An Abundance of Coincidence

So I have a book launching soon. Like in less than two weeks. And you might’ve heard about it once or fifty times because I keep sharing updates on Facebook. And Twitter. And this blog. And Instagram. And my newsletter. And OHMYGOSHHOWSICKOFMEAREYOU?

It should be a hashtag. #toomuchjulie

(But please don’t make that a hashtag.)

Because things are going to get worse.

You see, I also have a son launching soon. Like in less than three months. And I will be sharing updates about his graduation and my pride (and also tears and OHMYGOSHHOWWILLWEPAYFORCOLLEGE) on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. This blog. My newsletter.


You don’t have to be an English teacher to see the analogy. After years of preparation, I’m releasing both my first novel and my first child into the world within the same short span of time.

On the one hand, this coincidence is overwhelming. I can scarcely process the emotions and still refuse to look directly at the horse.

On the other hand, this coincidence is a blessing. I can’t get too worked up about the prospect of a bad review or about poor sales or about someone disliking my main characters or my themes or my beginning/middle/end once these elements have all gone beyond my reach.


Because my actual real live baby is going beyond my reach. Alone.

baby jack

Which impels me to say again how damn proud I am of Jack. I’ve never lived farther than 30 miles from the place I was born and now my son is flying to another state where he’ll eat and sleep and study and livelovelaugh among strangers without me there to hug him daily.

Without #toomuchmommy.

(Deep breaths.)

Likewise, Letters for Scarlet is flying off into the hands of strangers; people who aren’t automatically rooting for me and hearing the story in my voice and telling me they loved reading it and buying extra copies because they’re related to me or we went to school together or I used to be their teacher or we joke together on the internet or something.

Truth: Letting go of both Jack and Scarlet concurrently makes me a little sick to my stomach.

But if I can hand my sweet baby boy over to this world and trust that he’ll be okay; if I can believe he WILL find support in his new home— and new people to care for him, new friends, new reasons to livelovelaugh—surely I can hand over my book.

(Deep breaths.)

Now forgive me while I tell you AGAIN that the Kindle edition of Letters for Scarlet is available for preorder here, and the print edition launches on April 4th. 


And my novella Guest List is a prequel to the events in Letters for Scarlet. You can download it here for FREE NOW. It takes a second and would be much appreciated. Also it’s free. No such thing as #toomuchfree. Right?


Lastly, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do that here and receive a FREE sample of my memoir, Running with Pencils. Afterward, about once a month (or so) I’ll send you a quick email with deals and news on my books. But only when there’s something important to share.


Oh wait. One more thing: It’s this guy, then and now and always. Until forever. #toomuchgrowingup

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23 thoughts on “An Abundance of Coincidence

  1. Oh Julie. My heart. And THOSE PICTURES. I will be cheering from the sidelines for all of the greatness to come your (and your son’s) way.

    • Thanks, KTP. Having you in my life during this crazy time is a gift. I’m so grateful.

  2. Laurel

    Tears!! Applause!! Excitement!!

    • Yes! All those things! In abundance!

  3. To me there can never ever be #toomuchjulie. But yes, for sure, #toomuchgrowingup. Again, you nailed it with your beautiful, beautiful words.

    I know exactly how you feel, my friend (as you know). Both launching a kid is equal parts exciting and terrifying (or is that terrible?). Well, maybe a little bit more exciting. And wonderful.

    People will love you son and love your book. This I know for sure. And you are right (again) deep breaths (and wine) help. A lot.

    • Awww, thanks Charlene, my friend who has been there first and who managed this with humor and grace. And wine. I’ll be looking to you for commiseration in the aftermath of both these launches. I’ll bring the Cabernet.

  4. Mom

    From my perspective you are launching two masterpieces! Also, I love all the hashtag references used here. xo

    • Mom, you’re the coolest.

  5. #toomuchjulie? #impossible.

    So excited for your book. You will be offering signed copies for us, right? To get from you, right? Because OBVIOUSLY I need one on my #shelfoffame

    I’m excited for your Jack, too. I have a Jack who is a year behind yours in the race to being sort of grown up, and my breath catches, even though he isn’t my own baby, he’s still my first baby and ohmyheart how is he a man-creature at boarding school, applying to Princeton and traveling the globe? All the best to your Jack, and how can he not livelovelaugh wherever he goes, because he knows he has you to come home to?

    • I have loved reading about your Jack, and understand exactly how baffling it is to see our babies become men.
      #toosoon and yet miraculous.
      And wonderful, indeed.

  6. Sweet Jack! I have a feeling both of your babies are going to find a warm welcome as they move into the next phase of their lives.

    • I surely hope so. More than just about anything.

  7. Diane

    #toomuchjulie, never! The thought of Jack not being around is almost unthinkable. We will all miss him on so many levels. I know that both he and LFS will do well and I can’t wait to watch them both thrive! XXXOOO

    • I can’t either, Di. And I’m glad you’ll be here when all my babies are gone 🙂

  8. Allison

    I’m already planning my trip up to Eugene this fall and have told my girlfriends that I’ll be bringing jack to dinner. Because it’s super cool to hang out with your third grade teacher in college #toomuchteacher?

    • Ha! No such thing as #toomuchteacher or Jack would have been wrecked long ago! I can’t wait to see pics of this dinner. The future is looking brighter already 🙂

  9. Thom

    If your novel is half as good as your posts and your blog it’ll be a huge hit. I love reading your perspective. Don’t worry, I’ll buy extras!

    As a Boy Scouts leader for 6 years, I’m confident based on your concern/dialog that your son has more social and communication skills than the majority of boys his age thanks to you & your husband. He had good models and will now go out and make mostly good choices. We all survived and he will too! You remember what a slacker I was back then 🙂

    Best of luck to both of you!

    • Thom,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about my writing and especially about Jack. Coming from someone I’ve respected for decades, your point of view means so much!

  10. Well, at least when you give birth to your book you’ll be having a very different kind of labor pain….right? Either way, you should be proud of both births as you’ve done a meticulous job as the author of both babies. Congratulations!

  11. There is nothing I can tell you to prepare you for the drive home without them.

    But I’ll be here , friend. Call, message, DM, PM, text: I am here.

    Congrats on both masterpieces.

    So much love you, my friend.

  12. What do they say about going big, sounds like you are doing it.

  13. I forbid the use of #toomuchjulie! No such thing!
    And yeah, lots of launching for you this spring. Wow!

  14. Umm so I didn’t comment on this?? I was so sure I had! Okay, well, you need to know I’m with Nina up there. There can never be too much Julie. No way. I loved your book so much. Can’t wait to see it everywhere. ❤️

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