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Somehow, it IS the seventh month of the year, although how that happened I am not exactly sure. I’ve been catching up on my sleep (slowly) and trying to simplify, simplify, simplify (getting better at it) and things are gradually coming back into focus. I really was freaked by how out of it I was earlier this week. I haven’t felt like that since I was a new mom, getting sleep only in 3-4 hour stretches. Whoa. Sorry for the gibberish, both here and on Twitter. Next time I am that crazy, I will stay OFF the internet. Words to live by!

(Personally, I just keep remembering when Mariah Carey had that big breakdown all those years ago. Remember? When she showed up at MTV with popsicles and her publicist basically dragged her off stage? She kept shouting, “Sleep deprivation is real, people!” Indeed. Luckily, I did not get to the crazy popsicle/ranting stage. Although being tipsy at the airport and harassing Jay Asher for an entire cab ride comes PRETTY close. I think I might have to send him some flowers or something. But I digress.)

Even with the rest, it’s been a busy week. Aren’t they all? First, there’s my daughter, who will not let me out of her sight without yelling for me. I think she’s afraid I’m going to sneak off to the airport when she’s not paying attention. Suffice to say, I am playing a LOT of pretend games (Hotel Sasha, Rockity-Rock, Dora and Boots) and logging as much time as I can curled up on the couch eating Goldfish crackers and watching Wow Wow Wubbzy. I’m slowly earning back the trust of my dogs, who are also holding a grudge, although sneaking them food when my husband isn’t looking is helping to restore me to my old status. The chickens are HUGE and since about half of them are roosters they are more interested in pecking at and challenging each other (it’s like Jersey Shore after Last Call out there) but I am throwing them fruit as well just to be on the safe side.

The last two months really feel like such a blur. A good, wonderful happy blur, but a blur nonetheless. I think the best way to wrap it up was on my second-to-last flight, when we were deplaning, and I turned to see the girl behind me holding a copy of ALONG FOR THE RIDE. I couldn’t help myself. I asked her is she liked it. She said yes. (Whew!) Then I told her I’d written it and she went NUTS. Her sister was behind her, apparently, carrying a copy of WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE. We stepped out of the crowd in the terminal and I signed both books for them. Great end to a great tour, because I have great readers. And that, in the end, after all the hotels and Lists and conventions and everything else, is what really matters.

So what now? Oh, God, I don’t even know. More sleep, for starters. More Goldfish and pretending. And, eventually, when the thought of it does not make me immediately yawn, I’ll get back to writing. To paraphrase Stephen King, who knows about such things, touring is opening the door wide, while writing is shutting yourself away. But before then, there IS time to get rested and caught up and just BE. This weekend I’ll be doing that while making deviled eggs and bean salad, watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (I can’t stop, it’s already a sickness) and the pilot episode of Great State of Georgia on ABC Family (penned by the fab Jennifer Weiner) which has been waiting patiently on my DVR for me. Again and always, I am grateful to all of you for your support and comments and just for being so freaking awesome. WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE remains on the NYT list, where it is enjoying a great run. I’m so pleased. Thank you.

Okay, my husband is waiting to take me for a ride in his new-to-him car. How I am with shoes, he is with vehicles. They are everywhere. Since I drive like my grandmother, I WILL be grabbing what he refers to as the Oh Sh** handle, most likely. But in a marriage, you support each other. And he’s done a LOT of that since May 10th. Let’s go drive!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

(Whoops: just realized it is Friday, so this should have been a Five. Sorry! To sort-of quote Love Actually, “So…clearly not as rested as we’d hoped.” Maybe next week.)