Monday, June 5, 2017

It's a Small World

After months of waiting, my books finally arrived in the distribution warehouse on Friday!  I was so excited to finally see them, and I also had a deadline to make.  The last day of school is on Tuesday, and if at all possible, I wanted to be able to share my book with my daughter's class before the school year ended.

As May progressed, I asked my editor if she thought it was at all possible to get the books by then, and she did everything she could to make it happen.  Finally, I got word that the truck with the books would be arriving in the distribution warehouse on Friday, which is where I could go to pick them up.

The books were scheduled to arrive around noon, so I left early that morning, wanting to be at the warehouse when they arrived.  I was so excited, and yet there was nothing I could do but wait.  As it is when you are pregnant, the waiting is filled with joy, but after a certain point, there isn't much you can do to further things along or make sure they all turn out okay.

It was kind of mind-boggling to me that I had invested so much in bringing this book to life, but that you don't actually get to see one in print until the final invoice is paid and all the behind the scenes work is done.

As I arrived at the warehouse that morning, knowing that the books had not yet arrived, I was surprised to realize that I had driven by the warehouse many times before.  I used to live in the relative neighborhood when I was in seminary, and so as it turns out, I passed the warehouse every day on my way to the gym I went to at the time.

That proved to be helpful, since the books didn't arrive at noon as expected but rather a couple hours later.  I had been warned that that was a likely possibility, but I was determined to go home with some that day no matter what.  I retraced steps I had traveled many times before-- to find a place to eat for lunch, to go to a couple of stores to pass the time.  But for the most part, I hung out in the parking lot of the warehouse reading a book, waiting for the email that said the books had arrived.  As soon as I got it, my heart leaped.  This was really happening- my book was real!

After loading up the boxes of the books I wanted to take back home with me, I headed over to the illustrator's house to give her a few copies of her own.  As I drove there, I again marveled at how close I had been to her house many times before.  She lived in the same relative area I had, and so I had passed her neighborhood countless times on the way to the grocery store and pharmacy.  It's a small world, indeed.  How neat that through the process of publishing my book, our paths finally crossed and these connections were made.

I've learned a lot through this process, and now, with books in hand and my first signing scheduled, I have more learning to do.  But there's no doubt that this is an exciting time for me and our family, and one of the neatest things about it is how it is connecting people from all the different seasons of my life.  The support and excitement we have received from people we know has been incredible, and it is yet another reminder of how many great people we have in our lives.

Author Kari van Wakeren with the illustrator, CA Nobens, celebrating the publication of Bubble Wrap Girl

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