trying hard not to panic nearby drivers or the road workers repairing the highway right outside of Ridgeway...although I think I failed that last one.
In my head (and out loud) on the drive home I repeated, "I wrote a book." No, not in that sweet, high-pitched, girly-excited kind of tone. I repeated the words in my best what-what, gangsta thug voice. "I wrote a book." Then I started singing it a little. Then I added lyrics using the tune of my all time favorite YouTube songs, "We wrote a book and it's really great and we gonna raise a lot of money for the school and..."