I thought it would be a good idea before beginning the revisions on This World We Live In to print a calendar and cross off the dates that I use in the book. The editor wants me to add some stuff, so by finding which dates were available, I could squeeze the new entries there.
The calendar looked much better before Scooter got his teeth in it. The book, however, will be much better now the editor has gotten her teeth in it.
Printing the calendar reminded me that June 1 (aka today) is the first anniversary of the official publication date for the dead and the gone. It's also the anniversary of my party in celebration of 75 books published. And because I was in a bad mood over the rent increase in the lease, it brought back a memory of my feeling last summer that after three years of non-stop good news, things were going to level out, and I was in for some bad times.
I did have bad times during the past year. My cat Alexander died, and then my other cat Emily pined away and died. In the late fall, I adopted Charlotte the kitten, only to have her die ten days later. I still feel all three of those losses very deeply, although it certainly does help to have Scooter playing at the keyboard even as I type this.
In addition, my mother fell twice and cracked a rib. There was a separate health worry about her. An uncle I loved dearly died. And two people I'm close to are angry at me (in both cases, they're right to be).
Professionally, there were problems as well. It was very upsetting when my editor left Harcourt, and it hasn't been the smoothest sailing since then.
But the great thing was when I remembered my conviction that this would be a bad year, I also remembered that I'd forgotten that conviction. It completely slipped my mind that I was due for bad times and should anticipate a whole slew of them. Most likely I forgot because I was so busy having a good time. I traveled all over the United States for business and pleasure, and met wonderful people wherever I went. I sold and wrote This World We Live In, and take enormous pride in it. I sold the audio rights to it before I wrote a single word, and have also sold German rights to the first two books and French rights to all three. Life As We Knew It won four awards as well as being the One Book New Jersey 2009 teen selection, and was on a New York Times best seller list three different weeks. All across America, schools are using one or another of the books for classwide, even schoolwide, reads. I've heard from extraordinary teachers and librarians, as well as from readers throughout the world. My health is great, my mother's health is great, and this particular June 1 is bright and shining and full of promise.
Oh, and it turns out I misread the lease, and my rent isn't going up after all. My mother says I can buy myself another diamond bracelet.
In celebration of all this good news, and in honor of the six week anniversary of Scooter's entering my life, I got him a remarkably obnoxious cat toy. Thank goodness he's lost it already. But here he is, in all his 3 and 1/2 month old glory. Note, if you will, the little piece of pink yarn on the floor. It turns out the reason I can never find my place in Mistress of the Monarchy is because Scooter keeps pulling the bookmark out, so he can bite off its tassel.
It's a good life for kittens and their feeders!