Exciting Times and An Empty Nest: My Book Launch







So reads the official launch announcement my publisher put together for me.


It is exciting.


I am excited.


Truly. My rocket book is launched.



For the past seven years my singular passion was to put to paper the experiences I had while  my husband and I were Peace Corps volunteers in Kazakhstan.


For most of those years, my routine was set: eat breakfast, write, eat lunch, read about writing, eat dinner, research about writing. For the last two years the routine has been slightly different: eat breakfast, edit, eat lunch, edit, eat dinner, edit.  You get the idea.   Now, the book is launched and I am wondering what will come next.


With thanks to www.eatdrinkandrun.com
With thanks to www.eatdrinkandrun.com


This is new for me, this empty nest. I’ve heard often enough of mothers who didn’t like  the emptiness. I keep waiting to be miserable. But I’m not. I’m enjoying this particular emptiness.


Well, to be fair, my life is not empty. I’ve got a book tour to fine tune, blogs to write, chickens to feed. I’ve got a husband who misses me if I’m not around (never mind a mother who lives at the end of my driveway).


And, I’ve got a granddaughter who’s in that stage where she likes to write letters to her grandmother. Needless to say, I’m taking full advantage of this.  (Hello, Isabella).


I still sing tenor in our local hospice choir, and I’m still serving on our town’s Planning Commission. But I’ve done those things for a few years now.  Through it all, my book was my singular obsession.

Photo taken by Conrad F. Bowdensupplied by David N. Murray
Photo taken by Conrad F. Bowden supplied by David N. Murray via BassHavenYachtClub.com

With the launch of my boat book I find I no longer have the passion, the obsession pulling me in one particular direction as I had for the last seven years.

AND I’m OK with that. It heightens my curiosity, wondering what direction I’ll go in next. I have no doubt that I’ll be pulled again, soon enough. But for the moment, I’m trying to sit in and enjoy the emptiness of having no requirements, no deadlines, no demands, no assumptions.


With thanks to www.jenningswire.com
With thanks to www.jenningswire.com

The Oxford English dictionary isn’t so happy with my emptiness.  Here’s what “they” have to say:




noun: emptiness

the state of containing nothing “the vast emptiness of space”


void, vacuum, empty space, vacuity, gap, vacancy, hollowness, hole, lack “She had filled an emptiness in his life”

the quality of lacking meaning or sincerity; meaninglessness. “He realizes the emptiness of his statement”

Sounds pretty bleak.  Still, I’m hanging in there, staying empty, open, ready for what may come next, what WILL come next.  And that’s exciting.


HOW ABOUT YOU? Have you a similar story of waiting to find your new direction?   How do you deal with “emptiness,” the “not knowing?”

12 Responses

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger
    | Reply

    Tenor?? I sing, too,(soprano) and we have one woman who sings tenor. Our choir is 90 strong and travels to England and Europe (those that can afford it).

    What an interesting life. I wish you luck with the tour and the book.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Yvonne, do tell me more about your choir. What type of music? Where are you located?

      • Yvonne Hertzberger
        | Reply

        It’s the Stratford Concert Choir in Stratford Ontario, Canada. We sing classic, sacred, broadway and contemporary (some) and sing about 5 concerts locally each year. Then several members travel, mostly to England, to perform classical sacred music. They have sung several times in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Unfortunately, although I was invited, i couldn’t afford to go with them. I love to sing. It’s therapy for me, always lifts my spirits.

  2. Frank Moore
    | Reply

    Pop the cork on the champagne!! Congratulations on a terrific accomplishment. Also, I can assure you that you need not concern yourself about “emptiness”. Nature abhors a vacuum, and you’ll find that vacuum rapidly wanting to fill up with “stuff”. But, I think I know you well enough to also know that you will decide and control what “stuff” comes to occupy the void. 🙂

  3. Janet
    | Reply

    Thanks Frank. You’ve made me smile. I’m working on a reading in Onancock this fall. I hope you’ll join us.

  4. Kathleen Pooler
    | Reply

    You are definitely singing my song, Janet. The problem is I decided to embark upon a website upgrade along with my book launch so have to be entrenched in that. My website is down until all the upgrades are done–poor timing on my part. I live and learn along the way. I’m looking forward to that empty nest feeling you speak of. Enjoy and congratulations on your successful book launch!

  5. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    Congrats on the book launch, Janet. The rocket image is superb. I’m still filling the fuel tank on my rocket if you want to know the truth. So honored to follow in the footsteps of successful writers like you, Kathy, and many others.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Welcome back, Marian. Your consistent and positive presence here on my blog over these past many months has been of great value to me. So, all this support goes in two directions. Enjoy the process of writing that memoir. I look back on it now like I often do with my kids — I was so intent on getting them “launched” and independent, I didn’t take the time to really enjoy the moments I had. Same with the book: I really enjoyed writing it (and rewriting it, ad nauseum). So, enjoy this stage. Really. I envy you in a way.

  6. Sharon Lippincott
    | Reply

    Empty nest? I give you another three days. Enjoy! I always feel like I just gave birth when a new book arrives. But books don’t keep you up all night or demand feedings every 3 hours. With books you can enjoy the cuteness and play with them without all the mess. Do have fun and play, because life is to short to foster a needy book.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      You make me laugh, Sharon. Thank you. And your latest book, Adventures of a Chilihead, also makes me laugh. I have to stop reading it before bed; it wakes me up too much.

  7. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Hi Kathy, Indeed we do “iive and learn along the way.” We’d have it no other way, too. Huh. Good luck with the website. You’re right, this is NOT the time to lose your social media hub. Fortunately, your following is dedicated enough to wait out the storm. We’ll all be here when you are back up and running.

  8. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Yvonne, the chorus I used to be in also tours overseas. And alas, we have yet to travel with them. Someday, perhaps, we’ll sing together. That’d be fun. Thanks for filling in some of the blanks for me. You must be near the Shakespeare Festival then, yes?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a blog you'd like to share? I use CommentLuv Click here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.