Posted September 08, 2011 by
It’s been a busy week already, this first week of September. I got some truly incredible news about my book on Tuesday morning, that I can’t share here right now, but which has elevated my week and my perspective to unmatched heights. It’s cast a strange haze over the way I view my life, my past, and all the things I’ve worked so hard for that are just now becoming my present.
Last night I went to see my friend Jillian Lauren read from her brand new novel PRETTY at Book Soup in Hollywood. I sat in traffic for over an hour just trying to get east of the 405, called Greg on the verge of tears because I was so frustrated and sure I’d be late, finally got there only to walk in the door and run smack into an ex-boyfriend I was unprepared to see, and finally, and thankfully, realize that I’d made it in time to hear Jillian read.
She’s a beautiful woman and a fantastic writer and it was fun to be at my all-time favorite Los Angeles bookstore for the launch of her new book. Watching her, I couldn’t help envisioning myself in her place five months from now. I’m not sure how things will turn out, but I really hope that my launch party is at Book Soup too. I also couldn’t help thinking about how I might not even be imagining such a thing were it not for Jillian herself.
When her first book came out over a year ago, a memoir called SOME GIRLS, I sent her a fan note through Facebook just telling her how much I liked the book. She wrote back right away, reminding me that we’d actually met each other several years back when she came in to volunteer at 826LA and I interviewed her. Thus commenced an online friendship that led to her helping me with my book proposal and agent search for THE RULES OF INHERITANCE. Jillian was uncommonly generous with her advice and I relished the day that I got to shoot her an email telling her I’d just sold my book to Penguin — the same publishing house where her books have come out of. I’ve vowed to repay the favor to other struggling writers and have already done so a couple times over this year, knowing it’s something I’ll probably do for the rest of my life since I can’t imagine that I’ll ever stop feeling grateful that people helped me along my path.
After the reading last night I had to rush to a workshop, but the moment I stepped out onto the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard, I sucked in a breath and paused for just a minute. Cars were rushing by and the billboards and signs along the strip glowed in the buoyant nighttime sky. Palm trees swayed overhead and I could hear laughter coming from down the street, could smell cigarette smoke from somewhere nearby. A warm breeze, leftover from the hot afternoon, wrapped itself around me and for just one moment I let myself lean back against a low brick wall and take it all in.
A rush of memories settled over me. Myself at age 25, my dying father, troubled relationships that have come and gone, hopes and dreams and awful depths of sadness waded through. It was all there with me for a moment, swimming amongst the lights on the boulevard, through the night air. My past and present and all the things I haven’t even conceived of, merging for one fresh moment.
I took a breath.
And then another.
And then I turned on my heel and got in the car, skimming off into the abyss of Los Angeles and my next appointment.