Thursday, September 18, 2008

The cave, and AMBA - revisited

Hey guys, remember the time when I was writing the novella and I said how sometimes I felt like I had NO idea how to write or what I was doing? Hah. Turns out at least THOSE instincts were bang on.

My revisions, such as they are, have arrived and now I have to put aside fun flirty story and descend into the dark, scary abyss known as the Revision Cave. I may not be out for quite some time. Or I may keep up posting, so that at some random points over the next several days I at least have some contact with a world outside a ranch in Montana at Christmas.

You are welcome to send gifts of chocolate and wine. If I am silent for longer than a few days at a time, feel free to call in the cavalry such as marshals, special forces soldiers, or Viper jocks.

In the meantime.....

Today is the annual AMBA lunch in London.

Last year, I attended as many of you will remember. I had used my passport exactly twice, both times going through US customs. But I'd never been overseas. I'd never travelled alone. I'd never left my children overnight, for Pete's sake. And I kissed them goodbye, hopped on a plane, and after 9 very long hours, saw a friendly face in the visage of Biddy Coady in arrivals area at Heathrow.

We took the express from the airport and then black cabbed it to her flat. I remember also being overwhelmed at the craziness of the driver and holding on for dear life...impressions of Speaker's Corner and Buckingham Palace whizzing by me. I was exhausted. We had a late lunch/early supper and vegged with a dvd...oh my god, I was in London. A whole ocean away from home!

During that week I met so many people and made so many memories. There was the editorial lunch and meeting several of the editors. There was the afternoon in Richmond with Trish...and realizing I'd met someone I could travel with so very easily. There was the AMBA lunch where I met so many people - including the unstoppable Kate Hardy and the wonderful Kate Walker. Getting a hug of welcome from her was so very special.

There was also meeting in person for the first time my critique partner Michelle Styles...a true force and whirlwind and without whom I'm certain I would not be published. There was the reception at the Oriental Club where I drank too much champagne, mingled with editors and authors and embarrassed myself by crying when it all became too much...when I realized where I was, and the company I was in. It was a huge moment for me. A moment when it struck me what I'd somehow managed to accomplish. I wasn't dreaming. I was LIVING my dream.

Then of course there was a raucous dinner, a few tearful goodbyes followed by a cab ride home, and hours spent talking into the night with Michelle...our time together was so fleeting and I'm sure we were still talking as we fell asleep!

There was also spending time with Biddy...and Anna Louise Lucia - one of THE most amazing women I know - and having lunch with so many of the Mouse and Pen ladies...oh my God. There was just so much and it was hard to take it all in.

There was dinner with Anna, Biddy, Anna-Biddy's-sister, and too much wine. There was wandering through Battersea Park and Sunday lunch and a whirlwind bus top tour alone and wandering my way back to the flat for one last evening.

It was a week I will never, ever forget. And today when they are all lunching and hugging and having a marvelous time, I'm incredibly lonely for all of it. I especially think of my buddy Natalie Anderson who is attending for the first time this year. She's in for such an amazing time.

So in absence of being across the pond, I'll raise my glass to a most incredible group of writers and friends. And hope that one year soon I'll be able to join you in person again.

If I ever come out of the cave, that is.


  1. Come back! I miss you!! It was great having you visit last year (is it really a whole year since then?). Next time you will see the flat in all its splendour!

  2. Yes - do come back! I miss you too. We'll raise a small glass of something to toast you in your absence - so long as you promise to come back soon.

    I have such wonderful memories of that day



  3. We definitely missed you. And your name was mentioned a few times. Including by Karin Stoecker at the toast... because somebody won the Bookseller's Best, did she not? ;o)

    (still snorting with laughter at the description of me as unstoppable)

  4. Hugs, it was so lovely to come to London to see you and yes, you must come back again.