Anyway, since she was feeling not-so-great, she just wanted to be held all day, which to be honest isn't all that different from a normal day in the life of Clementine Pie :-) She's doing better today -- though still periodically snuffly and is now sleeping in her swing.
So, I can now resume Snoopy dancing!!! Thank you
[ha ha. Insert four-hour *interruption* here. So much for resuming Snoopy dance! I suppose that's life with a two-month-old. (And yes, I am typing this one-handed; Clementine is now asleep on my chest.)]
So. Yesterday and the mind-blowing news! My mind is scattered all over the place -- it's kind of like a butterfly zoo in there, with thoughts and ideas fluttering around and alighting for just a few seconds on this or that flower, then flittering away again. Mostly I keep thinking how this means that a lot more people will read my book, and that is amazing. Isn't that the thing we hope for? The words "National Book Award finalist" keep hitting me with a big WOW! Past years I've read the lists of finalists and blog posts about the awards ceremony and it was as remote to me as the Academy Awards. And now . . . we get to go to New York next month and be in that company and . . .
. . . maybe . . .
. . . just maybe . . .
. . . win the National Book Award.
(I still can't wrap my mind around that.)
A while ago, during that four-hour *interruption* (which was not really an interruption, but was LIFE, complete with beautiful baby in arms), I read Clementine one of my very favorite books, Max Makes a Million, by Maira Kalman. Do you know this book? This is the book that made me fall back in love with children's books as an adult (back in the '90s). It's a wonderful picture book about a dog named Max who is a poet, and who dreams of selling his book and going to live in Paris. Max says,
fat families and
around the world
will be reading my poems.
And laughing, and crying.
I feel it in my bones.
I want to say, before anything,
are very important."
A perfect book selection for today! I love the scene where Max gets "the call" from his agent.
Someone was going to sell my book.
Someone was going to buy my book."
It is a wonderful thing that we can write stories and that publishers make them available to the world, and that people read them. Thank you, publishers! Thank you, Scholastic Press and Arthur A. Levine Books, specifically Arthur Levine, for going ahead with this book, though short story collections aren't big business, and YA books aren't illustrated, and it wasn't necessarily the easiest sell.
This whole thing is also such a validation of the idea of "the discipline of fun" that I wrote about the other day -- about writing for fun. Lips Touch was written for fun. Unlike my usual process, I didn't do any outlining or planning, but just set out from writing prompts to see what would happen, and what happened was: goblins and demons and kissing, India and cemetery picnics and heartbreak, eye patches and snow and shadows reeled out on kite strings. And a lot of other stuff, all of it fun. When I sit down to write, I make an effort to turn to the mental channel I was on when I wrote this book, because I remember it as being a genuine pleasure. I was writing for myself -- myself at 16, myself now -- telling the kinds of stories that I love -- tales that are juicy and strange, both creepy and romantic, rich with weird details.
Stories that are like fairy tales sneaking out after curfew, dressed all in black.
I still don't know what to say. My laptop is cooking my lap (I've successfully set Clementine down in her boppy without waking her -- I'm typing with two hands now!), and my thoughts continue to flutter around like butterflies. As I started to say earlier before the *interruption*, thank you so much for all your happy wishes, comments, emails, and for reading Lips Touch and this blog.
Here's a smile from my smiley girl:
And an imperative, written in light (literally):