Best Birthday Present Ever
12:00am: Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear me, happy birthday to me! I am now 33 years old (which is, my husband points out, a third of the way to 99). I think that's a lovely number. It's so symmetrical. And it is the year in which my dream will come true... in a little less than one month, INTO THE WILD hits the shelves! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
12:30am: As my first birthday present, we are going to sleep before 2am. It's been a long, long time since I've gone to sleep before 2am. We always have way more to do (emails to send, chapters to revise, errands to run, work to do, laundry to ignore, etc.) that can fit into a normal waking day. I have never been so busy in my entire life. Never.
8:00am: It's my birthday morning! Yay! My husband gave me one of my book jackets, framed. I cannot begin to describe the awesomeness that is my husband. Check it out:
8:30am: Still staring at the framed book jacket.
8:44am: It's soooooo pretty. The silver frame matches the shiny silver stripe.
8:53am: I like shiny.
8:54am to 11:45am: Incessant checking of emails (otherwise known as "my day job").
11:45am: Husband calls to invite me to lunch. I agree to leave home in two minutes. Suddenly have brainstorm for how to fix a fussy paragraph in chapter fourteen of Super Secret Book Two (not its real title). Type out the new paragraph, put on my shoes, check my email again, tell my day job that I'm going out to lunch, fix a sentence in chapter eight, and head out the door.
11:47am: Drive to lunch.
12:00pm: Cheesesteaks are greasy.
12:30pm: 33-year-olds shouldn't eat cheesesteaks.
12:35pm: 33-year-olds REALLY shouldn't eat cheesesteaks.
1:00pm: Swing by super-special comfy shoe store to look for super-special comfy shoes to wear at Book Expo America. (My publisher is sending me to BEA next week -- yay! Since it's my first time at BEA, I've been asking everyone I've met what to expect and how to make the most of it. They all say, "Wear comfortable shoes." And then they get this really serious expression on their face, take a deep breath, and say, "And bring a big bag. No, I mean a BIG bag. There are FREE BOOKS there. Bring a BIG BAG." Anyway, I think I'm going to bring my Class of 2k7 tote bag, but I don't know about the shoes.)
1:07pm: Found the perfect shoes! (This is a rather big deal for me. I am a horrible shoe shopper. I own one pair of sneakers, one pair of boots, one pair of black shoes, and one pair of white shoes that I wore at my wedding nine years ago.)
1:10pm: Discover they don't have my size. Leave in sadness.
1:20pm: Return home. As I'm walking in my front door, the FedEx truck pulls up. He (the FedEx guy, not the truck itself) is holding a book-sized package. It's addressed to me. The return address is Razorbill. MY BOOK IS INSIDE. The very first hardcover copy of INTO THE WILD that I will ever see is inside this package. I know it is. I can feel it. I can practically smell it. I won't try to taste it because that would be weird.
1:21pm: Place package with book on chair. Step away slowly.
1:23pm: Resume checking email. Why haven't any of my MySpace friends wished me a happy birthday? Don't they love me? I thought we had such deep, meaningful relationships. I'm crushed.
1:24pm: I think the package is looking at me... It's whispering, "Open me, open me, open me!" But I won't. I'm waiting for my husband to come home at 6pm. I can wait until 6pm.
1:33pm: Discover site selling the perfect shoes online. Order them. Huzzah! Internet victory!
1:34pm: Is it 6pm yet?
5:16pm: I'm being very, very strong. I hope husband appreciates my self-restraint. Package is still whispering seductively.
5:17pm: Almost 6pm. I can't believe my actual, real, live (okay, maybe not live, but real) book is sitting right over there in that envelope. At least I think it's my book. What if it's not? What if they accidentally sent someone else's book? What if it's someone else's book dressed up as my book?
5:20pm: If I had the sun set in chapter thirteen, shouldn't it be darker in chapter fourteen? Must fix. Also, what's the past tense of "weave"? Is it "wove" or "weaved"? What if something went horribly wrong after copyedits and all punctuation has been changed to question marks? What if every instance of the letter "a" has been changed to letter "e"?
5:58pm: Almost 6pm!!!
6:00pm: I hear the key in the door! Wow, he's punctual.
6:03pm: Open package.
Okay, I thought my morning present was my bestest present ever. But this... this is the bestest of all bestests. (Yes, "bestest" is a perfectly cromulent word.) Look! Just look!
It's real, it's real, it's really really real!
6:23pm: Snoopy Dance of Joy!!!!!
Ooh, and the coolest part: the book itself is PURPLE. How awesome is that. And if you remove the cover... Most people will probably never see this because most people don't remove the covers of books, but if you do... I squealed. I totally squealed. Boots is on the spine! So cool!!! And he and the writing on the spine are a shiny silver. Shiny! Silver! Boots with his boots and spurs!
11:00pm: I reminisce. Last year for my birthday (well, the day before), I got The Call from my agent, the first offer to publish INTO THE WILD. This year for my birthday, I am holding the actual book. Wow.
11:13pm: How will next year's birthday ever measure up? Clearly, if this trend continues, next year I'm getting a unicorn. Better start working on that stable...
11:29pm: Or maybe all my good birthday karma is used up now. Yep, next year I'm getting a zombie. Better start working on that moat...