A friend of mine once mentioned the three stages of memoir writing. There’s living it, writing it, and then reflecting with other people about it. A Good and Perfect Gift was published a little over a year ago, which probably means it’s time to move on. But before I completely turn that corner, I thought it would be worth taking a minute to reflect on the past year, the third stage, of this book. The book received some recognition from official corners. I’m sure reviews and awards helped get the word out, and I’m very grateful for them.
But the most rewarding part of writing a book is the emails and letters and one-on-one conversations with individuals who have responded to the story. Messages like:
Aside from being beautifully written, I appreciated the honest reflection and soulful sharing that resonated so deeply with me, a first-time parent to be. It is an incredible book.
Reading about Penny gave me so much encouragement and I rejoice with you in her well being. Your book also gave me great peace and reassurance.
…in reading it I have realized how un-open or even unwilling I have been to see marginalized people, whether through disability or something else, as those who have real gifts to offer to me and to the church. I think I have always said such things in principle, but something about the way you told the story of Penny broken open my heart to that truth in a fresh way.
I do not have a child with Down syndrome, but your book really speaks to me on so many levels as a parent (and as just a plain old human being, I suppose)
After reading your thoughts about letting go of expectations and basing love on relationships, I feel like your book should be required reading for all parents.
My son (with Down syndrome) is now 21 and my perspective has joyously changed with your help.
I found it a curious thing that a book that chronicles a world that is so foreign to me (wife/motherhood) could be so familiar.
I have just finished reading this book and I found that as I got to the end of the book, that I was going to miss Penny. What I mean is, miss reading about her. Are you planning on writing any more books about your family?
And the answer to the final question is YES. It took me until last March to have the seed of an idea for a second book (ironically, shortly after that came the idea for the third, but that’s a different topic altogether). And then it took me about six months to clear the decks–finishing up the ebook on prenatal testing (really, I swear this is going to come out some day soon!), and getting us moved and at least partially settled in Connecticut-but I am finally ready to start working on a proposal for the next book.
Thanks for all the ways you’ve been a part of the encouragement of the past year, and stay tuned…