The general beauty of insanity.

RebeccaUncategorized2 Comments

Okay, so in all honesty, the last thing I should be doing is blogging for myself right now.  Well, blogging for you guys…  I have a wicked amount of things on my plate, but I don’t want to forget this feeling. No, I want to immortalize it, bottle it up so when the day comes that this isn’t so fresh, I can read this again and be immersed in the amazing feelings coursing through my body.

I have never felt so blessed and so insanely grateful in my entire life.

FULL MEASURES released on Monday, and to watch where it’s climbed to so quickly has been surreal.  I can’t count how many times I look at Jason and say, “hey, are you sure I’m awake?”  He then replies:

It doesn’t feel real, and yet, somehow… it is.

The morning of release, I crept downstairs with Jason and assumed command of my corner of the couch.  I opened up my laptop and, coffe-in-hand, kind of prepared myself for what the day was going to bring.  My friends, my family, my agency-sisters all came out swinging for Full Measures, and the launch… well, launched.

Jason brought our Little Miss downstairs as she woke up, and as he handed her over, he said, “Say, good morning, published mama!”  She then promptly threw up her entire breakfast all over the coffee table.  Okay, that made it less surreal, and much more like the general tempo of our life.

The release has stunned me.  Full Measures is on 16 separate Best Seller lists on Amazon, one internationally, and is rocking the top 150’s at both Amazon and Barnes&Noble (That fluctuates hourly, peeps, it’s maddening).  I can’t possibly explain how this feels to me.  I mean, come on, I’m a writer, and I’m speechless. Stunned.  Grateful.  Nearly in tears when I think of everything that is beautiful in this world, and then jumping out of my skin with the amount of energy pouring through me.

The best moment?  When Jason walked into the living room, swept me up into his arms, and told me I’d made that first bestsellers list.  Why?  Because he’s here, he’s in my arms, not in Afghanistan, and he just delivered my life’s dream to me. 
And then this tiny voice came out of Brody and he said, “Happy Book Birthday, mama,” with a kiss on my cheek, and my heart nearly exploded.  
Life.  Is.  Beautiful.
My head is spinning, nearly incapable of holding a single thought.  I’m trying to keep up on social media, and guest post requests, and continue our life as usual, which kind of feels like:

But it’s just sooooo exquisite!

This book is intensely personal to me.  If you’ve read it, you can see why.  I wrote it because I’m a military brat.  Because the first time my mom sat me on her lap and said she had to go to war, something in me realized my life was not ordinary.  Because my world revolved around my father, and I couldn’t imagine losing him to war because of that uniform he looked so handsome in.  I wrote this book because I had the question in my mind, if I had lost my dad to war, would I ever have fallen in love with Jason?  Would his death have changed my responsibilities?  Would I have been capable of happiness?

I wrote this book because I wanted to show the strength of military wives.  The strength of military brats, to peek into this life we all live with shaking knees and a sure heart. The strength in Ember isn’t modeled on one person, it’s 10,000 women I’ve met through the years.  I wanted to show the ugliest moments of military life and the most beautiful.  I wanted to show that when our heroes come home draped in flags, they don’t just leave a blaze of glory, they leave behind families who have to pick up the pieces and move on.  One of my favorite lines from Full Measures?

“War was such a spiteful bitch; she took
we loved and handed us back a folded flag in return, 
telling us the
honor of their sacrifice was a just and 
equal payment. It wasn’t.”
In all honesty?  I bawled when I wrote it.  
I almost didn’t write Full Measures.  It thought it might end up too dark, too morbid, too much of what we didn’t want to explore or talk about.  But then this line started to tickle my brain, and wouldn’t leave.
“She stitched on the gold star, its shiny,
reflective threads changing the definition of my father’s life from one of
service to one of sacrifice. That stupid gold star declared this
one event in his life, his death, more
important than all of the nineteen years that blue star had witnessed while
hanging in our living room window.”
That was the very first line of the manuscript, even though it doesn’t come into it until nearly half way through.  But from that one line, the rest evolved.  I couldn’t help but think of that shadow of a blue outline on the gold star flags, the way that the gold star took over, but left enough to let you know that blue had been here.  
More than anything, it’s a love story about enduring the odds, and risking what you never thought you had left to give, to be with the person your soul craves.
I set out to write a book about love after loss. A book about military life, and you know what?  I kind of failed.  Why?  Because you can’t fit every facet of military life in a 300 page book.  You just can’t.  We are too diverse with too many stories.  Not every wife will fall apart at death. Not every child will be strong.  No one reacts the same.  This isn’t a blanket statement on military life, because there’s no blanket big enough to cover us all.  But it is a slice.  It’s a glimpse into one story.  One perspective, and I’m okay with that.  Because there can be other stories to tell too.  
It’s been 72 hours since Full Measures released, and the outpouring of love and support has been astonishing.  I would hug each and every one of you if I could.  To those it spoke to, I’m so glad.  To those it didn’t, thank you for giving it a try.  If you see it on a best seller list, chances are YOU put it there.  YOU all did this!!!!  You shared, you reviewed, you tweeted.  You called your mom, your sister, your grandmother (not kidding, that’s a true story and she’s 85), and you bought Full Measures.  You humble me because you did what no one else could: you made this dream come true for me, and there’s no adequate way to thank you.  It just can’t be done.  
But I’m trying anyway.  So thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
I hope Ember and Josh touch you the same way they burrowed inside my heart and hung on.  
You have my complete and utter gratitude.  I will never forget this feeling.  
Now I guess I’d better go write the other stuff I’m supposed to be doing…  😉  
I heart you all!!!!  

2 Comments on “The general beauty of insanity.”

  1. Julie Sondra Decker

    You're lovely and you deserve this. I love your posts, and as a writer, I know what it's like when someone connects with your words and shows you it's all hit home. I'm looking forward to writing a post like this someday soon myself, and for now I'm absolutely thrilled to see your story touching so many people. You deserve the absolute best.

  2. KerriA

    I remember reading your blog as posts on fb that some of my military spouse mommy friends shared, and loved them. I just finished your book and was so moved. I cried, I laughed…I just loved it. Keep writing! I will definitely keep reading!

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