Not a bad day. I had a rotten day today.
It began as one of those days when all I wanted to do was stay home and play with my eight-month-old daughter. My wife and I used to work together, our classrooms just two doors apart, but she is taking the year off to be with Clara, which leaves me on some mornings lamenting the loss of my wife at work and my daughter from my entire day. As much as I enjoy teaching, I think that I could probably stay home with my daughter, playing with her, cleaning the house, walking the dog, visiting friends, and squeezing in a little writing, and I would be perfectly content.
Today this desire was especially strong.
Then, through a confluence of annoying and unavoidable events, the day got worse and my mood sullied in a way that it rarely does. I had more on my plate than I could manage. I never found time for lunch and was forced to skip the gym in the afternoon. And I’m just feeling rotten about a bunch of things that I must do.
As if my sour mood was emanating into the ether, I was greeted by three emails today, from three different readers from around the country, who recently read my book. One was from an eighteen year old who went into the bookstore in order to find the novel of a first-time author in hopes of discovering someone new. He compared this desire to being the one who discovers the next, great indie band, and he seems to think that he had found the indie equivalent in me and the book.
Another wrote in order to plead for a sequel to SOMETHING MISSING, finding Martin to be remarkably likeable and real.
A third asked if I was going to be appearing in New Jersey anytime soon, anxious to meet the author of her “new, all-time favorite book.”
That’s been one of the amazing and most surprising parts of publishing the book. People from around the United States routinely contact me about the book, through email, Facebook, Twitter and even snail mail. Last week I received a handwritten card from a woman who wanted to compliment me on the book and (no surprise) ask about a sequel. I receive about two of these communications a day from readers, and though it takes time to respond to every one, each is an unexpected blessing.
The day ended with another reader forwarded me this review from a book blogger. It’s one that my Google Alert had picked up a few days ago, but it was nice of an anonymous reader to so enthusiastically forward me the link.
My mood was still not great when I went to bed, and until I manage to clear my plate a bit, I expect that it won’t improve by much. But those readers did manage to lift my spirits a bit and send me back to my manuscript, enthusiastic in knowing that there are people in the world who enjoy my work and want to read more.
It doesn’t make up for having to leave my little one each day, but it’s not bad.