Playing Author for Real
It did not look like much, the third proof copy of my book. It surprised me by arriving early, just a few hours before friends came from out of town to enjoy a weekend in the Bluegrass.
Twice burned, third time quite anxious, or something like that. After Proof Copy Number One showed up with all the inner pages in the wrong place (my fault), and Proof Copy Number Two arrived with a distorted cover (their fault), I had misgivings about this unassuming cardboard package. In fact, I waited until help came, in the form of the Best Man with a pair of scissors.
The cover looked good! And so did the inside. At that moment, I raced back in memory to long, wonderful, after-school games of "Authors" with beloved cousins. I had author envy even at age eight. It must have been Louisa May Alcott's hair style (just kidding), or the fact that her four cards existed at all. She was the only woman among the 13 capital "A" Authors. More likely it was the passionate connection I felt to Jo, the girl/woman writer Louisa May Alcott created in Little Women.
I have written hundreds of thousands of words in my work life and personal life, but that did not make me an Author. Writing and publishing Sweet, Sweet Sorghum: Kentucky's Natural Wonder—that did the trick. Today a lovely, complete stranger called me the A word, and I heard it with a little pinch-me shiver.
Until the moment the Third Proof Copy arrived, this long project to produce a small, appealing book has been mostly about the potential of sweet sorghum syrup to heal our bodies and our land, boost farm income, and strengthen communities. Those are the main points, the reasons to read and share the book.
The "I'm an author now" soundtrack that runs in my head: that's a bonus. I'm sure it's temporary, and I'm surely enjoying it.
There are a bunch of people, most particularly Design Diva Miki Wright, of Egg Design, without whom I would never have heard this happy soundtrack. The Best Man had something to do with it, too. I'll say more on these topics when I write again about the book.
Sweet, Sweet Sorghum is available in Lexington-Fayette County at Windy Corner Market and Morris Book Shop. It can be ordered online at my e-store, and at amazon.com. These are the starting locations. There will be more locations, and of course you will hear about them. I intend to take seriously a caution the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning's new director (and Author), Neil Chethik, issued last year: anyone can be a writer, but an author has to promote and sell what she writes if she wants to keep doing it. I do. I definitely do want to keep authoring.
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