It’s been a good summer, a fast summer, a hot summer that felt like a summer. I’ve ticked most items off of my “summer to-do list.” I’ve canned enough tomatoes to last us through winter (I think), and have filled one whole freezer with fruit and veggies and herbs, too. This morning, I dumped the water out of my canner and put it back into the basement. I’m all out of jars, and my pantry shelves are full. And my mom has promised to can peaches for us, so what more will we need? Yesterday’s canning session took all morning, but it wasn’t hard: one last 1/2 bushel of tomatoes, whose beautiful red flesh I’m looking at right now, glassed in on my countertop.

I fully intended for this week to be about letting the kids enjoy what’s left of their holiday and that’s what it’s been (I hope they’ll concur): sleepovers, playdates, and yes, computer playing. We’ve biked to afternoon swim lessons; we’ve been on one evening picnic; we’ve bought shoes, had eye check-ups and gelato, and we’ve shopped for school supplies at Shoppers Drugmart. Actually, that spree coincided with a moment in my life which I may never forget. The kids were mile-a-minute enthusiastically comparing bandages (Barbie? Star Wars? Pooh Bear?) in the first-aid aisle when I got a call from my agent. It was the kind of call for which every writer quietly waits. She said, Have I caught you at a good time? I said, I’m standing in Shoppers with my kids. She said, check your email when you get home.

I’m struggling with how best to share this news, because it’s tenuous in-between news, neither signed, sealed nor delivered; on the other hand, anyone reading this blog has suffered through the dregs of naval-gazing and self-doubt, and it seems more than fitting to share with you the flip side of the equation–the moments of affirmation. I found myself weeping–not in Shoppers, but later, when I’d had a chance to let the news sink in, yet while it was still fresh and utterly thrilling and overwhelming. Why are you crying, Mommy? Because I’m so happy! (Apparently, that’s how I do happy; it ain’t pretty).

My agent was calling to tell me that I have offers on my Nicaragua book; though the offers didn’t quite arrive in a lump, they came close, in the feast or famine style that is a writer’s fate. Wow. I almost can’t type those words out or trust in them. Might it all evaporate if I look at it too closely, or wave it around too excitedly?

Because it is now the long weekend, I have several completely quiet days to think and to imagine. My agent, who has been with me and with this book for the years that I’ve committed to it, said she wished for me to relax and just enjoy the moment for what it is. Savour it. She, like my husband, gets an inside view of my efforts, hopes and ambitions, and I hear what she’s saying: This is where you are, right now. It took a lot of work to get here. There’s a lot of work ahead. This is one of those rare peaks along the climb, an opportunity, if I let myself take it, to stop for a moment and breathe in the view.

Pick-Your-Own Happiness
Look What We Got Done!


  1. Susan Fish

    Joyful tenuous news! Breathe and savour!

  2. Kerry C

    This post is so overwhelmingly beautifully written, Carrie. And congratulations. You’re not the only one happy about this.

  3. Tricia Orchard

    My goodness! I have tears in my eyes for you! How wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. isohedral

    I heard rumours about the good news yesterday… Congratulations! I strongly suggest Feast over Famine: accept all the offers!

  5. Beth-Anne

    Carrie – Your post today was so moving that I have tears in my eyes as I write congratulations to you! You have such a way of communicating your emotions – what’s more, I always find myself relating to you and your job as mother.

    All the best! You deserve it!

  6. katie

    wonderful, carrie! just wonderful.

  7. Carol

    Congratulations, Carrie! I love your story of being in the drugstore and witnessing the bandaid excitement when you got the news. I hope you’re able to enjoy the feast – so hard-earned – to its fullest.

  8. m


  9. nathaliefoy

    AAAAAAAHHHHH! Fantastic news! Bravo! Book more childcare! Share that to-do list! Embrace this affirmation! Enough with the exclamation marks…

  10. Carrie Snyder

    Never too many exclamations marks!!

    And thank you, everyone, for being excited along with me! It means a lot.


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