Since the moment I started stumbling along the path to becoming
America’s Next Top Model a (someday) published author back in 2010, one of the most awesome things about the journey has been hitting new and ever more exciting highs along the way. For instance, eighteen months or so ago, one of the beta readers for Famine told me that after she reached a certain point in the story, she couldn’t put it down. She stayed up all night to finish reading it.
That was pretty damned awesome.
I mean, sure it was also my mom, but I don’t care if you’re talking about a relative or not, if you manage to interfere with someone’s sleep patterns as well as their entire next day using nothing but your imagination and the words you typed into a document, that’s pretty cool. And by pretty damned cool, I mean it makes you feel like that guy who walked on the moon was a punk-ass chump who wasn’t even all that or a can of Pringles and needs to quit frontin’ about it because so what, man, the moon’s been sitting there for, like, 100000 years. Somebody was gonna hit it eventually.
So, yeah, that was a pretty high point for a while. But then other stuff happened. And I finished another book. And then…then!…I got signed by not one, but two literary agents and could go around saying, “Oh, my literary agency this,” and, “Well, I don’t know, but my literary agent says that.”
Okay, so I never actually said anything like that because, hello, pretentious. Also, nobody really speaks in italics. Except maybe “Real Housewives”, but they’re about as real as Harvey, the 7-foot tall pink rabbit.
Anyway, that was pretty awesome. And then other awesome stuff happened. And I wrote another book. And with any luck, I’ll finishe yet another book sometime this month. So, yay! Triple awesome. Or is it quadruple? I don’t even now anymore. But it’s pretty awesome.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Ralph! Ralph! Wake up! Wake UP! Puddin got a book deal!
Cool your jets, Ethel.
Which is to say, um, no. I mean, not yet. Who knows. This is Publishing Club, and the first rule of Publishing Club is that you don’t talk about Publishing Club.
Point being, I’m still just an amateur author. No one’s paying me for this business. Also, I’m terribly sorry, Mr.-or-Ms. General Person, no, you can’t read my books yet.
Back to talking about high points, though. Because last week? Last week was special. See, my kids, they are allowed to read my books yet. Err, already. You know what I mean. And while they can’t read all of my books—since the adult ones are, well, adult—I’ve written two Middle Grade-level novels. As luck would have it, three of my kids are Middle Grade-readers.
Actually, I guess it isn’t luck so much as it’s that I decided to write books for them. But that’s another post.
Point being, in the span of 24 hours last week, Mini-Me stopped me as I was walking down the hall and said, “Dad. The book you wrote, Longshots, is really good. It’s a GREAT story.” And yes, of course he said it in all caps. I put it in quotes, didn’t I?
And then, the very next day, the Puddinette texted me the picture below. See, our only daughter, the Princess Puddinette had to fill out one of those “All About Me” papers for the first day of school. And in the blank for her favorite book, she wrote what you see below.
All three of my kids have read at least one of my books now, and each of them has respectively (without any prodding or even asking about it on my part) given me a compliment on the one they read. And if that’s not enough to make you (by which I mean me) smile cheerfully, there’s something wrong with you (again, me).
Now, admittedly, that’s not exactly the same thing as a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly or a huge release party where there’s an open bar and bottomless brownies. But for a guy who decided to write some Middle Grade books just so his kids could read them, that’s a pretty good week from the critics that matter most at this point.
Yep, a pretty good week, indeed. Definitely the newest high point in a journey that’s been full of them. Sure, there have been some not-so highs too, but the only way to keep yourself sane is to forget those quickly and cling the highs like a teddy bear at bedtime.
I’m gonna squeeze this one like’s it’s a one-eyed Pooky with a sewn-up arm.
And I can’t wait to find out what’s next.