Humbled & Awed

I like to talk about things that inspire me. Impressionist painters, steampunk statuary, online comics, inventive cooking, people-watching--there are so many incredible, fascinating things out there to spark creativity, I hadn't imagined that I could be one of them.

I've always wanted to be a published author and, if the widgit on my website is to be believed, in less than 6 days and counting, that dream will finally come true. (To be honest, seeing my hardcover book face-out on the shelves at Tatnuck Bookstore was the most incredible moment and exactly what I'd always wanted so I'm pretty happy already!) But the book has been "out there" in ARC form for a while now as well as over 1000 bookmarks so some folks have gotten their hands on Consuela's story and that, in itself, is a wild concept.

What I never really considered were fans.

It never entered my head that when I wrote books for people like me, there would be people like me reading them and *that* meant there were people who loved to be artistic and were creative, geeky, funny, and Pay It Forward kind of folks. People who got inspired. People who could create. Oh, I've fangirled all over some of these people, maybe even hanging out with some at writer's conferences or retreats or taking the plunge and asking some to create art for me*, but that's not the same as (dare I say it?) fan art.

I just got my first fan art and was completely blown away.

The "book bling" was made by Joan Stradling, a frequent commenter and fellow writer here on the blog, and it was like nothing I'd ever seen before! Ever have a moment when you've been introduced to something new and it shifts your entire worldview about the thing? I had a moment like that when I was young and read ELFQUEST, before then I only thought elves were Tolkien-esque figures or squat Santa's helpers and the Pinis' art completely changed that dyad forever. Joan completely redefined the idea of "bookmark" for me. It's gorgeous--alight with crystals and beads, giant pearlescent orbs and delicate butterflies, and at the very end is a glass-encased charm with my cover image inside. My heart actually thumped when I took it out of the envelope. Caught totally by surprise, it was ironic that I'd just put a signed copy in the mail *the day before* because she'd won a contest totally at random. Now THERE'S karma at work! Good art and good people deserve good art and good people. (And you should check out Jots & Tittles on etsy!)

The handmade doll was made by Sandra Van Vooren who is an incredibly talented jewelry artist and one of the people I'd roped into creating one of the skulls for my upcoming launch signing and party. I even vaguely remembered that she made an elaborate soft sculpture doll for our mutual friend, , and I was stunned by its detail. AND NOW I HAVE ONE!!! She is pink and sophisticated and lovely with tiny, jeweled skulls in her Spanish-style dress and enormous pink skulls on her black wings, she has a festive skull mask and rose tattoos and painted nails! I can't stop staring at her. I lifted her from the box and wondered how this could possibly be for me. My daughter asked if it was for her and I said, "No. This is mine." rather like a kid myself. It was like a birthday moment. My book birthday moment!

And the gift of this moment came from people like you. Joan, Sandra, and you: Thank You!!!

* For instance, did you see the sketch of Tender done by SERENITY ROSE's Aaron Alexovich?!? It's on my website!

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