By Sherry Harris, in sunny (finally) Northern Virginia
Recently, Jessie wrote a one-word titled post, “Kindness.” That started Barb thinking about doing a series of posts with one-word titles. Barb picked “Gratitude“. I continue the series with “Joy.”
I expected my family to be happy for me when I got my book deal and they were – some tears were even shed. I knew Barbara Ross would be happy because she is the one who put me in touch with her agent, John Talbot. My writing friends also celebrated with me. But the depth of support from so many different people really surprised me.
I keep in close touch with a group of my Delta Zeta sorority sisters. Facebook has expanded that core group. These women know how long I’ve been writing. Our friendship is deep and spread over many years but I was still amazed by their joy.
Right after I could tell the world I finally, finally was going to be published, I attended my high school reunion in Davenport, Iowa. I went to a big high school, the kind that was so big that when I worked on the yearbook there were pictures of kids I was pretty sure I’d never seen. Many of those attending the reunion came up to congratulate me. People I knew well, people I knew but didn’t hang out with, and even people I was just meeting that night. They all were so happy for me.
Another surprise was the support from two Facebook groups I belong to with other military spouses– Hanscom Wives Past, Present & Future and Nova/DC Military Spouses. My protagonist is a military spouse. If I have a question, they answer. Christine Stanisewski Weissman, who started the Hanscom page, wants to throw a Facebook launch party for me. We’ve never even met.
We moved from Massachusetts back to Northern Virginia, so I joined the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. (I’m also a member of the New England chapter – it feels a bit like having dual citizenship – two groups to love.) I’m getting to know this great group of women. They’ve welcomed me into the fold with open arms.
I couldn’t talk about joy without talking about the Wicked Cozy Authors. Last March I reached out to Jessie Crockett, Julie Hennrikus, Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, and Barbara Ross asking them if they’d be interested in doing a blog. I tend to be an idea, not action person. Before I knew it, they had the blog up and running– by May 1st in time to launch Liz and Edith’s books. It still takes my breath away. And then best-selling author, Sheila Connolly, joined us with a monthly column. Last June while Jessie and Barbara were both staring down deadlines, Jessie suggested doing daily accountability goals. We all jumped on that bandwagon but it quickly went beyond writing goals. We’ve shared frustrations, successes, and yes, joy.
Joy also comes from sitting at my desk writing, from having a deadline (I’m looking at you November 15th), from thinking about covers, launches, and holding my book in my hands for the very first time. I read the difference between joy and happiness is that joy is internal and happiness comes from external events. I know that all the happiness has given me joy.
Sherry, you are such an example of reap what you sow. A wonderful cheer leader for others, it is easy to be happy for you.
You are going to make me cry, Julie. Thank you!
One of the happiest surprises of becoming a writer was finding such a warm and supportive group of colleagues, who were willing to offer help or lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on after your forty-seventh rejection. And of course, to celebrate with you! We’re all looking forward to your book.
I’ll be seeing all the other Wicked Cozy authors this weekend at the Boston Book Festival–will you be there on your stick?
Thanks, Sheila! I must have Halloween on my mind — when I read will I be there on my stick — I envisioned me with long, flowing hair and a broomstick! I don’t know if I will be making an appearence or not. It is so hard to miss such a great event! Enjoy!
Yes, I will bring Sherry on a stick!
Much to be joyful about, Sherry! And you walk cheerfully over the earth, too, so you invite joy in others. So very pleased about your contract, your first book, and our friendship.
What a lovely thing to say, Edith. Thank you. Who knew when you picked me up in your Prius at Burlington Mall — almost strangers — to go to Seascape, that we would end up here! A great journey!
Sherry, you are a joy! Always upbeat. This is the perfect word for you.
Oh, gosh, thanks, Ramona — I’m blushing. Trust me I have my share of rants. I can give you my husband’s number for confirmation.
Sherry–I am so excited for you and can’t wait for Tagged for Death. EnJOY and reJOIce in the JOYride!
Thank you, Barb! You are making me laugh!
It has been my joy that you’ve moved to Virginia, enabling us to become friends. Make sure you push that send button in the morning on November 15th, because I aim to take you to a celebratory lunch that day!
i didn’t think this blog post would have me crying on and off all day! I feel the same way about our friendship and I promise to push send in the morning so we can go to lunch! Thank you!
Lucky both of you!
Hi Sherry – I enJOYed meeting you and reading your post and I am sure I will enJOY your book!
The other Shari
I enJOYed meeting you too Shari!
Thanks for telling me about WickedCozyAuthors at the Chessie Chapter meeting. It’s already given me hours of joy and I’m looking forward to your book!
Sherri (there aren’t many of us left…)
The Chessie Chapter has introduce me to two Sherri/Shari’s! Interesting that we all spell it a different way! Thursday Morning Breakfast and Murder Club is next in my book stack!
Am not in any of your murder/mystery/cozy clubs, but this Sherry knows for sure that you are a joy to be around. Xoxoxoxo.
Ah, Sherry but you have known me since we were young impressionable pledges. And you too are a joy to be around!
What a sweet post, Sherry. And you bring so much joy to all of us!
Thank you, Liz. I’m so lucky to have such lovely people in my life!
Joy is having you as my friend! My word is proud…proud of you!
I’m just glad you moved me from the aquaintence to friend category after knowing since 9th grade! Love you!
Once again you brought tears to my eyes reading this, I am so happy to hear all about the joys writing has brought you along with all the people because when you are filled with joy so am I.
Thanks, Elizabeth. It makes me happy that you read our blog! You are a joy and have been since the day I had you!
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