launching exclamation points . . . now!

sample 2B
I have a publisher! Behler Publications, outside Pittsburgh! That really happened! And not only do I have a publisher, I have a cover! That happened, too! I know, I can’t believe it, either!

And not only that, both the publisher and the cover happened within less than a week. Four days, actually. About the time it takes to fly to New Zealand and back, which I’ve never done but would like to, someday, although I’d prefer time to chillax between the the two days there and the two days back.

When I told my dad (meaning Dan, my current father, as opposed to Louis, his late predecessor), he let out a celebratory whoop before reminding me that not so long ago I’d called him up at a low ebb and announced, flat-out, in the grating, nasally monotone of a woman who has gazed so far inside her navel she got her face stuck, that the book would never find a publisher. Ever.

“Remember what you said?” he asked me. “You said you were stupid for even believing it could happen.”

I know, I said. I remember.

“And remember, I said you were being an asshole.”

I remember that, too.

He smiled. He gives me such vast amounts of shit, and the more he gives me, the more I love him.

Even at that nadir, I was glad I’d written the book. Writing it was a gift. Writing it was restorative and transformative, profoundly so. I became someone new as I wrote it: freer of worry, fouler of mouth. Having lost my sister Lucy to suicide in 1992, I knew about grief in the aftermath, but I knew squat about losing a spouse and raising three kids alone. After Chris’s suicide in 2011, I was forced to reconfigure myself, suddenly and dramatically, in ways I could never have imagined. I still can’t imagine them all.

So the book has found a home. It’s due for publication this fall. And for the record: that classic rubbery plumbing device on the cover came straight from the fertile mind of my daughter Madeleine. We were plowing through Indian takeout, and between bites of chana saag, she said, “Mom. They should put a plunger on the cover!”

They should and they did. That really happened, too.

33 thoughts on “launching exclamation points . . . now!

  1. Wow Wow Wow and Wowie WOW! So so happy for you and about this and the cover is perfect and Madeleine is a genius visionary and, like, freakin’ wow!

  2. My view is that it is about time– as you deserve every recognition and reward for being a fantastic mother and daughter and sister and friend and person and pessimist after all the shit. The world out there better buy your book or they will answer to me.

  3. I am so glad Dan was right and you were wrong – now more people will experience the joy of reading your books. I remember when you first told me about the book, we were lunching in Hudson, NY. What a road it’s been; how lucky us readers will be!

  4. All the other publishers are going to be so jealous! So happy for you, Amy — and for readers like me. I can’t wait for September.

  5. Oh my . .. I couldn’t be happier for you! Just what I imagined you might do! Can’t wait to read it! Congratulations Amy!!!!

  6. Brava and congrats! I just found this blog by accident of seeing a link in a link, but am delighted to have the chance to catch up . . . and link out from my current bloggy digs. Bless you and yours!

  7. Congratulations again! I am so glad your story and your voice will be heard by more people, Amy. You are a true inspiration in the loving, humble, funny, compelling, and determined way you live your life and tell your story. The title and cover cannot possibly capture the power, but I hope it will pull people to your book, especially those who need your inspiration (and there are many).You not only have great plunging skills when you and others need them most, but also extensive life and love-inspired plumbing skills that make me thankful and proud to call you sister and friend.

    • Randy, thank you so much — for everything, all of your love and support, over all these years. If, as you say, I have “great plunging skills,” it’s because you and yours inspire me. What great plungers and plumbers you all are. Piles of love, pride and gratitude back at you.

  8. Congrats on the new column in the Albany Times Union where I found the link to this as well as a mention of your new book. I went to Amazon to order pre-release on the book but there’s no information there yet. I’ll keep checking

  9. Brilliant Amy, congratulations. I bought multiple copies of your earlier book and gave to friends and can see that at least two dozen purchases are in order for this one. While we have never met, you amaze and inspire from afar. Truly, your gifts are extraordinary. Keep plugging and plunging!

  10. Congratulations, Amy! I look forward to reading the book. We need to catch up some time. I saw “The Lego Movie” this past weekend, and was thinking how much fun your review would’ve been.

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