I know it won’t last forever, so I’m enjoying the moment.
I am a Rock Star.
To the kids at least. Not just ’cause I’m Mom, and not just ’cause I love playing Wii (but it is sorta those things too), but because I know Real Live Authors.
My kids love to read. They love books. They write books and illustrate them and read them aloud and show them off to whomever is around. Books rock in our house, right now more than Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus.
So recently we bought a book written by an author who is also a member of an online writers’ group I frequent (ahem, Verla Kay Blueboards). I mentioned this to said author, who offered to send a signed bookplate and other goodies. I accepted. She mailed stuff.
WE ARE ROCK STARS.
The kids were astounded. Mitzi gushed, ” I can’t believe a Real Live Author wrote to us!” For the next five days she showed everyone the signed book, the bookmarks, the tattoos, the letter penned by Famous Author. Rock. Star.
Sweetly, Mitzi is as proud of me, unpublished in the PB arena, as she is for those whose books we borrow from the library or purchase from stores.
“My mom,” she tells her friends over for playdates, “is an Author.” (And yes, you can absolutely hear the capitalization in her voice.)
Whether they want to listen or not, Mitzi reads aloud a current version of whatever I’m working on, pilfered from the piles on my crowded desk.
I am a Rock Star.
Her friends don’t really care that much. If I had a hard-bound book in hand and was presenting to their school, yeah, they’d be on board. Mitzi’s Mom’s wordprocessed manuscripts? Eh.
My kids are excited when we read books by writers I “know” through the publishing community. They hover over me while I message with people on discussion boards, recognizing the avatars of these writers, their books. “Hey! We have that book!”
I sense that some of this wonderment of being a Rock Star never goes away. Earlier this evening I messaged a very well-published author to say I’d picked up a book of hers from the library and really enjoyed it. Like my kids, I’m still in awe that I know Real Live Authors, and try not to stalk them, but still want them to know how I react to their work.
This writer wrote back, very kindly. How sweet, she said. No, I don’t hear that every day. [Uh, you have over 60 books to your credit??] You made my day, she said.
Now, this writer might just be polite. But I don’t think so (from what I know of her and her thoughts on the discussion boards, she is very incisive, humble, and encouraging. Not the sort to beat around the bush.). Writing is a very subjective endeavour, and writers need validation, at least at the very basic level. Someone likes our writing well enough to publish it. Others like it well enough to buy it. Yes, we still like to hear that our writing is good, of value. No matter how many books under your belt. It makes us feel good that our words reach and affect readers.
I hope this writer knows that she is a Rock Star.
Even Stephen King, I think, appreciates fan mail.
I am slightly cynical, so I know that the day will come when whatever I do my kids will find me dorky, uncool, embarrassing. Whatever. I’m a mom. To be expected.
So, for today, I will embrace my Rock Stardom. I am a Writer, a Real Live Author. Real people write those books my kids gorge themselves on every day, as if every word were a piece of candy. Their mom “knows” some of them. My kids have a Rock Star in training for a mom — they see me working, they listen to my words, they participate in the process. They know being a Rock Star is hard, but they can also see the results.
They have heard from the Rock Stars in publication.
And I think they are inspired, to be stars of their own constellations, literary or other.