On Tuesday, Holding Fast will be officially out in the world. There will be a launch party that night at Blue Cypress, a lovely bookstore in New Orleans, with friends and cake. I'll float on the love, warmth, and friendship in the room, and in the spirit of those watching online, or who are no longer here.
When I finished the final draft last year, a good friend asked if I'd be willing to let her book club read it. We were ending a meeting that had nothing to do with writing, but in my image of the encounter, I'm clutching a thick manuscript of Holding Fast tightly to my chest, saying "Nooooo!" as though she'd asked me to hand over my newborn baby girl to a bunch of strangers who would then run off with her. At that point, no one beyond my writing instructors, workshop classmates, and a few close friends had read it.
I remember when my husband, John, was ill and a wise shrink-priest in Merida, Mexico, where we were living at the time, told me that all of our adventures, the sailing, our lives together, were not gone, that they were alive inside of me.
I said yes to my friend reading it in the book club and it led here, to the book being published.
It's hard to let go, but it is all still alive inside of me.