When I got the news about my book deal, I was at Reagan National Airport waiting to fly to Chicago for the 2009 AWP Conference. My agent reached me right before they announced boarding. The news was big--this was a deal that would move my writing from a side love to a full-time job--and after I hung up I looked around the terminal and thought, with a twinge of sadness, Nobody here knows me. Then I realized the liberation of that: Nobody here knows me! I jumped up and down. I wiggled my hips. I dipped my shoulders to a silent dance track. I grinned like a happy fool.
When I landed in Chicago and got to the conference hotel, I did the usual dashing about--check-in, conference registration, tote bag critique, hello to five hundred friends. But I stopped in the middle of the lobby and ignored the noise long enough to call my Grandma Beasley back at home. (Agh. Just writing this...I miss her.) Someone would pay me to write a book, I told her. A book about growing up with food allergies.
"Well, darlin'," she said in her accent, still Texan from younger days. "After all these years, there turns out to be a silver lining."