Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nothing More Than Feelings

A couple of weeks ago, I opened a small package and pulled out my first copy of Blown Coverage. When I first started writing, I thought that the initial moment I held a copy of a book I had co-written would be one of hooting and hollering and doing middle-age, out-of-shape cartwheels (which would pretty much entail putting one's hands on the ground and shifting one's hips from side to side). I thought the adrenaline would surge and my entire body would be filled with the warmies.

What I've found instead is a feeling that can best be described as surrealiciousness. Now for those of you with somewhat of an educated background (i.e., those who do not write sports blogs and who do know the difference between a regular book and an ebook ['nother story, 'nother time]), you might realize that according to Webster "surrealicious" is technically not a real word. However, I figured since the Apostle Paul could just make up a Greek word whenever he couldn't find one that perfectly expressed what he had to say, then so could I. After all, the only differences between what he did and what I do is that Paul wrote life-changing Scripture inspired and aided by the Holy Spirit, while I write pulp fiction thriller novels inspired and aided by an NFL kicker. Okay, so there's no comparison between us, but I'm still going to make up words.

Flipping through Monday Night Jihad and Blown Coverage for the first times were truly surreal moments. All those hours of conversation between Jason and me, all those nights spent typing away at a computer while sitting on my couch with a computer on my lap, all those edits and changes and rewrites and cover choices, everything suddenly (and almost magically) coalesced into these slabs of colored and printed pieces of paper that I now held in my hands. Then came other bizarre moments: seeing the book at a Barnes & Noble, keeping track of reviews, watching the growing waiting list on the Douglas County and Arapahoe County library sites, realizing that people all over the country are reading (and enjoying) the words that were written on that computer on that lap on that couch.

It's surreal, but delicious. I grew up with an aversion to carrot cake. I hated carrots. And cream cheese - that just sounded nasty. Then one day when I was in my 20s, I decided to give it a shot. I remember taking the bite, and not being initially overwhelmed. But as I chewed, my taste buds began experiencing every diverse flavor - the subtlety of the carrots, the warmth of the cinnamon, the sweetness of the raisins, and the sharp tang of the cream cheese. I was in flavor heaven. It was so far beyond what I thought it would and could be.

Publishing a book is a bizarre experience, but once the strangeness begins to wear off the wonderfulosity (a term we'll save for another blog) just builds and builds. What an amazingly surrealicious feeling!