Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Score! Touchdown! Home-Run! GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!

My first look at my new book!
Athletes turn somersaults when they score a winning touchdown, fist pump after dropping a critical putt, pull shirts over their faces upon scoring a GOOOOOOOAA-AAAAALLLLLL!!!!, and disappear under a pile of bodies after hitting a walk-off home-run. They raise both hands in triumph, beat their chests, smile from ear to ear, and yell at the tops of their voices.

But how about writers? Do writers have glorious moments when they whoop, holler, do the victory dance or just run into the front yard with their hands in the air, yelling "YES!" "SWEET!"  and, "WOO-HOO!" Do writers pump their fists, look into the mirror, point at themselves and declare, "You are the man!"?

Well, and I'm not embarrassed to say this, "Yes, we do." You bet. There are moments in the writing life not unlike home-runs, touchdowns and dropping 48-foot putts.
  • First ever contract. OMG!
  • First galley proof. Sweet.
  • First cover design. Unbelievable!
  • First box of books - my books. Out of the park!
  • First royalty check. Not so much.
  • Then, every time and for every new book, there's the excitement, the thrill, the sense of anticipation and the big score when you see that copy for the first time.
Great moments in publishing. So it happened again. There I was, outside walking the dog, when the UPS truck pulls up and I just know with a certainty what's coming. So I start tingling all over. I carry the brown box inside, tear it open like it's Christmas morning and I'm ten years old, and commence to running around the house grinning from ear to ear like a crazy man. "Yes!" "SCORE!!!!" "Out of the park..." "Oh boy oh boy oh boy...."

Books. My books. 20 of them. And they look so, so good.

It never gets old. I don't know if I've ever shared this before, but when I was a kid I had a very short "Bucket List." At the top of the page were a group of "ties for first place." They were:
  • Walking in the athletes parade at the opening of the Olympic Games...
  • Playing soccer at Wembley Stadium in London...
  • Traveling to America...
  • Walking into a bookstore and seeing a book with my name on the cover.
I think we can safely say I'm not getting to the Olympics (although I did run the track at The Crystal Palace). I passed up my opportunity to play professional soccer. I did make it to the U.S.A. (that certainly worked out). And the book thing seems to be going pretty well.

The front and back cover for my new book!
CHECK IT OUT: The new book is titled "Reaching Toward Easter."The text is designed to help the reader (that would be you) negotiate the 49 days from the day before Ash Wednesday, through Lent, on to Holy Week and Easter Day, and then - most importantly - through the day after Easter. Reaching Toward Easter is structured - in essence - to addresses Rebekah's famous "So what?" question.
The best way to describe the book comes right off the back cover:
These daily devotions are filled with hope and with an excellent mix of personal stories and in-depth exploration of the scriptures. Each day not only includes a comfortable life lesson but also probing questions that guide the reader to the next step, a step closer to the risen Christ. - Gilbert C. Hanke, General Secretary/CEO General Commission on United Methodist Men
This is DEREK, jumping up and down, fist-pumping and yelling "SCORE!" at the top of my voice...

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