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  • Writer's pictureDixie Frantz

A Book Club's Embrace

The subject of this post is a little history on A Joyful Embrace: A Memoir. Back when Mimi's book was in "proof mode," I snapped some photos of my awesome family with the "almost published" book. Notice one such photo of grandsons Ben and Jacob with a proof. The gray line down the middle of the book is the big giveaway. It reads, "Not for Resale." Did you know before a book is published, the author has the opportunity to print proofs? The idea is it would obviously be the best time to make any last minute changes before publication.

For this post, I also have some of the lovely members of my book club featured with a published version. Earlier this year, I offered each member a proof. Even though I had it professionally checked for typos and annoying grammar issues, I knew some of those little pesky boogers can slip through cracks and crevices. I have seen it firsthand while writing my humor column. I would probably read and re-read a column over a dozen times before gingerly pushing the "send" button to my editor. Yet still I'd sometimes found a misspelled word, or a forgotten comma, after the newspaper smacked my driveway. Each found typo felt like a boulder rolling around in my mouth! Not only is it difficult to write a book ... it is hard, to nearly impossible, to get it perfect.

I am happy to report all those months ago these literary-loving ladies found about a dozen mistakes for me to correct. My thought in writing this book was to make it the best it could be and they helped me deliver. I do not take their kindness and time commitment lightly. They had to read over 78,000 of my words!

While the book club had "read" Mimi's book, we had never formally discussed it. That was until last month when it was my turn to host. I also made up discussion questions. It was the perfect way to start and now I have questions to bring to future book clubs. I so appreciated their insights and thoughts. We talked about CPS, those long waiting lists for services for those with disabilities, the importance of networking, middle school drama, our caring community, and relationships.

The kinds of books we read, and the people doing the reading, are an important way to bring about understanding. I have learned so much from the books I have read with these ladies and their thoughtful discussions.

If you know of a book club that would consider reading Mimi's book, I would love to join in the discussion!

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