This year did not get off to a great start. Lots of friends were dealing with really tough, unwelcome challenges, and in the Vernick home, little things kept going wrong. So it came as quite a surprise when hilarious good fortune kept piling on in a super-charged 24-hour period last week.
When I was very young and even less clever than I am now, I would, on occasion, say something less than kind and then, when called out by an adult, earnestly explain that I had been in Opposite Land. At the time, I had no idea such a place really existed. But I had a chance to dip my toe into the strange and unpredictable tide pools of Publishing Opposite Land last week.
From the request I received to submit an essay, to writing it, sending it to my savviest writing pal for notes, rewriting it, submitting it, and having it likely accepted, was 48 hours. Forty! Eight! Hours! In PUBLISHING.
It’s particularly thrilling because the anthology includes serious heavyweight writers. And, likely, me.
That was how the good fortune pile-up began. About two hours later, Bruce Springsteen.
For those who didn’t see this on facebook, Springsteen walked into Barnes and Noble shortly after I did. I was doing a reading/Q&A/signing of BROTHERS AT BAT. He was looking for something to read, I presume, on his flight back to Spain, where I thought he WAS, for his European tour. Living in Monmouth County, chance encounters with Springsteen have happened before—both in planned and unplanned ways. At the last unplanned one, one that should really be erased from my memory, I babbled at him endlessly about the imminent publication of my first book, BARK AND TIM, which I don’t remember doing, but I do remember that his parting words were, “Good luck with your book.”
On this night, he was flying under the B&N radar, and I didn’t want to be that person, so I just watched him for a while from a polite distance. But when my husband arrived and said, “You have to get him to sign ROCK STAR,” I kind of agreed. But I couldn’t. Thankfully, he could. And he did.
Well played, Mr. Vernick. And Mr. Springsteen.
The next morning, my daughter didn’t go to school as she had an appointment with her out-of-state orthopedist. But she received a call from school that votes had been counted and she was on student council. And then we headed to the best news of all—after nineteen months of wearing a brace for scoliosis 22 hours a day, she is done. The orthopedist said, “The brace is history.” We held it together until the doctor left the room, and then Anna let out a little scream.
I could post endlessly about the poise with which she handled the potential middle-school nightmare of wearing a large, bulky Boston brace, but in the interest of ending this thing, you should just take my word for it. She was awesome. She tried her hand at blogging about it, but I suspect she’s now moved on to other things. And that’s worth celebrating, too.
Today’s her last day of school, the unofficial start of summer. And we’re all still flying high.
Next up on the blog: Jeanne Walker Harvey interview!