The other day my literary agent Jeff Kleinman called to discuss some marketing plans with me, and as we talked he asked, “Do you have another line ringing? Do you need to get that?”
“Umm, no,” I said. “That’s just Littlefoot.” As in my youngest daughter’s favorite dinosaur movie, The Land Before Time starring a longneck named Littlefoot.
This is the odd combination of life-changing and life-staying-exactly-the-same qualities of having my first novel being published. Sometimes I find the dichotomy amusing, other times a little jarring, and always interesting.
On Friday I told you my husband Sam had gotten a moose. After I sent my letter off to you, I put on my hunting pants and rubber boots, rain coat and work gloves, and met Sam at the bottom of the mountain. For the next four or so hours, he and I loaded hind quarters and front quarters, ribs and heart, into our backpacks and carried the meat down through birch meadows and alder thickets to the road. Sometimes this is a two- or even three-day job, but this year we were fortunate — the moose was fairly close to home.
It was a beautiful afternoon. Along the mountains the leaves were turning, the air crisp and full of the scent of autumn berries. I managed to stumble only a few times with the heavy pack. Sam and I joked as we worked that this is our idea of a date — packing moose meat.
At 3 p.m., we hurried to the pickup truck with the last of the meat. I rushed home, quickly cleaned up and changed, and headed to my evening shift at Fireside Books. I was 15 minutes late, but by 5 p.m. I was straightening shelves and helping customers find copies of The Help and Franny K. Stein.
Later, when I printed out the bestseller list for the week, I was excited to see that my agent, Jeff, had another one of the books he represents appearing on the list — The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation. I sent him a quick email to say congratulations, then went back to arranging the bestseller display.
When I got home that evening, Sam and I fried up some moose heart and ate it with garlic, onions, and mashed potatoes for dinner. Grateful to have meat for the winter, we toasted with a couple of glasses of red wine. Somehow I had managed to navigate through three separate lives in the course of one day. It left me a little worn out and entirely content.
P.S. Just a quick reminder — tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 6, at 8 p.m. ET you can join me on twitter.com for #BiblioChat, where I’ll answer questions and discuss The Snow Child and my work as a bookseller and writer in Alaska. In preparation for the chat, Biblio-Files blogger Kelly Kegans is giving a sneak peek at the first chapter of The Snow Child on her blog biblio-files.com.