GoodGriefCvr1

I think it’s finally happening for me. I’m going to be a full-fledged author in its realest sense.

I’ve written or invented pretty substantial things in the past, but they always petered out before really reaching fruition. There was my novel, The Distance Between Two Points, ©1990. I could never find a publisher willing to take it, but, in 1997, when on a whim I entered its first chapter in a writing contest, it took First Place for Extended Fiction and was printed in Close to the Ground, the Powderhorn Park Writers Anthology. Close, but no Pulitzer.

Then there was my Morticia Stewart’s Ultimate Halloween Monster Bash Kits ©2006, which featured the Horrors d’oeuvres Cookbook, the Frightful Festivities Planner and the WitchCrafts books/kits. I developed these over the course of 11 years and oodles of Halloween parties I hosted to rave reviews.

I took it to the Halloween Haunts Convention in Chicago, where, instead of being on the main floor among the party store vendors where I belonged, I was stuck in a back row on the second floor amidst the screaming, writhing prosthetic cadavers, ghouls and monsters designed for use in haunted houses. It was so deafening, what with the eternally electrocuted guy shrieking across the walkway and the 12-foot-tall mechanical ogre next to him (and on and on), we had to wear earplugs and lean over our product table to hear and/or be heard by passersby. Nothing took as a result of that effort, and I wound up donating 450 kits to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. I admit I do feel pretty good knowing that whenever a community center hosts a Halloween party, it’s likely they’ll be using my kits to help pull it off.

Don’t get me wrong. People recognize my parties kick ass. Problem was, if they were creative enough to want to put the effort into such a shindig, they were likely creative enough to make up their own stuff. If they lacked the creativity to begin with, they were unlikely to host a party of any kind. In short, each kit would have needed a little clone of me to do all the work for them. Then, I bet they’d have sold like hotcakes! Lesson learned. I moved on.

It’s like I have these viable ideas (offspring of my creative self, as it were) and try to bring them to life, yet each is either stillborn or dies in its first year.

I didn’t visit any fertility clinic, but I do believe the third time may be the proverbial charm. I combined one of my truest passions, my love of my companion animals, with the lessons I’d learned from surviving the rapid-fire deaths of my mother, stepfather, step-uncle, dog, two cats, cockatiel and my 15-year marriage, all within less than five years, and created Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss.

I knew in my heart that I was meant to create something out of all that tsunami of loss. In working to make sense of why it all happened and how I was supposed to survive it with heart and mind intact, this book evolved. I know my aim to help others who are struggling with the kind of grief I’m apparently becoming a pro at facing is a genuine one, sort of my ministry (with no particular religious affiliation).

And speaking practically, at least sales for this book won’t be limited to one day per year, and I suspect humans will go on loving (and, sadly, losing) pets well into the foreseeable future.

Besides, I think all the spirit energies of loved ones who’ve passed on seem to have gathered around me lately to lend their support. At least that’s what my husband and I concluded from the fact that our Westie, Blanche, has been getting us up all night long recently, every hour on the hour, barking like crazy at absolutely nothing we can see or hear.

Further evidence of their presence came in the odd fact that I suddenly started mistakenly calling Blanche Tuppence, my Westie who died in 2002. I assure you, I never had done that before, and here I was doing it repeatedly for days. All I can figure is my dearly departed baby girl, Tuppy, was close to me again, filling me with her memory—and making me unaccountably weepy for days, which I find often happens when these spirits bathe my heart with love—because she and many others were gathering for this BIRTH of a BOOK; their book.

I just sent out word to all those who’d contributed stories to Good Grief, urging them to place their orders before the book is “delivered” on September 1, 2009. Of course, everyone is encouraged to pre-order a copy. Those who do so by August 31, 2009, will receive a signed copy. Just hop on back to my main site <www.goodgriefpetloss.com> to reserve yours.

I find when things are really meant to be, when their time is right, things flow. Knocking one’s head against walls ceases, and doors to heretofore unknown new paths open of their own accord. The Universe seems to nod its head in approval, sending to us those people who do the work of angels and clearing out obstacles it had formerly placed in our way to stall us until the timing was perfect (or to divert us entirely from an endeavor whose lesson for us had been successfully taught). Why else would almost everyone I contact now about sharing my story on their radio shows be agreeable and enthusiastic? Why else would articles I send out suddenly receive approval and publication? I am grateful of these helpful, generous people beyond the capacity to speak. I feel as though, at long last, I have the chance to make a difference in this world in a larger way than I ever could without all their assistance. Let’s hope I’m right in this assessment.

I’m panting now and awaiting word that it’s time for that final big PUSH! All this extended childbirth metaphor is making me think maybe someone should throw me a shower!

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