I made a big decision on Monday. I’m going to self-publish my new book, Dead Letters (#8 in the Claudia Rose psychological suspense series). I’ve been self-pubbing my nonfiction books about handwriting psychology for a couple of years now, but there is something infinitely more daunting about making this choice. It’s something I’ve been waffling over for a few weeks, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was the right thing to do. Then, this happened…
Yesterday, the day after making that decision, I had planned to go grocery shopping in the morning. But, procrastinator that I am, I put it off until well after lunch. Just before I left my keyboard, I emailed my friend and fellow author Peg Brantley to share the news. The subject line I wrote was: I just jumped off a cliff.
As I drove across town to the local Winco, I was listening to NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Thanks to my lagging, I caught just the last few minutes of what was clearly a great interview with the venerable actor, Patrick Stewart. And when I heard what he said, I will confess, I promptly burst into tears.
Speaking of his early days in the business, he quoted a teacher who, our ‘Jean Luc Picard,’ said, told him something that he never fully understood until much later: “Patrick, you will never achieve success by insuring against failure.” I thought, huh, that’s so true. His next words made my mouth drop open.
“You have to take risks,” he said as if directly speaking to me. “You have to be brave; you have to step into the unknown.” Then: “You have to step off the edge of a cliff.” OMG, that’s what I had just written Peg. But wait, there’s more…
He said, “I always make sure I’m dead letter perfect.” OMG again!!! Dead Letters is the title of my book!!!
Checking it out
To make sure I wasn’t misremembering or putting words in his mouth, I looked up the interview online and typed out what he had said to ensure I’d got it exactly right.
I don’t know about you, but I believe in spirit guides and angels, and when we ask for help, we get it. And I had been asking. If I had gone to the store in the morning I would have missed the interview. If I had been a half an hour earlier I would have missed the interview.
Look, I know that everything Patrick Stewart said could be applied to any author. But I don’t believe in coincidences. If it had been just the first statement, well, that was encouraging. But the second, and the third—at that moment, those words were just for me.
It’s been a super-rotten year for all of us, some more than others, suffering intolerable losses of many kinds. But all of a sudden, I have a bright ray of hope that is carrying me into 2021. I know I’m not alone in this mess, and I hope that by sharing this story, you will feel encouraged, too. Soon, I’ll be able to tell you more about this whole adventure, but for now, I wish you a very Happy New Year. May 2021 be 1000 times better than this one.