In Uncategorized on March 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm
I’m pretty sure it was sometime around this day in 2010 when Arthur A. Levine sent me a Facebook friend request. It’s probably easy to imagine working with Arthur as a very “yes Arthur, whatever you say, Arthur” kind of scenario if you don’t actually know him as a person – his gargantuan editorial achievements and place in publishing history are impossible to dispute, after all, and viewing him solely through the lens of those things undoubtedly results in a highly distorted, non-reality-based image. It’s easier to be intimidated or awestruck by an archetypical construct of a Legendary New York Editor than by the editor as a real person, you know what I mean?
Lucky for me I actually got to know Arthur as the genuine, wonderful human being he is first. I much prefer to see him through the lens of his humanity – it’s a more accurate way to perceive anyone, and personally I prefer working with a real, live human being to working with a fantasy person built from assorted shards of reputation, fandom, and media coverage. It’s true that I have no basis for comparison – I’ve only published one book, and while I’ve worked with other editors on short pieces, novels are a whole different can of hungry caterpillars. But it’s hard to imagine working with an editor who I trust more than I trust Arthur.
In Uncategorized on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 am
After lunch on Sunday Miranda and the 3.33 year old both took a nap, at which point the 7.59 year old plucked at my sleeve, pointed at the couch, and said “Da-da, cuddle!” So we grabbed our books (THE HERO AND THE CROWN for me, ANIMORPHS for her) and settled ourselves in the couch (me with my feet on the ottoman, her with her feet on the far armrest and her head on my stomach) for a solid hour and a half of naptime reading.
She made one or two comments about the comfortable squishiness of my belly; I said something about the increasing lankiness of her legs; and I secretly paused to listen every time she giggled or drew in a sharp breath over something she’d just read. I also paused regularly to stroke her hair and kiss her on the top of the head, and every so often she’d reach for my arm and clasp it a little more firmly across her midriff.
It was a very quiet 90 minute stretch. Quiet, contemplative, and utterly glorious. Spontaneously bursting into flames of happiness wouldn’t have surprised me at all.
In Uncategorized on February 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm
This morning as I got ready for work I walked past the kids’ bedroom, where the 3.23 year old was putting on his favorite stripey shirt while unselfconsciously singing his current favorite song, “You’ve Got a Friend.” I paused to listen to his soft, high-pitched voice, with its unmodulated breathiness and its blurry imprecision on the fricatives, and it occurred to me that some people might perceive such a moment as thoroughly mundane – banal, even, if viewed through a lens of uninvolvement – but of course I’m as far from uninvolved as can be. Hearing my son sing about friendship is among the simplest of pleasures, but it’s also one of the most profoundly moving experiences I can imagine having, and I stood there for a minute or two, listening, feeling my love for him fill me up, astonished by my good fortune at having this amazing boy in my life.