“Good Problem” and other confusions

This week, within the span of a few days, the temperature in Cleveland swung from minus 11 to plus 50. One day I was behind the wheel of my car, steering through deserted, windswept streets–I swear the asphalt felt brittle beneath the tires–and then people were jogging in shorts. Time lapse of the most extreme variety. For us humans it was disorienting and made for conversation, but I wonder how the animals took it. Were they alarmed? Confused? Did they just accept  it with the ancient dignity that is theirs? One morning I went to the window for a closer look at the bird feeder and gazed down into the eyes of a six-point buck. We exchanged a long, astonished gape before he dashed away.

Life has been confusing ever since Christmas, really. My daughters gave me all kinds of amazing beauty products. They do this every year, and I’m immensely grateful for their efforts to rescue me from perpetual self neglect.   But a shower now presents challenges. First I shampoo and condition with tea tree, wildly stimulating my scalp and brow,  and then I moisturize with lavendar and comfrey, which aim to  sooth and relax.  Which is it? begs my addled body.

And speaking of daughters, our oldest called us from a holiday cross country ski trip with her boyfriend to tell us they are engaged. We love this fellow, so happiness abounds, and yet. My girl, married? Please don’t play “Sunrise, Sunset” anywhere in my vicinity.

And then…Then there came the wonderful confirmation of this fact: I will have two books published in 2015–my novel for younger readers, “Not Even Cody”, with Candlewick, and my new middle grade, “Moonpenny Island”, with Balzer & Bray. Two books in one year is a first for me. It’s a wish-upon-a-star kind of event.  When exactly each will pub is a bit of a marketing conundrum, for now. Though I have complete faith in both publishers, I get a bit nervous, thinking about it, to tell the truth.  But this is yet another good problem, right? A happy confusion. An oxymoron of the sweetest sort.

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