Serendipity, Springsteen, Scoliosis

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.

it’s the word likely that keeps me from providing details here. Once it’s confirmed, I’ll spill.

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.

Sent to my daughter by the fabulous illustrator Daniel Jennewein in 2010, when she learned she needed a scoliosis brace.

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!

About Audrey Vernick

Audrey Vernick writes books for young readers.
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15 Responses to Serendipity, Springsteen, Scoliosis

  1. kamikinard says:

    So glad you had a well-deserved good news week…. especially the part about Anna! That made me tear up. I’m so relieved for you all. Do the happy dance!

  2. So, SOOO glad for Anna, and so proud of her and her momma for handling such difficulty so gracefully. I hope your run of good luck and good news is far from over!

  3. Mirka Breen says:

    Now that you have The Boss’ signature, I should tell you of my old aunt who always insisted that luck/good fortune “comes in sevens.”
    I’ve counted four- so keep counting!

  4. A great parade of news for someone who deserves it…and writes very well about it. Congrats!

  5. jama says:

    So happy for all your good news!! My niece just learned she has to wear a brace :(. She will be heartened to know that there will be an end to it. Hooray for Anna!

  6. scaby says:

    Great blog post! And great string of good fortune.
    I love your writing, Audrey. If it were music, it would be something with a somewhat fast, bouncy beat.

  7. Ann Herrick says:

    What a nice stretch of good happenings!

  8. Wow, what a week! Good for you =D
    The Springsteen thing is cool, but the news about your daughter’s brace coming off is the most awesome. I can imagine how difficult wearing that must have been for her. WooHoo! Yay for letting out that little scream and enjoying the summer!

  9. Tamara Smith says:

    Oh what wonderful news for Anna! What a challenging time she has had, I am imagining. Wow. But she did it! And you did it! Congrats on the essay and Bruce and whatever else should be coming your way, Audrey…

  10. Oh, I so enjoyed all of your terrific news, especially about your daughter. And I have a small connection to your story. We were recently in Barcelona and our cab driver from the airport asked, in Spanish (and my jet-lagged husband had to brush off his high school Spanish to understand) if he could drive us an alternate route because … Bruce Springsteen was giving a concert there that night and the streets were packed! I think your husband is a rock star for asking Mr. Springsteen to sign your book. Bravo!

  11. You and Anna both deserve more than a little good news. I love when things that SHOULD happen DO happen.

  12. Wow! What great things! Congrats on your essay being chosen and I’m so envious of your chance meetings with the Boss. I’m sure more good fortune is on the way!

  13. Audrey! No one deserves good news more than you and your family. Hooray for Anna–she must feel like she’s floating. xoxo

  14. Catherine says:

    Love this update! Congratulations to all especially Anna as summer is upon us! See you soon. Catherine

  15. What wonderful, happy STUFF! xo Joanne

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