What are you supposed to say when your dream becomes real?
What are you supposed to feel after years of trying and failing and succeeding a little, and then — pow! — somebody wants to publish your book?
You say thank you and feel grateful, that's what.
The contract for my first book has been signed and executed, my advance is on its way, and for that I say thank you to Chris and Tracy, the publishers of Luminis Books.
I'm grateful to them and a lot of other people.
First, last, and always, Joanne, my wife, who never stopped believing in me over the past 30-odd years and predicted this would be the year for me.
Then, a long list of friends and family who were there to give me the encouragement, criticism, and inspiration I needed: Gretchen Clark, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Greg Bardsley, Mark Richardson, Dee Edler, Karen Croft, Heidi Benson, Rachel Canon, Linda Drake, Terry McKenzie, Carrie Motamedi, Lisa Buchanan, Adair Lara, Amy Rennert, Steve Kettmann, Bronwen Hruska, Dan and Sandra Aunspaugh, Doug and Kristen Edwards, Jane Todd, Dan Rasmussen, Bill Rennie, Darel Capps, Judy DeMocker, Jill Berman, Starline Judkins, Denise Pinto, Doreen Wu, JungAe Kim, and many others along the way.
I'm especially grateful to Shawn Gillen, the former editor of the Beloit Fiction Journal, who published my first short story. And to Savannah Guz of Hobart, Nora Fussner of Pindeldyboz, Laura Matter of the Blue Mesa Review, and Kelly Krumrie of Switchback, who published more of them.
I hear the orchestra starting to play, so I guess that means my time is up ... Wait, where's my statue?
Oh, the book is called Precarious: Stories of Love, Sex, and Misunderstanding. It will be available in bookstores and online later this year.
I know I'm forgetting someone ... A special tip of the hat to my friend Jim Mize, who coined the indispensable phrase "Tell me the truth but try not to hurt my feelings."
What? No, I'm not leaving without my statue! Where the ...