Thank You

TB is posing for me. This picture was taken two years ago – just before the kittens came into our lives. He had no idea what was about to happen to him. (Neither did I.)

This has been a terrific week.

Now, to be honest, most weeks are pretty awesome, but the week after I publish a new book is filled with generous words from you and it fills my heart.

One difficult thing for me, though, is responding in kind to your outpouring of love. ‘Thank you’ never seems to be enough when you tell me how my books have affected you in such personal ways. And yet … those are the times when you bring this mouthy girl to silence. I absorb it all and find that all I have are those two imperfectly perfect words – thank you.

I was very young when my mother spoke with me about this type of experience. As the daughter of a United Methodist minister who also played the piano and sang, I spent a lot of time performing in front of people. My sister and I sang together from an early age. People always stopped us to tell us how wonderful we sounded. As little girls, learning how to take compliments gracefully and gratefully was something that needed to be learned. It wasn’t innate. One Sunday, after I’d evidently not been gracious enough, Mom sat with me and discussed the relationship that was built between a performer and her audience. For those few minutes, that person connected with me. If they wanted to acknowledge how it made them feel, I needed to put myself in their place and ask what my expectation might be. I needed to change my perspective. The performance wasn’t about me – it was about them.

That discussion changed everything for me.

Writing and publishing these books is my job. This life is my passion and I am privileged in ways I can not describe that I can do this. I work hard and live through frustrations, fear, rejection … oh, and fear. LOL. The thing is – the end result isn’t about the published books. It’s about you. For the first time in my life, I’ve been able to be creative and establish relationships that last longer than the creative moment.

The snippets of life you share with me along the way are treasures that I hold close. I will often screw up and forget that you’ve already told me something or that your name is Donna, not Marie, or that you’ve given me your address three times already. Trust me, as soon as it happens, I feel horrible. I’m so danged human – it frustrates me more than you know. A little bit of superhero stuff would be helpful some days. But you mean the world to me.

So as I continue to do my job and you continue to respond, hopefully we will all recognize what an amazing relationship is being built here.

Sometimes all I can say is ‘thank you.’ My heart is so filled with wonder at your generosity it overwhelms my mind and I have no other words.

Thank you.

40 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. Deb

    I look forward to every new Bellingwood book. They are my escape and my guilty pleasure. Diane, your writing just keeps getting better and better. Oh, and I loved the book about Grey and how he ended up leaving his practice and driving across country!

      1. Deb

        I did not mean to offend you. Perhaps I used the term incorrectly? What I meant is that I read your books instead of doing the things I should be doing, like cleaning house and doing paperwork for school. Please forgive me.

        1. nammynools Post author

          Oh my gosh, no! I love that. I’m sorry.

          Haha – my guilty pleasures are around McDonald’s cheeseburgers and really bad 80s movies like “Xanadu.” I thought it was awesome. I’ve never been someone’s guilty pleasure before.

          1. Chris

            Hmm… my guilty pleasure, well, is just finishing the SNACKS size bag of Kettle Chips that my husband brought home in his goody bag from running the Twins Cities 5K this morning! πŸ˜†

            Hi there! I just tuned in! I’m totally enjoying this book Diane!!

              1. Chris Adam

                He said I could have them because he knows how much I love them. πŸ˜†
                Yes he’s a good husband! !πŸ’•

  2. Kathleen Vekassy

    Thank YOU for writing such great stories. They are worthwhile waiting for. I feel like I know these characters personally and that their adventures are my adventures. Live them so much so Thank you!

  3. Gloria Nelson

    It is we, your readers and fans, who should be thanking you for giving us hours of being able to escape into the world of Polly and Bellingwood. If it wasn’t you who is able to put words to paper and let us be involved in a town with friends we would all like to have in our lives, our escape from the real world would not be possible. You make it possible! The day that the current book was released, unfortunately, I was having cataract surgery and thought I wouldn’t be able to begin reading for a few days, but what a joy it was for me to find that I was able to begin reading “Boundless Dreams” that evening, and able to finish it the next day. Your books bring great joy into the lives of your readers and allow them to enter into a fantasy world that we all wish the real world would emulate. Thank you for sharing your creative talent with your readers.

      1. Deb

        Eileen, I have had both eyes done. I am probably the biggest chicken in the world and cataract surgery was easy. And, those artificial lenses they implanted have allowed me to see without glasses for the first time in 54 years! What a marvelous invention!

