I used to go to New York a lot. The first time was when I was eleven, when my dad introduced my sisters and me to the place. We stayed at the Commodore Hotel over Grand Central Station, and he took us to the Empire State Building, the Broadway production of “Peter Pan,” Rockefeller Center, and the Flatiron Building. Little did I know at the time that the Flatiron Building would play a role in my life – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’m a Maine-summer girl. Some of my earliest memories are from visiting my dad’s sister’s place on Lake Sebago or my mom’s father’s cooperage in Portland. Then my mother died, and I was sent away to camp. If that sounds cruel, listen up.
Panic! We’re talking cold turkey withdrawal and then some, because cell phones have become key to our lives. When did that happen? Most everyone over thirty remembers when land lines were the go-to phone connection. When one of my sons decided to cancel his land line for cell-only status, I was worried. What if the cell malfunctioned in an emergency? What if it ran out of juice? What if he lost it?
Most of my books are inspired by things I read about in the newspaper. The inspiration for Sweet Salt Air was much more personal. I have three sons, all of whom have recently had children, and when each of those babies was born, its umbilical cord blood was harvested, frozen, and stored. The premise is that cutting edge medicine is starting to use the stem cells harvested from such blood, and the closer those stem cells match to the DNA of the recipient, the better.
June 18. What seemed like a long way off a year ago is coming fast. You all have been so patient. I thank you for that.
I just reread Sweet Salt Air. I mean, wow, I’ve been distracted from it. I’ve probably read twenty books since I finished writing it, and now I’m working on my next book, so my psychic energy has been focused on that. No, no title for the new one yet. I don’t even want to talk much about its subject, because Sweet Salt Air is the one that’s going to take center stage now.
A totally funny thing happened to me yesterday. I was reading an actual, physical book, reached the end of a page, and tapped the right margin to turn to the next.
Have you ever done this? It wouldn’t happen, of course, if I read books in only one form. But I’m constantly switching between hardcover, paperback, iPad, and Kindle.
For me, each has a purpose. For instance, if I’m reading a serious something that I know I’ll want to add to my library, I prefer the hardcover. There’s something about its weight, about the ease of going back to reread something that confuses me, about the heft of the thing if the subject is, well, hefty.
What makes a good public speaker? A strong voice? Lotsa guts? The gift of gab?
If you guessed any of these, you’d be right, but they’re the tip of the iceberg – literally, only the part you see. When I talk before a group, there’s much more involved, and since I’m flying across the country to keynote a women’s breakfast in California this week, I’m in the midst of it right now.
I fly often and am pretty immune to security demands, but yesterday was the worst. My husband and I were going through security at Reagan National in Washington, D.C. I had loaded the bins with my coat, my scarf, my boots, and my liquids. When I approached the scanner, the security guard (male) indicated that I should remove my sweater as well.
The sweater – oversized in that it fell to my thighs, but not thick – was my clothing. Beneath it, I wore thin leggings and an even thinner layering tee shirt. I would never, ever leave my house in the leggings and tee shirt alone.