Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kudos from ghosts - by RM Greenaway

THE QUESTION:  It's hardest to impress those who know us best. What unexpected acknowledgment have you experienced from folks who knew you way back when? (Bonus points if it ties into a wedding, class reunion, or holiday gathering.)

Well, I get no bonus points on this one, but I do earn some for good effort.

My parents, who were living in a suite we built for them downstairs, both died a few years apart before I got published. They knew I had been scribbling away for years and was making clumsy efforts to make it to print, and I would have loved to have shared the news with them.

I imagine the celebrations we would have had, sitting around the dinner table, raising glasses of beer/wine/scotch (or my dad's odd favourite, vermouth, which, yes, I'm sure took a few years off his life.) 

It would be totally unexpected if either of them spoke up now to say how impressed they are. I'd in fact preferred they didn't. But I'll allow myself to feel they're still here in less spectral ways, raising a toast to me whenever I achieve a new milestone.

When I first got published in 2016, I considered keeping this startling fact a secret from my two worlds, the day-job (I'm a court reporter) and extended family, as I was sure few would actually like my novels, and the end result would be a lot of embarrassment and awkward silences.

But that has not been the case. Realizing I had no choice but announce it, I did, and friends and family (and some lawyers, and the fellow at the car shop) far and wide have expressed generous congratulations, and some bewilderment too, I think, because I'm a bit of a mouse who's never had much to say at gatherings. That is something I regret, by the way. In my next life I want to be gregarious, if that's not asking too much.

Some of those closer to home remain cautious, I think, about my strange new night-job. But I can't blame them. Like me, they think it's not quite real, and they worry that it will lead to my heart being broken. Come to think of it, I no longer have that fear. I do want to get better and go further, but am also pleased enough with what I've achieved that if life dialled back to normal (humdrum), I'd feel I've exceeded expectations.  

Folk I knew way back when? I don't know many folk from way back when, but it was maybe grade 8 when my English teacher Ms. Podborski gave me a glowing 'A' for some short story I submitted, which was one of my first happy kudos moments (and my last, for a long time). She did have to diplomatically suggest using "exclaimed" instead of "ejaculated", though. I guess I was reading a lot of dated work back then, when the term was less, um, specific.

Boy, I'd love it if I could tell Ms. Podborkski all that has transpired since!

So in the end, I have no unexpected acknowledgement stories to share, except with spirits and memories. But that's okay. It really is.

I do have publication news to share though: My third in series CREEP will be released any day now -- officially speaking, April 21. Yes!! 


Paul D. Marks said...

RM, I'll raise a glass, no make that a can of good old washed out American beer, to you: Congratulations on your new book!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Great post, Rachel. I'm looking forward to Creep.

James Ziskin said...

Good post, Rachel!

Unknown said...

Thank you, fellows! And your beer can toast means a lot to me, Paul :)

Cathy Ace said...

Good luck with the new book :-)

Susan C Shea said...

Have you checked to see if Ms Podworski is still around? Wouldn't that be fun. I do approve of her suggestion of a word change, but...still funny!

Unknown said...

Thanks Cathy!

I did a bit of a search online, Susan. No Ms. P, unfortunately. Maybe if I was a better sleuth? :)