  4. Diane Wendt

    Everything in life is better when it’s shared . . . from one’s faith in the Lord to a cup of coffee with a friend. The words we share with you — so unbalanced because you give us so many more — fill those places in all our hearts where we keep special things. Polly once explained to Noah and Elijah that the more love you give, the more love you have to give. We’re giving to ourselves as well as to you, when we express our appreciation. It makes us feel good when we tell you how your words brightens our lives. Just saying thank you isn’t enough for us either. You’ve not just shared Bellingwood with us, you’ve shared you home and your family . . . Max’s photos, the cats antics, your sewing, Carol’s classroom, Jim’s books. It goes on and on so, of course, we have to tell you about our worlds as well. Oh, life is good!

    1. Jenny Clark

      I was getting ready to type my comment and realized I couldn’t say it any better than this! Thank you Diane for bringing this community together!! I love every post from you and from the community as a whole. I have lots more love to give!!

    2. Rachel Yeatman

      Very well said. And I agree wholeheartly. I’m not great with words but I love Diane and this whole community she has given to us all. Thank you Diane and all her readers!

  5. Valarie Moreland

    I so enjoy your books but I have told you that before! But wanted you to know that as I read I keep an eye on the percent of book read on my kindle. As the number increases I slow down because I don’t want the book to end!!! Sniff sniff. So glad you write another episode every three month. Live for the next book!!! Keep it up Lady. We love you!

  6. Shelli Moury Covell

    I read at least 2-3 books a week, because doing so allows me to leave my world behind for a period of time and escape from my worries and woes. However, the other books have just become “time fillers” until it’s time for another adventure with Polly. I love your stories, your characters, and your town and am eternally grateful to you for introducing me to them all. Thank YOU!

    1. nammynools Post author

      A friend asked the other day if I *had* to read the other night or was I able to just fall asleep. I lost it – laughing out loud. HAD TO? My sister goes to bed an hour before she needs to go to sleep so she has time to read at night. Me, I just stay up until I can’t stand it. But then I don’t have to stand in front of a fifth grade class. I love being able to escape!

  7. Susan

    I always look forward to the 25th of the month. Whether it’s a new letter, a look into a character with a short essay or the big one, a new book. I feel like I know the characters. They are people I could actually hang out with. Thank you for making them seem so real. Thank you for writing books that I can’t wait to read even though I am sad when I’m done.

  8. Trudi-Grete Johansen Brook

    I was sat in the canteen having my lunch and reading your book. I had only got to chapter 3. Well I must say I was glad I was on my own, as my eyes began to fill up reading that chapter. I get so involved with the character that I feel what they are feeling and knowing how Polly felt due to Henry’s accident, I just couldn’t stop my eyes filling up. I had to stop reading and just concentrate on eating my lunch ha ha. Thank you for another lovely book. I can only read a chapter or two a day but it just means I can enjoy the book a bit longer πŸ™‚

  9. Elizabeth Drage

    Hi Diane, I love your books, thank you for the time and effort you put in to making Polly and her family and friends so real to all of us. Getting a new book is like receiving a letter from a close friend with all their news. I read it quickly to take it all in then reread it slowly to savour it. I’m not a school teacher but until retirement two years ago I ran a school library. We linked with authors, I wish I had known about you then, it would have been fun for us all.

  10. Michele Hicks

    Every time there is a new book, it feels like I have taken a trip to see old friends or family. It is a pleasant escape from work and daily chores. And it is an escape because I usually can’t stop reading until I finish the book. Thank you for my little trip every 3 months!

  11. Marbeth Carmack

    I love you Diane and feel as if I know you through the tidbits of your life that you share. I think of you as a friend and would hope if we lived close that we would be. I love Polly and everyone and everything about Bellingwood They are so real to me that I wish I could meet them.

    I am anxious to see what Polly’s next adventure will be.

    Keep writing and being your awesome self.

  12. Anne

    I started Book 19 last night. I read a few chapters before bed and will read some more before bed tonight. I love your stories of Bellingwood and I look forward to each new book and each new adventure. Thank you for writing these books. I am trying to read this book slowly, as I don’t want the stories to end.

  13. Kate

    Thank you for this story. I couldn’t put it down naughty of me as I was supposed to be making card for a craft fayre. I’ll reread it tomorrow slowly to slip into.such a warm caring community. Then I can call my Dad and have a blether about Polly`s latest adventure. May you continue to enjoy writing these stories that give so many of us such pleasure. Take care x

      1. Kate

        Yes my cards were done . I think your creativity must have rubbed off on me as I was in the zone on Monday ideas were coming faster than my fingers could move. Maybe it should be compulsory for everyone to read 2 chapters a morning from Polly`s life imagine what the affect it would have on the world. Sorry might be too much pressure on you to produce faster.

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