I stood in the back of a bookstore this week and cried.
“Something got in my eye,” I would’ve said if anyone asked.
I grabbed one of the paper napkins from the table with a plate of cookies to wipe a nose drip away.
Classy, I know.
I don’t know why I bothered. I love those tears. What prompted them. Besides, no one was looking at me.
All eyes focused on her.
About 15 feet away stood a friend.
A distant friend.
What a journey Bren McClain has had.
She wanted to write a novel. Wanted it bad. Worked on her craft for more than 27-years bad.
Yeah, that kind of bad.
What do you do with a dream that constantly wipes rejection across your heart like windshield wipers screaming through a summer rainstorm?
“I’ve had countless times I just wanted the floor to swallow me up,” Bren shared thinking of the stinging, unfiltered criticism she has heard.
She wrote short stories and novels that she knew were meant to be blockbusters. The world didn’t agree.
No book deal.
Just Bren and her calling.
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“I’m a storyteller. I know it’s my calling to tell stories that touch people’s hearts.”
And so, she continued to write.
A few years ago, she bravely tossed out 95 percent of what she thought was her best work. And started over.
That book became “One Good Mama Bone.” Published just last month by Story River Press.
Yeah, she made it.
This is an unabashed endorsement for “One Good Mama Bone.”
With a qualifier — read it only if you want to sink into a novel with complex flawed characters who will shatter your heart and reconsider what it is to love. To be rich. To be a mother. To love an animal with your entire being.
Yeah, if only if you want that.
Bren has done it.
She didn’t give up.
And so, I cried at that stop on her book tour.
I cried for Bren.
For her success.
And I cried for you.
You, who know your calling.
You, who is meant to write a novel.
Have a baby.
Sell your invention.
I cried for you, for whom success has not been an overabundant visitor. I cried because just to have a calling — that is a gift.
“What would you say to Bren 27 years ago?” I asked my friend.
“Thank you for not giving up. For putting your butt back in that chair, for continuing to try.”
And so, I same the same to you,
You with that broken heart for what you know is meant to be, but hasn’t yet happened.
Don’t you give up.
Put your butt back in that chair.
My tears for you and your success are just standing by.