The driving rains and brisk winds made it feel more like a day in October than in early May. Sitting in the passenger seat of Cindy Grady’s apple red Volkswagen Rabbit, rain pouring outside all around us, I removed the bright pink rubber bands and peeled back the brown cardboard packaging that sat in my lap to reveal the very first copy of Nerdy Thirty.
I now held in my hands not just a year’s worth of work, but a lifetime of experiences neatly packaged into a slim, ninety-eight-page collection of essays that brought tears to my eyes. My reaction to seeing the book, and its absolutely gorgeous cover by Eric Downs, wasn’t as ladylike and professional as I would have hoped.
“Oh my God!” I yelled to no one in particular countless times as I smoothed my hand across the glossy cover and flipped through the book’s rich, cream-colored pages. “Oh my God! I can’t believe this is happening!” I said again and again, a bit in shock and then, a bit embarrassed at my volume inside Cindy’s cozy car.
Cindy and I have a wonderful working relationship that developed during the past year; but we also have become good friends. I could see the joy in Cindy’s big grin that she was authentically excited for me and for the new experiences about to happen with the publication of this book.
After extending the book-gazing experience for as long as I could, I re-wrapped my copy of Nerdy Thirty and dashed out of Cindy’s car, adrenaline and excitement coursing through my veins. Cradling the brown package, I ran back inside to avoid the raindrops.
Later that evening I reclined on my couch and examined the book again and again. Although alone in my house, I again uttered countless more “Oh my God!” sentiments and marveled that the book, had indeed, arrived. I read the words as if reading them for the very first time. It was an odd experience. I was almost surprised that the words I wrote – some as long ago as five years – were now in print.
When Matt arrived home from work he took my spot on the couch and read the book in one sitting. It was nearly impossible not to monitor his expressions as I prepared dinner from the kitchen. I smiled when he smiled, laughed when he laughed, albeit a bit nervously. I could see what was happening on his face, but had no idea what was going on inside his head.
Matt finished the book. We ate dinner. We talked about the essays – the stories he knew so well, others that weren’t as familiar, the honesty that is unmistakable throughout the pages. I was still bubbling, effervescent at the day’s events. But it was, after all, just another Monday night. Three days later I’m still excited, but still find tremendous comfort in the grounded life I live every single day.
P.S. I’m delighted to announce that Nerdy Thirty is now available for purchase at the WriteLife website!