It’s twenty-one days till my book Warrior Mother’s official launch, but there’s plenty to get excited about in the meantime. And excited I am. I can tell because my insides feel like I’ve left my motor running and my body is going faster than my brain. I keep reminding myself to breathe slowly, fully. Since these are not new sensations to me, I know there is only a thin line between excitement and anxiety. And oxygen is what makes the difference.
The endocrinologist, Hans Selye defined this kind of stress as eustress. It’s stress that comes from a positive situation like moving into a new house, preparing for a wedding, or bringing a new baby home. Birthing a book into the larger world seems like some combination of these types of situations. Though positive stress is a sign of well-being, it’s stress nonetheless. And through many positive events in my long life, I’ve learned that it can be exhausting.
Two weeks ago at the Iowa Writing Festival I tried to blame the caffeinated coffee I’d had at breakfast for the difficulty I was having sitting still in my classroom seat. But when my cell phone vibrated and I saw that a long awaited review of the book was in, and I read it on my break – (five stars YAA!) – no hyperactive elementary school age child had anything on me.
Last Monday I hosted a group of people in Pittsburgh who had supported me through the five plus years of writing the book, and the Wing & A Prayer Pittsburgh Players helped me to “Perform the Book” for them. Seeing so many dear people all in the same room was stimulating and exciting. I found I couldn’t stop smiling, a sensation I remember from both my wedding days.
Today the need for extra deep breaths was due to the emails I was receiving from members of the InterPlay community that I will be meeting up with in Edinburgh Scotland next week. I’m doing a Warrior Mother Performing the Book event August 15th at 2:15 pm at Word Power Books, the leading independent bookseller in the UK. So far, I’ve heard from InterPlayers in Finland, Scotland, Virginia, and North Carolina who will be joining me at the bookstore to improvise themes that emerge when I read excerpts from the book.
As I get ready to turn in for the evening, I’m hoping that this hyper-excited state will calm down, like stage fright always does, once Warrior Mother and I step out and into action on the world’s stage.