I still feel like I should be pinched awake from a dream. I received the news this past week that HARM’S WAY (my first romantic suspense) will head to print release sometime in May 2007. Print Release – Wow! When I signed the contract with Wild Rose Press (the publisher), I expected digital release and maybe print if my numbers were good enough. But I learned through an email with my editor that HARM’S WAY has been tagged for a print version. The folks at Wild Rose Press (www.wildrosespress.com) have been wonderfully supportive. It feels surreal to open emails from my editor. I need to backup and say that again—my editor. Wild Rose Press hosts AUTHOR CHATS every Tuesday night. I’ll sign on for my first one tonight. I don’t expect to have anything significant to add, but it’s exciting to be part of the author’s group. After years of equal parts joy and torture in front of my computer, struggling to make characters come to life and be worthy of air, the entire publishing process is phenomenally exciting.
This past January weekend (cold and icy for Texas), we celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday and moved my oldest daughter back to college at Texas A & M. It occurred to me as I watched the two events unfold how unprepared I’ve been for most of my life.
My dad’s birthday celebration took place at their square dance club. My folks have been square dancing since I started . . . um, high school, I think. I remember going to the local recreation center and watching as they struggled to learn the steps and keep time while someone called out the motions all set to a country western tune. But my parents got it. For years now, my mom and dad have danced across slick floors. My mom swirled around in specially made, rows-of-ruffles dresses that covered tutu-like slips, with my dad cutting a dashing lead in his western-styled shirts. At my dad’s birthday celebration, many of the old timers they started dancing with came out for the party. It was cold and icy, but these older folks braved the condition to honor my parents. So many of these ‘old timers’, as they are lovingly called by those who now run the club, have seen me grow from a gawky teenager to raising kids of my own. Looking into their aged faces and admiring the shine of snow-white hair, I was amazed at how quickly it had all gone. In the span of a square dancer’s tiff (that’s a dance), it seemed we all aged.
A few days later, we moved my daughter back to college. My three kids—no longer really kids—walked in front of my husband and me. My son, tall and strapping, towered over his two sisters and aggravated them all the way across campus. My college daughter, teased back, and threatened to turn him over to the Aggie Corp (the military men and women at Texas A & M) for a proper beating. My youngest laughed, caught up in the joy of their teasing. Tears took me by surprise. When did they grow so tall, so sure, so ready to face the world? What happened to peanut butter sandwiches and Kool-Aid?
Time brushes past my cheek and I reach for it, but it’s too late. Gone, in an instant, are those cherished images. I’ve traveled through life, loving the journey and grateful for the moments. But, oh how I would rewind the clock, set it anew, and do it all again. I didn’t expect the time travel.