Monday, April 20, 2015

Humbled by My Own Book

Working on a memoir means always learning new things about who you are and always discovering new buttons that, when pushed, unleash emotions and meanings you thought you were long past or finally over.

On Tuesday, April 14th, in the company of many many friends and the loves of my life, Debi and Jane, we launch the book and the air is filled with congratulations. Everyone makes a point of telling me how excited they are and how brave I have been and am being. I am truly touched, floating a few inches about the floor and deeply humbled that so many people both wish me success and are intrigued with the book.

If you think writing a book is a challenge, the task of promoting it is equally daunting. My publicist, Shona Cook, is constantly drumming up reasons, venues and opportunities for me to talk about my story, and expound upon some of the themes in even greater detail. For years, I made my living trying to think up questions for authors that wouldn't leave them bored or seem predictable. Now, I am on the other side of the microphone and finding it much tougher than it seems.

Later this week, I appear at the Ottawa International Writers Festival and for the first time I will actually read from the book to an audience of strangers. I am feeling nervous.

So I sit at my desk, pick a section of the book to read and rehearse in front of Debi. It is the chapter that details the year I spent on my back in a body cast when I was twelve. The chapter is nine pages long. By page four, my voice is cracking, and my eyes are tearing up. By page six, I am weeping. I am weeping partly because I haven't read it aloud before but mainly because I feel so sad for that little guy. I finish reading the chapter, struggling through the tears because I have to, it seems important to do so and because Debi wants to hear the end.

After a minute, I wipe my eyes, half smile and say, "well, maybe I won't read that chapter in Ottawa."

1 comment:

  1. On the contrary - promise you will read exactly that in Ottawa.