It’s a long and beautiful road, from the pristine New England Coast, to the blue Gulf at Fairhope, AL and ultimately to the dramatic broad, golden horizons of Southern and Northern California. Tara and I have been overwhelmed by the consistently wonderful receptions we have received everywhere along the way. After each tour stop (22 thus far)… after shaking every hand… and after receiving, and feeling, every emotionally grateful hug, I think to myself: “if it is suddenly over now, and I don’t sell another book, it has already been worth every minute of effort.” Yet at each venue, I am offered the opportunity to meet new people… people who have read this book, and people who tell me how important their reading experience has been to them. Speaking to new readers and “organic” book fans (particularly the new people I met last week in both Laguna Beach and San Jose), one realizes: “People are actually finding this book on their own and loving it.” It is overwhelming and a truly amazing feeling for someone who has yet to think of himself as a writer.
At all of these places I am able to thank the people who have been following the story from day one. Just as meaningful, however, I am able to meet new folks who are just learning about our family’s story. They have heard about it from a friend, they have stumbled onto it on Amazon. And all tell me how important and relevant it is in their lives. It is not necessarily about “the cancer story,” although this is often a common denominator. More often than not, they tell me it is about genuinely living and experiencing every moment; the good, the difficult and the inexplicable. It is about not being afraid to express what we are really feeling inside.
People I have never met greet me with tearful bearhugs. They thank me for this book (thank me?… It is supposed to be the other way around, but wow!). It is amazing to see how this book, which served as a cathartic exercise for me, and as a first-hand written documentary of a true and miraculous life journey, is now serving as a cathartic exercise for others and as a parallel account of their own life stories. I do not know if I ever considered my expectations for this book up to this point. But with each stop along the way, I am inspired and reinvigorated to continue along this road to tell the story and to honor those who made it real.
Thus far, to the extent that it has been practical, it has been a family event. It is best when the kids can go with me. I need them there. Sometimes, of course it is just me. But if Tara has the opportunity to stand up and talk with me on the stage, the true meaning of our message is conveyed in harmony, and with a much more graceful melody.
I’m looking forward to speaking at the beautiful Book Tavern in downtown Augusta this weekend (this Sunday, August 26th at 1pm); at Gracewear Boutique (Saturday August 1 2-4pm), in Cashiers, NC; The Church of the Good Shepherd (Wednesday, August 5, 5:30-7pm) in Covington, GA… my favorite small American town; back up north to Watch Hill, Rhode Island (August 15); Los Angeles, California (September 10, place and time TBA); Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg, SC (September 21); The Flatiron Health Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona (October 2-4); and the Georgia Book Festival (held in Augusta, Ga this year, November 6-7).
I am now honored and fortunate to have Dan Polk on my team, a beautiful human being with a refreshingly bright mind and lovingly shrewd sense of humor. Dan is the man who has helped Paul Young make The Shack an iconic story; and he now wants to help me make Possibilities all that it can be. Paul read this book and felt compelled to share Dan, so that I can more effectively spread the word… a welcome and awesome gift for a rookie.
I will provide more concise and regular updates on Facebook (please like our “Possibilities” Fan Page) and do my best to regularly provide more frequent updates about our road experiences on this blog. In the meantime, I will be eternally grateful for anyone and all who provide book reviews on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com. These are tremendously helpful. If you have read it, please consider this.
Thank you for reading this book. Thank you for telling others to read it. Thank you for helping us honor the courageous people we have met along the way, and who have changed our lives forever. Thank you for loving our family… and Press On.
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