Giving Thanks

I'm writing this from bed, where I am feebly battling a viscious cold my handsome husband gave me this week. Thanks Greg!

Truthfully, I'm still trying to take in this whole book deal. It's a lot to wrap my head around. This is something I have wanted for over TEN years. I can still remember being twenty and in New York, writing to my mother in my journal and telling her that I was writing a book about everything. I remember tears dripping down my cheeks and onto the page as I scrawled out a promise to make it happen.

And now it is real.

I've been incredibly emotional about it all over this last week. I just feel so humbled and so very, very grateful. I can't stop thinking about all the people who have helped me along this journey, and I can't stop writing to them all to thank them.

I know that the book hasn't even published yet, but just to have gotten this point, to have sold it to an esteemed publishing company, and to have a team of people who are comitted to helping me bring it to bookstores, is more than enough.

I have been writing and working on this goal for so very long. There have been many, many times in which I could have given up. There have been many times when I almost have. There were even times when I did give up, only to heave myself up again a few months or a year later, and try again.

No matter how down I've been on myself though, I have had these incredible people in my life who have believed in me. Like really BELIEVED in me. Even when I didn't. Especially when I didn't. I can't tell you how fun it was to call them this week and tell them that I did it. I really did it. I sold my book.

One of those people who really believed in me was my friend Julie who I wrote about recently. I can't stop marveling over the fact that this whole book deal happened on the tenth anniversary of her death. There is something very magical and meaningful about that.

I also wrote two letters that made me cry. The first was to my high school English teacher, Pearl McHaney. I told her how I still remember the day in 10th grade when she handed me back a personal essay I had written. She had written a request across the top saying that she would like to meet with me for an hour. A few days later she began that hour by telling me that she could tell that I was a writer, and throughout the next three years she poured so much energy into helping foster that talent in me. I will be forever grateful to her for that.

The second letter was to my college writing teacher, Joan Dulchin. I took classes with Joan all four years that I attended The New School in New York. After I had taken all of her classes I continued to meet with her every week in an independent study. I was so young and so lost. It was those first few years after my mother died and having this woman in my life who believed in me and who genuinely worked to help me find my voice was such a gift. Thinking about her never ceases to bring tears to my eyes.

Oh, and I also sent flowers to my agent. Because she's a rockstar.

Thank you to everyone here who wrote such nice comments and notes. It's hard to describe how much it's meant to me to have this place to come to, to have all of you to listen to me.




  • Posted January 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Claire, congratulations!!! WOW! That must have been like the longest labor ever….and then your baby has emerged and opened it’s eyes and looked in your face. 10 years. All that has transpired in your life during that time. Your travels, friends, jobs, life. And you kept at it. Well, I can’t wait to see your name on the cover of your book. I look forward to it’s debut. Your parents are so very proud of you, you know? as well as all of your “family” you’ve embraced over the years.

  • Jenna
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I love that coming here always reminds me to be grateful.

  • Posted January 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, thats so nice to hear. Thank you.

  • Posted January 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Susan!! It was definitely like giving birth! And I dont think Im even there yet. Ill be able to say that for sure when it hits the shelves.

  • Jenny
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! So excited to read the book!

  • Posted January 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much!

  • Elise
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    My internet has been down, so I’m a bit late (and a first-time commenter, gulp), but a MASSIVE congratulations to you Claire 🙂 What wonderful news for you; I’m so excited for you that all your hard work and perseverance has paid off!
    I’m Australian and first read about your blog in the ‘icon’ section of the Saturday SMH all those years ago. I’ve been captivated by your writing since, sometimes to the point of breathlessness. I did lose track of you for awhile, but was so excited to ‘rediscover’ you here.
    Wishing you the very best…from what I can see, it couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving person 🙂

  • Posted January 16, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Aw, Elise, thank you for coming out of the wood work and thank you so much for being such a LONG TIME supporter! That SMH article came out seven years ago!! It means so much to me that you left a comment. Thank you.

  • MemeGRL
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I came over from CJane to say thanks for your post. I lost one parent when I was 23, and one when I was 32, so I could identify somewhat with you. I am still stuck in so many ways, but reading your thoughts was a real help. Thanks so much. And congratulations on the book deal! That’s huge and wonderful.

  • Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh, its hard isnt it? Ive gotten stuck a hundred times over. Even when I think Ive finally gotten past it, I find the grief is still there in one form or another. Wishing you a peaceful path.

  • Wendy
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I can’t think of a more deserving and talented writer to FINALLY get published. Been cheering you on to get your book published since I first started reading your blog 4 years ago. I remember listening to you read excerpts online of one of the drafts of the book a couple of years ago. My feelings are you were always meant to write this book and have others read it. I can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of the amazing parents you shared your life with. You better believe I will one of the first ones in line to buy it!

  • Posted January 17, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    This is the SWEETEST comment. Thank you, Wendy!!

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