Sunday, November 1, 2009

Late, Random, and Sorry

Just so you know, I haven't been completely idle the last 3 weeks. In fact, I've written many fascinating blog posts in which I expound on my adventures and philosophies and general love of life. Unfortunately for you, all that writing never made it from my head through my fingertips so now you're stuck with me being very sorry and very late and now, just to catch up, very random.

1. You remember that cool thing I was doing that I couldn't tell you about? I did it. And it was cool.

2. And if you don't know what IT was, here you go: IT involved 15 hours of driving in two days with two moms and one six-month-old baby and Diet Coke and wax donuts and Corn Nuts (my husband is now cringing) and late hours of gossip at a hotel and the very best surprise I've ever managed to pull off in my entire life.

I went to Fort Collins, Colorado to see my friend, Becca, at her book launch party. Seriously, I would have driven twice as far for the look on her face when Ginger and I walked into the bookstore. Someone cried. (It actually wasn't me, which is kind of weird since I usually cry at everything.) I heard her read. I heard her talk about writing and the creation of Hush, Hush and I saw her signing a real, actual, physical book that she had written. And I sat there like a mother hen, all proud of this fabulous chick who I've watched grow over the last five years into a masterful writer. And I hoped that someday it will be me on the other side.

3. My talk about mother hens is a meaningful metaphor. Because in all the glory of Becca's night, I had a fairly severe crisis-of-confidence moment. It was when a neighbor of hers sat down next to me and asked, "Are you Becca's mother?"

4. Let's get this straight: Yes, I am older than Becca. By ten years. Which, thank you, is quite enough. And also, I look nothing like her.

5. And one more thing . . . not to sound vain, but usually people seem surprised to find out I have a sixteen-year-old. That is all.

6. I saw U2 in Las Vegas last weekend. Awesome. My husband, our best friends, and Bono. What more could you ask for?

7. Oh wait, this is me at a concert, so obviously "what else" I could ask for is someone drunk who thinks they're being more cheerful than me. Or, in this case, my husband. I had to shove a guy's hand off my husband's shoulders cause he wanted us to be happier. Yeah, touch my husband, that's going to make both of us happy.

8. Cigarettes were not the only thing being smoked in Vegas.

9. You know you're getting old (but not yet old enough to have a 30-year-old daughter) when the crowning moment of the U2 night was beating the traffic out of there.

10. Had our (9th? 10th?) annual Halloween Party Friday night. I love my friends. I love their food. I love their costumes and their laughter and their reminders of what friendship means.

11. Finally a warm night for trick-or-treating. Warm meaning that my 8-year-old didn't have to cover his Luigi costume with a ski coat and I didn't mind walking with him for over an hour.

12. It's November. That, in my world, means writing. You know how I always do my own little version of NaNoWriMo (for always read the last two years)? This year I decided to do the real thing: 50,000 words of a new project in 30 days. Of course, I was a rebel from the start because the NO in NaNoWriMo stands for novel and I didn't plan on writing a novel. I planned to write A Mother's Memoir of Childhood Cancer. (Catchy, huh?) It seemed good timing since October 28th marked one year off treatment, which means only four more years to Cancer Survivor.

13. But then my best-agent-day-in-my-career-to-date that I wrote about 3 weeks ago became my second-best day. Because this week I got a revision request from an agent. That might not sound like much, but trust me--it's a huge deal. It's the last step before signing with an agent. (That last step can, and usually does, take months, and most authors go through multiple agents asking for revisions and then deciding they still don't quite like it enough to make an offer. But it is the last step, and it's what I've been hoping for.)

14. So here I am. For NaNoWriMo, I have to write nearly 1700 words a day to meet 50,000 by the end of the month. But I have an agent--an actual, human agent who WORKS IN NEW YORK--who wants me to fix two points in my story and send it back to her if I'm willing. Let me think . . .

15. Agent wins.

16. So now I'm immersing myself in a printed copy of my manuscript and Irish history books and websites on Napoleon and planning to have a revised story ready to send by Thanksgiving.

17. But I also feel the need to start the memoir.

18. So I have a new November goal: 25,000 words of cancer-mom memoir in one month. That's only half the NaNoWriMo amount, but it will give me a good, long lead into the book.

19. And it will give me an outlet when revisions freak me out. At least in a memoir (first-draft) I don't have to think up what comes next. Or create entirely new characters.

20. Happy November to all--I'm going to start giving thanks now.

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