I've never been good at selling myself. I am horrible in interviews and wretched during auditions. My nerves get so overwhelming to me that I never put my best self forward. Neither have I had any bigger than life dreams. There were a few accomplishments that I worked for and achieved, but nothing out of the ordinary. A meaningful career and a strong relationship. These are enough for me.
But others pushed me to go outside my comfort zone, and they are the reason that I am able to say, "my book went into publication today". Friends and colleagues generated excitement when I couldn't conjure up my own. My students had dreams which forced me to figure out how to make their dreams come true. My family gave me a firm base that would never be shaken.
It's still surreal to realize that people will read my words. It's terrifying that people will judge my talent. But it's exciting to achieve something bigger than I ever imagined before. So, the dedication for my book After Genevieve reads as follows: "To my Father, Raymond Michael Wiren, Jr., who always dreamed more for me than I ever dreamed for myself."
And it's true. My dad always believed I was more. He assumed I was smarter, wiser, funnier and sometimes even prettier than I could ever live up to. His dreams forced me to become a writer. So while he's in heaven now, I still want to take this time on this earth to say, "Thank you, Dad."