Almost Famous

The other day, my father reminded me that when I was around four or five, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would announce without hesitation: “A famous writer and artist!” I was passionate about writing and drawing even as a little tyke at the kitchen table with my crayons, paints, paper, and those fat red pencils. I couldn’t imagine any other life for myself, and this has never changed.

No, I’m not famous. But two days ago, when I walked into the bookstore where I work and saw MY BOOK, Being Henry David, in a double face-out in the Young Adult section, near truly famous names like Laura Halse Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Meg Cabot and Libba Bray, I admit I felt like an almost-famous version of myself.


Except that I imagine the truly famous people are way cooler and more controlled than I am. I took one look at my book on the shelf, and burst into tears. Now I’m a crier in general (bursting into tears is my default go-to emotion), but I didn’t feel the tears coming on, didn’t expect to flail the way I did. But I couldn’t help it. That surreal, happy, floaty feeling grew and grew, and overflowed right out of my damn eyeballs. Dream-come-true tears. Yep, it’s been a long, long time since I was four years old, but if I could go back in time, I’d give that little girl at the kitchen table a big ol’ hug, hand her another stack of paper, and say, “keep it up, sweetie.”


Filed under BHD Journey

8 responses to “Almost Famous

  1. Elmer Schirmer

    You may not remember me from CUMC but I remember you very well. Enjoyed your talent of your voice and acting with Community Players.
    Was glad to hear of you now being an author. I wish continued success in all you do in the future.
    Elmer Schirmer

  2. Cal, all those weeks and weekends spent together, hunkered down in Boothbay or Waterville Valley or one of our homes, trying to summon the muse…and finally a published novel, not to mention a very talented author, has bubbled to the surface! So unbelievably proud of you and your accomplishments — you’re one of the hardest working and most deserving writers I know. I am fortunate to have you as a colleague and dear friend.

    • Cal

      Thanks so much, Amy…you got me all teared up here. You have no idea how much I appreciate your friendship, as well as your creative input. I can’t wait to celebrate when your novel is published! (The world is waiting for Angel’s story!)

  3. Nancy Brown

    How far you have flown. I am amazed.
    Congratulations on the publication of book. I have already ordered a copy. You owe me an autograph.

    Nancy Brown

    • Thanks, Nancy! And yes, I promise you an autograph. 🙂

    • Cal

      Thanks so much, Nancy! Yeah, you knew me back in the day when i did most of my writing to my pen pals. 🙂

      • Nancy Brown

        I KNEW I should have kept all those letters… 🙂 Just imagine what they’d be worth now! 🙂

        Well your book just arrived at my home from Amazon. Sad to say I have not read an actual physical book in forever thanks to my Kindle. At least I can hope to have you sign it one day so that I can place it on the shelf next to my autographed copies of Bette Midler’s “A View From A Broad”, John Gregory Dunne’s “True Confessions”, and (kneeling as she types this) Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”. Good company, yes?

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