Friday, July 23, 2010

None-Too-Subtle Signs

Given the subject matter, it's understandable that my parents have been on my mind more than usual while writing this book. As I write about the grief experiences of others, I often notice similarities to my own. It happens when someone tells me their loved one died without saying goodbye, when I read about people seeing their deceased mother's influence in their own parenting, or when hoping for a sign from the person they've lost. I have to admit, I have asked for this in the past.

Shortly before moving to Nashville, I attended a Steve Seskin songwriting workshop in Reno. I stopped at a diner to eat before it started. My dad had always been very supportive of my music, and I consciously asked him, (he had just died), to let me know he saw I was getting to study with Seskin. I got a SF newspaper on the way in and began to read it once I was seated. To my delight, I went right to a column by Jon Carroll. (My parents were Jon and Carol King!) The subject of the piece was the area where I was born. "Well done, Dad", I thought as I left. Before I could get out the door, however, the manager stopped me to ask how I liked my food. I said, "It was great, thanks." It was only then I noticed his name tag. JON. Spelled without an H and everything. Nice touch.

Another nod from the beyond came last week as I tended to the final details of the book. I needed to secure permission to reprint the lyrics to a song I wrote with Candy Cameron about grief. Candy's publisher would have to grant us permission within a few days, and require no payment. Considering this usually takes months and can cost a tidy sum, my odds weren't great. Still, I had my editor's blessing to give it a shot. "It can't hurt", he said.

After a few phone calls and emails, I was directed to the person in Beverly Hills who handled such requests. Her name? CAROL KING. I'm not kidding. Once again, correct spelling and everything.

Yesterday Carol called to tell me she was granting our request- in record time and at no cost. She also told me how much she misses her parents and wished me luck with the book.

Coincidence? Who knows? I wasn't looking for any validation from my mom when this happened. I couldn't have interpreted this a certain way, to fit my hope or expectation. It's the woman's name! Did all this thinking about her make me more likely to notice her name, or did it allow her to come through? Obviously, I don't have all the answers, but I'm open to the possibilities.

I do know one thing for sure. I know how good it feels when these things happen, and that's real.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guess What I saw Yesterday?

I dropped by my publisher's offices yesterday to meet with my editor. ("My" publisher, "my" editor. I've become insufferable.) Before I left, the brilliant Steven Cox told me they were working on my cover today and asked if I'd like to see it. Let me see....YES, PLEASE!

I can't describe all the feelings it brought up, seeing this actually happen, but I'm happy to say I neither cried, fainted, nor hugged poor Steven. I called Dan from the parking garage, though. You know, my husband? The man who lives in the emotional-medium? He rarely expresses or demonstrates anything "very". He is my even-tempered opposite, which made his excitement on the phone all the sweeter.

Wednesday may have been my birthday, but yesterday was "my" day.

Friday, July 9, 2010


As I get closer to the book being released, I see the hit counter nearing 3000, with 29 followers. Here's what I propose- since it's difficult to determine who is the 3,000th visitor, I will recognize the next follower instead.

The 30th follower here will win a signed copy of the book. I'll even cover postage. (I know what you're thinking. She's out of control!) I was going to give away a pony, but shipping was such a hassle, and then there were liability issues, etc....

So, if you haven't followed yet, click it!

Good luck!

When someone dies, (other than attending the service), I do this for the family-