I'm an aunt!!
And perhaps I am a tad biased, maybe, but judging from this picture, I am reasonably confident that my nephew has the world's most perfect hands. Like, someday these puppies will be on dishwashing soap commercials.
So yes! A nephew! Which is exciting, because now I can keep calling him Jack Jack, and I don't have to change it to something like Jill Jill.
Because that would be ridiculous.
Baby and mama are both well, from what I hear. These things can be difficult to judge over the phone, especially when mama is sleep-deprived and exhausted from recent expulsion of a foreign object the size of a watermelon. I'll confirm their health in person next month, when Jarrod and I visit.
For now, I am relying on outside sources.
And for any of you out there thinking, "Blah blah blah, whatever, babies are born every day, Angelina popped out another one two hours ago," please understand my excitement: My sister was my only hope for becoming an aunt. My husband is an only child and my sister is my only sibling, so my aunthood was ALL UP TO HER.
Way to go, Sis! Thanks for this.
(Because I know you totally did it for me.)
In all seriousness, I am very, very proud of my sister. She'll be an AMAZING mother. And I can't wait to meet Jack Jack.
Who really does have perfect hands. Just like his mommy.
In other news . . . it's that time again!
I warned you it would happen. Remember that thing I was obsessed with last autumn? That thing I COULDN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT? What was it called again? Oh yeah.
I, Stephanie Perkins, am revising again. Please prepare yourselves for the following:
(B) Crazy talk.
(C) Pointless comparisons between celebrities and writing.
These are things I am Very Accomplished at. You can usually find all three in each blog entry! It's like Where's Waldo, but with fewer wizards and missing shoes.
Honestly, I'm thrilled to be revising again. I'm back on that schedule of three or four hours of sleep per day (less than three last night!) until further notice. Which is both terrifying and oddly gratifying.
In a semi-sick way, I've missed it -- those crazy midnight hours in which NOTHING exists in the world but me and my novel. When waking and napping hours blur, and all I think about, ALL I THINK ABOUT, is the book.
There's something special about that relationship.
(If there weren't, you'd better believe I would have quit a long time ago.)
So before this blog is taken over again by revision zombie talk, there's one last thing I'd like to do. Talk about THE NOVEL itself. Lately, I've received a few emails with the following question:
What exactly is it about?
Now . . . this is something I am vaguely minorly paranoid and jinxy about. Sure I like talking about the writing process quite a bit. But I don't talk about the details of my book.
I just don't.
And it's not because I don't love you or because I think you're going to steal it. It's because once upon a time, say eight years ago, I had this Idea. Now this was a really, really good Idea. My first NOVEL Idea. So I started writing it.
And I kept writing.
And kept writing.
And kept writing.
And before I knew it, I'd been working on this Idea for six years and wasn't even remotely close to finishing! So just as I decided, "Okay. It's now or never. Let's buckle down and DO THIS THING" . . . it happened.
The book was published by someone else.
It's difficult to express the heartache and anguish and despair of discovering my book -- MY! BOOK! -- amongst the reviews in Booklist. The whole thing was so terrible I still don't want to talk about it. But what I will tell you is that not only was My Idea published, but, get this:
It was published THREE TIMES.
Nooooooo! (by Fabbio)
First by a no-name adult fiction author, then by a NY Times bestselling author, and finally, by a YA author.
Clearly it was not meant to be. Or, more precisely, I had fudged around this Great Idea for so long, the universe decided to send it back out into the void. The idea went up for grabs and, boy, did people grab it.
This is why I cling to my novel like dog fur on my favorite black winter coat. I am terrified -- TERRIFIED -- that somewhere out there, someone has My Idea too. And it's a race to see who can get it written and published first.
And I really, really don't want to lose again.
Interestingly enough, the swoon-worthy Neil Gaiman wrote about this very thing just the other day:
"Sometimes I think that ideas float through the atmosphere like huge squishy pumpkins, waiting for heads to drop on. I remember back in 1989 Terry Pratchett and I plotting a novel once about a serial killer who kills serial killers, and we had most of the pieces in place, and then both of us realised we'd have to actually write it, which seemed like less fun than making it up, and so we left it. I would have put him in the Serial Killer's convention in Sandman, but he just didn't fit. And I was pleased when I saw the Dexter books that that pumpkin had finally landed on the head of somebody else, who wanted to write them. Sometimes you're just lucky that the pumpkin lands on you first."
So call me jinxy, but until a contract is signed, I really don't feel like talking about it. Sort of.
I mean, I DO like to talk.
And since I was asked again -- and this time by one of my favorite new friends -- here's what I've decided to share:
FIVE THINGS ABOUT THE NOVEL
(1) It is a young adult novel.
(2) Hopefully it has some funny bits.
(3) There is kissing. Of course.
(4) Most of it takes place in a foreign city. If you've been reading this blog closely, you already know what city that is. If you haven't, allow me to save you the bother of browsing my archives. It's Paris.
(5) There is an HBM. (Well, more like an HBM plus.)
Photograph by the incredible Irene Suchocki
Are you surprised? My guess = Probably not.
I look forward to the abating of my paranoia, so I can share details with you. Details such as the title! Or the plot! But in the meantime, please don't take offense. I can count on one hand how many people have read THE NOVEL, and my mother isn't even one of them.
And I really like my mom.
But in case you're still interested, one of those Five Special People -- the amazing, spectacular, hilarious, insanely talented Laini Taylor -- wrote a very, very, VERY nice post about my novel last October. And I am eternally grateful.
Now . . . off to revisions! See you in the trenches.