Really, really excited about today, friends. This post doesn’t technically fit under the category of Real. Hard. Love., but… wait a second, yes it does, because my friend Melanie’s new book, Sparkly Green Earrings, is about motherhood, and being a mom involves lots of loving, and some of it is Real. Hard.
But this post will be mostly light and fun, because that’s what Sparkly Green Earrings is: light, fun, and FUNNY.
(And I just want to let you know that if you’ve been following along the past three days as my friend shared the story of her husband’s affairs, I’m going to be addressing some concerns that have come up. Namely this one: are you saying that the godly thing to do is stay with an unfaithful husband no matter what? Absolutely not, friends. You’ve got to listen to God and ask him for wisdom for your specific situation. More to come soon.)
But for now, Sparkly! Green! Earrings!
(Can I just say here that how convenient! We have sparkly green walls in our living room! And also that I’m thinking of becoming a hand model.)
Before I go to great lengths to try to get you to buy Mel’s book, let me back up to how we met.
Except I can’t remember how we met.
I think it was sometime in 2008 when someone had pointed me to a blogger named Boo Mama. And from there, I found a blogger named Big Mama. I knew nothing about these women except that they were hilarious. My kind of people.
I went to a She Speaks conference in NC in June 2008, and Sophie (Boo Mama) and Melanie (Big Mama) were break-out speakers on blogging. Sophie and I had connected online at some point, so I bravely walked up to her, and we shared a hug. I didn’t really know Mel, and we didn’t exactly meet. (I blogged about all of that here.)
Fast forward a few months to April 2009 and the Texas leg of our 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks Zoo Tour. Mel and I met up at a park outside the zoo, our first real-life meeting.
The following January, my amazing friend Amanda invited me to be her guest at a Siesta Scripture event in Houston, and while she was busy with hostessing duties, Mel and I got to hang out for quite awhile. So much fun. I blogged about that here and here.
(Amanda and Mel also introduced me to Freebirds, and I’ve been dreaming about a way to get some more ever since.)
It’s been three years since I’ve seen Mel’s face (sad!), but we’ve kept in touch via e-mail/social media. Awhile back she sent me a sample chapter of a book she was writing.
I read it and thought hmmm. And then I was honest with her. “You? Are hilarious. Your blog? Hilarious? This sample chapter? Not so much. Waaaaaaay too book-sounding. Just write like you blog!”
She said it was exactly what the publisher had said.
We chatted here and there after that, but then a few months went by without any word from her. I didn’t think much of it. Life is busy busy, with lots of people to keep up with. And then I got an e-mail. She was about ready to make an announcement on her blog and wanted me to hear it from her first. She had been struggling over writing this because she didn’t want to hurt me.
She had met a literary agent, signed on with him, and gotten a book deal.
Why would she keep this from me? Because this literary agent used to be my literary agent too, until we disagreed about something and parted ways. Oy.
I was honest with her. That I had cried over it (lots of emotions I couldn’t really explain), but that I was really, truly THRILLED for her. Over the course of the next year, two other friends would sign with this agent, I would get a project rejected by lots of publishers because of two books that went out of print, and my new agent would switch agencies and only take authors with her who were currently under contract (not me).
A whole lot of humbling going on in these parts.
And this was all before the Year O’ Gabe’s Anxiety.
Thankfully, God has been doing big things in my heart and moving me in new directions and allowing me to see how disappointment and closed doors can lead to something even more awesome. And that pride is always a good thing to be rid of anyway. Speaking of anyway.
Mel’s book is out! And it’s wonderful! I loved it! So sweet and FUNNY and just like Mel’s blog (she did it!). She somehow ties everything back to Jesus in this beautiful way. And if I’m completely honest, there were times when I wanted the whole book to be outrageously funny with no poignant spiritual thoughts (entertain me!!), but that’s not Melanie. Jesus is at the center of everything she does.
And I’m so glad.
I was so excited to go to the mailbox a couple weeks ago and discover that her publisher had sent me an advance copy with a sweet, personal note from Mel. And a pair of Sparkly Green Earrings! (like an actual pair of green earrings)
And while I love the sentiment, we all know how much I love jewelry, so I’m going to pass them on to one lucky winner! One lucky winner who will also win a copy of Sparkly Green Earrings, the book!
(I’m going to post this picture again to save you the trouble of scrolling up up up to the top of the post, because who has time for that?)
**To be entered to win, just tell me what you would title a memoir about your life, given this formula:
Adjective, color, item of clothing/accessory/other random noun.
Like Bright Yellow Raincoat or Pleated Periwinkle Pants or Crusty Brown Boogers.
(Feel free to use one of those if you’re experiencing writer’s block. Plagiarism will not diminish your chances of winning.)
(If you’re feeling especially creative, you could write an entire haiku. This will not increase your chances of winning.)
Congratulations, Mel, on becoming a published author! I’m so proud of you and love you to bits, friend!