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Thursday in Santa Monica

It’s Thursday in Santa Monica. Vera is at school. Greg is at the coffee shop writing, and I’m home alone in the house with the cats. I just got back from getting a pedicure — a pregnancy indulgence I have a hard time denying myself. It’s gorgeous out — sunny, high 70s — and I just can’t stop reveling in it. Yesterday I took Vera to the beach and it was so hot that the icy, cold Pacific ocean actually felt refreshing on my feet when I walked into the surf a bit. I’m so incredibly grateful to be living in here in Southern California again. The only draw-back is trying to keep my mouth shut about how great it is so that I don’t drive everyone else crazy.

Yesterday at the beach

I can’t believe it’s already the first week of January. My book will be out in just three weeks and suddenly time is looping and streaming all around me. I’m trying really hard to make solid efforts to help with the publicity and attention for the book but it’s challenging and I’m often left feeling like there’s so much more I could be doing. There’s this scary feeling that a first book has one shot to make it and do well, and I’m not entirely sure that’s even true, but it kind of feels that way. On that note, here’s a great article on why pre-orders are so important to a book’s success. (Hint, hint.)

I had a phone meeting with my publicist this morning and so far, everything sounds great. We solidified tour dates, which is exciting. Los Angeles! San Diego! San Francisco! Chicago! Boston! New York! If you live in these cities I really hope to see you! It also sounds like there is potential for coverage in some really great publications — I’m not going to say which ones, just so I don’t jinx myself, but I promise you’ll be the first to hear of them if they come through. I’m also planning book release parties in New York and Los Angeles and sometimes I can’t help but stop and think about how insane it is that my wildest dream is actually happening.

Other than that, I’m trying to enjoy these days. The frazzled mornings, the slow afternoons, the sun and Vera’s little hands warm on my neck. I think I felt the baby kick a bit the other day and I’ve been waiting to feel it again, wondering if I was mistaken, but knowing that it’s coming soon either way. This time last pregnancy I was in the midst of an icy Chicago winter awaiting that terribly scary surgery and I can’t stop feeling grateful for how different things are this time around. I’m feeling more excited than ever about the baby, although I’m still pretty scared about taking on two kids. The woman who did my pedicure today said she hopes it’s a boy because it’s the year of the Dragon and that’s good for boys. What about dragon girls?

Anyway, one of my new year’s resolutions was to stay calm and graceful through the process of my book coming into being these next weeks. It will be challenging but I’ve got my jaw set (in a smile).



  1. I’ve got mine on pre-order and some of us are excited about your book coming out soon too :-)
    Sunny and 50 in Chicago. January 5th. 40′s through next week. I think I need to move to LA because I now remember what it was like to live in Florida through the winters. Happy I am not stuck in the house, happy I am not frozen.

    Comment by Helene on January 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

  2. I pre-ordered ages ago honey! And I am a Dragon :)

    Comment by Lisa Lilienthal on January 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm

  3. I am Dragon too – 1976 one, Dragon years are always good years (google 2000 Chinese astrology year, that was a golden one (?)), this one is a water element mine was fire. So i’m a bit of a hot head. Haven’t pre-ordered my book yet. Emma

    Comment by Emma on January 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

  4. Pre-ordered from Powell’s – to which I really, really, really hope you come to read! All best wishes from Portland -

    Comment by pamela on January 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

  5. This 1976 dragon baby just wanted to say “hi!” How exciting that you’re having a little dragon. :) I’m hoping it’s a good year for both boys AND girls! My life is nowhere near as exciting as yours is right now, but I know how hard it is to grasp each moment and really cherish all that you have. My baby is now 5 months old and it is crazy how fast time is flying. Enjoy the first flutters! My husband and I called our baby the “little fish” last year because her kicks felt like tiny bubbles. I was so scared of everything at the time but now I realize how amazing it was when I look back. Isn’t that how life always is?

    Comment by Liz on January 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

  6. Hello from cold and windy UK!I dont remember how I came across your blog but I love it, love your pictures-always full of life and optimism.And your daughter is the most cute girl I know:)(seeing her made me actually feel broody last year:) I have 3 months old boy and I hope to be as good mother as you are.Best wishes

    Comment by Iza on January 6, 2012 at 2:04 am

  7. Thanks for preordering, Helene!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

  8. Thanks for preordering, Lisa! Ooh, and if you’re a dragon girl then I know I already really like female dragons!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

  9. Ooh, more dragon girls, Emma. Love it. Hurry up and preorder! :)

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

  10. Thanks, Pamela! I would LOVE to come to Portland for a reading. It may not happen until the paperback tour though. We’ll see.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

  11. Wow, ANOTHER dragon girl reader, Liz! That’s three of you now. Can’t believe your little fish is already 5 months!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

  12. Thank you, Iza! And thank you for such kind words about being a good mother. That’s to be debated! But glad you’re enjoying your sweet boy — I’m sure you’re a great mom.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on January 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

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