- blessedness: a state of supreme happiness
- the action of rendering supremely blessed and extremely happy
I mention the term Beatification in the book I've been cuddling all evening. In the book, Beatification is all the people trapped in a dying world want, without knowing they actually want it. The concept of the word as used in the book refers to the release of the imaginary, fantasy world into the greater consciousness, through efforts to become published. Once a fantasy world is shared with and enjoyed by other people, the fantasy world is spared from being abandoned and forgotten by the Creator.
Tim and I placed separate orders for copies of this book. I placed a bulk order (to satisfy obligations for contests and such), and apparently that slowed fulfillment quite a bit. Tim ordered one copy. It was scheduled to arrive yesterday. When I got home, I checked all the standard places (mailbox, front door stoop) to see if it had come in while I was at work. No dice. So I settled in to try to calm my nerves.
The doorbell rang.
I blogged about expectations recently, and I feel the need to follow that up with what I was expecting to feel in this moment. Was it going to change how I saw myself? Was the notion of my immortality going to enter my head? Would I be proud, or humbled by the hard work so many people contributed to this process? Would I want to giggle and make everyone feel just as silly as me?
I got up, and please don't think I'm being cheesy when I say that a dozen voices suddenly cropped up in my head. They were jubilant, celebrating with laughter and song. It made me a little dizzy. I met the UPS man at the door, and my heart skipped to see him holding the box with the sideways smile -- the Amazon.com box. I signed for it and took it inside.
It never even occurred to me to not open it. It was Tim's order, and we're not in the habit of opening mail or packages addressed to the other, but I knew he'd understand in this case. I was careful and slow, and the party in my head grew more complex.
Then I saw it, my book, the cover designed by my wonderful cousin staring back at me from its box. I smiled. I teared up. Oh, goodness, it was silly and clichéd and -- one of the most sublime and amazing moments of my life, because I knew right then, as I lifted the book out of the box and felt its girth, its solid presence in the real world, that I'd kept my promise to the characters I'd been building since childhood. They were liberated from the hidden places, the forgotten places, and were now Beatified, set free in the world to be known by readers.
You see, that sweet moment wasn't about me at all.
That is how I feel right now. It isn't that this is my shot at immortality, that my ISBN numbers (one e-book, one print) are recorded for posterity. It isn't that I'm no longer uncomfortable to call myself a writer when I'm introduced to new people. It isn't about me or how it affects me or how it makes me feel about myself.
Okay, that last part isn't true. I feel better about myself, but that's only because I kept an old promise. This whole experience, however, at its core, is about the people and creatures of Jaenrye.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those people who helped me make this happen: Liz Czukas, my beta reader (and a damned fine writer herself); Wilette Youkey (cousin first, kick-ass cover designer and writer second and third); Maggie Stewart-Grant (publisher and slave to words); Tim Heiser (husband and eternal supporter); and my dear friends in the Inkslingers and everywhere else.
It's time to party in Jaenrye. :)