I reached my goal! I achieved my dream! Well, let me qualify that a bit: “I” with a lot of help did those things. On Friday, November 1st I published my Noble Heart series of seven books on amazon.com. I’ve often said that writing a book feels a lot like giving birth (well, minus the physical pain!) You labor over it for months, you pour everything you have into it, and when it is finally finished, you’re so proud and happy and excited! My seven “babies” just went off to their first day of kindergarten—sent out into the world at last!
“A momentous and historic occasion”—that’s what my friend Mark called it. That made me laugh! “They’re going to go viral!” he also predicted. Even more laughter! “Could I be there when you click Publish?” he asked. “Let’s make a celebration of it!”
How could I say no? If it weren’t for Mark it would have never happened. Mark had all the technical expertise and skills I didn’t have to put the books in the correct format. He had the determination to research and figure out the things he didn’t yet know. And he had the enthusiasm and faith to give me that final push to actually get ‘er done!
So Friday night we had a little “Launch Party.” Mark and his sister Jean came over with a huge bouquet of flowers for me and a bottle of bubbly–sparkling grape juice, that is! I was happy before they came, but when they walked in ready to celebrate—well, that’s when I really got excited! Mark and I had a couple little technical issues to take care of first at the computer, so Bob and Jean had a little Sing-Along-with-Robbie over at the piano with Rob. They were having a grand old time! Meanwhile, Mark and I were so excited we were practically jumping up and down in our chairs and clapping our hands! (Remember, he’s 63 and I’m almost 62, but we were like a couple of kids at Christmas!)
Finally, the big moment came! “Let’s pray first,” Mark suggested and led us in prayer that God would use these books in the lives of kids and their parents for His glory. Amen! Then Bob wanted to take pictures. He carefully lined up shots of the computer screen (several screen shots, in fact), my finger poised to click over the mouse, my finger clicking the mouse… “Enough!” I finally cried. “Let’s just do it!”
We went book by book, from first to last. I clicked on “Publish” and when a box came up saying the book was successfully published we all cheered and clapped! They even sang “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to me! Robbie didn’t know what the hoopla was all about, but he was right there laughing and smiling with us! More pictures and then Mark opened the sparkling grape juice and offered several toasts to the books, to me, and to future books! The only thing missing was having Sarah Lowe there to celebrate with us. Sarah is my niece and the artist who created the beautiful cover art for the books. I thought of her several times as we celebrated.
It was a fun evening and a memory I will cherish for a long time to come—and it wasn’t over yet! It was supposed to take 12-24 hours for the books to show up on Amazon. Two hours later I was on the phone with Laurie and Fernando telling them about the great time we had enjoyed when I got a call-waiting. It was Mark. “Cindy! They’re already on Amazon!”
“What?!! How do they look?”
I hung up with Mark and a few minutes later, with Laurie and Fernando, and rushed to amazon.com. Sure enough—there they were! I had just begun to look them over when the phone rang. It was Sara, Gabi and Melissa, all excited to see Grandma’s books on Amazon, too! While we were talking, call-waiting beeped again. It was my niece Sarah. “Aunt Cindy! The books are on Amazon!” She sounded super-excited!
“I know! They just came on about twenty minutes ago! Sarah, your covers look beautiful!” We talked for a while, so happy with our collaboration. I was so thankful, too, that I got to celebrate with her after all! “I’m so proud of you, Aunt Cindy!” Sarah kept saying.
That was what they all said! Well, when Laurie and Fernando called back a few minutes later, Fernando put it this way, “I’m finally proud of you, Mom!” He was teasing his mother-in-law. Julie and David called a little later and I told them the books were on Amazon already. They jumped online to take a look and rejoiced with me, too. What a fun, fantastic night!
As wonderful as the evening was; as exciting as it was to see my name as an author out there on the web; as proud as I was seeing the fruit of my labor displayed, the absolute most important thing to me was seeing the ministry and the message I believe God has given me in these books going out to young people and their parents. It is in God’s hands how large or how small that audience might be, but regardless of the numbers, I just pray God will use them somehow in each and every life they touch, and that He will be glorified through them.
What is the message in the Noble Heart books? That God is with us and will never leave us or forsake us. That He is faithful to guide, provide and protect. That God is greater than any obstacle or trial that we could ever face. That righteousness ultimately wins over evil. That He wants us to be people of honor and integrity, courage, compassion and high character, and that he wants us to live by faith and share our faith. That He wants us to pray.
Oh, I don’t expect kids to say, “I want to grow up to be like Noble Heart someday!” But it is my prayer that as they meet the challenges of life as they are growing up, the godly values and virtues of these little books will have been so impressed upon them that they will make the right choices, whether consciously or subconsciously.
Jesus said, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) and then again, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19, 20) I can no longer go as a missionary, but I pray the ministry and the message of my books and blog will go out into the world and reach young people and adults alike for Him.