Thursday, January 18, 2007

First Blog: From Maine to New York

How hard can it be to get from Maine to New York? Friday night (1/5/07) I was editing my first novel while waiting in the Portland airport for hours. They announce that Kennedy is closing due to weather delays. I rebook myself on a flight the next morning and call my husband, Henry. He says he’ll drive in to get me and leaves our twelve -year-old son babysitting his sleeping younger sister.

I get a call on my cell from Henry, “I’m okay, but the car is totaled.” A sudden rainstorm had made the car hydroplane off the highway into a ditch. Some college students, one a former boy scout, stopped to help. By two in the morning we are all back home in Brunswick, minus one Subaru. Henry doesn’t even have a scratch.

At the NYC Party: Petria, Me, Cathy, Jen, Llisa, Amy and Deb

On three hours of sleep, I still enjoy my friend’s party in New York Saturday night (1/6/07). She is the first of my Dalton School friends to turn forty and does it with style. There must have been thirty people there, and I talk to maybe twenty. Petria May, in peacock blue Pucci, quit law to open a vintage clothing store in the Berkshires. Llisa Demetrios, a sculptor from California wine country, bemoans the rising cost of bronze since 9/11. A New York investment banker reads only electronic books. He’s reading War and Peace on his Blackberry one sentence at a time. I promise a book group that I’ll visit when (and if) my novel gets published.

As I leave, my hostess asks if I met their friend the editor who just got promoted at a good publishing house.

What editor? Oh, well.

On Monday (1/8/07) it's raining sideways. I borrow a raincoat and umbrella from my mother and head out in a short skirt and high-heeled flower power boots to meet Jean Naggar, my agent, for a 12:30 lunch at A La Turka on East 74th. Only a few blocks from arriving on time, a man in a wheelchair asks, “Miss, can you help me?” He’d scattered about 20 quarters all over the sidewalk. What would the ethicist say? I bend down to help him, and my hair blows wildly in the wind. I’m wet and running late. I arrive at an empty restaurant and go downstairs to fix myself up. My hand comes away from the banister brown with varnish, but it scrubs off. It’s now 12:45 so I call my agent’s assistant only to learn that the time was meant to be 1:00. By then I’ve had time to look back over my manuscript.

Jean is always a delight and her enthusiasm infectious. She brought along her daughter Jennifer Weltz, who handles their foreign and film rights, because she thinks we have a lot in common. We do. Their advice is helpful and well worth the trip. I come home re-energized to tackle the final revisions. There is more rewriting than writing to creating a novel.

Visit my website: www.sarahlaurence.com

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Sarah
It was so wonderful to celebrate with everyone and I couldn't believe all of the collateral damage that ensued (delayed flight, totaled car). Thank God Henry was ok.

I realize that your story has something in common with "Men in Trees" -- the New Yorker working on her book in a far-off and beautiful wilderness land.

Jennifer

Petria said...

Hi, Sarah. New York may well be more enjoyable after only three hours of sleep. Mind the moose. Petria in Pucci (and Massachusetts).

Anonymous said...

The ethicist would be proud.... Of course, that fellow better use his quarters to buy Moose Crossing! It's fun to read this and I look forward to more posts!

Luyen

Anonymous said...

I think you are doing a great jobin this blog.
Here's to the publication of MOOSE CROSSING. I look forward to reading it.