The dog woke up. It was mid-afternoon.
He barked. I looked out the window. A UPS truck. More important, snow.
I didn’t want to go outside to get a package. I wasn’t expecting anything. I’d stay in my socks.
Do the trees feel cold? On this day they would have.
The UPS guy whistled a tune as he headed from the Cabin back to the truck, winding his way through the snow banks.
Have you ever handled The First Book, fresh from the package? No?
When Gil came home he told me something had come for me, out on the porch. He slit open the plastic.
A hardcover of Savage Girl fell out, fresh and juicy as a ripe apple and cold as though it had been plucked from a tree in fall. The jacket, of course, was no surprise, as my publisher had involved me in the design process. But so many little details seemed different, the exact shade of blue on the back cover, the smidgen of lace along the edge. The spine, with my book’s title and my name and “A NOVEL” all perfectly proportioned.
There are a number of peak moments when you write books. The day you jot down a note and think about all it might be. The first page you write. Getting halfway done. Turning it in. Turning it in again after you revise it. Seeing the typeface. Paging through a galley.
No matter how many milestones you’ve passed, nothing can prepare you for the heft of the hardcover, holding this object in your hand, the ephemeral idea you had so long ago transformed into a tactile reality.