I was luxuriating in bed for an extra half hour this morning, wishing spring would come, when I got a call from my fabulous publisher, Sarah MacLachlan, telling me my novel, Annabel, has been shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award.
“Your blog will be easy to write today,” she said. “It’s a blog of firsts. It’s your first novel. It’s the first novel award.”
I said, “Does the winner get any money, she asked mercenarily?”
“Seven thousand five hundred. The thing is, you'll sell a lot of copies because of it. And just for being on the shortlist you get a $750 credit with Amazon.”
“Seven hundred and fifty dollars in books? Wahoo!”
I facebooked Elder Daughter and told her to give me a list of any books she wanted for university, or just plain wanted. She informed me that Rufus Wainwright has a new baby and the grandfather is Leonard Cohen. Younger Daughter came home from school deflated after having lost her phone on the metro, but my Amazon news cheered her up.
“Look at this: The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements with big photos of all 118 elements in the periodic table. Can I have that?”
The phone rang. A man who spoke only French managed to let us know he had found her phone. We could come and get it if we’d give him ten dollars. Dear One got on that right away. As he left the apartment I said, “Be careful.” I was thinking maybe the person pickpocketed the phone so he could lure its owner into some kind of trap. I did not think this was extremely likely, but considered it a slim possibility. I could easily imagine Dear One being hauled into a dark passageway and robbed. I knew better than to describe this scenario out loud. Everyone was already laughing at me because of the overly clear way I had enunciated our plight to Solo Mobile’s recorded message centre. Now I would have to rescind that message with a new message and they would laugh at that, too.
“What books are you going to get with your Amazon prize?” asked Younger Daughter.
“I might order a couple of boxes of Annabels.” I thought they would laugh at this too. But they didn’t. They thought it was a pretty good idea. Anyone who is a writer or who knows a writer knows what I’m talking about.
But that would be boring, wouldn't it. And I wouldn't mind a copy of Colm Toibin's new story collection, or Audrey Niffenegger's latest novel, or the latest Lonely Planet guide to Scotland...