I’m having trouble finding the words for this last post, so I’m going to steal a few from Amy. She wrote in her post yesterday, “With gratitude, sadness, excitement, and pride, I say goodbye to the Debutante Ball.” Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I’m grateful for this experience, I’m sad to let it go, I’m excited for the new class of Debs and for a new chapter in my own life, and I’m proud of everything we have accomplished as the Class of 2017 Debs.
This year Amy, Crystal, Jenni, Tiffany and I have bonded in that special way only people who are in battle together do. The book-publishing journey is one like no other, and it’s been with each other that we’ve shared this process. When one of us has received a lousy review or disappointing news about book promotion, we confided in the group. We’ve shared all the highs together too: the launch parties and readings, the stellar reviews, the exciting newspaper and magazine placements, the second/third/fourth book contracts. We’ve coached each other, we’ve cheered for each other, and we’ve shared whole tubs of ice cream and bottles of wine (usually virtually, which is still great).
Each of them has given me a unique gift: Amy the gift of laughter she always brings to her writing and our conversations, Crystal beauty and passion she displays in her writing, Jenni inspiration in her ambitious author career, and Tiffany bravery in the way she writes the hard characters and plot twists. These women will influence me for the better for a long time to come…
Perhaps the second biggest gift from the Debutante Ball, aside from these friendships, was the pressure of a regular writing schedule. When the drama of publishing a memoir left me somewhat catatonic (okay, I’m being slightly melodramatic here), the Debutante Ball posts required me to sit at my laptop and remember my words. Otherwise there may have been whole weeks that I would not have written a single sentence. The Debutante Ball kept me a writer – and reminded me how much I love it – even when I didn’t feel like one.
With this post, I’m graduating to a full-time refocus on all the other projects on my plate: personal essays, OpEds, and my second memoir (tentatively called, Alpenglow) which have all been simmering. I do hope you follow me as those pieces slowly make it out into the world. You can reach me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and my website.
THANK YOU for following along this year, for reading, commenting, and reaching out.