Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Aahhh Moment--Galleys Have Arrived!

Well, it finally arrived--that package I've dreamed about for months, maybe years--the one with my advance reader copies of The Spirit of Sweetgrass. Galleys, they're called.

About 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I'm working in my home office when I hear the dog barking downstairs. My kids and I go down to investigate and find a nice box on the front porch. The wonderful, blessed delivery person had been here! It felt a little like Christmas morning, I'll admit.

Shouldn't I have some champagne for this? Aw shucks, no champagne in the fridge. So now, here I am with the most longed-for, waited-for-package-ever in hand and two (albeit sweet) children, hungry and winding up their "whiners." Hmmm, children begging for food, package from my publisher...What to do...what to do.

Finally, I spy my husband pull into the driveway just in time. Yes, you're supposed to celebrate with someone, right? God bless him, he's home a little early, and his timing couldn't be better.

"Here," I tell him. "Grab a child, any child." So he picks up my son while my daughter continues to whine that she can't see, so I move the box to the table, my nerves fraying, my heart racing, but then I open it and--

Ooooh. Aahhhhhhh, we say.

I pull out the red shiny covers and all of a sudden my hours and years of hard work has come to this. I am holding the fruits of my labor in my hands. Well, actually, my husband is since he's still holding Cole, but here it is anyway. My book. It's a book. I wrote a book.

"Isn't it heavy?" I ask my husband, like a goofball. We each pick one up and weigh it in our hands, up and down, up and down. "Hmmm," he says. "I wonder what weight paper this is?" Brian used to be in paper sales, so he puts a page in between his fingertips and rubs. "This is 24 pound paper," he concludes. Hmmm. Heavy.

But truly, the weight of it all does begin to settle in with me after a little while, and I am so grateful. So grateful to the publisher, to my agent, to my mother who is my reader, to my husband who supports my creative endeavors. To God, who gave my this passion for writing and a voice. I am grateful.

Except when I do my impromptu happy dance where my arms flail and my head bobs, my husband says,"You might need to work on your happy dance. You could hurt yourself like that."
Good times. Good times.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Passing of a Journalistic Giant - Ed Bradley

I held my breath when I saw the news flash across my computer screen: Ed Bradley had passed away. Millions of Americans knew Ed Bradley as an award-winning journalist and 60 Minutes host. I will remember him as one of the best journalists there ever was. I remember watching 60 Minutes as an adolescent, fascinated with the way the news was told. Enthralled by Ed Bradley's voice, his tone, his honesty, his approachability. I remember thinking, if I ever get on 60 Minutes, I want Ed Bradley to interview me. And dreams of my future were embossed by Bradley. I went to college for Broadcast Journalism with the hopes of one day working side by side with a man like him on a show like that. Doing that important work.

I'm not a broadcast journalist today, nor am I ever going to host 60 Minutes, but the effect of his work still lingers with me today. My journalistic skills have led me to my life-long passion of writing. I will continue to give voice to the invisible and tell the stories that only I can tell.

But my heart stopped when I read of Ed Bradley's passing. It is an ending of an era when journalism integrity was of the highest caliber. When no stone was left unturned and all sides of a story were confirmed before running. I will miss watching Ed Bradley. I'll miss his voice and his kind, fair eyes that shone though the television screen. But it's journalists like him who have left an indelible mark on writers like me. And for that, I will always be grateful.

May his legacy of powerful journalism live on.