I wrote this months ago. Not sure why it never posted or why I never posted it. Maybe because it struck me as cowardly? But today I like it — it was a great reminder of things I’ve been forgetting — so I’m posting it.
Today was practicum. For a counselor-in-training, this is the make-it-or-break-it moment. Am I actually going to be able to help people or am I going to screw up? We’ve had the rules of confidentiality drilled into us from day one, but I don’t think it’s breaking confidentiality to say that one of my future clients tried to commit suicide a few months ago. Am I going to be able to help him or is this going to be one of my worst nightmares come true? (I initially wrote worst nightmare and then I realized that homicidal trumps suicidal…but still…)
Oddly enough–or perhaps not so oddly–Felicia Day’s end of 2010 blog post popped back into my head. Specifically the improv will save your life point. Even more specifically, ignoring the voice that says “that won’t work, no one does it like that.” I don’t know if that’s as relevant to counseling as it was to writing, but in the moment, it was so comforting.It reminded me to trust my instincts, to have faith in my intuition.
And that made me really want to tell her so.
But…that felt weird. Too weird to do. And yet, why? She seems like a pretty nice person. She wrote something that mattered to me in a way far beyond sense. The delegation part, not so much, that’s meaningless at the moment. But the improv and the anxiety and the patience and the self-awareness–all of those words, for whatever reason, hit a trigger and stayed with me. So much so that it’s a year later and it still matters.
I wrote the dedication to A Gift of Ghosts on a whim almost. Most people dedicate their first book–if they dedicate it at all–to family members. To the loving spouse, the supportive parents, the delightful children. I do have a delightful child but honestly, he deserves no credit. He thinks I should play more WOW and write less (presumably because I was more fun when I was playing more WOW but also because he doesn’t like it when I read him lines of dialog and say, “would you say it that way?” Yeah, you didn’t think that 15-year-old voice was all me, did you?) And I also have/had supportive parents, although…okay, not going there at the moment.
Not the point, anyway.
The point is, I didn’t spend a ton of time thinking out the dedication of the book. I wrote it on an impulse and I didn’t really think that anyone would ever see it. And hey, I wrote a quarter of a million words of Eureka fan fiction, it’s not as if I picked some random television show to dedicate a book to. I think maybe I earned my right to dedicate a book to Eureka. But why do I feel so defensive about this? I’m honestly not sure…but I think it’s because right now, today, tonight, I want Felicia Day to know that something she said mattered. And the only way to make that happen is to tell her so. And somehow that feels ridiculously scary. Even more so than posting the book to Amazon did.
But this is the dedication of A Gift of Ghosts.