Wednesday, December 08, 2010


We've just returned from a short trip to Toronto, where we somehow managed to pull off a surprise party for my wonderful daughter Sarah. It's her 21st birthday this month, and we wanted her to be able to celebrate with all her friends in Canada. And we wanted it to be a complete surprise.
So the planning began.
If you have any experience with young women in general, you know how incredible sneaky and curious they can be. Sarah is no exception and I knew if she had the slightest suspicion that anything was going on, she'd be all over it like a dog with the Christmas ham bone. Thankfully I can also be pretty sneaky when the need arises.
I put together a Special Ops unit of close and trustworthy friends and we devised a plan. My husband and I searched the internet for the perfect location, engaged in a long debate with our team as to which date would be best for this event, and finally everything began to fall into place. I should add that we began all this back in August.
The only thing you can't plan for is the weather. Unfortunately there was a snowstorm in one part of the city that prevented some family members from getting to us. Thankfully the weather did not impede our own travel, despite warnings of gale force winds in Bermuda on Saturday, the day we flew into Toronto! Her grandparents came with us as well - she hadn't seen any of us since September!
So, was she surprised?

I think you'll agree the answer is "Yes!"

As I think about everything we did over the last few months to make this night a success, I can easily relate this to the publishing of a book. Just like planning a good party, writing a novel takes work. Time and effort. But then, once all the effort is rewarded with a publishing contract, even more work begins. Just like my daughter's party, I want my book to be a success. I would love for it to be well-received, and for people to enjoy it. The only way for this to happen of course, is for me to do a lot of planning well ahead of time, to make sure Yesterday's Tomorrow is a success. It will require a plan, a team to come alongside me and help with promotion and talking up the book, and it will take time and effort on my part. But that's all part of the process, and none of this comes as a surprise.
The only thing I won't be able to plan is the weather. Note to self: Do not schedule book signings in the middle of winter anywhere that it snows.

What about you? Are you planning anything right now? How's it going?


Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I love the picture of surprise on your daughter's face! Great post.

I feel like I'm constantly planning life. Everything seems to alter and then !BAM! I need to plan again.

Books are my favorite though to plan. What are you working on next?

Rebecca said...

that was absolutely fantastic.....what fun it must have been

Wendy Paine Miller said...

This is so cool. Makes me excited about going to see my mom in a few weeks!

I love her face in the picture--someone captured it!
~ Wendy

Catherine West said...

Yes, it's a great picture! I love nice surprises!
Have fun with your Mom, Wendy!
Rebecca, aside from the disappointment of some family members not coming due to the weather, it was a wonderful evening!
Bonnie - thanks! At the moment I am working on marketing strategies for Yesterday's Tomorrow!! But I am also trying to continue writing a novel that I'm about a quarter of the way into, called Reprisal. It's a family saga type book.

Beverlydru said...

I am so delighted to meet you. (I'm the one with the Ginger cookies today) Our youngest will be 21 in May so this planted some ideas in my brain. Love it.
I am up to lots... I'm a speaker with a book that waits to be written. Oh mercy. I could say I've written pieces of it and here and there. If I can help you as you birth your book into the form I can buy it- I'm in!

Mocha with Linda said...

What a great pic of your daughter! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's wonderful to meet you. I would love to read and review/promote your book when it's available!

Heather Sunseri said...

What an awesome picture of your daughter, Cathy! So hard to pull off a surprise like that!

Catherine West said...

Thanks, Heather!
And Linda and Beverly, I will definitely keep you posted on my book release, thanks so much for the interest!

Anonymous said...

Your daughter looks lovely! I am planning for a new career and, like a novel, it is a long process.

Joanne said...

Doesn't that picture say it all? What a beautiful moment captured. Images, words, they all capture those fleeting moments, emotions, experiences, to relive again and again. Happy Birthday to your daughter :)

Keli Gwyn said...

What a great gift you gave your daughter. She'll remember this birthday for the rest of her life. How fun it must have been to see her surprise and to celebrate this milestone birthday with her.

Terri Tiffany said...

I love surprising people! That is so nice that you did that for her:)) We surprised my daughter in Oregon when she was pregnant for her first baby. We flew in from Fla and surprised her at a restaurant where she stopped for breakfast the day of her shower.
Your book will go over wonderfully!