Friday, March 21, 2008

Everything You Want

A box of books arrived at my doorstep this week: twenty-five copies of Everything You Want. It was almost dizzying to pull back the flaps and see all those beautiful blue books. And then to pick one up and hold it my hands! There is nothing in the world more exciting to me than the moment when a novel I’ve worked on for years (and years and years) suddenly materializes as an actual book.

This particular book, as opposed to all the various books it might have been.

The genesis of Everything You Want was a major motorcycle accident that my husband, Steve, had in 1988. He spent part of that summer in the hospital, then several months at home in a hospital bed, recuperating. I was the nurse, housekeeper, cook, visitor coordinator…whatever. I was so exhausted that one evening I collapsed into a chair in the sick room, put my head on a pile of laundry and slept three hours sitting there. I looked horrible, washed-out and gray; if I was grocery shopping and spotted someone I knew, I’d duck down another aisle so they wouldn’t see me.

Invariably, when I did see people, they’d comment on the accident, “Oh, my god. How awful!”

“It was, it is,” I’d agree. “But…”

And that’s where the book began.

I’d find myself cataloging all the lovely things that had happened because of the accident. Our friends were wonderful, providing moral and “real” support—i.e. the meals that appeared on a daily basis those first weeks at home. We realized in a way we’d never realized before how close our family was, how we could count on each other. And there’s nothing like nearly losing someone to remind you how much you love him.

What if….

Something as large as Steve’s accident happened, but it was something fabulous? People would say, “You’re so lucky,” and you’d agree, but…

Steve always plays the lottery, he always believes he’s going to win. (He hasn't, so far.)

Years ago, I was at a party and someone told a very funny story about her college-age daughter who rescued a goose from a psych experiment and brought it home to live in the pond near their home.

A quote from Ram Dass. “Each person gets their karmuppance. If you focus on God, you get God. If you want power, you get power. If you want more of something, you get it. The horror of it is that you get everything you want.”

Thus, Emma, Mac, Abby, Julie—and Freud, the goose who laid the golden egg, were born.

"A lucky lotto win, and suddenly there are fifty million reasons to be happy.

So what’s the problem?"

Read it and find out!


andystardust said...

Congratulations, Shoup!

Emily said...

I just bought a copy! Congratulations and thank you!