2014 will be a year of firsts for us. As debut authors, we’ll learn what it feels like to hold our books in our hands for the first time. We’ll crack open the covers of our newly printed books and read those first words. We might even be asked to sign a first copy for a friend.
So, in the spirit of firsts, I’ve compiled a list of 14 firsts about my life. And since Dream Boy is all about dreams (both literal and metaphorical), I thought I’d start my list of firsts there.
First dream (literal): Frankenstein, Marilyn Monroe, and some random adults were at a party in a huge white room with a vast sunken hot-tub. Witches showed up and paralyzed everybody. Um… yeah, I was a weird little girl.
First dream (metaphorical): To take off on a cross-country trip with a sexy, kind, and soulful motor-cycle-driving poet.
First books: We only had a handful of worn picture books around the house when I was a little kid, so I ended up studying the same books over and over. Some of them I didn’t even particularly like, but by the time I was six, they had become part of my bones. In place of my left femur, I have It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Where once was my sternum is Pitidoe the Color Maker. And somewhere around my fibula, just where it belongs, is Don Freeman’s Space Witch.
First book I became genuinely obsessed with: Ella Fannie’s Elephant Riddle Book by Ann Bishop. PURE GENIUS! (I’m still kind of obsessed.)
First novel I howled over like a stuck pig: Forever… by Judy Blume.
First poem I wrote: “Amy and the Ants,” a three-page epic of rhyming couplets in which a little girl teams up with the ants of the world to save humanity (and ant-ity) from nuclear apocalypse.
First shoes I loved: Metallic silver hightops.
First job: Toilet-seat hand model.
First baby: Not a human child at all, but a beagle-chihuahua mutt who let me know she was not only my baby, but she was also The Queen.
Sadly, Spice died years ago, but the good news is that she lives on as the star of Dream Boy. (Ok, her spirit possessed me for a second there and made me write the word star. Let me clarify: She is, in fact, a character in Dream Boy, but she’s not the star, she’s just the… ACK! POSSESSION!… Eternal QUEEEEEEN. Bow down, ye measly humans, before the Wonder that is Spice!)
First lie: I ate 50 mini-Butterfingers, and when my father asked if by chance I had gotten into the Butterfingers, I said that I most certainly had not. Then I puked a bucket full of Butterfingers and didn’t eat another one for many, many years.
First thing that, in the words of my mother, could have broken my neck: Jumping off a cliff. (What can I say? My friends were doing it.)
First kiss: A boy named Jimmy whom I had never seen before and have never seen since.
First crush, first love, first husband, current husband, hopefully only husband ever: Stewart.
First time someone stumbled upon a copy of Dream Boy, read it, and let Madelyn and me know they liked it: Ok, this hasn’t happened yet. But you know, 2014 is a year of firsts… and my irrepressible hopefulness is one of my more annoying qualities.