Thursday, December 29, 2011
Amidst other things, I released a book called You Are My Only, a book I'd spent a long time writing. I had, perhaps, too much hope for it, or that's what I thought at first. As it turns out, I had the wrong idea about what hope is, and where its embers live.
Hope, I learned over the course of this year, is answered in the middle of night and in the heat of the day by kindness you don't see coming. It is given wings by extra-ordinary readers who take time from their real lives to read your book, to think about it, to tell you and others how the story lives in them. There was no official blog tour for You Are My Only, no physical tour, nor radio, nor TV (though I will always be grateful to my friend Darcy Jacobs, for her kindness to the book in Family Circle). I had a book launch party but there were few books to be had. And nonetheless—nonetheless—You Are My Only found its right homes.
If I tried to thank all of you who taught me what hope is and what it looks like this year I would not succeed. There were so many moments, so many gifts, so many gestures, so many wild acts of compassion, so much unfathomable generosity. Hope was born. Hope was launched.
At the end of this year, I want to stop and thank all of you. I also want to stop—just plain stop—and thank the young woman who started so much of this for me: Amy Riley. It was Amy who discovered my blog a few years ago, when Nothing but Ghosts was set to come out. It was Amy who threw a surprise launch blog party that year that left me in trembles. Amy has been there ever since. She has rallied her enormous community of friends around me—opened doors, built bridges, quietly insisted.
And there she is, at the end of this year, naming You Are My Only as one of her top books.
There are official lists. There are personal lists. Hope is entirely personal.
Thank you, Amy.