Grieving the Bad, Celebrating the Good

When my first book, Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., came out, I didn’t have a book release party. Truth be told, I’m not a big party person. I’m a small gathering sort of person. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, as relational as I am, I’m also introverted–so just the word party wears me out.

But this time around, my friend Jennifer asked if she could host a party for the release of Grumble Hallelujah. And I was all over it.

So what happened to change my mind? A simple conversation with my friend Anita. When her book came out last year, she too had leery of the book-party thing. Thinking it self-indulgent or prideful or whatever.

But Anita’s friend–the one offering to throw the party–told her that a book was something worth celebrating. Her friend reminded her that celebrating is good. An important way to mark the good things of life.

That resonated. Especially since Grumble Hallelujah starts out with a whole section on needing to grieve the disappointments of life, I thought it rather fitting to have a celebration for the very good things of life. Which include: getting to write a book, having friends and family support me through the process, having friends willing to throw a party, bring food, hang out, sing songs, and grumble a few hallelujahs.

The release of this book–and any book–really isn’t about a product being released into the world, but what God has done. I’m amazed at what God has done with my grumbling. That he not only turned it into a story to tell, but that he’s used it to bring friendships and all sorts of blessings into my life.

So that definitely was worth celebrating. Thanks to Jennifer for putting it together and to Angela, Dave and Gregg for singing and strumming and to Rachel for the balloons (and the napkins!) and to Bethany and Denise for making the drinks and to everyone who came to help celebrate.

And while I won’t have a big party every time something good happens, the whole idea of celebrating the good things–marking them somehow–has me eager to look out for more reasons to celebrate. Seems like a nice way to live.

Just curious: What do you have to celebrate lately? How do you celebrate the blessings in your life?

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2 Responses to “Grieving the Bad, Celebrating the Good”

  1. October 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Congratulations, Caryn! I have yet to read your book (sampled the first bit on Amazon and have already shared with a friend about your opening scene), but I’m looking forward to owning it soon. Happy for you to get to celebrate so appropriately.

  2. Tim
    October 14, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    John Lescroart is a neighbor and I went to one of his book launch parties once. (It’s the only one I’ve even attended for any writer.) It was completely about celebrating the book and not at all about exalting him as the creator. It was also a lot of fun, since it was right here in our home town and a lot fo friends and familiar faces were there. After a while he read the first chapter to us and then took questions. Unbeknown to me, these Q&A sessions always start out the same way. His son (a kid I drove in car pool) raises his hand and gets called on, then poses the same question every time: “Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?” It’s such a cliche question, and made everyone laugh.

    So I have a good impression of book launches. It is a time for celebration, and I’m so glad your friends were able to help you celebrate Caryn.

    How do we celebrate our life’s blessings? Typically it’s a dinner out with all four of us, Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter. We celebrate things like the end of a school year and the start of another one, our wedding anniversay and birthdays, heading off on a missions trip or returning from one. Whatever it is, we try to get us all in the same place at the same time (tough when both kids are now away at college!), and hit a favorite restaurant. It’s not a big affair, but it’s a celebration all the same.

    Tim

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