Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When Pigs Fly

I know many of you have read the works of John Steinbeck, either in high school or college.  Maybe some of you even teach his works.  Years ago when I read East of Eden, a book I love, btw, I came across this quote about Steinbeck:  "Throughout his life Steinbeck signed his letters with his personal 'Pigasus' logo, symbolizing himself 'a lumbering soul but trying to fly.'  The Latin motto Ad Astra Per Alia Porci translates 'To the stars on the wings of a pig.'"

Just after I found this quote, a friend sent me this little guy.


You're definitely gonna think this is weird, but this pig made me cry.  Yep, seriously, I cried over a pig.  Before you think I'm completely crazy, I'll explain my reaction in a nutshell.

1.  I had been trying to write novels for teenagers for a number of years.

2.  I had succeeded at writing the novels, but failed miserably at getting them published.

3.  My mother died.  I was 40.  She was 64.  I cried over everything.

4.  I took the discovery of this Steinbeck quote and the arrival of said pig (almost simultaneously) as a hopeful sign.  Maybe it wasn't the time to give in to sadness and grief.  Instead, perhaps I should, as Dory from Nemo says, "Just keep swimming."  Or, in my case, writing.

Not too long after the winged pig's arrival, I got not one book contract, but TWO.  Yes, T-W-O.  I
half-expected to look out my window and see flying pigs all over the place.  And then I got another book contract and still another.  Before you go thinking I'm all la-ti-da, miss published author, please, please stop.  I am not la-ti-da.  Most published authors aren't la-ti-da.  Most of us are scared little pigs shouting wee-wee-wee all the way home, trust me.


This was my first baby, a series novel.  It's called When Irish Guys Are Smiling.




I love this book for a number of reasons.  For starters, it takes place in Ireland.  Secondly, it's about a girl who has just lost her mother.  Rather than stay home in Nashville during the season of debutantes (and lots of mother-daughter activities), Delk escapes to Ireland for a semester of study.  It's part of a larger series called Students Across the Seven Seas.  Each book takes place in a different location.


Baby number two, Artichoke's Heart, was released just a few months later.



What's not to love about a book with chocolate on the front?  Oh, how I love this cover!  Rosemary Goode, my protagonist, works in her mother's Tennessee beauty shop.  Unfortunately for Rosie, she is surrounded by mirrors and not at all happy with her reflection.

 
Two years later Somebody Everybody Listens To arrived, and Dolly Parton blurbed it.  Oh, the pigs were really flying high then, let me tell you.  Dolly is one of my personal heroes for a number of reasons.




A year later when the paperback was released, my publisher gave Somebody a cute new cover!



Dolly said, "Reading about Retta Lee Jones's journey to Nashville was a lot like reading my own diary, except she had prettier boots.  It's a story about dreams and determination that reminds us all to squeeze the most out of every single day."  Yes, Dolly said that!  I still get a thrill every time I think about it.


And here they are—my little pigs with wings…






When I started this blog, I swore I was gonna keep it separate from my book stuff.  Books are fun and all, but they are work sometimes.  I wanted this blog to be FFO, for fun only.  I guess I'm posting about this because it's who I am.  And if you blogger buddies are reading about my rugs and curtains and pigs, you might as well know about my books, too.  




32 comments:

  1. Wow, that's pretty awesome!! Just when you think your dreams aren't going to happen......So inspiring!Thanks for sharing that, really thanks!!!!

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  2. That's a great story! Are your books on Amazon? My daughter is a Voracious Reader!
    XO Cindy

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  3. Never mind.... Just ordered all three on Amazon for my Miss Beaux! I know she will love them!
    XO Cindy

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  4. You must not hide your light under the rug. So glad you told us. I am thrilled all your intensive hard work came to fruition. Bless you and may you publish many more. olive

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  5. What a great story and your little pigs are so sweet! Just became your newest follower would love if you followed me back.

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  6. How incredibly wonderful that you are a published author! I am a retired teacher who loves young adult literature! I used to teach Latin, too, so I loved your quote.

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  7. So delighted to hear your wonderful story and am happy for you that pigs are flying again around your place! May you publish many, many more!

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  8. It is wonderful to hear about your books! Reading this and all the mention of Nashville are you from there? I live 2 hours away from Nashville in West Kentucky and go monthly to Clarksville to thrift with a friend and sometimes go to Nashville to shop.

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  9. I found you today. Can't wait to become your newest follower. My daughter wants to be published as well, so I can relate to your sweet story.
    Katie @ Let's Add Sprinkles.

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  10. I love reading books and I have to find the irish one of course. Congratulations for having the wonderful talent of writing. One of the things I wished I could do, but since I can't I can do the next best thing and read them. HA! HA!

