My Hometown Bookstore

It didn’t sink in that me, Liz had published a book when I first saw Stretch Marks and the familiar layout on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My Man and I hugged and toasted, but I felt more relieved than anything else.

Then the phone calls and emails made me flutter with sparing moments of happy, but it still felt distant.

It hadn’t sunk in until the afternoon I walked into my hometown bookstore, hardly pausing at the aisle displays, and headed for the Local Authors section. Seconds later I saw, gasped, and stared at  the book cover I helped design.

I was a cliché: hands to heart, blushing, grinning, and rocking myself with enormous satisfaction and pride. I knelt down and stared from every angle, before taking photographs, oblivious to the fact that my rear end blocked the flow of busy traffic.

I was that author staring back at me in bold black print.

SC BookshopSANTA CRUZ BOOKSHOP

1520 Pacific Avenue  / Santa Cruz, CA 95060  / Tel: 831-423-0900

specialorders@bookshopsantacruz.com

Cutting Room Floor

After hearing from so many of you while you’ve been reading Stretch Marks or have just finished, I am heartened by the praise and enjoying the questions and curiosity!

It’s great that so many of you are intrigued with the scenes that didn’t make the final cut. There are so many scenes that every writer struggles with letting go of for the sake of the story. Stretch Marks was 300 plus pages when I first transcribed my journals and annotated it along the way.

My man reminded me of one of our favorite stories that didn’t make the cut.

In an earlier draft of Stretch Marks, I recounted when we removed the bandage from our daughter Sofia’s belly button and gasped at the beef jerky like stub hanging loose from our precious child. I could only shake my head when Marty looked at me for the answer.

“What did we do wrong?” he asked.

I made the mistake of thinking out loud. We had completely screwed up and deformed our little girl’s perfect body. My man raked his hair. I called my mother with a sinking feeling, wincing from head to toe. Would she laugh or admonish us?

“That’s wonderful!” I could hear her settling into her spot at the dining room table.

“My mother says it’s wonderful, and you should carefully remove it,” I walked back towards Marty, repeating every word my mother was saying to me.

“Of course,” Marty’s look of relief turned triumphant when he held up the shriveled and stinky stub while Sofia gurgled and kicked her tiny feet.

My mother’s reassuring voice steadied me.

I, in return, listed every minuscule detail to her as we inspected Sofia’s delicate rosy pink indentation.

“We should send it to her right away. She’s going to bless it and bury it along with all the other grandkids belly buttons.”

I found an empty earring box in my dresser where we reverently placed the stub on a cotton lining and covered it with another billowy layer. Later we triple-bubbled wrapped the box before mailing it.

Paper or Plastic?

For those of you who have made the jump from tBooks (tree-based books) to eBooks, you can now get Stretch Marks for your Kindle or Nook, and an iBooks version is coming soon.

I’ve been slow to embrace eBooks myself, as the aesthetic experience of reading– texture, smell and so forth– can’t be replicated in plastic. I recently started using a Kindle paperwhite for nighttime reading, and now I’m doing a big chunk of my reading on it.

So whether you prefer paper or plastic, now there’s a version of Stretch Marks for you!