Did you know that Celebration is a core human need? I often see people confuse this with partying. Of course you can have or attend a party to celebrate something or someone. But most partying happens because people simply want to change their mood, feel different, be someone else for a while. This is more in the category of a temporary fix than a celebration. Inveterate partiers are generally not happy, neither before nor after the party.
No, what I want to talk about here is when we truly have something in our lives that calls for celebration. I have such a thing in my life now. My novel that I have worked on for many years will be coming out soon. I’ll be holding it in my hand and feel the weight and wonder of it. So, I’m planning a celebration.
I’ve genuinely celebrated on many occasions – graduations, the births of my children and grandchildren, getting a job I wanted. I remember well how those occasions felt miraculous, triumphant, satisfying. I’ve never published any book, let alone a novel. I can’t say I really know how it will feel to hold it in my hand, to gift it to people who may love it or be helped by it, or perhaps even to watch sales of it mount on the many platforms now available for that part of the process. I’m going into this with no expectations. Except, given the truly ridiculous amount of work I put into it, I do expect to feel good, really good, if and when someone tells me they are enjoying it, look forward to the next chapter, or cried at the ending.
My novel is called You Were My Mother and the theme of it is trauma, multigenerational trauma. So we are not talking about a beach book here. Why did I write it? My answer is that it was in me and wanted out. I never gave up on it. I didn’t ask for this form of gestation and growth and birthing to be visited upon me. At many stages in the process I wanted to be free of it. But that never felt like a realistic possibility as it grew into page after page, chapter after chapter.
My characters, Camille and her daughter Lila, developed voices, hopes, dreams, and triumphs of their own. They became as real to me as my own friends. I needed to find out where they would go, what they would encounter on their way forward, and how they would handle themselves. I don’t know if many novelists set out knowing where the story will take them. I do know that mine took me by the hand, lived in my head and heart, and wouldn’t be silenced.
Thank you if you’ve read this far. Thank you in advance if you decide to read this upcoming novel, this product of my imagination. Its birthday will be announced in these pages, as have so many other events in my life. This one, however, is one of triumph. That core human need will be met for me yet again. You’re invited to the Celebration.