Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Magic of "Look Up" -- Part Two

People ask me how long it took to write "Look Up: Your Unexpected Guide to Good" and I'm not sure how to answer. I started writing the version that would morph into the final book last November. That said, some of the content goes back a dozen years.

The love and support and encouragement to write the book goes back decades.

It definitely took a village to raise Look Up. Rather than attempt to thank everyone involved, I'm going to share a story about one very important villager: my friend Jody Summers.

When I completely lost my creative mojo (see this post), 
Jod kept me going. 

There's a story in Look Up about my inability to think if I'm not holding a pen in my hand. I've been a reporter/writer for so long, there's a magical link between the pen and my brain. I was doing a presentation once with Jody, dropped my pen, and froze. Jod did this crazy dive for my pen on the floor, while -- at the same time -- handing me her pen so I could keep talking.

I dropped that pen years ago. I still use the example when I talk about teamwork and creativity.

After the launch party, I sent a message to Jody:

Jody is absolutely right. She -- and so many of you -- have been right by my side for years, handing me my pen whenever I drop it.

Without you, there would be no book. You are the magic, and I am forever grateful.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Believe: The Magic of "Look Up"

For many of you, our only connection is the Creative Instigation blog, and I so appreciate that you are still on the "follow" list, despite my posting gaps. Your patience has been rewarded: I have great news to share! My book, "Look Up: Your Unexpected Guide to Good," has been published and it's available on Amazon.

Yep. I said I was going to do it.
And I did it. 
The book is, in many ways, a tribute to Mom -- but it's much more than that. It's a way to share Mom's determination to find the good in the universe, no matter what. Because the good is still out there, waiting for us.

Talk about good.
Chris (on the left) designed the amazing display.
Vanessa (on the right) created the perfect event. 
The launch party we had last week at the InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park, Kan, was beyond perfection. I could babble about it for hours, but I'm going to limit myself to three magical moments.

1. While we were getting things ready for the party, Santa showed up. That's right. Santa came by and gave this Jewish momma a big ol' hug before my first book launch party. Talk about your good omens. Santa, I believe.

2. Sherri, an art therapist who has a studio at the InterUrban ArtHouse, bought a book before the party began, and I told her, "You're the first person who doesn't know me to buy a book!" We chatted for a bit and I invited her to come back for the festivities. She did, and what happened next is hard to believe:
Sherri: "You're Lillian's daughter."
Jan: "I am."
Sherri: "I knew your mom. I did art therapy with her at Village Shalom. She'd come in and say, 'I'm almost blind, you know!' And I'd say, 'That's all right, Lillian. We'll make art together.' I still have some of her paintings at my house."

Say what? The first person to buy the book who doesn't know me knew Mom? She still has Mom's artwork at her home? You can tell me that's a coincidence. I will forever believe that's Mom, looking over us. Still.

3. Hmmmmm. Number 3 is about one of the people who has kept me going throughout this process. I believe she deserves her own post. Stay tuned. More magic tomorrow.

While you're waiting, here's an idea: You could buy my book! (Pretty please with sugar on it, as we used to say.) Then, review my book. When you do, send me your address and I'll send you a surprise!