In the last day I've gone from writer to author and I'm happy to report so far, so good. I've stayed on top of the dishes and done three loads of laundry. I steadfastly refuse to sweep or vacuum or do the toilets.
I spent a great deal of first day as an author getting facebook messages from students who were in the book. I learned I misspelled Zac's name. The student code-named "Joy" finished the book and was ready to celebrate with me. So was David Lowe.
I'm happy to report Morgan has read about herself in the book and even though it made her cry she loved it. Which is a huge relief. Also, her mom wants to know what's this whole thing about "LYSOL" and I guess Morgan's going to have to explain that part (good luck, sunshine).
As much of a celebration as it is to finish and publish a book, it didn't seem quite right to have a party to celebrate a book whose roots are so deeply planted in grief. If you didn't know that, here is the long description that will be on the book jacket.
I swear to you, I worked harder on this than I did on most of the book. I didn't know how much of the story to give away, but then again, I wanted someone who picks it up at an airport (OMG MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE AT AIRPORTS OMG OMG OMG) to pick it up and take it with them, wherever.
MARVIN'S BOOK: THE STORY OF A PROFESSOR AND A PROMISE
Have you ever made a promise that dogged you through years, nagging you silently? Melissa Soldani Lemon did in 2000 when her student, Marvin Mark Scott, died in a single-car accident on the way to school. In her grief, she reached out to the young man's family and promised to write a book for Marvin and start a scholarship in his honor.
Ten years, two children and many semesters of teaching college history later, Soldani Lemon had amassed a growing following of readers for the hilarious stories on her blog, but no book had yet emerged. She finally sat down to fulfill her promise—only to find herself facing new raw grief in the unexpected deaths of a colleague and another student, both of whom had encouraged her to fulfill her promise.
Now she was really stuck. How could she write Marvin's book when she only wrote stories with happy endings? Melissa’s journey to answer that question takes us a roller coaster ride through a year of new students, service projects honoring United States veterans, office hours, exams and graduations as she interweaves inspirational stories with outrageously funny bloopers taken from real student exams. In the end, it is a student veteran "exiled" in a VA nursing home who leads her to find a bright and hopeful ending to this story.
You will laugh, cry and rekindle your belief in the power of intention as Melissa turns the promise of a book for Marvin into Marvin's Book: The Story of a Professor and a Promise.
One thing. If I could do yesterday again, maybe I would have had a party or at least forced my kids to go to Chikfila, at least, just because I love those ketchup packets so much.