BOOK LAUNCHING & MOUNTAIN CLIMBING… & winning a free copy of “They Only Eat Their Husbands”

FALSE SUMMIT

When I lived in Alaska, I interviewed the youngest girl to summit America’s highest peak, Denali. I interviewed then-12-year-old Merrick Johnston before her 1995 climb. She said she used to be afraid of crevasses, but after plenty of training she liked to stick her head in them just for fun. My news director interviewed her after the climb. He asked, “How did it feel when you reached the top?” Her answer: “I had to pee. Then I threw up.”

When I lived in Alaska, I interviewed the youngest girl to summit America’s highest peak, Denali. (Photo © Brian Longmore/Dreamstime.com)

Today is the official release date for my book, They Only Eat Their Husbands: A Memoir of Alaskan Love, World Travel, and the Power of Running Away, and while I’ve spent recent weeks in a flurry of excitement, now I feel kind of like Merrick did on the summit of Denali. I’ve been drinking chai today and I need to pee, and if I think about the book too much I might throw up.

Otherwise, today feels like any other day. My husband, Dale, and I walked to the Pajama Baking Company for peach scones and caffeine, as we usually do on Mondays, and now I’m sitting here in my sweatshirt typing a blog post, as I often do. I feel neither impending fame nor fear of failure. Since I get to write for a living, I’m grateful this day is more of the same. I have no clear idea what will become of my memoir in the months to come; I can only keep putting it out there and see what happens.

I have no clear idea what will become of my memoir in the months to come; I can only keep putting it out there and see what happens.

I’ll do a national radio tour on December 6. I’ll do a driving tour across the West in my rattling, rusty Honda Civic Hatchback from March 20 to April 17, 2011. In between, I’ll make stops at several blogs. All of this is a new journey, so you might say my book is an adventure that keeps on giving: I lived it, I wrote it, and now I get to share it. If I’m lucky, I haven’t reached the summit yet, but instead will watch readers take it from here.

ADVENTURE IS INFECTIOUS

If you read my memoir, I hope it takes you on an adventure of imagination, and perhaps inspires you to create more adventure in your life. Adventure is infectious. Each time I read a book, embark on a trip, or take on a project, I run across someone or something that inspires a new goal.

Here’s one way that works: since I created this blog, I’ve encountered many fellow travelers online. The other night in Denver I met one in person: Chris Guillebeau, blogger and author of The Art of Nonconformity. I’ve long wanted to visit Ethiopia, and I’ve lately renewed my commitment to volunteerism. It turns out Chris is embarking on a project to provide water in Ethiopia, so I’ve offered him my services. Whether or not he can use my help, now that I’ve put an intention out there it’s inevitable that at some point I’ll end up in Ethiopia in some sort of service capacity.

PAUSING TO GIVE THANKS

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I think that when any of us reach a milestone it’s worth pausing to acknowledge how far we’ve come and give thanks. I’ve published a book about how I used to be mired in dysfunctional relationships and how embarking on a solo adventure transformed my life. The thing I hope will inspire readers is that I’m not any more special than anyone else who takes action on their goals. I tripped over transformation by mistake, and discovered that enlightenment is not a destination but an ongoing journey. For all this, I am grateful.

Last week, I had a book launch party in Denver, where some 80 or so friends helped me celebrate this milestone. (photo by David Vinson)

Similarly, although this book release day might seem anticlimactic, I’ve tripped over many exciting moments along my path to publication, and I suspect there are more to come. Last week, I had a book launch party in Denver, where some 80 or so friends helped me celebrate this milestone. I might have cried over the love, warmth, and vibrant energy I received from the crowd – except that I couldn’t stop grinning with joy.

I might have cried over the love, warmth, and vibrant energy I received from the crowd, except that I couldn’t stop grinning with joy. (photos by Dale Jolley)

Another newly published author told me she didn’t have a release party, and I immediately wanted to suggest to every author that they give themselves this gift. I can’t imagine anything more empowering than sharing my creative work with a roomful of people who want only the best for me. And I can’t imagine anything more humbling than having several friends help me mop up afterward when the toilet overflowed. I’m lucky in friendship… and in love.

