Hope is personal. Thoughts at year's end.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've been wanting to say something for a while, haven't known where to begin.  I'll start like this:  It was quite a year.

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.

14 comments:

Wendy said...

It was Amy who first pointed me toward your work, Beth - and I will be forever grateful. I hope 2012 is filled with hope, and beauty, and friendship...and more of your wonderful stories! xo

Serena said...

What a wonderful Thank You to Amy. I'm so glad she raised your flag....and glad that I took notice! Happy 2012 to you and your writing.

Elizabeth Mosier said...

"There are official lists. There are personal lists. Hope is personal." Yes, yes, yes! Lovely, Beth. Thank you. Happy almost New Year!

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

Amy very much deserves the thanks--I don't think I'd have found your work without her, and I know now my life would be poorer for it. Happy New Year, Beth, and here's to a great 2012!

Amy said...

aw, Beth!!!! Thanks so much for writing great stories that bring beauty to the world. You are my Only definitely made 2011 so much better for me.

Melissa Walker said...

You are such a treasure to be found, Beth! Everyone who comes across you is very lucky, and that number is growing and growing!

Bee said...

Isn't that what the good stories do? They find their rightful takers.

Sarah Allen said...

You deserve all the hope in the world! You are a beautiful person and a beautiful writer, and I cannot tell you how excited I am for Small Damages.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Melissa Sarno said...

So very grateful to Amy for leading me here, Beth.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I learned of you and your words through Amy, too. I can't imagine not knowing you now. Thanks to both of you. xo

The1stdaughter said...

What a wonderful post Beth. I'll say it again, I'm so grateful to have you as a friend and as someone who has helped me tremendously. You are spectacular and I'm grateful Amy sent me your way. She's another one of those people who give me hope each and every time I have the opportunity to be around here.

Much love! xo

Beth F said...

Amy has brought so many wonderful things to so many people. Happy safe, productive, and healthy new year to you.

Lilian Nattel said...

Well deserved on your part--and Amy for hers is a generous person with great taste.

Mandy said...

How lovely, Beth. But we owe you the biggest thanks for sharing your books with us! :)

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