Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Release Recap!

What a week!
 
Tim and I stayed home from work Monday and grabbed some lunch together. We were both pretty weepy on this 3rd Crapiversary. We hadn't cried in a long time, and it felt okay.
 
Tuesday was release day for Rare Bird. Interesting juxtaposition, as Margaret would say, to use one of her new favorite words. It was exciting to see all of the great reviews coming in and have Facebook and Twitter blowing up with all of you sharing about the book! Thank you to each one of you who has taken the time to rate the book on Amazon and Goodreads.
 
Oprah had a new book come out the very same week, so I kind of thought she might call Tuesday morning and want to grab an Oprah Chai Tea Latte and discuss the writing life, so I kept my schedule open all day. Instead, Shadow and I bonded over some Earl Gray, and kept refreshing the computer to see how things were going on Amazon. Wow, thank you for ordering the book!
 
Thursday and Friday were much the same, but with my two book signings at night.

A HUGE thank you to all of the amazing people who came out on Thursday to One More Page Books in Arlington. I was nervous, but you put me at ease. Looking out and seeing blog friends, neighbors, high school and college friends, Monkees from Momastery, and my Bible study girls was so comforting. Here are some of my fabulous former students, all grown up!
 

 
We had Jack magnets and Bible verses to hand out as favors. I loved talking to the folks who had their books signed. One moment was extra special, and I hope to be able to share it with you at some point soon. 
 
Friday was the book release party at Vienna Presbyterian Church. Completely weird speaking in the sanctuary exactly 3 years to the day after I did at Jack's funeral. The crowd was loving and kind, and put me at ease right away. Lots of people there had known me since I was born! I thanked everyone for their support, spoke a bit about how the book came about, and then read a short chapter.
 
I also shared that I am not in the same place in my grief journey that I was 2 years ago when I started writing Rare Bird, or when I finished, one year ago. I also hope and assume I am not in exactly the same place today, that I will be tomorrow.
 





After that, we went into the Great Hall, which was decorated beautifully and had lovely food and drinks for everyone, and I signed books. Lots and Lots of books!

For old neighbors:
 Jack and Margaret's 1st grade teacher:
 Jack's dear friends from school and their parents:


 
Friends from the Internet:
 

 Family:



 
 

 


And many, many other special people:


Even the younger set made it out. This little cutie was born at exactly 1 pound and 24 weeks. Jack and I prayed every night that she would be okay and would grow, and look at her now!

My college friends represented, for sure. Check out the adorable photo bomber in these pictures. I didn't even see her do this!




What a way to launch Rare Bird!

Thank you to One More Page Books and Grapevine Bookstore. May it soar exactly where it needs to! I hope if this book touches you, you will share it with others.

35 comments:

Kim P. said...

Anna, you looked beautiful and absolutely regal that evening! What tremendous and amazing support by people from all walks of life. I still, daily think of you and your family and whisper a prayer up to heaven for you guys. I am going to do my darndest to leave school on time, make sure I have a meal in the crockpot for my family, and fight the horrendous Northern Virginia traffic so that I get to see you in person and have you sign my book that should be at my house TOMORROW!!! I am so looking forward to having your beautiful words in my hands, in the flesh, and not just on the computer. Hugs from Purcellville!!!

LauraBeth said...

Anna...

Hugs to you, dear friend... Hugs to you.

Law Momma said...

It's a tremendous book, written by a tremendous woman.

Michelle DeRusha said...

You look gorgeous, and I am so, so glad your book launch week was spectacular. On the other hand, I'm kind of wicked jealous of all the people who got to attend your events in person. Woe to those of us having to live vicariously online.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

Looks like an amazing event! Love the Margaret photo bomb :) I just started reading the book this morning. It is incredible!! I am still wading through the storm section and am in awe of your raw, truth-telling. Not sure how there can be such beauty in the tears...the only explanation is God. XO

Katherine said...

That's hilarious about Margaret photo bombing our picture. I had no idea. Of course I was obsessing over my red eye so it's no wonder I didn't notice her! :) xoxo

tracy said...

Oh the joy in these pictures. You spread joy - know that. I'm so happy for you. Love you. xo

Laura said...

Beautiful. As was your book, which arrived last week - and was read cover to cover before turning in that night. I just couldn't put it down. Jack must be so proud of his dear family. Continued prayers for you, always.
Laura
p.s. I spy two photo bombers ... love it! :-)

Stimey said...

You are such a phenomenal woman. It was a joy to see you talk about your book. I love hearing about your Jack and hearing your hope. Also, Margaret is the best photo bomber ever!

Congratulations, Anna!

Andrea Mowery said...

Oh, Anna, this post made me smile. The pictures of you with Jack's friends and your family nearly broke my heart, but the outpouring of love and support for you and your family is such a wonderful blessing. Thank you for sharing your amazing, whirlwind week with us.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog after my 10 year old daughter passed away (3.5 years ago) and I admire how far you have come in your grief. Sadly, I am back to where I was in the beginning. It is so hard, back to crying everyday. I wish I was as strong as you. I look forward to reading your book. Congratulations.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

My favorite part of this post was seeing all the hugs! I hope you felt the love of each and every one. Hugs to you Anna!

