April 3rd, 2007

book cover

Sooo Fancy

Well, I got my glorious brush with fame last week when the uber-talented artist Robin Preiss Glasser (also known as MY illustrator!!!) came to town. 

She was touring Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy with author Jane O'Connor and I mean TOURING. At least one state per day. Sheesh -- be careful what you wish for. 

I mean, most of us yearn for our publishers to toss a few bookmarks our way. 
A tour?!? Complete with airline tickets and a meal or two?!? Nirvana!

Well, let me tell you -- they were tired. Posh, but tired. Jane had somehow gotten trapped in her seatbelt the night before and had to be extracated with a kitchen knife, and Robin had been hung-up on by the hotel's tech guy who apparently decided she was too brain-dead to effectively access the wireless network. 

And the night after their Austin stop, they found themselves trapped by Houston thunderstorms. (Raise your hand if you've been trapped by Houston thunderstorms before. Double points if you've also been stranded at O'Hare at least once...)

Anyway, not that I'm not lusting after the glamorous life, but I was sort of glad to have breakfast with Robin, tour her around town a bit, cheer her on at the bookstore, and then Go Home. It's cozy here, even if I don't have turn-down service.

Still, the 1/2 day we got to spend together was delectable. We had never met, but we've phoned and emailed for enough years to consider each another friends. When I arrived at her hotel room, we hugged like sisters and then I curled up on her couch while she finished gettin' fancy. 

Next, onto breakfast, where we got to dish about books and kids and husbands -- totally titallating subjects, especially when you're sitting in a comfy booth on a very rainy morning next to the woman who gifted you a more beautiful book than you'd ever dared imagine. 

I have been so blessed in my writing life by generous people. People who want success and happiness and books books books for me. 

My writing chums, from way back in college and then graduate school; the amazingly talented professors I've worked with, including Ron Wallace, Jim Magnuson, Judith Kroll and David Wevill; the illustrious Naomi Shihab Nye who believes, apparently, that there is enough space and success for everyone so she shares secrets like candy; my Goodness group who buoy me up everyday; so many SCBWI friends, including Dianna Aston, Lindsey Lane, Chris Barton, Julie Lake, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jenny Ziegler, Don Tate, April Lurie, and gosh, a lot of others who've shared coffee, advice and editor's secret addresses;  my colleagues at ACC; all the amazing bloggers I'm growing to know (Vivian, Jules and Eisha, Jen, Mary Lee and Franki, Kelly, and many other brilliant voices), and also Robin. I mean, this is the woman who sent me the watercolor original of our book cover to hang above my desk for good luck. As if I hadn't already hit the jackpot...

I know this reads like a name-droppers notebook but rather than haughty I'm just incredulous -- breathless-- over my good fortune. That all of these vibrant, loving, talented folk are willing to share their time, their knowledge, bits of their life and humour and wisdom -- gosh. 

Someday, may I be on a state-a-day tour and gift anyone with the same thoughtfulness. Even if I've had to get cut out of a seatbelt to do it...

For now I'll hop down off my soapbox and just say that my time with Robin was perfect. She was funny and loving and big-hearted with her time and ideas and good wishes -- and then, to top it off, she was fancy. She and Jane had a darling little schtick at the bookstore that included eating sweet round cookies off their pretty little pinkies and posture-walking with bananas on their heads.

And then we said goodbye and I sent her off into the rain. What a day. Rich and wondrous day. Almost as fine as when my editor at Harpers told me Robin'd said she'd illustrate my book.