by Kerry Tolson @kerrytolson.com
I need to say thank you to a turkey for reminding me of something very important - celebrating my book's birthday; it was 1 year old this month.
What has a turkey got to do with my book you may ask? afterall, I'm not American, nor do I follow the Thanksgiving tradition and my book is about stumbling around Nepal, not running away from someone wielding an axe or tips on the best turkey basting recipes.
for something that might seem small and insignificant, like being loaned a book or for a great cup of coffee, to me such activities remind me to be grateful not just for the generosity of others, but also appreciating the work done by others; even if they are being paid to do it. (there are some jobs I never want to do, and I’m always grateful for good coffee - especially as I'm a hopeless at it. )
One of my favourite books is 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik (2010 Hyperion Books) where the author writes how by saying thank you to others, for even the smallest of things, it helped save his life. He had hit rock bottom and needed to find something, anything to be grateful for and to want to keep going. By saying thank you to someone else, he found gratitude in what he had and not what he wanted.
I know it’s all very How-To-Be-Happy-101 but in reality it’s something we often tend to overlook
Reading this book (many years ago) inspired me to also try regularly to find something to be grateful for, no matter how small and to send out Thank Yous to others to let them know how much I appreciated their time, thoughts and presence, and although I really couldn’t keep up with sending out a daily thank you note, I practised sending a thank you note out at least once a week.
As I watch the outgoing US Pres grant a one in forty-six million turkey the chance to live another year and I got ready to write a thank you card to a friend-of-a-friend who had recommended a cream for aching joints, it brought to me the realisation that November is also a month in which I too need to give some extra special thanks.
It was twelve months ago that my book Buddhas, Bombs and the Babu was release and hit the shelves.
Goodness, how quickly the time has gone, suddenly this little book that took me twelve years to write is now a whole twelve months old and when I look back on it, I cannot believe what a roller-coaster of a year it’s been – all the release fanfare, the author events, in-store appearances, the festivals - but above all, what a year of meeting the most wonderful people it has been for me.
So here are my thank yous for the past 365 days and more.
First I need to say a huge thank you to my publishers – Brolga Publishing – who took the gamble on my travel fumble story and put it out there. Becoming a published author was a child-hood dream come true for me. And even twelve months down the track, I still pinch myself at the realisation.
Another big thank you goes to my dear friend and the vibrant Queen of Colour, Australian artist – Donna Sharam who painted the incredible image that became the cover of Buddhas, Bombs and the Babu. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say enough thank yous to her for this honour.
There are countless thank yous to the many book shops who stocked and are still stocking the book – I get overwhelmed and terribly excited every time I come across my little book sitting on their shelves (I swear they must think I’ve gulped down a thousand blue smarties when they see me jumping up and down and squealing like a toddler whose found the Peppa Pig display), and I’d like to give a special extra mention of thanks to the fabulous Mandy at Ballina’s Downtown Sight & Sound & ABC Centre who not only keeps a constant supply of Buddhas, Bombs and the Babu in the shop, but promotes it regularly and is giving it a put it on the wish list display for this year’s Christmas too. Love independent bookshops so much!
A huge thank you goes out to all the groups, libraries and book shops who invited me for ‘author appearances’ and to talk about the book and its journeys – both the actual journey the book is about and the journey I took whilst writing it. Attending these events was an incredible experience that will remain with me forever, not just in having to speak publicly (and getting over my fear of speaking publicly, although I have developed another fear, that of hitting myself in the eye with microphones) but also for the opportunity to meet with readers, book lovers, travelholics and other writers.
That is the very best part of author events, meeting these wonderful people who have such incredible stories themselves to share. Listening to the response of readers, would be readers and other writers was not only humbling, but incredibly inspiring and confidence-building for me as a writer who suffers from anxiety – I’m always terrified that I’ll be talking to an empty room, or I half expect someone to come up, tap me on the shoulder and say ‘sorry, don’t think you’re meant to be here, this is for real writers.’
Not that anyone would ever say that because these events are always held by the most gorgeous generous people ever.
Another huge thank you goes out to the Corrugated Lines: A Festival of Words Writers Festival in Broome WA that I attended this year - Again, I half expected someone to tap me on the shoulder as I stood beside other writers whose ink is so much more profound and illuminating than mine. I had to keep pinching myself as I was so overwhelmed to be a part of this festival and to share stories with those in the Kimberley. After the event I sent a little thank you note with a hamper of Northern NSW goodies and was even more excited and humbled when the organisers sent back their thanks with a pic of the festival organisers and Backroom Press tucking into the North Coast yummies - what a joy it was to share my little corner of the world with them.
The biggest thanks of all however goes to all the readers who bought the book or borrowed it from the libraries and read it. Oh my goodness, how in world can I ever say thank you enough to you all.
Over this past year I have receive beautiful cards, letters and emails from readers who took the time to say how much they like the story, I have been rung up by readers both locally and interstate(and even one time, internationally) who want to discuss the book, or stopped in the street by readers who want to share and reminisce about their own Nepal travels with me. I am beyond words as to how to express my deepest thank yous to you all for being a part of my dream – that to write a book; to tell a story and have it read by others.
Thank you also to the readers who wrote reviews about Buddhas Bombs and the Babu, I so appreciated your thoughts and words about the book.
So thank you all for being a part of my year of living write and joining me on the roller-coaster journey of Buddhas Bombs and the Babu.
I’m so very grateful for it all.
No more ironing underpants