This week marks the “official” release of Measuring Time & Other Stories from Wiseblood Books. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I’ll be at the Catholic Imagination Conference at Loyola in Chicago promoting the book at my publisher’s table. Folks on my book-launch team have already begun posting about the book on social media, and reading their words gave me encouragement.
In his essay, “Why Write, Anyway?” Bret Lott cautions writers against making to much of publication, urging them not to fall into the trap of thinking that they’ve arrived, that publication is the pinnacle of the writing life. Rather, he exhorts writers to remember the joy of writing, that the act of writing is its own reward, bringing its own satisfaction.
I just taught that essay in my creative writing class last week, and as my new book makes its way out into the world, I found the timing of the essay providential. Of course I have hopes for this new book that I’ve worked on for years. I hope many people read it. I hope those people enjoy it. I hope it receives some reviews, both on Amazon and in publications.
Yet when my author copies arrived two weeks ago on the Friday of the first week of classes, I held the book in my hands. It didn’t seem real. It felt unbelievable. Impossible. When I started that title story 16 years ago, I could not have anticipated this moment. Sitting in an old chair in my house in Texas (the fifth state in which I’ve lived), my two kids asleep in bed, entering my eighth year at my university.
Yet, here it was. Those twelve stories. The lives of these characters I’ve followed for years. And so now, I set the book free to go out into the world, ready to work on the next project.