Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It’s in print! My Slow Read to a Sunburn friends, sporter and Judy’s, first novel “Hot Cross Buns,” is in print, and available on Kindle – and I am in the Acknowledgments!

I bought the book -- the first purchaser! -- on Amazon last week and my copy arrived Thursday, Yep, there I am right there in the Acknowledgments. It’s the first – and probably last – occasion I will be mentioned on such an august page.

I always read the Acknowledgments in books, don’t you? I love to imagine all the behind-the-scenes people who help bring a book to life. The agents and editors obviously, but also the friends and families – heck, even the family dog – who no doubt endured, cajoled and consoled their writer as he or she slogged through The Masterpiece. The folks who hid the wine bottles, changed the typewriter ribbon (hah! remember the good old days) and slide plates of food into the aspiring author's nook, unable or unwilling to bear the wrath of writer's block.

It has taken sporter and Judy six years to write this sucker. Countless weekends spent together hunched over laptops, writing, re-writing, rejecting and starting all over again. It's been a labor, and not always of love. Trust me, I know. My work cube is next door to sporter's. And my friend, as even she readily admits, "has no filters."

Honestly, my contribution to “Hot Cross Buns” was minimal. I did a first read-through for them, doing a proofing, copy editing and critiquing along the way. It took three months, as I painstakingly sifted back and forth through the pages stored tidily in a blue three-ring binder, asking incredibly incisive questions like "Why does everyone in this book own a goddamn German shorthair dog?"  By the time I was finished, the binder was porcupined with yellow stickies. And sporter and Judy returned to their lap tops, writing, re-writing and rejecting all over again.

I read "Hot Cross Buns" a second time when the book group sporter, Judy and I belong to picked it as a monthly selection. Although still in a three-ring binder, the manuscript had found itself, thanks to the authors' relentless edits and re-writes. Between wine and cheese and crackers, we laughed with sporter and Judy as they shared the many funny stories of co-authorship -- and celebrated because our friends had, in fact, written a book.

And now, after another half dozen edits, it is published. I'm reading "Hot Cross Buns" for a third time. And loving it. Its light, irreverent themes and tone are perfect for the impending doldrums of winter. Plus there is something magical about holding a published book in hand, knowing only too well and intimately about it's humble, and sometimes raucous (thanks to sporter), origins.

But, even more so, it's understanding -- and sharing in just a small way -- the hope, love and madness that two friends have invested in this book. That's what makes it special. And, in a small way, makes it partly my book as well.

That's the real acknowledgment.


  1. Congratulations to your friends! And you too, for getting your name on The Page. Like many people, I sometimes think about writing a book but after reading this, I'm more convinced than ever that I'll never have the patience, staying power and discipline. Best to just write short(ish) posts :) X

    1. I'm with you. I've got a bazillion words in my head (hence the blog), but no book.

  2. So, what's the book about?

    My only acknowledgement was in a book written by one of my law professors about Federal Grants in Aid. I spent the summer of 1979 finding and photocopying relevant cases for him. I don't remember the name of the book and I think it's out of print. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  3. Romance, humor and baked goods, not necessarily in that order. Center to the story is a bakery and coffee shop called The Manito in Spokane, WA (aka Bermtopia) -- and the characters who cycle through there. It manages to cover a bit of ground outside of Spokane as well -- LA, Chicago, Notre Dame.

    How's the weather in your neck of the woods?