maybe i’ve written a successful novel

a friend read my novel last night and this morning on the bus he couldn’t stop talking to me about it. then i got an email from a friend in DC saying he’d given the book to a few of his friends and they really liked it and wanted their own copies. then another friend came and gave me $10 because she wanted to buy a copy that i’d given her awhile ago and that she wants to read it. yesterday a student read it and said he liked it, that he’d change a few things, but that it’s a good story.

odd. i’ve felt failure and silence with this book. this is because i set the limits of success and failure at having the book published by a publisher. but what happened today and yesterday with the book is success. this friend had a light in his eyes from the story, the characters, the voice. he wanted to talk about religion and politics and psychology and love and the midwest and christianity…all the things i’ve ever wanted my writing to do: spark interest in the truth, in what is, in what it is to be human.

in 2008 i left 25 copies of it all around new york city. in 2009 i left 75 copies of it all around the country. maybe there are people who are reading it and liking it out there. maybe it’s successful.

maybe i’ve written a successful novel.

(just had an idea: maybe i could go on a hunt for the books i left in new york as a publicity event, doing readings and asking people if they have a copy to come meet me and talk about why they picked it up.)

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