Susie - Recovering Church Lady said...

So exciting to see the result of writing a great book! Mine arrived a few days ago and it is a treasure!
Susie

Lady Jennie said...

Seeing Jack's friends looking so big made me cry, as did seeing Margaret hug you from behind. I am so glad about everything God is doing through this.

Me said...

I was in Barnes and Noble this past weekend and saw your book on display! Even though the subject matter is extremely sad, seeing your book brought a smile to my face. I have followed your blog from right before Jack's passing and have admired you on how you navigated through your tremendous loss. I wish you all the best with your book and I hope it can help others that have and will follow the same path.

Martha dienner said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Will keep u n our prayers

CMB said...

Your story is so sad and uplifting at the same time - God Bless you and keep you - thank you for helping others by sharing your story.

julie gardner said...

I finished reading Rare Bird on Sunday and it has not left my mind since. I think your book is miraculous.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so proud of you Anna. I have your book in my suitcase to give to my dearest friends in Chicago this weekend. Wish I could have been at one of your events, your one special person who has inspired the world. By the way I told Oprah she needs to read your book!!!

Jamie Reese said...

Can I admit that I have 4 copies of your book, but haven't opened it yet? Sully's birthday is Friday, and I'm not sure I can do both. I am so, so proud of you and am looking forward to reading about your rare bird. I want to have a day where I can just sit and go cover to cover, then pick 3 friends and let them do the same!

Alison said...

I am feeling all weepy looking at the pictures, and knowing that you were (and always will be) surrounded by so much love and support. So proud of you and Rare Bird!

Annie Prenni said...

Anna! I am proud beyond words. You look radiant; that light inside of you is shining so bright. Look at all the people it's drawing in! I just ordered my copy on Amazon. I can't wait. xoxoxo

Dee H said...

Dearest Anna,
Just downloaded your book onto my Kindle and then instructed my husband not to talk to me (not nice I know!). Finished it in 2 sittings and had to resist the urge to sneak it into work and hide in the bathroom to read more.
Thank you Jack's mama. Thank you for daring to be honest about it all. Jack is so beyond proud of you. Continued blessings upon you and your family.

Missy said...

I was back in the States for only a week and was so excited that I'd be there for the release of your book. Unfortunately I couldn't find it!! :( I'll have to wait until Christmas. I am so excited though and am happy it's receiving such amazing praise. Congrats and well wishes from the Philippines!

Beck S. said...

Hello, I am planning to attend the Oct 1 Great Falls/McLean Women's Speaker Breakfast and look forward to hearing you speak. I was going to also mention it at a bible study tomorrow for others who might like to attend. However, I'm going as someone's guest and I can't find the link to the event. Is it an open event? If so what organization's website do I go to to get to a link to sign up? Thanks.

R. Sawyer

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Beck S.-- The Great Falls breakfast is an open event. Registration fee pays for the meal, and any left over goes to charity. Conact is marykgillespie(at)gmail(dot)com

MaryLen cutter said...

Your book is amazing! A friend shared your blog with me about a month ago. I love it. I bought the book yesterday evening. I read several chapters before I left the parking lot. (Knowing my family would be needing me as I walked in the door.) I then read at red lights on the way home. I am in agreement with the comment regarding the beauty through the tears--only God. I will finish it tonight. The only reason I am not finished is it is so rich, that I don't want to miss something. Thank you for sharing this story. Hallelujah for transparency. Hallelujah for the power of redemption. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Two photo bombers instead in the second to last photo, if you look carefully! Precious!!! So glad that everything went well. Praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I came across you and your blog from Momastry and just read Rare Bird cover to cover in two days. Thank you for allowing us to travel through your personal journey. Please know Jack's memory lives on through your bravery of sharing his life story. I will breathe in every moment with my two little boys and think of Jack. His beautiful life lives on even through a complete stranger across the country.

Nindi said...

I love your book. I am almost finished but I don't want it to end. Your honesty and authenticity are inspiring. Jack's photo and blue ribbon magnet still adorne my fridge from when you offered them to your readers. I have told so many people about your book. I believe it has changed me.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou. Perth, Western Australia. Your message is widespread.

Chi said...

You may already know about this post, but if not, please check it out:
http://www.thegiftofben.com/blog/2014/9/21/women-of-courage

Rach said...

Anna, congratulations on a job well done. Your book is sure to help so many who suffer loss and grief.

Many hugs to you as you continue on this journey.

Anonymous said...

Anna, While your book emerged from something terrible, you are helping others with your writing. I look at your photos and think that Margaret is watching her mom become a successful writer and observing your ability to make something good from tragedy. I'm sure that she's proud of you. Maybe she'll tell you when she's 40.

Elaine Alguire said...

Wow, Anna, I have tears. These photos are so special. I'm just so very proud of you. xoxo