Vacation was fabulous. Did a lot of reading, did a lot of yoga, ate a lot of sushi, had a salt scrub that was so heavenly it made me want to come back in my next life as a side of beef.

Halloween was great, too. Unlike last year’s debacle, Lucy actually wore her costume…or, at least, most of it. The Ariel dress and Ariel crown got the thumbs-up, and the small stuffed Flounder and Sebastian got to ride along in her candy basket, but the long red hair that she’d insisted on only lasted for about two pictures. My favorite moment of the night was at someone’s house with a bowl full of assorted goodies. Lu said, “Trick or treat!” reached in, rummaged around and pulled out a small bag of pretzels.

“Lucy,” I said, “have I taught you nothing?”

She put the pretzels back and retrieved some M&M’s. That’s my girl.

The best and strangest part of vacation? Seeing people on the beach reading my books. Even though I know they’ve been published, and that they’re for sale in many bookstores, and that people do, indeed, buy them and read them, there’s still something strange about actually seeing someone with my book in their hands. I think part of me will always feel as if they’ve snuck into my room and snatched my diary, and want to run over and say, “Give that back!” (But don’t be afraid if you encounter me on a beach…generally I am able to restrain myself from everything except a little husband-nudging and staring).

As part of my ceaseless quest for legitimacy, I’m going to pitch the New York Times Book Review to see if they’d be interested in an essay on the topic of how authors deal when they see people out in the world, reading their stuff. I’d certainly be interested in finding out whether other writers react the way I do. Per usual when pitching a highbrow publication, my query letter will mention the name of my alma mater frequently, and the titles of my books, not even once. I'll let you know whether the response is hysterical laughter, icy disdain, or first A., then B..

Jen