I have officially begun the whole book signing/public appearance phase that comes with being a published author! And I must say that after all the hard work and tough life experiences required of me to get to this point, this public adoration stuff is kind of fun, and cool.
Plus, I love all the hugs and kudos! But I promise to stay humble. All I have to do to accomplish this little feat is to link on to amazon.com and eyeball all those reviews with less than 3 stars given for books that I KNOW are really good reads!
Fact is, I have sent my baby (my blood, sweat and tears) out into the cold, cruel, opinionated and often critical world. It’s also a world that can be remarkably beautiful, wise, compassionate, even gutsy when it comes to fighting for basic human rights and dignity, and societal justice. I’m counting on those folks to review me!
There is much goodness and beauty in this crazy world (some people even give authors five stars!!) yet we rarely expose it. Why is that? As a writer, I have learned that our objective craft often requires that we take in some rather sour words (otherwise known as ‘constructive criticism’) about our work, along with all those sweet, good-time reviews we hope to receive. It’s rarely cause for celebration.
But nobody’s gonna love you all the time (not even if you are Oprah). Nor will everyone agree with your cause or your passionate take on it. In fact, some people may well argue really loudly against it (and some people just like to be mean!). Don’t you just love those kind of reality (ego) checks? I work hard to take anything of value from these reviews, then quickly move on.
I’ve been fortunate (so far) to experience a terrific amount of enthusiastic support for Breakthrough Parenting, which I believe is a great resource (big surprise!). But real solutions to personal challenges come when you combine great resources with your own personal sweat and heartfelt, fearless actions. That creates magic. A good resource can help give you an empowering and energizing view about your life that can help lead you to make important change. IF you are open to that possibility.
So if someone promises you a magic wand, save your time and money and run like a crazed cat in the other direction.
I wish that I could stand there with some of my readers, and wipe away their bitter, painful and powerful tears of frustation, and soften the grief that may arise as they read my words, and as they recognize their own difficult life stories. I’ve seen these kind of tears at my book signings. I trust that through my words, I may in some small way touch one person’s life enough to help them make good changes in their own world, and in so doing, create better lives for their children.
I hope that my words and those of others in my book, help people hang on tightly during some particularly stinky life moments. (Think strong lifeline in powerful quicksand). If one person can hold on when they want to give up, I think my book will have served its purpose.
But I sure hope my honest, emotional words also generate lots of discussion among the warring factions, along with an important call to personal actions for change. I hope BP gives birth to new advocates committed to helping all kids lead better lives, advocates who think change is long overdue and who will join me and others fighting for needed improvements and awareness that helps all kids thrive. Raising the bar of expectations for children with special needs- one child at a time, is my battle cry. It was my original intention in all this special needs work to which I have committed my heart and soul, and it drives me still.. always will.
When I speak before crowds, I love it when student teachers (those soon to be in their own classrooms) come up and ask me what they can do to create greater change within their own profession. Their honest words and willingness to learn new stuff, fueled by youthful idealism, unbridled energy and pure intention, give me tremendous hope for the future. Plus, they always energize and inspire me (and make me wish I was twenty something again for a few days, but with the wisdom, life experiences, financial security, and cool convertible that I have today!). The grass often looks greener… I think I prefer the wisdom…(and the car!).
Now go squeeze your children tightly; and then hug them a second time for me. ‘Cause us writers can always use the love–and so can our kids!
And if the spirit, and my words move you, please give me a good review online- with lots of gold stars! Thanks!