Working at home I've become keenly aware of the sounds of my neighborhood. Especially the sounds of the commercial vehicles. The hours of my day are marked by the squeal of school bus brakes at nearby bus stops, distant commuter train whistles and the putt putt of the mail truck as it works its way toward my mailbox. Occasionally a trash truck, helicopter or lawnmower swallows up the silence. But do you know the best sound of all? The UPS truck.
Whenever I hear the familiar rumble barrel up my street my heartbeat quickens. Because UPS doesn't deliver junk mail or bills, they deliver packages. And packages are like presents (even if they contain something you ordered). And one thing is certain: presents are always a good thing!
Oh happy day, when Big Brown stops in front of my house. By the time the driver hops from the truck in his monochromatic uniform, sprints up the yard and drops the package (sometimes with a loud thud as it hits the front door) my stomach is aflutter with the possibilities! What could it be? The book I just ordered? A new pair of shoes? A surprise birthday/anniversary/Christmas/”just because” present? The grand prize in a contest?
Such was the scene on Friday. I rushed to inspect this unexpected delivery—a box, bigger than usual. One look at the return label and I knew exactly what was inside.
I shouted to my family, “Everyone! Come quick. I have exciting news!”
With far less enthusiasm than the situation warranted, my children drew near. My husband didn’t even budge from his office (the nerve!). Regardless of their lukewarm reception, I tore open the box, ripped off the packing material and revealed the masterpieces enclosed.
Ten copies of my first book.
Well, not exactly MY book—but the first book I’ve been published in. And the first writing gig that I’ve been paid for— a Chicken Soup for the Soul story.
Even though it’s not a lofty goal, getting into a Chicken Soup book was near the top of my goal list. Seeing my name on the book's pages is as exciting as I hoped. As much rejection writing brings I’m savoring this moment. Plus, I share this victory with my writing group friend Denise, who is also in this volume.
In celebration, I’m giving away a copy of this book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Cat. To be entered, leave a comment. Tell me a lesson you learned from your cat . . . or your dog, and I’ll enter you twice. I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday 9/25.
To be honest, as a dog lover at heart, I’m a bit discomfited that my first book publishing credit is about a cat—my cat to be exact. But, I really have learned a lot from my cat (first of all, that cats can be wonderful pets) and I’m proud of the story I wrote. :-)