A Long Afternoon

I guess this is where Jane’s planes and automobiles really start. At Sea-Tac, Seattle’s airport, where I wait for an Oakland flight already late due to a mechanical. I’ve called Em, my brilliant web designer and branding guru who seems to always have an answer for everything and she tells me not to worry about late flight, that she’s on top of the situation and that they’re monitoring my flight in her office and dinner will be waiting when I get there (Waxcreative is the ultimate in customer service).

I hang up, call my little brother, Rob Porter, in San Francisco. Rob will be picking me up from Emily’s later tonight after we finish stuffing the goodie bags for tomorrow’s launch party. Rob says not to worry if flight is delayed. He’ll come get me anytime.

‘I’m at your disposal,’ Rob says. ‘Whatever you need, whatever you want, just ask. I’ll get it done.’ (I love this in a man. Major points.)

I call my mom who is in the air and leave her a second voice mail update. My mom is flying in for the launch and has promised to help me stuff goodie bags at the Waxcreative studio tonight–Frog Prince is a mother/daughter story, after all. ‘Mom, running later than what Alaska first told us. Looks like it’ll be longer than an hour delay. Possibly two. I’ll keep you posted.’

Ah, yes, Jane’s planes and automobiles. It’s all started, and very apt, and rather painful as I haven’t even made it out of my own airport yet, but I know airports. I travel a lot. Sometimes as I juggle my lives here in Seattle, in Hawaii, and on the road, I wonder which is the real me. Maybe all the different travel Janes are the real me. I certainly slide in and out of wardrobe changes and different sizes of my super tough, extremely lightweight luggage set. Big case, little case, carry on. How long is my trip, where am I going, which bag will I need this time?

Some of my friends shake their heads when they see me breeze in and out again. How do you do it? Doesn’t it exhaust you? Don’t you ever feel like you’re losing it? I don’t know how I do it, I tell them, and yes I’m exhausted, and yes I feel like I’m losing it, but I always feel that way…so why not travel?

Throwing clothes in a bag, books in a backpack, hoping on a plane–that’s my idea of life. I love the start of new things, the possibility of adventure, the chance to see–learn–something new. Maybe that’s why I write. Every book gives me a chance to create a new world, to do something different, to say something I haven’t said before (rather remarkable when you consider how much I like to talk…).

A couple of days ago my friend Sinclair asked if I was pumped about the release of the book and I was ho-hum. Another friend, Leena Hyat, asked if I was excited about the launch party, just a day away. ‘Oh, not really,’ I told her. ‘I’m actually worried. The RSVPs. My sore throat. The kids being left behind.’ But then�and this is how fast my little world changes�I wrote 12 pages in an hour and a half, my suitcase was zipped, my emails returned, my kids tucked in for the night, and it hit me, yes, yes, I am ready for the book tour. I’m thrilled about the launch party.

Even better, this morning the sore throat was nearly gone. I heard from a few more high school friends that they were coming to La Barca Thursday night. And you know, I have a book out. The Frog Prince is officially released today.

Mom, be patient, I’m coming. Rob, thanks for being Mr. San Francisco, just knowing you’ll be at tomorrow’s launch party makes me confident it’ll be a success. Emily, thank God you’ve been so clever and you’re always thinking of new ways to make me look good. Working with you is probably the best thing I’ve done for my career. And Michelle, my hairdresser�I love my new highlights. Wow. Where would I be without you? What good is a launch party without killer hair?


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