What’s Important

So, finally.

About seven years after I set out on this journey with Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer, their story is published today.  Tonight I will stand up in front of a group of people at Barnes & Noble in Columbia, MO, and read from my finished book for the first time.

It will be a sweet moment, I am sure, but one tinged with sadness, too, for neither my parents, nor my sisters, nor my children will be there.

But there will be friends.  And that is what I want to talk about today.

Writing books is a lonely old business – I just sit here at my computer and peck away at the keyboard, wondering if anyone will like the story in my head.  To have transitioned from such a hermit’s existence to enter the warm and welcoming online world of readers and writers has been a wonderfully rewarding experience.  I have been astonishingly lucky to have made some fantastic friends on this journey.  Of course, in this internet age, I haven’t met all of them – or even most of them – but that doesn’t diminish the warmth with which we interact online and the comfort and connection they provide me.  I hope the feeling is mutual.

I began thinking about this post with the idea that I would list everyone I wanted to thank, but quickly realized that would be (a) very boring and (b) perilous, because I would almost certainly forget one or two people, and that would be very bad.  So instead I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to every blogger, bookseller, librarian, writer, and reader that I have met over the past several months.  You all know who you are.  I could not have done this without your friendship and support.  People have been so generous with their words of encouragement – whether comments on my blog posts, tweets, emails, reviews, or the wonderful blurbs which now grace the book’s jacket.  I hope to meet as many of you as I can, one day.  It’s been an honor to get to know you all.

As some of you know, this has been a very difficult year for me on a personal level.  I have not written about it out of respect of the privacy of others, and I do not intend to start now.  But it has been a difficult time.  The process of shepherding my novel towards today has been largely responsible for keeping me in one piece, and the friendships that I have formed along the way are an integral part of that.  So thank you, each and every one of you.  Words aren’t really enough, but they’re all I’ve got.

Finally, on the subject of keeping me in one piece, there are two other people I need to mention here, who have done more than anyone to help in that regard – and who inspired the title to this post.  Thanks, guys.  You’re my whole world.

Comments 9

  1. Best of luck today Alex. Congratulations on an excellent novel. Wish I could be at the presentation to hear about your work now that I have had the opportunity to read it. I am still hoping that one of the fabulous independent booksellers in MN will get you up here for an event. Your children sure are cute too!

  2. Congratulations! I know that all your loved ones are with you in spirit if not in body — and all of us who have gotten to know you online are also rooting for you and A Good American (which hardly needs our help; it’s a winner).

  3. No worries. I know you wanted to mention me by name. I’m very excited for you, Alex!

  4. I know how hard this year has been (well, I don’t, but I’ve gotten snippets of it from you) but I want you to know that you are an inspiration with your dedication to your writing and to your children. Wishing you all the best with your family, your book,and your citizenship. 🙂 *Cheers*

  5. All the best today and in the days, weeks, and months to come. If the pre-release buzz is any indication, A Good American will stick around awhile. Thank you for taking time out and doing an interview for The Juggling Writer. Buying an extra copy of the book and doing a giveaway is the least I can do; it’s been fun watching things develop just from reading the blog, so I can only imagine what today has to be like for you — even if it’s a little bittersweet.

    At some point today, A Good American will arrive at my door, and while it’s a very busy time at my day job, I have a feeling reading will win out over work! I look forward to finally reading A Good America…and all that will follow.

  6. So excited for you, Alex. I feel the same way you do about the people I’ve met in the warm online community; so genuine and helpful, and just “good” people. Tonight is going to be a wonderfully special night after all those years of work! I told @Hallie_Sawyer I was a wee bit jealous that she’ll be hearing you speak in Kansas City in a few weeks. Enjoy the ride!

  7. Huge congratulations, Alex! I received your book from amazon yesterday — and I cannot wait to read it! I’m so sorry for your difficult year, but I know what you mean about the online community — it’s kept me going through some tough times as well. Your kids are absolutely adorable and boy do I need one of those shirts! 🙂

  8. Congratulations! I love the shirt! Hang in there. Hard times are….well….hard. But they do improve.

    Cannot wait to read your book.

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