I recently completed the manuscript for a book that will be available in the fall of this year. I can’t wait to share more on this later, but in the meantime, I’m basking in a kind of twilight between absolute and immeasurable joy (part accomplishment, part astonishment) and sheer terror.
It’s a good thing I’m not in this alone — I have a kind and generous editor, a supportive and understanding husband and family that’s put up with too many leftovers, and a bunch of friends who have prayed me through tens of thousands of words.
I am one blessed woman. And bubbly, too.
One of those amazing friends showed up with a special bottle of champagne to toast this milestone, and I gotta say this: never has anything tickled my nose and brought tears to my eyes like this surprise. Well, maybe the tears weren’t entirely from the champagne, but let’s be real — it was a right tasty toast. And then some.
I tried to be gentle with the bottle so I could open it without incident, but just as soon as I released the wire cage and positioned the bottle to loosen the cork, it flew off madly, hitting one of the paddles on the ceiling fan and bouncing off the wall. A minor scramble to save the champagne followed: we only spilled a little bit (that we wore behind our ears). And the rest was a delightful evening of sharing, and laughter, and maybe a few more tears. There’s something about champagne, a rare treat, that really tickles my nose.
We drank to the completed manuscript — but there was so much more in the process than just the few months I took to write it. This book has been a long time coming, and not just because I’ve been working at being a writer since I could hold a pencil. Everything has had to reach a certain level of readiness — of maturity. The obvious, of course, is my ability to string words together in a way that makes sense and speaks to others. But there’s been more growth. In my confidence. In my discipline (still a mess there), and in the maturing of my faith, too. It’s all there, wrapped up in a digital file.
It was good to celebrate.
The vintage 2004 champagne matured beautifully. When the grapes from that year were being gathered and prepared, I was in the midst of my own “fields” in my vocations of wife, mother, and teacher. I was scrambling from carpool to after school event, from class to class, and trying to keep my sanity taking care of a household. In the midst of all that chaos, I was scribbling notes and penning poems that were stuffed away in boxes and in the pages of unfinished journals.
Like the champagne, I’d like to think I have matured well, too. Enough to be bubbly about my book. Enough to be bubbly about the projects that may come next — because the real toast that night was for more than the book. I feel like I’ve finally taken this gift that came from God and I can put it to good use, for Him.
That bottle of champagne waited patiently to be uncorked, and then it let loose. I feel the same way.