I’m not gonna lie. I had a pretty great February.
In the middle of the month I turned 30. There was a lot of pasta and prosciutto. There was a bar that let me play my favorite movies on a big screen all night long while my best friends gave me hugs and made me laugh. There was the realization that 30 isn’t so scary, or that it is sort of scary but maybe in the good, liberating, adventurous way and not in the monsters-under-the-bed, life-ending sort of way.
A week later I was in Dublin celebrating my niece’s first birthday and my brother’s wedding, and anticipating a post-wedding trip to Paris that promised to be full of cheese and snow, two of my favorite things.
And in the middle of a jet-lagged nap on my first day in Dublin, my wonderful agent, Victoria Marini called with News. The kind of News that in some dreamworld version of life would be really fun to celebrate in Paris. I am not often in a dreamworld version of life. I’m usually in the version of life where the barista gives me an iced mocha instead of a hot one and the subway smells like feet and Something Else and I am missing the crucial part of the vacuum cleaner that actually allows me to vacuum. I am usually cozy in my cafe writing during the day and pretty sure I’m watching too much TV at night and wishing someone had texted me when no one did, and wondering if the party this weekend will be fun or awkward. I am usually in the version of life where lots of little things are wonderful and lots of other little things are terrible, and on the whole things are fine and I can come up with plenty of things to discuss with my therapist, but that I’m basically okay as long as I don’t see a mouse in my apartment, which I haven’t for a few years because I am now an Adult. (see above: turning 30)
But in February I was in the dreamworld version of my life. My agent called to let me know the fabulous Anica Rissi at Katherine Tegen Books was buying LIFE BY COMMITTEE, my next YA novel, and one other as-yet-unnamed YA novel.
Also, I hadn’t slept in forty-eight hours, adding to the dreaminess of the whole affair. For the next week I celebrated in Paris. It snowed the whole time. The Notre Dame is unreal in the snow. I ate two cheese plates a day. I took one hundred pictures of the Eiffel Tower as it transitioned from its sturdy daytime look to its sparkly, other-worldly nighttime look. The hotel had fleur de lis wall paper and down the street were the best ham and cheese sandwiches ever made, due in large part to excessive butter.
Katherine Tegen Books would be publishing my next two YA novels and everything I ate was smothered– I mean absolutely swimming– in butter.
February was good. And 30 seems like it will be okay. And someday I will find that missing part of my vacuum cleaner.