So, I'm sure that real writers don't do this. That this is unprofessional and uncool. That people do this stuff privately. That sharing this moment with my little blogosphere is probably the ultimate in dorkishness.
Someone's going to have to force me to care. I want to spread this joy around.
I SIGNED THE CONTRACT FOR MY BOOK. The papers came from my agent, Rebecca, with a letter that said, "I hope you have a glass of champagne, a digital camera, and a pen at the ready."
We took her literally on that supply list.
I waited for my parents to return from their trip, then brought the papers over to their house. We popped a bottle of Moet and literally danced around the kitchen, with my mother singing a previously nonexistent song whose lyrics went, "My daughter the star my daughter the star my daughter the star!" She's proud. Dad was having trouble with the cork, so pointed the mouth of the bottle upwards; my mother yelled, "Just punch a hole in the ceiling, I don't care!" and meant it, a fact proven by her lack of reaction when the aforementioned cork nearly made good on her words. It ricocheted around the room like a billiard ball. We laughed, and got champagne all over the table, too.
Then we headed for the dining room, where my parents ceased to exist and were replaced by camera-faced droids. I have literally 40 pictures, from a 1-minute time frame. This is the "before" picture. Unsigned contract. We talked about my grandmother, and how I hadn't known until well after I became a journalist that she had attended NYU Journalism School. I had forgotten until this moment, too, about my great-grandfather's bookbinding business.
I used the pen my Aunt Anita had given me for this exact purpose. My hand shook, and I tucked my head when tears threatened.
There was a line marked "Author," and it expected my name. No joke. It really did. I guess it's official.
And here's the Happy Author Face. It's really Happy Author with a little So Relieved and So Satisfied and So Excited and So Overwhelmed and So Aware of How Much Work Is Left Before That Author Thing is Really True... but a happy face, nonetheless.
I sent them back today, and will get my countersigned contract soon. I will then stick it in a drawer and get on with the work that really matters.
But to ask me to be suave/cool/aloof and not share this? Hah. Right.