Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to meet some formerly Facebook-only friends and book fans at the lovely home of the event’s organizer in East Delray Beach. And what a pleasure it was to connect with all of them in person! The first contact — the hostess of the lunch — came into my life through a family friend and it seems as if we’ve been trying to orchestrate a meeting for years, ever since she read my book and passed it on to some of her friends. Has it really been almost five years since I wrote Water Signs?? Wow.
I remember another author friend telling me to prepare to talk about my book for the next two years after publishing, which turned out to be excellent advice. By the time the long marketing period ended, I was truly sick and tired of talking about Water Signs and ready to focus on writing the sequel. Strangely, as time went on I even forgot some of the points made in my novel, simply because I was all tapped out. If new people wanted to read it and better yet, thought enough of my effort to contact me through my blog to tell me how much they loved it and/or write a glowing review, even better. But I was done explaining characters, plots, themes and settings.
However, since writing the sequel is a much more challenging process (mainly due to time constraints) and ghostwriting someone else’s book is now my top priority, it was a pleasure to be greeted with thoughtful questions yesterday about Water Signs, from three people who also come from the Philadelphia area originally. So much fun to talk about shared experiences, familiar places and old stomping grounds. And I even received recommendations for a place in Hollywood that makes fabulous Philly Cheese Steaks!
Thank you Carolyn, Cathy and Renee for a wonderful afternoon!
From there, I called up a good friend who’s been dealing with some pretty significant health challenges and ended up having a lovely dinner/visit with her — which came with the unexpected bonus of speaking with a psychic friend of hers over the phone. Without getting into details, it was reassuring to know that departed family members are happy and hanging around me for support. One insisted on communicating the fact that she did not want anyone in the family blaming each other, the hospital, the doctors or her for what we perceive as her untimely death. She was pretty adamant about letting me know she was happy and always with us. The woman also asked a question so specific about one of my brothers, I knew immediately which one she had in mind. When she told me that he had an incredible amount of angelic protection surrounding him — not to worry — I almost burst into tears.
There were other things that came up, which will remain private, but there are two funny things I wanted to share. This woman asked “Is your birthday coming up?” To which I replied affirmatively. She said, “Yes, they are telling me they’re planning a celebration in your honor.” I laughed and asked her, “I’m not invited am I?” That cracked her up. (And yes, I’ll still be here on earth for my birthday).
Initially when I took the phone from Carole, I thought I was just going to say hello, not have a reading. But the psychic immediately told me my grandmother “wouldn’t stop talking, there was so much she wanted to tell me”. I requested that the woman please tell “Nanny” that I love her and have never forgotten her. The woman laughed and said, “Honey, you can tell her yourself. She’s right next to you!”
After this mostly uplifting exchange, I stopped by another friend’s house where a copy of author Cherry Tigris’ Toilet Paper People awaited me. Having fallen a little behind on book reviews, when I got back to my place I decided to start reading, instead of going to bed despite suffering from insomnia the night before and still reeling from “springing forward”.
Famous last words.
The book was so riveting and most of the time — horrifying — that I just couldn’t put it down. As I read Cherry’s haunting tale of abuse, survival and escape, I was overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions. Anger and outrage at her despicable parents, admiration for her strength of will and character, and gratitude for my own upbringing by loving, involved parents who raised my siblings and me in a stable, if imperfect, home. In other words, I was blessed to have had a normal childhood, one filled with the typical trials and tribulations of youth and family, but always built on a solid foundation of love, respect and caring.
Thanks to Cherry’s talents as a storyteller and her remarkable ability to rise above her tragic past, I didn’t go to sleep until I’d finished the entire book — around 3:30 a.m. Cherry will be one of my Writestream guests on March 19, and I am planning to write a formal review of Toilet Paper People this week on the blog. Stay tuned for details.