Wednesday, May 23, 2007

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:

Gift from Husband

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 em
ails (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 i
t. 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 sneak
ers, 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 ha
ven'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.

It whispers, "Open me!"

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, r
eal, 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 t
ense 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

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!

My very first finished copy of INTO THE WILD!

6:10pm: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's real, it's real, it's really really real!

Love at first sight!

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!

Secret Kitty!

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...

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At 2:28 AM, Blogger heidi said...

Yay! I caught you just in time-three minutes before your ends. Happy Birthday! Sounds wonderful--two years in a row! I hope my next two b.days are like yours. BTW, you should think about hanging w/ lj--you'd get more comments!

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Little Willow said...

Happy birthday!

He sounds quite nice.

Hurrah for purple, secret cats, and the Snoopy Dance!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Susan Adrian said...


Awesome birthday post! I can't imagine a much better birthday than that. How cool to receive your book ON your birthday!

At 10:31 AM, Blogger roz said...

Hi I'm a new visitor to your blog.
Many congratulations on your book. Happy B-day and what a wonderful hubby you have!!!
Can't wait to read your book.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Heidi: Thanks! Sending you some good-birthday karma...

Little Willow: Yeah, he's a keeper. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Susan: Great timing, I know!!! Total coincidence but so cool.

Roz: Welcome, and thanks so much! Just sneaked (snuck?) a peek at your website... I adore that hedgehog! So cute!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger coe booth said...

Happy Birthday!!! This is going to be your year, girl!

And what fantastic presents. Your book looks beautiful -- I can't wait to get my hands on one!

Much success and happiness...

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Thanks so much, Coe!!!

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Ooh, it's sooo shiny! The ARC wasn't shiny...

A very happy birthday to you!

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

I love shiny! And did I mention that the secret kitty is shiny too? Yay!

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Erin!

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover of your book!! Not to mention the fact that the book itself is actually PURPLE (my favorite color, by the way). And shiny cats? Who could not love those?
ps. I don't think those kelp-ish zombies will be coming anytime soon; but you might want to be on the look out any way ;-)

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Thanks so much, Sookie! I love purple too.

And I'll watch out for the kelp-ish zombies. :)

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Congrats on the birthday and the book and the awesome birthday present from your husband! The finished book looks wonderful!

I was told by someone on good authority that Softwalk shoes are THE shoes for BEA, so I went out this week and bought myself a pair. They have squishy, cushioned insoles!

I hope to see you at BEA!

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Thanks, Sheila! So glad to hear you'll be at BEA too. I hope I get a chance to meet you.

And thanks for the tip on the shoes! I'll have to try those out. I have very fussy feet...

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Disco Mermaids said...

What a wonderful birthday! And thanks for sharing the excitement with us!!!

- Jay

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Faith said...

You made me cry!!! Happy belated birthday, and it sounds like it was just about the bestest birthday one could imagine having!!!

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Jay: Thank you (and everyone else here!) for dropping by and sharing the excitement with me! You'll have your bestest present day in just a few very short months... :)

Faith: Aw, you're so sweet. Thanks, Faith! It definitely goes in the Bestest Birthday Hall of Fame.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

Sarah Beth! Congratulations on your great birthday. I'm so happy about your book being so wonderful.
And -- WE SHARE A BIRTHDAY?? No way! Mine's May 23, and it looks like that's yours as well.
I hope so. :)

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Ruth: Happy belated birthday!!! I had no idea we shared the same b-day. So cool!


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