UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for your interest!
The evening started with butterflies. At first it was the unsettling kind. The kind that send your mind and stomach spinning. The kind that remind you that this moment you’re about to walk into, it’s big. And you’d better make it count.
Just then, when it seemed like those butterflies might win, a single monarch came and took their place. I first caught a glimpse of it out of the passenger-side window as I was starting the car. I stopped to watch as it flew, seemingly from the spot where my kids were giggling with their dad, waving goodbye to me. Then, with just enough intention, it hovered about 10 feet above my windshield, and slowly made its way into our neighbor’s trees as I pulled away from the curb.
I was immediately filled with a sense of peace. With the spirit, love, and confidence of my dad. It couldn’t have been more fitting, given that just down the road, awaited another girl who equally adores her father. Yes, this was going to be a good night.
When my big moment came, thanks to a lovely friend making a very generous introduction, the other butterflies returned. The thoughts in my head swirled as dangerously as the wine in my trembling hands, so I told her. About the butterfly. About how I was so nervous being right there at that very moment, but the butterfly gave me the nudge I needed.
And she knew just what to say. “Aww, you lost your guy. I’m so sorry.”
We exchanged more words. Hers, eloquent and perfect. Mine, sounding nothing at all like what I’d rehearsed in my head the few weeks leading up to this moment. Oh the questions I wanted to ask. The good impression I wanted to make. But the insightful, witty quips I’d imagined were replaced by clumsy words like “stalker” and the nervous nods of an obvious introvert.
She was lovely, generous, encouraging, funny, natural, and everything her written words would have you believe she is. She graciously filled the silence, and continued to return to our conversation no matter how often we were interrupted. After all, everyone there had come to see her.
I told her, being the stalker that I am, how she recently sent a newsletter that’s been my mantra as I work to write my own book. The subject line was, “Why not you?” And every time I start feeling doubt creeping in that I can make this dream of mine come true, I think about her words. “Why not me?”
And she knew just what to say, “Cheers to that!” Then she enthusiastically clinked her steady glass upon my shaky one.
She told me a story about a recent conversation she’d had with Anna Quindlen (because when you’re a New York Times bestseller, that’s the sort of company you keep), and reinforced the point that this was my dream to own.
We each moved on to separate conversations with other friends, and soon it was time to hear her speak. As this group of ladies casually gathered around her on a friend’s lovely back porch, she read a piece she’d written inspired by Glitter and Glue. One that captured her intentions and emotions behind the book.
And she knew just what to say.
Everyone in the crowd nodded. Laughed. Teared up. Exchanged knowing looks. While there must have been at least 75 people there, it felt like an intimate conversation with an old friend. That’s what she does. She makes you feel like she’s speaking directly to you, reading your mind — and your heart.
When she was done, ready to head off to the local bookstore for another reading, I caught her just in time to get a picture. And a couple signed books. At first I was going to keep a copy blank so I could give it away to a reader, but at the last second, I turned back.
“Actually, will you please sign this one for me? To Amy?” She smiled warmly, but with a hint of mischief.
And she knew just what to say. “To Amy, My favorite stalker. –Kelly Corrigan”
*Giveaway*: While I am absolutely keeping that perfectly signed copy all to myself, I’m not above stalking her to get another. To enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Glitter and Glue, please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:59pm PDT. Tell me, have you had the chance to meet one of your role models? What’s a goal that you’d like to achieve where you can adopt the mantra, “Why not me?” What do you love most about Kelly’s writing? Or, you know, use your words to share any other thought you might have. One winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted via email with details.
NOTE: This post includes Amazon affiliate links, but I only share things I truly believe you’ll enjoy as much as I do.