Today is the day that my second book, “Marry a Mennonite Boy and Make Pie” becomes available. If you pre-ordered last week, it will be on its way to you soon. If you didn’t order it then, order it now.
I’m happy, proud, and excited. This has been, to this point in my life, my “life’s work.” Not calling it a masterpiece (!), but it has certainly been the thing my life has required of me. I tried repeatedly to abandon it, but it would not let me.
I’m scared and I wonder if I’ve lost my mind. The book is, as Daniel Shank Cruz says in the promotional blurb he kindly wrote, “fiercely personal.” Fiercely. As in, I can’t believe I just said all that to the world. But I did. I can’t believe my family in Pennsylvania is going to read this. But they are. I can’t believe I’m this old and still think like that. But I do.
I’m sad. Because my husband Pio is supposed to be here for with me for this but he isn’t. If it hadn’t been for him and the self-confidence he gave me and the truth-telling he pushed me into, I never ever would have been able to do this. Write it, maybe. On a page, I can say anything. Publish it, never. Not in a million years. I’m sure he’s watching from somewhere if dead people can do that and I’m sure he’s proud if they have terrestrial emotions, but it’s not the same. It feels imaginary, whether it is or not.
But, CHEERS! To us. To Andre Swartley and Workplay Publishing. To everybody in the book: Beth, Nina, Sheila, Tom, Dan, Curtis, Colin (sorry), Mean Tabitha (you seem a lot nicer now), The Boy in Los Rios, and even Matthew who is in heaven with Pio. We did it–all of us. We made it through. If you haven’t read the letter I wrote to you, please read it now.
For us, this book will be a little photo album of a time we may love to remember or wish to forget. I hope, for those on the journey, it will be a guidebook–a map through the jungle. This is the book I needed the summer I was the girl in it, but I had nothing, only a journal to write it all down. I hope, if there’a girl who needs it now, she finds it.