I am a reserved person by nature. I am not given to raucous outbursts or loud displays of emotion. I am my mother’s daughter. She was a demure southern belle, of the collected variety. I have inherited her quietude.
I was sitting with family on Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island this summer when I heard from my agent that we had a book deal. He had successfully first pitched and then sold my memoir CRASH! to Globe Pequot Press.
“Shouldn’t you be screaming?” my sister-in-law asked me.
And I was excited to be sure. After all, I have invested many years in this project. It has taken me four years to write the book and almost two years to sell it.
But more than the time it has taken to bring the book to fruition, it is the emotional input that has taken the most out of me. And that is where this ambivalence comes from. Sure I’m happy to be a published author. But I’d never be an author if my son hadn’t suffered a traumatic brain injury. Yes, I’m proud of the book. But I’d give it all up in a heartbeat if I could give Neil back his girlfriend and his life.
So on that beach that July day in Narragansett, I walked into the Atlantic Ocean, dove under a wave, and screamed, “I have a book deal!”
Then I went back to my blanket and worried.