P U B L I S H E D ! !
This seems like a strange day to be sitting down to write – I should be running around getting things ready for the party tonight, making sure my dress is clean and the wrinkles loosened, I should be deciding which chapter of my book to read from tonight, and checking pre-order numbers with my publisher.. but instead, I’m sitting here – HIGHLY EMOTIONAL – and I just want to write.
Writing has been my form of therapy these last two years. When I’m feeling sad or upset, worried, nervous or scared, I turn to my laptop and I work out my thoughts and feelings through the words I type. I hit publish, cementing them in time so that I know if I ever need to feel this certain way again, I can. Every emotion I’m feeling right now has been captured and I don’t fear forgetting this feeling because it’s here, waiting for me – if and when I need it. But, it also allows provides me this sense of release. I’ve got it out of my system, and now I can move forward. The laptop I type this from was a gift from my late husband, Brian, on Christmas morning 2016. I thought it was excessive at the time, I didn’t need anything this fancy to update my facebook status with, to laugh at silly videos of him or our kids or dog with. I knew it was expensive and there were other things we could have spent that money on. But, Brian wanted the best for me, and he wanted me to have the best. Without knowing it, two years later, I’d begin working on my first manuscript from this same laptop. I’d shed tears of joy and of pure anguish as I used these computer keyboard to type out our most precious memories. I’d cry and mourn and laugh all at the same time as the black keys slowly faded under the weight of my fingertips as I wrote and deleted and re-wrote message upon message and story upon story of the life we shared together. It’s been nearly four years since Brian gifted me this laptop, and I’ve since written two full books on it, I’ve helped my children write a book on it, I’ve shared countless stories of love and loss, heartache and joy with all of you from it, I’ve captured photos of my children, of my friends, my dog from it, I’ve looked through years upon years of memories and moments Brian and I shared together as a family from it.
And today, I write these words from it. You have all been my audience these last two years, the people I’ve mourned and then celebrated with, the people who watched me bury my husband (figuratively) and then birth my daughter weeks later. You’ve watched my children grow up through the lense of this computer screen, and today you’ll watch as I become a published author. A published author. An author. Those words are hard to wrap my head around. This excitement and chaos, this moment that’s been two years in the making – carries a lot of mixed emotions with it.
The first text I woke up to this morning was from an old friend from Hawaii that said, “Wow! Congratulations Ash! Your first book!! How do you feel!?”
Excited. Happy. Sad. Proud. Reflective. Nervous. Upset. Humbled. Overwhelmed.
Are these normal emotions to feel on the day your first memoir gets published? It’s hard to feel proud of such an accomplishment, when you wish it wasn’t your reality.
The truth is, you’ve all watched the highest highs and lowest lows of the last two years, and you’re now watching as what I’ve been working towards, what we as a community, have been working towards, comes to fruition. And it’s exciting. It’s SO unbelievably exciting, but it’s also really, really confusing. This monumental moment in my life has been brought on by such sadness and it’s hard to comprehend the growth that has taken place these last two years.
I know without hesitation that if he here were, if Brian could see what was happening, he’d be standing next to me right now, cheering me on, pushing me to go further and to dream bigger. He’d be simultaneously hugging me and bouncing new ideas off of me for what’s next. That thought alone has propelled me these last two years, and having his mom, Terry and his sister, Nikki by my side through all of this, will help push me forward into the next two years. I’m beyond grateful to them for the love and support and encouragement they’ve shown and will continue to show to my kids and I. There are so many people who have helped made this book a reality, and so many people who have shared it on social media, who have asked questions about it, purchased it, talked about the next projects and all that’s ahead.. who are here today, and tonight celebrating its completion with me, and I just want you to know, I’m grateful. I know this has been made possible because of you. Thank you.
As I’m wrapping up the writing of this, I’m getting message from friends around the globe saying they’re getting notified there’s now a backorder on Always Coming Back Home. I won’t know for a few days, but I think this means the first run of books has SOLD OUT. You guys. SOLD OUT. My first book. My last love letter to Brian. A tangible representation of family for my kids to carry with them. And you all have made me a BEST SELLING AUTHOR. Unreal. UNREAL. Please keep ordering, please keep pushing this for me, please help me take this as far reaching as it can go. They’re printing more as we speak and orders will continue to be fulfilled as they come in!! You guys are incredible.
You can order Always Coming Back Home here: https://amzn.to/30sHQ0K
And while you're at it, you can pre-order the kids' book A Hui Hou here! https://amzn.to/2Qz2YfF