Speaking of suicide...
Lately it seems that all I talk about, think about or write about is cheating the Grim Reaper. And you know what? I am completely ok with that...I think like Rumi, when it comes to life and death...I am a diver.
However, emotional scubagear aside, I can't help but recall a slightly tense conversation with my dad a few months back when I was preparing my family for the book's publication.
"Dad--I know it's not like any of us when I was little said--'Gee...I really hope Courtney grows up to become a Bell-Ringing, Whistle-Blowing, Suicide Survivin', Bipolar Poster Girl"...I get it...this is gonna be hard and like ripping some scabs off but if it'll help people then I will do it and do it with as much humility, dignity and grace as possible."
OK--that last bit might be a smidgen improvised---it was probably more of a 'Please pass the salt..' moment---you get the drift. But the Walshes are good sports for the most part and are trying to take it all in stride as much as possible. Some amazing stories and moments have already come out of this process and I hope that many more will come in the months ahead...The most encouraging and uplifting can be found here: http://www.lipstickandthongbook.com/. This is the site I update regularly so bookmark it and feel free to pass it on.
I also have another excerpt entitled "Brushes and Crushes" (because really---who among us can't relate to a coming-of-age unrequited love story?) coming out on http://www.commonties.com/ soon so that link will be posted on the book's home site when that happens. And another excerpt will appear in Dawna Markova's book, "Spot of Grace" to be published by New World Library in February of 2008.
Amidst all this excerpting, I've been in contact with several mental health organizations and will soon be doing a speaking gig for a local chapter of the Samaritans, and I'm also going to be interviewed for a Fordham University's journalism student's class project. But perhaps the weirdest and funniest thing I have done thus far? Autograph a book for Marilyn Manson. A friend of a friend's son is good friends with him and agreed to pass it along. Apparently, he likes to be called "Manson" so I signed the book: "Manson~Stay Thongtastic! Rock ON!~Courtney." Now---whether or not the lovely Mr. Manson himself ends up getting this copy or whether his maid takes it home on the bus with her has yet to be seen. But it still cracks me up anyway. If you think about it---it's really not that much of a stretch...Lipstick? Check! Thongs? Check! Death? CHECK, CHECK, CHECKAROO....One never knows. As long as he doesn't tell the Grim Reaper where to find me for at least 60 years---we're cool.
I'm just following any and all leads and taking a deep breath before I plunge back in for the next phase of the adventure...each person that emails me and tells me their story or thanks me for writing mine is another light that goes on inside me. For a long time many of the rooms in my heart had the shades pulled and the windows and doors closed. Now---with each passing day, hour, minute and second, the light and air is pouring in brighter and sweeter...while the doubt and fear are leaving in increments with dark fluttering batwings as the doves arrive and nestle in peacefully.Maybe that's not very Manson-esque...but it feels pretty damned good. And I'm continually so grateful for the new friends and soulmates I'm meeting along the way, the old faithful ones who believed in me from the beginning...and the fun, crazy, wise and wonderful ones who continue to rock on and on into the question mark with me.
Let's all take a deep breath & dive in together, shall we?