Those with sharp eyes may have noticed that I’ve updated my various banners across most of social media. A few were even kind enough to reach out and ask about it. The reason is, I have another title on my shelves — Metaphorically Speaking: Reflections on Happiness, Success, and Other Fictions.
Yet, while this is a new release, it feels like an older one too. This is because it is a collection of some of the best stories from my blog, which I have since tied together into a more cohesive narrative, along with a few new entries.
It all started one day when I was standing at the base of a literary brick wall and trying to motivate myself to resist the urge to abandon the project or pursue an easier choice of profession. The former engineer in me turned toward numbers. I had an estimate in mind for the final length of the novel I was working on. I determined the difference I still needed to write. I then looked back and calculated how many words I’d written thus far across all my books and my blog to convince myself that a couple thousand more were easy peasey.
That’s when I discovered that I’d written another book without even realizing it.
“What do a child’s invention, one thoroughly spoiled dog, and the occasional business insight have in common? They all serve as sources of inspiration in this collection of personal reflections on success and the ongoing pursuit of happiness.”
Available for purchase at books2read.com/u/mldweq
Unfortunately, once again writing the book proved to be the easy part. Curating the collection would mean picking favorites from among your darlings, which no parent is excited to do. It meant editing the works so that they actually made sense when strung together instead of acting as standalone reads. It would also mean updating verb tenses and eliminating typos that the gremlins clearly had inserted into posts after I’d originally hit the publish button.
It would require me to read through years of material.
Don’t get me wrong. I love reading. It’s just I’m a different writer now than when I first started — I’ve grown with each project. I’ve learned something new. So while I am proud of my early efforts, I have to admit I cringe a little on the inside when I revisit some, much in the same way that I suspect many people react when they share childhood photos with a new friend they want to impress.
I’m also not a fan of reading the same thing again and again with the sole purpose of finding its errors — especially when I know I am the one who created those errors in the first place. It does a bit of a number on one’s confidence.
In addition, publishing the book after all the edits were complete presented a few other challenges. Unlike my fiction, Metaphorically Speaking is my life, or at least it is a snapshot of my life up until the book’s release date. To say this makes me nervous about its public reception is an understatement.
It would also mean I would have to promote it when I was done, unless my goal was to simply fill in more space on my bookshelf for the benefit of me and me alone. This meant I would have to request reviews and more marketing tasks to my already massive daily to-do list.
As a result, I admit I took advantage of every excuse to procrastinate on Metaphorically Speaking’s completion I could find. Then 2020 happened, and I suddenly found myself with more time at home than I than I knew what to do with.
I get it, universe, I needed to finish this book. You didn’t have to take it out on everyone.
I joke about the reasons for lockdown, otherwise I might cry. It’s a coping mechanism I’ve adopted. I’m also not trying to minimize the suffering that so many have gone through. I recognize I have been exceedingly fortunate or blessed (depending on one’s stance on the subject) during this time to have had the opportunity to spend more time with my children, to have remained in relatively good health, and to have maintained a day-job that allowed me the flexibility to stay at home.
However, I will admit that it was easier some days to recognize this than others.
I have since come to the conclusion, it was a good thing I’d drug my heels putting Metaphorically Speaking together. As it turned out, I needed to revisit those stories from my past during the time of COVID. I’ve built a brand around how to appreciate the everyday, and yet, I found I’d forgotten how to do just that.
Revisiting these stories — as awkwardly phrased, or typo-ridden as they were — helped me find myself again. If it can help even one more person find the silver-linings in their life, or if nothing else a reason to smile during a rough time, then all the edits and promotion will be worth the effort.
For this reason, while it is up for sale on retail sites, I am also celebrating its launch (and maybe, just maybe, the eventual return of normalcy) by giving this book away. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter to request a copy.