A long time ago, my daughter asked my husband the standard question,
“If you were stranded on a desert island and could have one person
with you, who would it be?” He didn’t hesitate when he answered, “your
mom.” While this seemed wildly romantic to her, she couldn’t just
leave it at that. She had to ask why? Again, without hesitation or
great forethought, he answered, “Because she’d figure out how to get
And he’s right. When crisis comes, there’s a primal part of me that is
as emotionless as a snake and as calculating as a fox. I’m your girl
who stays on an even keel and looks beyond the fray, which can be a
gift and a curse.
The gift part is rather obvious, especially if you are stuck on said
island or trying to publish your first novel. But the curse comes from
staying on an even keel so often that it takes an earthquake with an
atomic bomb on top to rock my world.
Friday afternoon, the FedEx fairy left a box of ARCs by my kitchen
door, the coveted advance release copies all writers dream of.
Consider my world officially rocked. I spread all 16 out of them on
the table, and if I wasn’t afraid of messing them up, I would have
gotten down on the floor and wallowed in them.
It’s an amazing thing to see my hopes and dreams in print, to hold
them in my hands. To read the acknowledgements and see that they are
heartfelt and don’t sound cheesy like I’d feared. It takes me off that keel,
which is utterly terrifying to someone who has to send these
suckers out for reviews.
For many of us, the promise of the holidays and the insanity that
sometimes comes with it makes us wish we were on that deserted island.
Alone. These times require a fair amount of the coveted keel and
smooth sailing just to crawl out in one piece on the other side.
As you and I chart our courses for happily ever after, I hope when
trouble comes, we’ll stay steady. And when our world is rocked in
sweet and wonderful ways, I hope we’ll take time to wallow in it, to
swim in it until we are deliciously pruny. We, the brothers and sisters
of the even keel, deserve it.