Last week was very busy, and I'm spending today resting and recovering (tomorrow I'll spend fasting, which will help me recover from all the crazy eating I've done over the past few days. Make that weeks. Oh heck, make that months).
It was really a great week, even if it was a tiring one. Last Sunday I went to Virginia and stayed overnight at my friend Renee's, who I haven't seen since we went to the World Figure Skating Championship in LA last March. Renee is very worldly and sophisticated, and I live in constant hope that some of that will rub off on me. It never does.
Renee is doing genealogy, both for herself and her friends. She located my mother's father (and my Great Uncle Joe) online as they got off their boat and landed in Baltimore. I'm not a big genealogy person, but I did like Renee's story of how she worked out the family tree of a friend of hers and discovered that friend was a direct descendant of Lady Godiva.
Monday, I spoke at two schools as part of Fall For The Book, and I had a good time at both of them. Very nice students, very nice adults. Then I drove home, discovered the first pass whatevers waiting for me, and spent Tuesday reading This World We Live In and making the smallest of changes.
I may have also done some kvetching around then.
Wednesday, I went in to NYC and had lunch with my UK publisher. I wore my new black sweater with ruffles, which I showed off to my publisher ("See? See the ruffles?"). She was unruffled herself, but I didn't hold that against her. It's possible, after all, that ruffles are an American thing.
In spite of her lack of ruffles, my UK publisher is a totally delightful person. She showed me very rough drafts of the new covers they're going to have for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In. Very different from what they had before and very different from the US covers. When the cover designs are finalized, she'll email them to me, and if I can get my blogging skills to do it, I'll post them here.
My UK publisher mentioned in passing that she's a direct descendant of Charles Dickens. As it happens, although I didn't feel the need to tell her, I am a direct descendant of someone who once read a novel by Charles Dickens. Under ordinary circumstances, I probably would have let that drop oh so casually, but she was overwhelmed by the ruffledness of my sweater, so I kept the info to myself.
Thursday morning I mailed off the first pass whatevers (which I didn't have time to mail on Wednesday and besides, it turned out I didn't have an envelope in the apartment big enough for them, so I had to buy one which really added to the amount of time it took), and then I drove to Sandwich, MA to speak Friday morning at Sandwich High School, where Life As We Knew It and/or The Dead And The Gone were their summer reading books.
My ego may never be the same. I even got to see homework assignments based on my books.
In addition to the basic ecstasy of being in a room with people who've actually read what I've written, the people themselves were incredibly nice. It was a wonderful experience, a perfect ending to a really great week.
The only professional news I have is kind of anti-news. Listening Library has postponed the publication date of its audiobook version of This World We Live In from January to April 13. -*69++++++++++++++++++ (Scooter just walked over the keyboard to climb on the printer and eat whatever he could find and I kind of like his addition so I'm not backspacing it out).
I always thought it was a little strange to have the audiobook come out three months before the real book did, so I'm not complaining. I bet Harcourt isn't either.
Clearly it's lunchtime for Scooter and for me as well. I need to eat everything in the house today to make my fast tomorrow easier (there'll be no temptation to eat if there's no food in the house!).
Here's to a new year where we all write as well as Charles Dickens and dress even better than Lady Godiva!