"An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate." ~ Francois Rene Chateaubriand
Last Friday my friends and family surprised me with a celebration for me and my books, and it was such a fun party, filled with such beautiful elements, that I just have to share. =)
My day had been dedicated to cleaning. I pulled on a shirt I'd just found shoved between two others in my closet, which I'd been looking for for months--the one my best friend sent me for my birthday a year and a half ago, that says "Reading Is Sexy." Oh yeah, that's me. LOL. Then I got down to business. I dusted. I straightened. I swept. I scrubbed. All with the knowledge that doing so would make my sciatica shoot pain all through my back and hips that night. It always, always does. See, this is why I don't clean! ;-)
"Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life." ~ Simone Weil
As David was headed out to run an errand, he paused at the door to say, "Hey, think about if you'd like to go to dinner tonight or something. I could use a good dinner and a nice glass of wine."
Me, giving him The Look. "Honey, do I ever pass up going out to dinner?"
David: "Well, think about where you'd like to go. Someplace where we can sit back and relax."
Which meant not fast-food--got it. I got back to work, scrubbing etc. And luckily started to get a headache in late afternoon, which prompted me to take some ibuprofen--something I otherwise never think to do for other pain, though I'm pretty sure that's what saved me from hobbling around all evening going, "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow."
"The creative person is flexible--he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are." ~ Frank Goble
Round about 5, I started looking at the clock. David was on the phone (not an unusual occurrence) but he hadn't mentioned anything else about dinner. Did I need to cook? I assumed not. I'm good at that assumption. ;-) Eventually he came up to shower. Xoe asked if I'd put Egyptian eyes on her with my eyeliner--sure, why not!--so I slapped some makeup on myself as well and said, "I guess I should change out of my t-shirt." Though I didn't. Not until David was headed back downstairs to "take care of a few more things" (insert my stomach going "No! Grrrrrooooowwwwwllllll.") and said, "Are you ready? I thought you were going to change. Maybe Mommy could match Xoe."
Xoe liked that idea and pulled me up the stairs to try to match her cute little shirt and skirt. I obligingly changed, then was informed that my mother-in-law thought she left her wallet at the church earlier, so we had to stop over and check before we went to dinner. (Church being two minutes from our house.) Okay. Nothing unusual there, LOL. So we headed to the church.
"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
And I saw the cars. Which made me think, "Hmm, the 4-H club must be doing something. But their night is Thursday, not Friday. I wonder what . . . is that Mom and Dad's car? What in the world are they doing here?" Then the car in front of us pulled in and proved to be my neighbors growing up. I sent David another Look and said, "What's going on?"
David said, "I don't know. Go in and see."
Riiiiiiiight. That's when I knew what was happening. Still, I was shocked beyond shocked when I opened the door and saw two of my out-of-town friends there with their kids!
All around the room, in addition to the amazing friends and family who had come to celebrate with me, including my high school cross-country coach, those out-of-towners, and several others who had cheered me on all my life but I rarely see anymore, were decorations that proved how well my mom and sister knew me. My sister's school had donated some books that were in terrible shape and so could be cut up, so decorations were all made from or around book pages.
"A great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it." ~ William Styron
There were pages cut into leaf-shapes all over, sometimes attached to brown-paper trees, or to my mom's cute little twig arrangement, and also scattered on the tables. (And yes, I'm such a dork that I sat there eating and trying to figure out which book they might have come from by reading the 4-words I could see per line, LOL.) And of course, the calla lily arrangement. =)
My sister had also found a bunch of quotes on books/writers that she'd printed and matted and put on the walls. (Those would be the things I'm quoting here.) So awesome! Even the cakes were books!
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." ~ Rudyard Kipling
It was a fabulous party, and I had such a great time hanging out with my friends and family and being amazed that they had all gone to such trouble for me. So a huge, big thanks to everyone who came. The hugest, biggest thanks to Mom and Jen for planning such a perfect-for-me party. And for all my writers friends, take notes on those decorations!! They so make the perfect book party! =)
I had a few moments of surreal euphoria when I looked around and saw my book covers, my books, my titles on the walls. Was this real? Did I really have that many books on or destined for the shelves? Hard to believe. And while I'm certainly not famous or best-selling or anything like that, I'm living my dream. And that is just a blessing beyond what any words can ever express."These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves." ~ Gilbert Highet
"Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed." ~ P.G. Wodehouse