i haven't even written about the book reading and launch party, which was the whole reason for this spontaneous road trip. partly because i don't like to toot my own horn - this is where jane and dane would be useful in the production of this blog post.
after fighting the traffic through olympia and tacoma on my way up from portland, i found mars hill grad school (where the reading was taking place) changed in my car (which was of no concern to the woman walking her dog while i was doing so) and walked up the street to meet the other authors for happy hour. we made introductions, i sat down and ordered a drink and appetizer and then bit into the quesadilla i ordered and promptly had a few beans spill down the front of my sweater. super.
in a wonderful twist of fate, i was not wearing white, and the waiter kindly brought over some club soda for me. my only response to this was to laugh - i was not at all surprised that something like this should happen.
this book was three years in the making. maybe about a year in the selecting of essays and editing. then two more years finding a publisher. many thanks to our editor hannah notess for all her hard work in getting this to press. it was awesome to meet her after only having email contact for so long. and it was good to meet the other writers - always good to find people with the same odd bent towards writing.
in reading the book so far (and this is long after the reading), i have enjoyed the breadth of experience the many essays offer. the book offers honest insight as to what the evangelical experience has been like for women, which obviously hasn't gotten much consideration. my hope is that is sparks further conversation and sharing of stories for women and hopefully men listen well. i kiddingly told a friend of mine that i could just kick him in the balls instead of reading the book of women's stories. rest assured, there is more to the collection than that. there are real glimpses of struggles with faith and family and church.
reading my own essay out loud (to more than 50 strangers!), was exhilarating. and makes me once again scratch my head over how my faith has it's roots in the the youth group culture of chubby bunny (a potentially, possibly already, lethal game), a lot of chaos, and talent shows. how i got from that point to where i am in my faith today makes me laugh in surprise. only god could construct something as bizarre as that.
as any kid (and adult) in my old youth group will attest, i am awkward in front of large groups. it's the persona i adopt for them - because they have such a heightened sense for awkward, it's the only way i can get their attention - like how you rubberneck at a car accident. after many years of making friends laugh, i was quite pleased and surprised to be able to make a room full of strangers crack up. in my humble opinion, i killed. and my friends reading this will probably roll their eyes and go, "well, duh!" come on, i'm a little slow here. and neurotic. cut me some slack.
before the reading, i happened to walk past the mars hill free book shelf outside the library. of course i have to take a look to see if there are any steals. no dice, but i did grab a copy of the purpose driven life which i gave away at the end of the night as a prize to the first person who named a woman in the bible. i almost chickened out doing it, but there was no way i was going to take the book home that night.
people actually wanted me to sign their copies of the book. that was cool - i need to work on having a cooler signature. i get a deal on the book as a contributor, so let me know if you would like a copy. help a starving artist out.