Between working full-time, tending to my family (both kids and parents), and trying to claw my way to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List, remembering to notice the little blessings that come my way is no small challenge.
But, as my twelve year-old is so fond of responding to just about anything I tell him to do, challenge accepted. That being said, I’m dedicating this post to some small, but incredibly thoughtful gestures – well, gifts really, that I’ve recently received.
First up, a frame and matte covered with signatures and kind words from my fellow Windy City RWA sisters (and brother). Despite missing many a monthly meeting, these lovely writers have the whole group-hug-in-a-box thing down. I never would’ve achieved my dream without their unparalleled expertise, unfailing support, and generosity.
The next nice gesture needs a little backstory fill in. About a year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing renowned romance writer Kristan Higgins deliver the keynote address at a conference. While I wasn’t familiar with her books, I thumbed through a copy of her latest release that she had left on each attendees’ plate. Such a gift! After the first paragraph, I was hooked and managed to binge read through her entire collection of bestsellers. So, after publishing my first book, I thought it only fitting that I return the favor and send her a copy as a thank you gift. Just a few weeks later, I was surprised to receive a hand-written note from her in my mailbox. Such a class act! I want to be her when I grow up.
Lastly, thanks to a dear friend, my book caught the attention of the membership chair of the Illinois Women’s Press Association who, in turn, encouraged me to enter their annual communications competition in which False Start received an Honorable Mention! Now I know this may not seem like a big deal to you, but my mom used to belong to this highly-esteemed professional organization. It’s true. When she was in her plate spinning prime, she was a reporter at our local newspaper and rubbed elbows with colleagues from the Chicago Tribune and other suburban news bureaus. That she’s going to let me wear her old membership pin is pretty cool. That Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, Immediate Past President of IWPA, included a very nice hand-written note in my invitation to the awards luncheon, I thought, was pretty awesome – especially considering I’m not even a member…yet.
OK, so maybe these little things aren’t so little after all. Here’s to the big little things!