Gratitude and fear got together and they came to roost.  At least that’s what my stomach feels like lately.  If asked, I might’ve paired the emotions differently.  Maybe gratitude with a side order of love?  Fear with positivity as a co-pilot?  But gratitude and fear?  That’s like a roller coaster ride…she’s up…she’s down…and the nausea.  Sheesh.

Despite the rolling thunder in my belly my friend Carolynn is in my heart.  We met to catch up and nosh over the weekend and I treasure time with her.  She knows I can veer off into ‘woo woo Vicki’ as I catalog and chronicle the goodness in my life that must be more than coincidental. There are simply too many examples, one layered atop another, across decades.  Is it a spirit guide looking out for me?  The universe itself?  A guardian angel…my father?  I’d love to know – in order to properly thank the source – but the mystery remains.  Carolynn smiles and tolerates ‘other worldly’ me, not joining in but also not disparaging my conviction, belief in the unknowable.  I love her for that.

But the ups and downs?  No, not recent developments.  There IS a running theme, a common denominator and it’s all about writing about my mom.  From the time I decided to gingerly place my fingers on a keyboard with mom top of mind, I took every detour I could to avoid, avoid, avoid.  Yet each time I turned away, I found myself navigating the same well-worn path where I’d greet the task, again and again.  Hello, mom.  Yes.  I want to write about you, but I’m scared. 

About eighteen months ago, I surrendered, thinking “I’ll just write 500 words and we’ll see what’s what.”  Those 500 words became 90,000 and I’m still shocked that I have a publisher…an editor…along with friends and family…who’ve cheered me on throughout.  Thank goodness for my friend Linda who continued to nudge me: “Don’t stop…keep going.”

But I’m still scared.  “Surviving Sue” is looking like a mid-summer release and the non-writing tasks are surfacing.  I’m told I need to begin thinking about promotion and “launch parties’ along with liner notes, acknowledgements…and more.  Most hilarious?  My friendly publisher encouraged me to think about celebrity contacts. The whole ‘Seven Degrees of Separation’ business, I wondered?  “Yes, yes”, he said.  Endorsements.  Book blurbs.

Enter Carolynn.  A communications professional…writer extraordinaire…she dispenses the best wisdom. We met on Sunday and some ‘other worldly’ forces were in play – even she admitted so.  I’ll explain…

As the hostess ushered us to a table, one side a banquette and one a chair, Carolynn asked which I preferred. In my head I thought, ‘Oh that banquette looks more comfy that the hard side chair…and my back is talking to me because I didn’t stretch enough this morning’ but I figured Carolynn was thinking the same.  One comfy seat and one hard slab.  Really not much of a choice.

I took the slab – just happy to see Carolynn and less concerned about my back or tush.  So we sat.  And as we began the mutual catch-up confab, Carolynn asked first about “Surviving Sue” and I told the truth.  I don’t know how to promote a book!  Quick to wave off my fears, she said, “My library network will be a great help.  Great people, they’ll love your book, and I can see you on tour in safe places doing promo work but also helping others…you need to meet my friend Amy, for starters.”

Because Carolynn sat on the banquette, she had a clean line of sight to the front of the restaurant and the hostess stand.  As she spoke, saying, …”my friend Amy….” Carolynn’s jaw dropped and her eyes widened.  “My God”, she said.  “It’s Amy.  Right there!” Carolynn bolted up in surprise to greet Amy and another library buddy, also a marketing director. 

Wild Thing #1:  If Carolynn had been seated where I was, her back would’ve been toward the door and she would never have seen Amy, or her friend Diane, before they were seated.  Maybe she would’ve spied them elsewhere in the restaurant – later – but unlikely.  It was a busy Sunday morning.

Wild Thing #2:  The hostess sat Amy and Diane next to us and I received a free, three-way marketing consultation over breakfast.  Did all three – Carolynn plus Amy and Diane share great ideas, allay fears, ask about the book, show excitement with and for me?  Yes.  So much so.

Me thinks my persistent, emotional combo platter of gratitude swirled with fear is a leftover from Sunday morning but I think relief is on the way as I process all that happened over coffee (and yes, again, pancakes). When we said goodbye in the parking lot, one hug was followed by another for good measure, and I felt Carolynn’s genuine excitement for me and the journey I’ve been on. She assured me, “You’ve got this and I’m here to help.” 

Most of all, her enthusiasm, despite her dislike for mystical me, came through. “I don’t know how you did it” she said, “But seeing Amy and Diane appear – just like that?  I’ll give it to you.  It was weird…and wonderful.”

I think I need to rewind to where my head was eighteen months ago.  Look at the tasks ahead related to finalizing and promotion as culminating, celebratory stages of writing about my mom.  My reasons for doing so are still hardwired within, with this Brene Brown quote ever-present in my head:  

“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”

I’m almost there.

-Vicki ❤

P.S. The pic is mine…a corporate portrait taken for my dad’s office…circa 1973? Lisa with the glasses, alongside me and our mom, Sue.

