Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Letting Go

I haven't updated in a while--Sorry--but it's been a little crazy here, you know? With SIRENZ debuting at Book Expo America-and seeing 300 people line up to get a signed copy-well, it's been a whirlwind. Then there was the NJ Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators annual conference. I was presenting and signing. We were informed that besides a key note speaker, SIRENZ sold more books than any other. Then there was the actual debut day-with so many people on Facebook and Twitter wishing us a happy book day. This past weekend was NJBooks 2011, where again Nat & I were on panels and signing.

And then there's this weekend; Thomas' graduation party. Both he and SIRENZ are my babies. And I have to let them both go, free to fly away. When he brought home his graduation gown, I choked up. "Don't cry until the ceremony, Mom" he said. It was hard not too. While it was with joy that after grooming SIRENZ Nat & I could let the book be edited, revised, covered and sent out, it won't be the same with Thomas. Some joy, yes, because he's grown more self confident this year, more mature (notwithstanding the mess he lives in in his room), and a little bit wiser (although not enough to know that if he cleans his room, Mom would be more amenable to Polar Cub or Monster rewards).  But there is bittersweet. He is the first born, and while there are times when I check the calendar to see how many more days until he leaves so I know the fighting between him and his brother Alec will cease,  it also means the house will be quiet. There will be no more "Thomas! Go get me a chai latte from Starbucks!" or "Thomas, go pick up Alec from track!"

With SIRENZ, the book is finished. The second one, SIRENZ, BACK IN FASHION, appears next year; it's already written. Some revisions and edits, then it will be time to let it go, while Nat & I focus on our other children; SIRENZ 3 (no formal title yet) releasing in 2013, our individual projects and a new middle grade series our agent wants us to start. While they may go hardcover at some point, who knows maybe even TV or movie, those children will be gone, unlike Thomas, Alec and Collin, who will, hopefully, come to visit their mother. As a writer, you become fond of the words, and revising, never mind cutting text, is painful enough. But you have to let go, let your work, your 'masterpiece' travel the world, impact other lives, and age.

And so it is with our children. They are my priceless masterpieces. They will travel, impact the lives of so many other people, and age. A bad or blah review may irk me, but the world can hurt my sons and cause me anguish. I hope the world, and fate, and people are kind to my boys. Books can be replaced, rewritten, revised for infinity. My work with raising my son is almost over.

The book is on its stand in the bookcase. Fait accompli. On Tuesday, Thomas will don his graduation gown, and commence his adult life.

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