The box was waiting under a tree, appropriate since the books inside the box have a similar tree sprawling across the cover. The tree was at the cross-road between the drive to our house and my mother-in-law’s, which Forest pointed out also fit the title and theme of The Divorce Girl. It was 95 degrees, it took me an extra 40 minutes to get home from Kansas City because my foray into a back road’s short-cut circled me back to where I started, and I don’t get to eat the rest of today because of a colonoscopy tomorrow. But none of that mattered: I opened the box of books under the tree, lifted one out, and smiled. My 14-year-old self, who began writing this story in her head almost 40 years ago, smiled back.
Why the books were delivered to a tree rather than to our porch dates back to early spring when the UPS guy told us he wouldn’t go up our drive again until we sprung big-time for more gravel. We didn’t, he hasn’t, and so we have the delivery tree. No matter: I’ve picked up new shoes, CDs, computer parts and and discount rain jackets under that tree, sometimes just slowing down the car, opening the door, reaching down and grabbing up the package.
Now the novel is here, bigger in real life than I imagined but also just the right size at just the right time. The years between its inception and now have seen my whole life change in ways I could never have imagined when I was a teen, although even then, I loved trees and what shade and other treasurers I could find beneath them.
P.S. Thanks, Steve Semken, my publisher for not only publishing the book, but getting it so quickly from the sauna-like conditions of Iowa to the sauna-like conditions of Kansas.