Gifts, Gratitude and Worthiness
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Have you ever had a life-changing day? One that you knew was unique and important and you relished with gusto? I’ve been lucky to have a few. But the weekend of the RMC-SCBWI Fall Letters & Lines Conference in September was particularly memorable for me as an author.
Caring, Supportive People
At the conference, I was presented with my Crystal Kite award for If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed and gave a keynote where I spoke about worthiness. Why? Because I didn’t believe I or the book was worthy. I dug into the reasons behind that and my speech seem to strike a chord.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches and have had many people come up and thank me and say they appreciated what I said and it’s been amazing. In fact, that happened at a conference in CA when I talked a bit about limiting beliefs, which is related to worthiness. But I exposed myself a little more in my worthiness keynote and I think people responded to that. It was incredibly humbling and gratifying to know that I had touched people deeply, especially because many of them had touched me in ways they probably didn’t even know.
People took time to tell me. To give me a hug. To show they cared. My heart swelled with big love.
I talked with so many people who were so upbeat and positive about their own projects and where they wanted to take them. It was so inspiring. And it was wonderful to meet with authors in one-on-one critiques and get to know them and their work better, to hear their visions and see where they wanted to take their work.
I Was That Author
For two days, I was that author who gave a speech that had an impact, along with the phenomenal Laurie Halse Anderson and fabulous Claudia Mills who gave incredible, impactful keynotes.
I was also that author with a bit of a line at her autograph table. And whose book sold out on Saturday and the bookstore was nice enough to scramble for me for Sunday. Now, I don’t know how many copies they carried initially—I’m just riding on the words “sold out.” 🙂
Sunday morning, the talented Z. B. Asterplume came up to me with a gift she created the night before. Someone had taken time out of their evening to create this beautiful image. For me. (Yes, I was feeling the unworthiness creeping up again).
And a few weeks later, the incomparable author-illustrator Dow Phumiruk brought a gift to my house. A stuffed version of Monster! Again, unworthiness threatened to overtake me. Here, again, was someone spending their precious time creating something so special for me.
Both times I started crying. I was truly so overwhelmed with gratitude and surprise. Thank you! Thank you! I want to get the So Worthy illustration framed so right now it’s sitting where I can see it from anywhere in my in my writer’s studio. The stuffy travels around and I’m trying to start posting pictures on Instagram of him in various places and doing different things in my Monster’s Fun Highlights.
The weekend was uplifting, inspiring, and magical in every way. And I’m grateful to the experience, the words, the hugs and the gifts to remind me I’m worthy—that we all are—and we need to cherish all of it, always.
P.S. Happy Halloween!