Today is my 52nd birthday. Certain aspects of me are indeed that old, and I believe I have satisfied my lifetime quota of dating, diaper changing, and agent queries (fingers crossed, knock on wood). My children are growing more self-sufficient (all things relative) and I foresee a time when I can cook with spices and leave town. But I don’t feel like surrendering my youth now, or any time in the foreseeable future.
This is not to be confused with a midlife crisis.
The real reason I can’t afford to be old is that my new career starts this year. As I age, my novel grows closer to its own birthday. MY JANE AUSTEN SUMMER: A SEASON IN MANSFIELD PARK will be released by William Morrow/Harper Collins on March 29, 2011. Who will take care of it and make sure it thrives in the world? I have to stop aging. Rather than resting on my contract, I have ten minutes to learn to blog, tweet, and Facebook like a writer half my age while writing the next novel and supervising homework. My grandmother said her spirit was the same at 90 as at 14. First Reader (aka Husband) says I’m exaggerating and 52 is not old. He’s 59 and, according to him, 60 is the new 40.
So that makes me 32.
On the occasion of my birthday, I hereby embrace Denial and commit myself to this blog: First Draft. Here, I will scale the WordPress learning curve to share the true stories of a mature debut author: the ten grinding years preceding anything good, the agony and ecstasy of all things authorial, and my bodice-ripping love affair with books. I hope to support and encourage readers and writers on their own journey, especially those with homework to supervise or a seasoned perspective. Just bear with my aging synapses. What’s a widget, anyone?