43 thoughts on “Authorship, Gratitude & Fear

  1. Oh this is cool. Love all the news. “Surviving Sue.” Is that the book name? What an awesome title! You’ve got my attention, I’m in already. A mid-summer release! Yes. Promotion and launch parties! Oh, yes, that sounds awesome. I’m so happy for you Vicki! I know you’re throwing a good amount of humor and jest in here . . . but you’re too hard on yourself. Gratitude and fear are natural. If I or another blogger friend reached some milestone and said we were a little worried about the next step, what would you tell us? I’m guessing here, but I think you’d be happy for us, tell us to step back and look how far we had come, and to relax, we’re doing great. And so are you! I’m glad too that it sounds like you’ve got some great experts helping you. That’s so wonderful. Enjoy this fun journey! 😎😎😎🤣🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Brian! Your sweet comment is prompting some wet eyes! Thank you for all of those kindnesses. You’ve got me – I think verbatim – about what I’d share with a writer friend. Yes! Appreciate your positivity and friendship! 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, what a wonderful story. I love how the woo-woo stepped in to help. That is truly amazing. And the Brene quote – perfect for your mission and story. What wonderful work and legacy you are building. So glad you have people helping you with the hard work of promotion. Please know I’m on that team as well for whatever I can do!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ally Bean! I’m learning…yup. Sometimes just enjoying the moment and worrying less about any doom to come, LOL. Yay indeed – for all of that and for your sweet comment. xo! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I joked with Carolynn and wondered if she said “Elton John” he would appear. It felt like we held magic in our hands for a few minutes — so fun and funny! Thanks much for your support, Todd. Appreciate you! 😎😎😎

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations Vicki! What an accomplishment, and I don’t mean just the culmination of a book deal. Stepping into the journey to write about someone from your life is huge. How can anything be more raw than facing the emotional journey especially if that journey was challenging to begin with. I applaud you, and respect you in your vulnerability to put your words into print. I am sure your, and mom’s story will be a success.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Deb. Yes…I know I’m not alone and others have walked this road – writing about troublesome bits with family while also looking for the humor and lighter side, where possible. Appreciate you for being such a dear blogging friend. So glad to have connected with you…a fellow writer at heart. xo! 💖😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulation, Vicki! Not only on the publishing of you book, but all the steps it took to get there… typing the first word, navigating the turbulent emotions, reaching out for help, and allowing room for some assistance from the woo woo. Such a grand accomplishment!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erin. Such a journey. I have oodles of new-found respect for writers who’ve done this work. Still not sure I’m up to the challenges that await…but I’m not stopping now. Big smiles and hugs to you, dear one! 🥰😘🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jane! Thank you for your enthusiasm — it means so much! My blogging friends are endless sources of inspiration – you among them – for your beautifully written, thoughtful posts and a focus on ‘greater good’. Appreciate your support! xo! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Weird and wonderful things happen when we need them even when we don’t know we need them. You did the hard part 2 steps ago when you made the decision. After that you did great with the fulfillment and now you get to bask in the enjoyment!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I knew we were soul sisters! I’m woo woo all the way and love every minute of it, most especially hanging out with other woo wooers! Congratulations on the HUGE step of writing a book! I cannot wait to read “Surviving Sue”. I don’t know where you live, but hey—maybe your book tour will take you on a swing through the mid-Atlantic. Let me know!! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, soul sister…woo woo sister! Thank you so much for your fab comment, Julia. I’m excited…that you’re excited. 😘 And LOL…I don’t expect to travel further than the Chicago suburbs…but should the opportunity arise – to head east? It’s a date! Xo! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love how writing 500 words a day turned into something substantial for you. I myself did 250 per day. It’s amazing how the biggest things in our lives come from the smallest action, amirite? Here’s to always taking baby steps to glory!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And some days…cranking out ANY words was like surgery…painful, to be avoided, but smart writers like you always advise “just write” and somehow, words turn into sentences…and pages.
      🙃😉🙃 Thank you, Stuart, for your support and enthusiasm! 😘


  8. I do believe (like the Brown quote) we often downplay what our varied life experiences can offer others if we’re just vulnerable enough to share them. I know when I hear someone speak about something I previously or currently have faced myself, it can be both comforting and instructional. It sounds like your survival guide is en route, Vicki!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bruce! I appreciate — you can’t know how much – your warmth and kindness. Varied life experiences, indeed, possibly helpful to others if shared. Comforting and instructional? What terrific points you’ve made…precisely my hoped-for intentions. You got me! Big smiles to you! 😊😉😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Vicki, there’s so much I want to say. Congratulations on finishing the book. I can only imagine the rollercoaster that writing about your mum, and dealing with the memories and emotional reactions that would have triggered has been like. I can understand the fear you are talking about – you’re moving into something new, something unfamiliar, but you’ll he great. As others have said, you’ve got this. You’ve already done the hard part – writing the story. I too, will look forward to reading it, assuming it’ll be available in the UK. Bx 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brenda! Your support means so much…and yes, you’ve heard me reference this project for a while…thank you for sticking with me as I try to take it home! Grateful to you for your friendship and support, Brenda. I’m waving to you…can you see me? xo! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love, love, LOVE it! when stuff like that happens. Some say “the stars aligned.” I say, it’s God. He loves you and is looking out for you, plain and simple. Amazing. This, shamefully, is the first I’m hearing about this book. I look forward to reading more as this story (pun intended) unfolds!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.” Thanks for this quote Victoria.

    You’ve almost convinced me to do so lady, and if it eventually comes to fruition before I stop fogging a mirror and go Home, my survival guide will be entitled . . . .

                                              'A Good Bad Example' 😊

    Be blessed Victoria

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fred. I love knowing that the quote resonates for you, too. And you say I’ve almost convinced you, eh? 😉 Hmm…given the expansive, inspirational quality of your blog, I hope you continue working on “A Good Bad Example”, speaking selfishly. Your lovely comment and sharing is a gift and a blessing to me this morning. Thank you, again! ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.