Life has been a bit of a whirlwind — for both positive (the success of the book) and unexpected (explanation to come) reasons — since the launch of Message From a Blue Jay five and a half weeks ago. Just after the wonderful launch party at Back Pages Books in Waltham on June 16, I came down with an unexpected illness. And when I say “just after,” I really mean it; I experienced body aches and a fever within an hour of the launch party’s end while out at a restaurant celebrating with friends.
It’s been an interesting journey since then. For two weeks I experienced fevers that came and went, always either accompanied or preceded by terrible chills and body aches. At first I thought I was simply crashing emotionally and physically after the roller coaster of emotions of the previous two months; I lost my father on April 18 and launched the book exactly four weeks later. It turned out, however, that I had an actual infection (possibly tick-borne, although I hadn’t noticed any tick bites) that was finally revealed after extensive blood tests. A three-week course of antibiotics, which I finished a few days ago, finally set me on a solid path to recovery.
Throughout this odd development, I continued to work in the mornings at a small company near my home and I celebrated the success of my husband, who was promoted to the position of Clinic Director at the mental health facility where he works. I was also grateful to hear from readers of Message from a Blue Jay who wrote to express their appreciation of the book. I am aware of at least two book clubs that have added the book to their list of to-read selections, and I have agreed to participate in a discussion about the book when one of the clubs is ready to set a date. I haven’t had the opportunity to set up more readings at book stores or libraries, but I hope to do so as the summer moves forward.
In the meantime, a number of writers I know have also come out with books you might enjoy. Cindy Zelman published “What’s In A Butch’s Purse?”, a chapbook of humorous essays that has taken off like wildfire. Mariam Kobras and Buddhapuss Ink (also the publisher of Message from a Blue Jay) have launched Waiting for a Song: Naomi’s Story, the first prequel in the popular Stone Series of novels. Next up from Buddhapuss is Counteract on August 6, the first novel in what looks like an exciting new trilogy of thrillers by author Tracy Lawson.
I have more thoughts on Message from a Blue Jay and my own future work to come, but for now I just wanted to let you know that I’m still here. I just took a little side trip through some antibiotics after the book launch.