A year ago I published a letter on this blog. I want us to talk, I said. The responses started coming in droves, their content as varied as the women sending them. And it appeared I had a project on my hands. And so I began interviewing and I began writing.
It all started with a trip to a music festival last summer. It actually started with a come-to-Jesus incident that happened right before that but you’ll have to wait for the book to come out to read about the details of it. But at this music fest, I danced with friends and entertained the idea of quitting my jobs to follow LCD Soundsystem on tour. And then I met up with a couple old friends from Aspen, one planned….the other pleasant surprise. One of them asked about my life as a single woman and yoga teacher. The other asked when I was going to write a book.
And then, somewhere along I-64 East, between the rises and falls of those quiet hills of Kentucky, I had this idea. And it lit my soul completely on fire. Because I feel quite sure that this is the story that I am meant to tell.
As I drove to interview the first woman for my project, just days after my 39th birthday, I wondered wtf I was doing. And then I went into a stranger’s house, sat on her couch and we talked for hours about love and heartbreak and the crazy little tricks that the universe has up her sleeve.
So I kept on going. My age range is from 18-83 years old. I have interviewed straight women and gay women and everything in between on the sexuality spectrum. I’ve spoken with divorced women, married women, single women, widowed women. I can no longer keep track of the tears spilled during these interviews, but oh, how there was laughter too. There’s a chapter about online dating. There’s a chapter about surviving an abusive relationship. I could never have imagined the breadth and depth of the stories I have heard. I promise to honor you joys and your sorrows and your truth, no matter what package they come in.
In the blink of an eye, a year passed and I found myself back at this same music festival. I danced with friends and entertained the idea of quitting my jobs and following Arcade Fire on tour. I told that old friend from Aspen that I was finally writing my book. I told her that it was part memoir about my struggles in and out of relationship; I told her the other part was telling the stories of some really amazing women.
And when I got home from that festival, the craziest thing happened. Somehow, this project felt complete. I’ll be doing a couple more interviews. But I’ve got 300 pages written that I’m really happy with. My 40th birthday is coming up here in a few weeks and this book is my gift to myself. But it’s a gift that I want to share. And though it’s going to be by far the most vulnerable thing that I’ve ever done, I am ready to put it out there for the world to read. Things tend to lose the power that they hold over us when we speak them aloud.
I’ve got a couple of next steps coming up….namely, hiring a proof editor to cross my t’s and dot my i’s and creating a website and a marketing plan to start gathering an audience for this book. I’m leaning towards self-publishing so that I can control the final package of this project. But it’s gonna take a village, y’all. Both aforementioned next steps take money that I simply don’t have right now. I’ve attached a link to my gofundme page and all donations, no matter the amount, would be very appreciated. Or, if you are interested in helping some other way, I’m all ears. I kinda suck at marketing myself. But I promise, you will soon be holding my book in your hands. It’s a promise I’m making to myself and to all of those reading this right now.