The Five!

1. I am writing this in a coffee shop. Which is just so writer-y, right? I’ve said here before I can’t actually WRITE in coffee shops, because I am too easily distracted. I do best facing a wall or at least a dull view (usually, just some deer wandering by, eating my flowers, that sort of thing). But this has been One Of Those Mornings. You know the drill: up early, crazy chaos trying to get out the door to preschool, dogs barking, no time to breathe. And I have somehow lost my favorite sweater. I have a sinking feeling I threw it in the laundry by accident, which means it is probably now my daughter’s size. Whoops. So I am here, regrouping, with a cup of coffee. Which is the closest thing to the reset button I know. One, two, three…starting again!

2. Also this morning, my mind was kind of blown by this piece I saw on GMA about pregnant women doing extreme sports. They had this woman who was eight months along and scaling a rock face in Joshua Tree. EIGHT MONTHS! Holy pajamas. When I about six months along, I was in Asheville and walked to Malaprops, my favorite indie bookstore there, from our hotel, a distance of about four blocks. I was so tired once I got there I seriously considered calling a cab for the ride back. True story! And now, my kid is four and I STILL couldn’t climb a rock face because I am too tired. Watching that piece, I had the same feeling I do when I see celebs drop their baby weight in, like, ten minutes. Or say they love “EVERYTHING” about being a parent (I’m looking at you, Tori Spelling!). It just makes it hard to, you  know, eat your weight in potato chips after your kid throws a massive tantrum or think how much just ONCE you’d love to take a leisurely shower without little hands banging on the door. Bottom line: we all are doing the best we can. And it is enough. It has to be. Right?

3. If you are into YA fiction, this is a GREAT time to be hitting your local bookstores. John Green’s latest, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, is a number one New York Times Bestseller (woot!) and he’s on tour. Also out and about: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, doing appearances for THE FUTURE OF US. I’m always happy to see YA getting great attention, but I am particularly thrilled to see books do well that are NOT about the undead. No offense to all the vampires and zombies out there. It’s just been a bit lonely over here in the realistic fiction realm. It’s a big pond, there’s room for everyone. But I am so happy to have good company!

4. My husband just called me. When I told him I was at a coffee shop, he said, “Being a writer? Are you wearing a beret?” This is another reason I could not work out in public. He would be merciless. (Disclaimer: I do not have  a beret. Although I have been known to wear a black turtleneck and look tortured, usually while on deadline.)

5. Finally, I got to do one of my FAVORITE things this week: a foreign edition book drop. Whenever a book of mine is translated into another language, I am given copies. Usually anywhere from two to ten. I only need one for my own collection, so I often find myself with a big stack of books in languages I don’t read that need homes. So I’ve come up with this system. Once I amass a few, I take them down to Dey Hall, on the UNC campus, where the foreign language department is housed. I leave them with a sign that says FREE BOOKS, TAKE! and then tweet about it, hoping they find homes. This time, I brought my daughter. We snuck in as classes were changing, put up our sign, then snapped a pic:

Personally, I think the princess stickers were a nice touch. Anyway, before I even LEFT I had someone stop and start rifling through them. YAY! And I heard via Twitter from two girls who took copies. It’s a small thrill, but such a fun one. I love to find my books good homes. And getting to do it at UNC makes it even better. Plus, as a reward for our good deeds, we hit Sugarland for cupcakes:

And yes, they DID taste as good as they look. And now I’m hungry. I wonder if they sell cupcakes here?

Have a good weekend, everyone!