I can’t imagine anything more humbling than having several friends help me mop up afterward when the toilet overflowed. (photo by Amy Callahan)

Dale vomited the morning of the party – he insisted it wasn’t nerves, but food poisoning – yet he still helped me sell books that night. That, even though my book is full of dirt on my romantic life before we married. Marriage is an adventure, too, and I’m glad I’ve found a generous travel partner to walk through it with me.

A CONTEST TO ENTER & WORDS TO LIVE BY

In that same spirit of generosity, and the spirit of the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving, I’d like to offer you an opportunity to win a free copy of They Only Eat Their Husbands. You can enter this contest in one of three ways: 1) write a comment on this post, 2) write a comment on the book’s Facebook fan page, or 3) join my mailing list at CaraLopezLee.com. You have until midnight Monday, November 22 to enter. I’ll announce the winner here on Girls Trek Too on Thanksgiving weekend.

By the way, I looked up that young climber, Merrick Johnston, on Facebook. At 27, she’s now a graduate of Dartmouth, a research geophysicist, and a resident of Norway. She lists climbing, snowboarding, and hockey among her interests. So even after she discovered that reaching a mountaintop can sometimes leave one thinking, “OK, so that happened,” her desire for adventure remains strong. I’ll leave you with the quote that Merrick has posted on her profile: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss. Words to live by from a great writer.

16 thoughts on “BOOK LAUNCHING & MOUNTAIN CLIMBING… & winning a free copy of “They Only Eat Their Husbands”

  1. Susan Blumberg-Kason

    Congratulations, Cara, on the official release of “They Only Eat Their Husbands”. I’ve enjoyed reading about the months, weeks, and days leading up to the launch and book tour. Merrick’s story brought a tear to my eye. I can’t wait to read your book!!

    Reply
  2. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    Thanks so much, Susan, for your support during the months, weeks, and days leading up to the launch. And thanks for the comment about Merrick’s story: I teared up, too, and it’s nice to know I wasn’t alone.

    Reply
  3. Julie Bond Genovese

    “Tripped over transformation”!!!!! Amen to that sister!!!
    BIG congratulations to you – loved reading about your launch party – and then mopping up the toilet : )

    Thanks to Merrick for “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss.

    Go Cara!
    XO Julie

    Reply
  4. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    Thanks, Julie. I guess launching a book and then mopping up after an overflowing toilet ties in nicely with an idea you write about on your blog: marrying the magic to the mundane. I find that’s often the story of my life.

    I was just tickled when I saw Merrick’s Dr. Seuss quote! So perfect. Glad you appreciated it.

    Reply
  5. N. R. Williams

    I love what Merrick said after she reached the summit. No one but a child would admit that. Her quote from Dr. Seuss is great too. I came over from the BBTCafe and wish for you all the best. I live in Denver and wished I’d known about your party. Alas, I injured myself last week so I probably wouldn’t have been able to come.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

    Reply
  6. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    It’s funny, Nancy… I can’t remember what Rosa Parks said the day I met her at a press conference in Anchorage (though I was blown away), yet I remembered what that 12-year-old girl said about summiting Mount McKinley.

    Sorry about your injury. I hope it wasn’t serious. Though I’m sad you missed the party, I’m glad you told me you didn’t know about it. That tells me I need to step up my marketing a notch!

    Reply
  7. Patricia Stoltey

    Ethiopia sounds like another great adventure with another memoir to follow. I’ll be looking forward to that!

    I’d love a chance to win a copy, Cara. I’m also helping spread the word by including your giveaway as part of my blog post tomorrow.

    Reply
  8. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    Wow, Patricia… another memoir? There’s a challenge to consider. I’m working on a novel now, which could keep me busy for a couple of years But after that, who knows? Gulp.

    Thanks so much for reposting about the giveaway!

    Reply
  9. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    Thanks so much, Heidi. Isn’t the whole “like” thing hilarious? “Hey,” I tell my friends, “now you can go to my fan page & like me.” Then I just laugh at myself.

    Reply

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