There have been other adventures since then, in Vancouver, Hawaii and of course, the city most likely to take a restraining order out against me, my gorgeous New York.
Vancouver won an unexpected prize for having the most beautiful airport I have ever seen. We were standing in a long, long line for people who are inconsiderately not Canadian, and I extolled its beauties to a harried-looking Chinese lady at some length.
SARAH: The rushing waterfall, merrily frothing on its course!
CHINESE LADY: Uh-huh.
SARAH: The limpid pools! The rushing rivers!
CHINESE LADY: breaks and runs
SARAH: Where are you going? We’re almost at the head of the line!
CHINESE LADY: (eyeing me with burning reproach) I HAVE TO PEE, OKAY?
In Vancouver I saw two of my best friends, Ashling the Artist and the fabulous Jonas Wilde. I also saw Ginny Sue, one of my best friends from school, who I hadn’t seen for years and who I love even though she is single-handedly responsible for me seeing Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
SARAH: What do you do now?
GINNY SUE: I save the world! Well, the ecology of Canada. Yesterday my department saved sixty frogs. What do you do now?
SARAH: … I kill trees. So, so many trees. Shine on, you frog-saving diamond.
Being artistic and scintillating types, Ashling and I naturally spent a great deal of time eating cupcakes and discussing Gossip Girl. I feel no shame about this whatsoever, and am happy to report to everyone that Vancouver is all cupcakes and sunshine, and thus my exact idea of a good time.
It should go without saying that Hawaii is a good time. From the moment I peeped out my airplane window and saw the ocean below, turquoise with tiny sparkling waves that made it look like someone had sprinkled glitter all over the water, I loved it.
I landed amid scorching sunshine and huge red tropical flowers bobbing their heads at me as if they were Victorian ladies half-curtsying and half-crushed under the weight of huge bonnets, and met up with my friend maprilynne, otherwise known as the lovely Aprilynne Pike (author of Wings, which comes out a month before my book and which everyone will buy instead and leave me weeping softly in a corner) and her family. She has a baby boy who I immediately started to toddle around the hotel and have adventures with.
SARAH: Hooray, baby, we’re at the gift shop!
BABY: Look at these tiny bottles of alcohol.
SARAH: Baby, you and I are so simpatico.
BABY: I make a little castle of alcohol.
APRILYNNE: I turn my back for a minute and you get my one year old into the liquor?
SARAH: Yes! No. Maybe?
APRILYNNE: I expected no less.
Since we were at the Maui Writers’ Retreat, we did quite a bit of writing and I met lots of writers, who always have the best ideas. Bill from my class brought cookies in! Heather who wrote about sexy dragons (there must be more dragon books in the world. I just read Victory of Eagles and almost wept at how cool it was) suggested we go on a sunset cruise. Patricia Wood (author of Lottery, which I read on my way to a luau) had dinner with me and Aprilynne high above the lights of Honolulu.
Aprilynne and I went to that luau, where we were presented with purple leis. I approve of leis very much.
SARAH: I see now that my low neckline (People, it was very warm! I was being practical!) is in fact perfectly designed. For my modesty is preserved by a lei.
APRILYNNE: Yes, but you’ve been wearing that neckline all day, baby.
SARAH: I was just getting ready for my lei. This is my lei line.
We saw beautiful dances, and beautiful dancers. My favourite was the Tahiti fire dances. Most would have been content to be enraptured by this display of a diverse and ancient culture, and would not have quietly started re-interpreting many of the dances. (Which is to say, I am very sorry for my rendition of ‘My Hula Skirt Brings All the Boys to the Yard’ and I see now it was inappropriate.)
One of the most exciting things about Hawaii was that I got to meet my agent, Kristin Nelson. As you can tell from my other posts about her, I love my agent. So of course, I promptly went into hysterics. What if she didn’t like me? What if she dodged my calls from now on because I was obviously a fruit loop? Did my lei make me look fat?
We met at the beach where the sunset was painting the sea orange and yellow and scarlet, and had icy strawberry drinks. It was the loveliest way possible to meet my agent. And, because I am blessed with almost miraculous good luck, she was even more awesome than I thought she would be. We talked about volleyball and vampires and our mutual love for Sherry Thomas. And she said one of the best things ever to me. Ever.
SARAH: So… what topic is meant to be hot these days? What’s the next big thing? (I was just curious, you guys! I swear, if she had said ‘Time-travelling mermaids romance’ I wouldn’t have sent her a letter the next day saying ‘1,000 Leagues Under the Sea (And Back In Time!) Gods, men and a horrified publishing industry said it was not to be, but they would not listen! Ugga, a Neandarthal who has just invented primitive snorkeling, meets Rides A Shark, the adventurous merman who will now proceed to rock her like a tsunami…’)
KRISTIN: Don’t ever worry about that. Just write well. That’s what people really want to see. That’s the only thing I want to see.
Which for someone whose job is to sell my books (and the books of others, sure, fine, them too) as saleable to publishing houses, I thought was particularly wonderful advice. I do not have enough good things to say about my agent. Of course, I may be praising her because the next day, we went out to the sea and she now has a picture of us in bikinis.
You know I make wombat faces in pictures. Imagine a wombat in a bikini. (Or don’t. You already did, didn’t you? Um… sorry about that.)
This post has now grown epic as the love between a cavewoman and a merman, so I will save my adventures in New York for later! (There were pirates.)