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  11. I am happy to learn about your books and look forward to reading them. Pigs are definitely flying for you!

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  12. How wonderful. As a non stop reader, I will be on the lookout for your books. Thanks for not hiding your light under a bushel. :)

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  13. They all sound fabulous, I will be adding them to my nook! Congrats, it is a good thing to know this about you too.

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  14. Well I for one am going to order these books and have a read...thanks for sharing Cheers Frances

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  15. Cute post! I'm with you, I had this thought about what my blog would be, but have found it to move full circle to all the things that I like, just not a select few! Thank you so much for helping me get to my 100 comments this week at http://spartasavings.blogspot.com

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  16. Hi there!!
    new here....
    I just have to say ...
    THAT'S AWESOME that you write books!!
    You should definitely share this with your readers!!!!!
    I bet they'd love to help you in any way:)

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  17. I am squealing! First of all, I love the pig. Where did you get it? We were hog farmers for a number of years and I grew up on a hog farm, so I would love to have a pig just like this. Second of all, you have written real books that have been really published, and you didn't give up your dream. Love that and your Nashville connection! I taught 8th grade language arts for years and love books for that age group. Believe me, I will be finding and reading each of them very soon. Also, thanks for being a new follower and for commenting on my blog. It is so encouraging to me!

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  18. What a wonderful post. I loved hearing about your books and how their publication came to fruition. It's quite an uplifting tale!
    -Karen

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  19. What a lovely story and so nice to know more about you! Congratulations on your success with the books! I have to tell you though, it was very weird that I read this post today because my younger son was squeezing the puppy too hard and I thought about Lennie from Of Mice and Men! Have a good evening.
    -Shelley

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  20. Well, bless your little piggy flyin' heart....:)
    Thrilled to death for your success and I would love to read these sometime.:)

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  21. Ok...I did not know that you were an author of wonderful books! Since we recently discovered each others blogs, I missed that! How wonderfully exciting!

    Love your flying pigs. Now, I am off to read more about you and your wonderful books.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  22. OMG! OMG! I just visited your blog from a link at Cozy Little Cottage. I work in a small rural library in North Florida (Emily Taber Public Library, part of a 3 county co-op(http://www.newriver.lib.fl.us/)AND WE HAVE TWO OF YOUR BOOKS IN OUR LITTLE LIBRARY. I am so happy. I love your blog by the way.

    Diane
    The Library Lady
    "Take surprise and delight in the little things"

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  23. Hi. I am here from Cozy Litte House. What an adorable blog. Love that you are a writer and a teacher. I will definetly look for your books.
    I think we have alot in common......insomnia, Diet Coke, and you daughter wears the same socks I do, hah.........oh, I like to look inside houses at night.
    Signed up to follow you.

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  24. I'm so glad I found you through Cozy Little House and you chose to talk about your books! I'll definitely be hunting them out for my nieces and grandaughters. I've been doing some exploring on your site and following you now. ~ Maureen

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  25. Whoo hoo hoooo!

    Congrats - this is all really good news, and pigs Do fly!

    Hugs.

    Have a great weekend.

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  26. Hi and Wow!! I can understand why you cried at the flying pig!! I cry at the Thanksgiving parade...and I don't have a book about anything!!!

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  27. Congratulations on your novels - they all sound great and I can't wait to read them! Just the picture at the top of your blog made me want to be a follower - what a beautiful entry way! I'm glad I found you via Brenda at Cozy Little House!

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  28. Congratualtions on getting your books published. This was a very well-written interesting post. I popped on over here to say hello and welcome to the blogging community. I found you on Brenda's Cozy Little House. I'm a pretty new blogger myself (just celebrated one year). I think your blog will be a regular stop for me.

    ~Sandy

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  29. I am so happy for you...you did something the Lord has been talking to me about these last few months...you've " PRESSED ON .." until the success you've been hoping for was upon you...I thank you for the inspiration..as I write this I am sitting in a hospital waiting for triple by-pass surgery...hoping to recover quickly without complications to pick up the life I've been somewhat absent from...ready to embrace my own "when pigs fly" moment....blessings to you
    Karena A Loblolly Life

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  30. Hi there ~ I'm also a new reader and I must say that even though you're not la-ti-da, I am impressed that you are a published author! I'm a freelance writer, but have "only" been published in small-press venues. Can't wait to look through the rest of your blog. I hope you'll stop by Comfy House and pay me a visit as well!

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  31. we had a guest stay with us last Thanksgiving, when the swine flu epidemic was in the news. She sent us baked goods from a company called When Pigs Fly..my son said, stop! don't open it. It is the swine flu.

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