(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday – The Next Hat

Backstory = here.

My Whirlwind Week

Last Tuesday, I turned in my copyedits. On Wednesday, I got on a plane and flew to NY. So, you know, it wasn’t hectic or anything. :)

I got in Wednesday evening, made my way from JFK to Hell’s Kitchen and had dinner with Neil. Sadly, no fingers were put in noses, but we did have really good Thai food.

On Thursday, I met Wendy for coffee, which was delightful. It is always nice to have a chance to talk shop with other writers, and Wendy is so kind and absolutely hysterical!

Then I went to Dutton (Oh! The books! Everywhere!), got to meet a whole bunch of wonderful people, and had lunch with my amazing editor and publicist. After my meeting, I did a little shopping, and met Neil for dinner again.

On Friday morning, Lady flew in from Seattle and we headed uptown together. Lady met up with one of her old friends, and I had a great lunch with my fabulous agent (who is, by the way, the best agent in the whole wide world).

Then I met up with Lady and her friend in SoHo, trekked back uptown to change, and then back downtown to have dinner and drinks with a whole bunch of my friends from high school (seeing some of them for the first time since the mid-to-late 90’s).

On Saturday, I felt like death. I think it’s because some soy sauce snuck it’s way into my pad thai the night before, (soy sauce = wheat and wheat = migraine), although, if you ask Lady or Neil, they might tell you it had something to do with tequila. Don’t listen to them. :)

Saturday afternoon, I recovered and made my way down to midtown to have dinner with all of my ladies (minus The Other 1/4, because she had to stay home with The Little 1/8, who had the sniffles). It was so wonderful to be with them. Old friends are the best kind of history.

On Sunday, I took a train back up to the ROC, and was lucky enough to sit near three really cool people. I’d brought a book, but the four of us ended up talking the entire way, and six and a half hours have never passed so quickly.

Now I’m back home, exhausted, with one heck of a head cold, but still reeling from the fact that I am so lucky to get to work and play with such incredible people. It’s wonderful to be able to sit down with people you’ve only worked with through e-mail and phone calls and feel like you already know them. It’s so great to see old friends and be able to just pick up where you left off, and to meet perfect strangers and have them feel like old friends. People are awesome.

Item # six million and ninety-two on the Why Neil is Awesome list

When I talked to Neil on the phone last weekend he hinted that I should keep an eye out for something in the mail.

I assumed it was a cartoon. Neil draws the most amazing cartoons (that’s item # six million and seventy-four on the list). It wasn’t.

On Monday, a small white box arrived. It contained four hats and a letter. The first three hats say “The (Character Name Here) Hat,” and the last one says, “The 4th Hat for Jeremy.”

In the letter, Neil says that while I’ve been focusing on Van, now I’ll be juggling support for the book with moving forward with my next projects.

“What should go on today’s list of tasks? What are your responsibilities for the next few days or weeks? What role should you be playing? This is why, in a gesture of congratulations for finishing STAY, I present to you three hats for three characters . . . It is my hope that, when it’s time to wear a different hat, you’ll, well, wear a different hat.”

I left out a bunch of good parts of the letter that are specific to my characters and I’ve blocked out the names of the other two characters in the picture above, because, well, things are subject to change at any time, and I’m not ready for character 2 and character 3 to make their appearance yet, but I am excited about them and can’t wait to tell you more when the time is right.

Neil then writes to the hubs, telling him “I’ve admired your support of Al, and feel that such efforts deserve a hat as well. This is why I present the fourth hat to you.”

And then there is the P.S. “Please note that I’m aware that these are some ugly-ass hats. I’m hoping it’s the thought that counts and shit.”

Don’t you wish you had a Neil? If everyone had a Neil, the world would be a better place, which, by the way, is item # six million and ninety-three on the list.

Oh, and do me a favor – go stick a finger in a nose for Neil. He’d really appreciate it.