Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thank-you notes

From The West Wing epsiode "Shibboleth":
C.J.: They sent me two turkeys. The most photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children’s zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.

BARTLET: If the Oscars were like that, I’d watch.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd devote this week's post to just a few of the things I'm thankful for this year.

I'll start with the superficial: my books. Faking It was released a year ago, and what a year it's had! I had a vision of how many copies I wanted to sell, and my vision was actualized in ways I never expected. I never expected that people all over the country (even out of the country!) would read my novel. I never expected to get messages from people I never met expressing how much they enjoyed the book, how appreciative they were for Andi and Devin, how they told their friends and family about it. I remember my hand shaking the first time I signed a copy of Faking It for someone who was neither a friend nor a family member, and that's when it hit me: My God, I'm a published author.

Ordinary World is having a fabulous debut on Kindle this month, and my vision for its success is already shaping up in a similar manner to Faking It. What's more, I'm already turning my attention to novel three. Oh, the possibilities!

Being a writer.
Every once in awhile, I experience a moment of pure presence and awe in which I look at what I've written and marvel at how it happened, where it came from, and if it'll happen again. My brother knows this all too well. In fact, it happens every time I listen to one of his songs. I'm moved by his ability to make something so wonderful, something that brings me instant joy--even the sad songs.

The act of creation is both mystical and magical. It requires skill, craft, time, patience, and practice, but there's always this X-factor, this thing that is odorless and tasteless and colorless and is part of every creation. The big bang, if you will. Writing is work, but it is a labor of love. I love being a writer.

Other writers.
You make me good at what I do. Nuff said.

For every blogger who hosted me during the summer, for every person who referred me to someone else, for Quail Ridge Books and Baker Books and Canio's Books, who said yes to stocking my novel, a thousand thank-yous! Independent bookstores need to keep breathing. Kindles are cool, but books are precious objects, and indy stores are run by people who love them so dearly. (And by the way, books make great gifts!)

Yes, you. You, the reader of Faking It and Ordinary World and "I'll Have What She's Having" and my undoubtedly stupid tweets or status updates. You, who leaves comments on my blog on a regular basis. You, who listens to me spout on and on about Aaron Sorkin and Duran Duran and Chris Noth and Gilmore Girls and pop tarts and my twin brother and chocolate chip cookies and the Yankees and coffeeshops and vanilla chai at Mirasol's Cafe and all the other things that exist in my own little playhouse in my brain. And you, who agrees to play along. I couldn't have come this far without you. I couldn't have had a reason to keep writing were it not for you. If I didn't believe you were out there to begin with, Faking It would probably still be sitting in a drawer. I may have originally written it for me, but I most definitely wanted to share it with you.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. But it's a start.
Thank you, friends. Thanks for everything.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

You just can't go wrong quoting "Shibboleth". What a year you've had, Elisa! I'm so glad we've *met*, but in person would be better!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Elisa said...

Thanks so much, Beth!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is going to be that I meet as many of my fellow Sorkinites as possible -- you're at the top of the list!

Much love <3

Voidwalker said...

New follower here. Just saying hi and I'll be back often :)

Elisa said...

Thanks for the comment and the follow, Voidwalker! Have a happy!