The other day, at the end of the day, my book The Minister’s Wife: a memoir of faith, doubt, friendship, loneliness, forgiveness and more, arrived. All the watching and waiting and drumming of my fingers on the table in the weeks prior did not make it arrive any sooner, as it turned out. And then, suddenly, there it was, in a box.
I left the box alone because Brent was not home, and I felt he deserved to be present for the Big Open, considering all the things a writer’s husband must agree to, all that turning of the inside outward.
All the watching and waiting and drumming of my fingers on the table in the minutes prior did not make Brent arrive home any sooner. And then, suddenly, he was there and we could open the box. And I finally held the thing in my hands and it really was a great moment. I didn’t burst into tears, like I thought I would. And I felt like everyone else thought I would too, but, honestly, we have to stop overthinking these things.
In a little while, Holly picked it up and sat on the couch and started to read it. We sat in chairs and watched her. This was not in the least bit awkward or weird. It really wasn’t. Then Brent asked her to read out loud. And she did. Then she said he should have a turn. And he did. Then he gave it back to her and she read the chapter on marriage out loud, which could have been awkward, but it wasn’t really at all. It all felt very smooth and warm and soft, like I was in a book cocoon.
This should be a gift all writers receive I think, to sit in an armchair and listen to people who love you read your book out loud for at least one hour, the night it arrives. Then, just set it down on the coffee table, give it one more pat, and go to bed.