"On the road and laughing" are the last words on that John Sebastian record. They describe a state to which I aspire. It is not a state I attain effortlessly. My great-spirited husband lives to travel. Had I never met him, I'd probably never have seen more of the world than I had by the time I was thirty: my own beloved Hudson River Valley, a bit of the American West, Montreal, Quebec, and Cape Cod. Ken took me to England and to Europe. The first time we traveled together, it was backpacks and hostels, and I referred to it as The Bataan Death March. A different bed for every night, big hikes up steep cathedral town hills, and questionable pub food. I was a total grump by the end of it, not realizing the gift I had been given.
Somehow it was all funnier than it wasn't, though, and we are still traveling together. And laughing more than we don't. Ken doesn't need to spend every free minute in motion now, and so we've graduated from the hostels. (I used to refer to his down-'n'-dirty travel guides, the Let's Go series, as Let's Grow Up.) And lately, we've been doing easy trips: Nova Scotia mostly, rented seaside cottages (which turn out to be bargains in these days of HomeAway), and a couple of good hotels coming and going. Ahhh--good hotels! I'm in one in St. John as I type these words. We have a room on the fourth floor here in New Brunswick--almost to Kingsburg, Nova Scotia--and it's Canada Day. They'll be shooting off fireworks right outside our window tonight, at dusk. I cannot believe my good fortune.
Just before we left, Evernight Teen mailed me the page proofs to In Her Own Time, which I read as Ken loaded the car. The book should be out around the 22nd if all goes as planned. I cannot wait to see what Jay Aheer, Evernight's superb illustrator, comes up with for the cover.
Only a year ago, I was submitting my first YA novel, Time Runs Away With Her, and nervously wondering if it would be accepted. Now, I think of Bean, Zak, Sam, and Suzanne--my main characters--as actual people. I'm super-excited to get the new book out. And I'm planning the third, which I'll start drafting, if I have time, on this trip.
Again: I cannot believe my good fortune. I am indeed "on the road and laughing!"