Confession: Every time I read a review, both from trade magazines and readers, my heart hammers so hard I can't breathe. It is exactly how I felt watching my children climb the steps to the school bus on the first day of kindergarten.
If the review is good, I experience the same joyful my-baby-is-fine feeling as when my girl skipped down those same steps at the end of her first day, face shining with pride at her own independence. Look! She can carry herself into the world.
If the review isn't so good, well, that feels a lot like when my boy finished his first day of kindergarten.
Here's what happened. I spotted him in his bench seat as the bus rolled down our road, saw his face split with a grin as he spied us waiting for him at the end of the driveway, watched him stand and wave as he made his way to the bus aisle and then ... cried out with him as the bus continued right past us.
I chased that bus two blocks, jumping over decorative boulders (they're a thing) and dodging mailboxes, waving my arms like a crazy woman, screaming, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" until the bus finally did, in fact, stop, and my sobbing boy stumbled out from behind the folding doors and into my arms.
The thing is, I can't really do that with not-so-nice reviews. I mean, inside I sort of do. But outside, I just nod, try to learn from what was said and move on. (Mostly.)
Thankfully, I've only had a few negative reviews.
And reviews are starting to trickle in for A Blind Guide to Stinkville.
This Goodreads review makes me so blissfully happy that I've read it three times this morning.
My favorite part is: "Lots of great discussion about what it means to have a disability and what it means to be successful. This story was endearing and and wonderful. I can't wait to share it with others."
Publishers Weekly also read A Blind Guide to Stinkville. "Using a lively first-person narrative, Vrabel (Pack of Dorks) presents a rare glimpse of what it is like to navigate new territory while legally blind. Alice’s road isn’t always an easy one, but her journey will be inspiring to readers, especially those who have struggled with a disability."
My baby is just fine.