Tuesday, May 5, 2009

San Diego and Hostess Cupcakes

I just went to San Diego so I could see my friend do this:

And eat some of this:

And here I am, with some of my critique group friends:

That's Kirsten, me holding a wiggly and bald-spotted Henry, Cindy, and Eveie

I am such a jet-setter. Gosh. ;-)

Seriously, though, I did just get back from a weekend San Diego in which I brought along baby Henry to my friend and critique group partner Cindy Pon's first-ever book launch. Her first novel, SILVER PHOENIX, came out a week ago--hurry, go buy it--read it--and join me in waiting for the sequel and the inevitable blockbuster soon to follow.

The flight out was a little bit of a pain considering I had a baby on my lap and was squished in the middle seat, but my neighbors were all wonderful. My first neighbor was a woman on her way home from Iraq. Thank God. She helped me out quite a lot in entertaining Henry.

My friend Kirsten, an absolutely fantastic novelist who will soon be getting a great agent, I am sure, played the Perfect Hostess for both Henry and me. She had all the baby gear, which made things super easy. Also, she brought me a tray of tea, milk, honey, and fresh strawberries to munch and sip while I got dressed on Saturday morning, plus she took care of the baby at the same time. I am forever spoiled. And now I will feel subpar if I don't treat my future guests as wonderfully as she did! I felt like a princess all weekend.

One of the unexpected* benefits of going out to San Diego was being there in person for a critique group meeting. I've been away for a year and a half, and it's been hard. Email critiques just aren't as good, you know? And I don't do critiques as thoroughly and as well as when I am going to be there for the actual meeting. Anyway, remember the 20+ pages I wrote last weekend? Well, they read them all and gave me awesome guidance. Plus they made me feel good, like the pages aren't half bad and were totally readable, even if it's a first draft and had lots of holes. They set me on my way and now I've got FOCUS. *sigh* I lurve my critique group.

I felt like I was hanging out with someone famous on Sunday when Kirsten, her husband, her adorable and smart kid, and I and Henry went to La Jolla to hang out with Cindy and her two adorable and smart kids. We had lunch and then played in the sand on the beach**. It was a gorgeous San Diego day that I will surely be missing when I'm holed up in my home come The Long Winter in Syracuse.

The flight home was easy because Henry slept the whole time (Was that my One Good Flight?). I picked up my first adult novel in years and years, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and read half of it. So far, I'm loving it.

Now I must dash off-line and clean my home. I love my husband***. He took care of Elizabeth all weekend, and the house was pretty clean when I got home, but after a day of Exhausted Mommyhood, it's messy already.

* Ok, so it wasn't unexpected. I totally knew they'd help me out. They always do.
** Henry didn't play so much as ate the sand.
*** Did I mention he went to get me a Hostess Cupcake because I was craving one? He, who made lettuce, steamed broccoli, raw carrots, and sweet potatoes for dinner? (Seriously, that's what we ate. And it was surprisingly filling. Except for leaving me with a craving for gooey, chocolate-y, cream-filled cupcake.)

Oh, and those pics? I lifted them from Cindy's blog.


Kelly said...

I read Cindy's blog today and it crossed my mind that the Amber she wrote about was perhaps you!
How wonderful to witness her exciting day AND do a critique group!!
And my husbands' made an all meat dinner, but never an all vegetables entree! :)

Amber Lough said...

Kelly, Jim and I are trying to be as healthy as we can, but it's just so hard sometimes. Tonight will be better--black bean soup. The difficulty is coming up with quick, healthy, vegetarian food. We aren't vegetarians, but neither of us like eating meat very much.

Some days, though, I just don't have the energy or the time. Having a baby, a 2 year old, and a book project just leaves my head spinning.

Edith said...

Ah ha! Now I am all caught up. Glad you had a fun trip! ;)