Believe it or not, I have just got back from New York late yesterday after taking the opportunity to fly to SC instead of MI to truck a van of stuff from storage back North. Guy and I had a smidgen of a color tour, first from the air which isn’t as pretty as you might think unless you’re looking at the shades of turned earth (which were beautiful), and then a slow two-day slog back over the same territory in a rental truck. Oddly enough, on the way back there’s a spot of color in the smokey mountains and then a strip of blandness where the leaves are past their peak, and then another spot of color right around lower MI. I didn’t miss my one-year-old little trees turning, which I was afraid I might. They were green when I left, but I know little trees turn fast. As expected, they are fading fast, but I did see the orange and can imagine their glory in fifteen years or so. It’s going to be breathtaking, especially if the hundred-year-old yellow trees around them hang on a little longer. We’ve had an arborist out to help us with them and he says they’re healthy, but nothing lives forever unless you’re one of those dawn redwoods. :-)
So today I’m back in my beloved office and looking at a week’s downtime in the past, more than ready to get lost in the Hollows for a few weeks–the music is on, the rain is a soft hush, and the leaves have made the world yellow up, down, and in between in a slow steady drift. Ahhhhh, simple needs are anything but simple, even if they make for happy people, and I’m happy today with a slow excitement for what is going to land on the page.
But I said I was back on the lists, and that makes me happy too and it is one of the most complicated things in my life. My editor called with the news yesterday that Into the Woods will be debuting on the NYTimes hardcover fiction list at thirteen, tied with book twelve, which I think a delightful number this time of year and with this kind of book. Anthologies are devilishly hard to predict, and to have readers excited enough and a publisher willing to help promote it has given it a very nice birthday number. Thank you, guys–you’re the best. I worked to give you something to become excited about, and you made the effort to get out and pick it up on that first week or two.
A Perfect Blood, is again on the lists, too. It’s been out three weeks and debuted at fourteen, has left the list and come back this week at thirty on the mass market. Again, thanks to the readers and a proactive publisher. I think that SafeCo (?) has it available for a ridiculously low price, and I saw it in Walmart for only pennies more, which makes me happy. Some of you have waited so long. If you’re only now reading it, I hope you find it worth the wait. It’s only going to get better from here on out. :-)