The Five!

1. Okay, so it’s 3:39 on Friday as I am writing this, and the wind is JUST starting to ruffle the trees a bit. Hurricane Irene is getting closer and closer to the NC coast, expected to make a big hit this weekend. Some models have it coming in right around Morehead City, which is superclose to Emerald Isle, the beautiful (and beloved) beach town on which I based Colby in my books. If you like group panic, you must be REALLY enjoying the constant news updates, crazy forecast models, speculations. Me, not so much, so I’m trying to remain calm and collected. Which is SOMEWHAT harder to do because I can remember very well the last time a hurricane came that close to our coast, and all the trees down, power outages and general chaos that followed, even this far inland. I’m trying to focus on what I DO have control over, like doing laundry in case we lose electricity, eating up stuff in the freezer, doing battery checks and clearing the yard of toys that could become flying objects. Running the dishwasher (we had a full, dirty load for an entire WEEK plus after the big ice storm of ’02), charging cell phones and other devices, filling the bathtub with water. You know, the basics. The thing is, even this far inland, we are used to hurricanes, or at least the outer bands of them. Some of the cities that might get hit (like NYC) are not. So there’s one more thing for the prep list: take a deep breath, think good thoughts and say a quick prayer for everyone. Stay away, Irene!

2. On a happier note (please!) I am REALLY excited to finally be able to officially announce my Canada events. Yay!

Wednesday, September 21st, 7pm: talk and signing at Indigo, Eaton Centre 

Thursday, September 22nd, 7pm: talk and signing at North York Central Library

I’m so excited to finally be able to come meet my Canadian readers! I’ll also be attending the National Book Festival in DC in the days after Canada. Details on that as I get them. Man, reading that over, I realized it’s less than a month away. Better get some stuff to the dry cleaners and make a haircut appointment. I’ve been slacking. Tour means I have to look nice!

3. Somehow, I have found myself at the craft store TWICE in the past two days. What is up with that? People: I am not crafty. I mean, unless you count balloon animals, which I don’t, as when I think of crafts, I think glue guns and scrapbooks, that sort of thing. Nobody told me that being a parent would involve having a need to purchase felt and googly-eyes, but if you want to make finger puppets (and who doesn’t?) apparently, they are necessary. Walking around these stores, I feel like I am an interloper in another world. People take their crafting SERIOUSLY. I went to buy some better glue today and had an entire AISLE of choices. Wood glue! Tacky glue! Gel glue! And, of course, glue guns. Yikes. I would like to point out that there is NOBODY that could make me attempt a felt elephant finger puppet other than my only child. But I did. It wasn’t pretty, but luckily she is (almost) four and forgiving. Thank goodness for that.

4. Speaking of my daughter, next week she turns four, and I am already feeling those crazy waves of nostalgia that come every single year. FOUR! I find myself pouring over old pictures, sniffling as I find her old swaddling blankets, telling her how her first word was cracker, remember? (She does not. “Mama, make another elephant!” Oh, well.) Four years ago right now I was HUGELY pregnant and insanely cranky, complaining to anyone who would listen that I didn’t understand why everywhere I went, people stared at me. “Haven’t they ever seen a pregnant person?” I demanded of my poor, tired husband. Now, though, I see pictures of myself at his stage and think: WHOA. No wonder. Those last couple of weeks don’t look good on anyone (except maybe Victoria Beckham, but come ON). I looked like a freak of nature, belly all poking out, shuffling around in my (flattened) flipflops. Ah, good times. It’s why when I see really pregnant women now, I smile and make a point of looking elsewhere. Don’t want to rile them up. They have enough going on.

5. I’ve written here too much about my whole Real Housewives habit. I know, I know. It’s such a guilty pleasure (like my subscription to US Weekly, which I just renewed). I balance my guilt by ONLY watching while I work out. Crazy, but whatever. So I’m super behind, which is why I am only NOW getting to the New York Housewives episodes where they go to Morocco. Oh, dear. I didn’t think it was possibly to cringe and run at the same time, but there I was, face flaming, horrified for my entire country as they behaved so badly abroad. I could NEVER be on a reality show. I already second-guess and dissect just about everything I do: can you imagine having video to watch, again and again? Wouldn’t you think, though, that knowing your actions were part of a permanent record would make you, oh, I don’t know, more conscious of NOT coming across like a person with no manners? But maybe that’s not the point. Because sadly, I am watching. Cringing and running, but watching. Shame on ME, too. Sigh.

Okay, wind’s blowing again. Please, everyone, be safe this weekend!