The Random Universe

Every now and then I’m all set to become the serious philosopher, a member of the superior analytical race and then all the little planets collide and I’m thrown off course. It’s like tumbling into a Bill Murray/Owen Wilson film (yes, I know, they did just star in a movie together, but that’s my point) and nothing is quite as it seems…including the red caps.

I’ve had five days of complete and total angst. Angst over everything, real and perceived, and then in one day all the planets shift and the universe seems overwhelmingly kind…truly benign.

Today I had four different, utterly distinct emails and each one in and of its own would be a gift…but four in a day? First, my editor at Warner is really enjoying early drafts of next year’s book, Flirting with Forty. She called the male character, Kai, scrumptious. (He is.) But that’s high praise, indeed. Thank you, Karen K. And then I hear from one of my favorite friends and room mates from UCLA, Karen Cope, and she’s emailed me and picked up my books and after years of not being in touch its wonderful to have ‘found’ her again. (Okay, those Christmas cards help but who knows if the cards are ever read….?) Something else huge, heard from a fellow Visalian now living in Greater Seattle and her parents taught with my dad at the college, and my mom sold her parents a trip to Alaska and she opened up the Costco Connection magazine and saw a photo of me and the cover of The Frog Prince which means–yes!–that Costco is carrying The Frog Prince in July in their wherehouses. AND (see, this is a good day, I told you) Julia Quinn, one of my favorite historical authors and a woman who amazes me and delights me with her novels wrote a dazzling review of The Frog Prince and posted it on her website ( and I just heard about it today. See? A good day.

And best of all, I was discovering all this good news on my sister’s computer in my sister’s hotel room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with my kids playing a fierce game of Nintendo boxing (don’t ask me…even their girl cousin was having a great time) nearby and it was all so normal and wonderful and impossible all at the same time.

It’s late now and kids must be put to bed but I’m still marveling at the day, and my good fortune, and the four emails…

It’s so weird. All that nail chewing, and pacing, and risk-taking and sometimes it ends in pain, and sometimes it pays off, and how do we ever know which way it’ll go? Maybe we don’t, which is why we always have to try. And something else I realized today–maybe it’s enough to just be yourself and go for it. Maybe it’s enough to just do your best. Because if you’ve done your best, what more can you do? If you’ve done your best, how can one apologize?

Today I realized being a good girl’s great.

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