Life’s Gravy

Somewhere between drafting, revising, submitting and waiting, a book was created. I mean an actual, bound book with a cover and a title. And a name. An author’s name. My name. This is the are-you-kidding-I’m-freaking-out part. After 13 years, many hugs, Twizzlers and talks that included, ‘I believe in you’ and ‘just focus on the process,’ my debut book, FINDING PERFECT, is actually coming into the world. Where it will meet people who don’t eat Thanksgiving at my table and don’t know me.

For so long my focus never moved off the process. And, now, with a box about to be delivered to my door filled with galleys, my focus has moved from the journey to the actual book. And, if I am being spill-the-beans honest, I’m a blend of dreams-come-true excited and just plain old terrified.  This last part was a huge surprise to me.  I knew I’d be dance happy, but stomach-hurt-nervous, where did that come from?  Then I realized these feelings were similar to those I had when I sent my sons off to college. I was happy for them, but as a mom, I knew the days of me knowing everyone and everything in their lives was, well, over. And, once FINDING PERFECT no longer lives only on my computer to be shared solely with my family and friends, the days of me knowing everyone that reads my story will, well, be over, too.

And that is the absolute privilege of writing. That is the dream. And, that is also where my nerves and joy unite.

I have told myself that in those moments that I promise to remember something my mom used to say, “This is the gravy of life.” While she is no longer here with me, I still hear the words in her loving and mom-knows-best voice. And, you know what, she’s right. This IS the gravy of life. This ranks as a sing-in-the-shower, dance-like-crazy moment. So, when my nerves peek through, I’ve decided to turn up the volume of Happy by Pharrell, embrace my happy, and rock out to life’s gravy moments.

***

IMG_9825  Elly Swartz is a middle-grade author whose debut novel, FINDING PERFECT, is coming out October, 18, 2016 (FSG). FINDING PERFECT is a middle grade story about a twelve-year-old girl named Molly, friendship, family, betrayal, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. It took thirteen years, numerous drafts, many Twizzlers, loads of hugs, and much unconditional love, to find her way to YES. Through the years, Elly’s been a Sesame Place ride operator, messenger, lawyer, legal author, and college essay adviser. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, two sons and beagle named Lucy. If you want to connect with Elly or learn more about what she’s working on, you can find her at www.ellyswartz.com, on Twitter @ellyswartz or Facebook.

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30 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Happiness, Writing and Life

30 responses to “Life’s Gravy

  1. I love the idea of rocking out to life’s gravy moments! Right there with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww! So happy for your joy, Elly! Big hug to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet Fox

    Happy dancing with you, Elly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mariagianferrari

    Happy dancing and debuting, Elly! Dog love helps too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Luke Reynolds

    Here’s to celebrating gravy moments! I love how your post explodes how important it is to celebrate the gravy–to be thankful for it and enjoy it. What a great message and thanks so much sharing your journey with us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      To celebrating : ) Thanks, Luke. We all work so hard to get to this moment, and, no doubt there will be a flood of different emotions, but I have made a promise to myself to focus on all the good stuff. And dance
      : )

      Like

  6. Rock on, Elly, rock on! Thanks for sharing your journey, and I can’t wait to shout to the world about FINDING PERFECT! I can’t wait to read the final version – because I know it’s going to be spectacular. Congratulations! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joanna

    Brava on this long and wonderful road, and congrats on your debut!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Darcey Rosenblatt

    I love love love this post Elly. So captures the journey. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elly Swartz

    I love love love your response 🙂 Can’take wait to share it with you guys!

    Like

  10. kevanjatt

    Can’t wait for this, Elly! Congratulations! You earned this joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carleen M. Tjader

    Loved your post! This example of your writing means your book must be great!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Elly Swartz

    Carleen, I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! I hope you love the book just as much! Much thanks.

    Like

  13. Elly, It is a strange joyous, jittery thing, isn’t it? But your mom’s right–gravy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Big hugs, Elly!! I’m so happy for you.
    The terror will continue. So will the gravy. It’s really smart to avoid the parts of the terror that are avoidable (and a LOT of it is! Stay off Goodreads! Never look at your Amazon stats! Ignore reviews unless they’re mailed to you by your editor! Seriously. These three things cause a lot of unnecessary pain and they mean absolutely nothing about sales — and there’s nothing you can to do affect them). Celebrate whatever little good thing comes. And the big things too! I know there are some great good things coming through your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Oh, Ruth, Thank you so much for your hugs and words of wisdom. That is surely guidance to live by. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. And, keep them coming. I welcome the input. You are a such a veteran, and a happy one. That is always the goal. Happiness. Thanks for all of it! xoxo

      Like

  15. Soooo excited for you, Elly. I remember when we first met and we were both hoping for a book deal!!! It warms my heart when I think about your book coming this fall! Yes! So excited and happy for you.
    (And I’ll never forget the “pepper/candle” incident at Big Sky! And how y’all made me feel OK about it! LOL at that memory!)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Elly Swartz

    Huge thanks. I absolutely remember us talking about and hoping for a book deal while we were hiking. And then, yes, I remember the pepper/candle incident. Laughing just thinking about that. Love that post Big Sky there have been and continue to be many happy moments to celebrate : )

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Just read this post and following this awesome thread:) Imagining your mom “holding you”, and dancing with you all along this incredible journey with all of your tribe who love and adore you ❤

    Like

    • Elly Swartz

      Thanks so much, Pam. Yes, the only bittersweet part of the book finding its way into the world is that I can’t truly share it with my mom. But, in my haert, I know somehow she knows : ) xoxo

      Like

  18. Your mom knew you’d do it! Here’s to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Elly Swartz

    You have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you : )

    Like

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