Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wow, what a month

After a miserable October (with $2,000 in insurance co-pays ) where I hit an 8-pt deer and had smoke damage to my house, April has roared in with a bang--in a good way.

I don't think I've ever had a month quite like this. First, Nine Months' Notice hit #9 on the Borders Group/Waldenbooks series best seller list for the week ending April 14. The book is also selling out Wal-Marts everywhere in my area--took 3 days for the store closest to me. I'm pinching myself, because this month seems surreal for I also made my 20th sale to Harlequin.
Twenty. I still can't believe that either. In September 1999, I sold my first book as a result of an editor appointment at RWA national. Before the next convention, I'd sold book 2.

Speaking of sales, my 15th, 19th and 20th sale were Harlequin Special Releases: Stories Set in the World of NASCAR. This is a new venture for me, and one I'm thrilled about. It also represents a chance to step out of just writing for one line, which was one of my goals. To meet this goal and selling 20 could not have been done without everyone believing in me, even when I didn't believe in myself.

So, since I'm long winded, let me get to the point (ah, you say, finally!):

In October 2000, I sat in a Waldenbooks signing my first book. It was a dream moment, and I looked around and felt this profound joy. But I knew that it was that type of joy that is fleeting. But I had it, for that one moment. A glimmer. The next month my then-husband lost his job, my mother had health issues, I learned I was going to have to give up my dream job, my dream house, etc. to move to Texas. Life went downhill fast. In 2001, I got divorced, survived a car accident that required a surgery in March 2002, and was hit again by a different driver in Dec. 2002. My dad also died. My teaching job was subject to budget cuts so I changed jobs over the next few years. I moved. I dealt with some personal issues involving my mother's illness. I continued to write, for that is what I do.

Seven years later, the world is not what I pictured it would be. But it's great. I love my current teaching job and I will be teaching all journalism classes next year. My writing career seems to be on an upswing. I'm in a new house that I love. I'm still single, but that's because a certain race car driver hasn't figured out that I'm his dream woman or even that I exist (had to throw that in).
But life is good. I've weathered tough times. I know there will be more. But blessings exist, for God has always been gracious and has always provided, both financially and emotionally. I'm surrounded by supportive people who love me. Thus, I'm grateful that this is simply, my life, complete with all its hills and valleys. I have discovered something beyond joy, beyond happiness that is fleeting, something that only comes through perseverance. I have discovered contentment.


Samantha Hunter said...

Congrats to you on your success, your 20th book, and your great attitude. I think "happiness" is not about only the unsustainable peaks no more than a good relationships are about orgasms (though they're very nice, too) -- it's about appreciating the sum total of experience, good and bad, and being able to see the value in all of it. Sounds like you have it. :)


Sierra Donovan said...

Michelle, what an awesome day-starter! Kudos to you for your perseverance, your positive, outlook ... and oh yeah, for being number 9 on the Borders/Walden bestseller list!! :)

Off to look for NINE MONTHS' NOTICE ... if there are any left in my town....


Sally MacKenzie said...

Great post, Michelle! Definitely something to think about. And mega congrats on all the good news!!

gailbarrett said...

Michele - I hope you celebrate this well-deserved success to the max. That is an amazing amount of books to put in seven years, especially with all the trauma goig on. Wow. I am impressed!!!

gailbarrett said...

Sorry for the typos above....