second time around

So I didn't get to go snowboarding. No snow in New England = bummer!

But just after New Year's, I received an email from my agent about Book Number Two (aka the Prague novel). She really liked it! Of course, she gave me comments for a here we go again. This time, I'm playing the same game...only as a published author. This doesn't mean I'm going to sell every single book that I write (or that my editor will offer me a contract) but I've got to try, right?

On Thursday I received another ginormous envelope from ICM. Inside was my new manuscript and Kate's handwritten comments. I'm going to comb through her notes this weekend and try to knock out the little things (typos and such) before tackling any plot issues.

Today is the SCBWI conference in Miami. I'm not attending any panels, but last night I swung by their reception at my favorite bookstore in the whole world, Books&Books in Coral Gables. My critique partner and fairy godmother, Joyce Sweeney, was hanging out in the courtyard. I ran up and gave her a big hug. A busload of noisy people with nametags were pouring into the place and kind of freaking me out, so I snuck inside the cafe to hide. Beside me sat two elegant ladies (sporting SCBWI nametags and chatting about their upcoming critiques).

"Wear did you get your silver slippers?" asked the lady with the long eyelashes. "I was looking for a pair exactly like them."

After chatting for a bit, I discovered that Joyce is critiquing their manuscripts.

"She helped me sell my first book. She's the best," I told them.

"And she's really nice," they added.

The nice part is important.

The Silver Slipper lady noticed Harlan, who was sitting across from me, flipping through a Hunter S. Thompson book about the size of our table.

"Are you the boyfriend?" she asked (slipping an article in front of the noun).

"Um. Yeah," he said, laughing.

When things finally got quiet, he walked me to my car, which was parked in the Deco-style garage across the street. We took the elevator to the roof and looked out at the sparkling city. I kept thinking: This is weird. I'm not a nametag person anymore but I'm not officially published yet. I'm in an inbetween place. It's a strange place to be.