For several years as I wrote my book, I watched authors have book launch parties and I attended a couple. Each time I cheered them on and congratulated them while daydreaming of having my own party. Finishing my book at the time seemed like an endless process. I envied those who celebrated their published books, because it seemed like mine would never reach that point. I continued to dream as I wrote my book and rewrote parts of it. A dream was launched.
As you’ve read in past posts, I have dreamed of writing a book and autographing it since high school. It’s a dream I have striven through the years to make come true. My parents always told me dreams can come true if you work hard enough. They were right. Writing a book is not an easy task. It takes time, planning, learning, rewriting, and lots of editing. It was a big accomplishment for me to finish the manuscript, but an even bigger accomplishment to publish it. Holding my very own book was one dream that came true. The next dream I strove to make come true was to celebrate its publication with a launch party.
I saved up money from selling my woodburnings to pay for my launch party. I had several friends offer to help me put together the party. My husband works in housekeeping at Erie Yacht Club in Erie, Pennsylvania where we live. So, we asked if we could have my party there, but a member must sponsor you. A fellow Pennwriter, Eugene Ware, is a member and agreed to sponsor me. Before I knew it, we had a room booked.
I wanted to make invitations on my computer but the program I use to make cards and invitations wasn’t working. I tried to look for templates on Microsoft Word to make them, but I was unsuccessful. My brother is a computer wiz so I asked him to make them and email them to me so I could print them off. He did an excellent job at making them.
I handed out and mailed seventy invitations. I counted the days down to my launch party. I decided I wouldn’t write out a speech and I would just talk from the heart. In my mind I went over the things I wanted to talk about. At night I dreamed of the party. I wrote down a brief outline of the order of things I would talk about. My friend Amy Bovaird donated baskets to raffle off at the party.
In the weeks before the party I woodburned bracelets that said, “Stop Bullying,” to sell and wooden bookmarks to raffle off for those who signed up for my blog. The books arrived three weeks before the party. When the day of my launch party came, I was ready. I was nervous, yet excited.
I got forty-three RSVPs, but I had them set up for fifty people. When people started coming in, I greeted them and got several hugs. People were ready to buy books before I even got started. They were excited. Once I told everyone to have a seat, we realized we needed more chairs. They brought in twelve more chairs. Instead of forty-three guests I had sixty-two.
I stood up in front of family and friends and spilled out my soul. I talked about how publishing my book was a dream come true. I presented my husband and parents with books and spoke about them and I spoke about bullying. Then I read two scenes from my book. I spoke with confidence and with God’s guidance. My nervousness faded away.
When it was finally time to sell and sign my books, I was flying like a bird above the clouds. My guests lined up. My husband took the money as I signed books. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to sign a book you wrote. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. As I signed their books, they congratulated me and told me what a wonderful job I did speaking. I was beaming with pride and glowing from the fulfillment of my dream.
My wedding day was the best day of my life and the day of my launch party was the second best day of my life. When we went to pay for the party, we were told we owed nothing. Someone made that day even more magical by paying for it. After the party I wanted to dance and jump for joy. It was so hard to go to bed that night. I was still filled with joy and pride.
If anyone ever tells you, “Dreams don’t come true,” don’t believe them. Dreams do come true if you work hard enough towards them. Don’t let anything stand in your way, not an illness, a disability, others disbelieving and so on. If I can make my dreams come true, so can you.
I can’t be prouder of myself for making my teenage dream come true. I launched a dream and fulfilled it, and because of that I’m flying above the clouds in the light of recovery.