In the spring of 1986, my college roommate Kim and I boarded a ferry from England, where we were both spending our junior years, and headed for the continent. We had rail passes, a copy of LET’S GO: EUROPE, some travelers checks, a few clothes, and . . . that was pretty much it. We didn’t bother plotting out an itinerary because that would have been, like, unspontaneous. And also, it would have required effort.
First stop: Bruges, Belgium. Two thumbs up!!! Next stop: Luxembourg. Two thumbs down. And then came Strasbourg, France. When we came out of the station, it was raining. A hobo accosted us, and we quickened our pace. We found a payphone and inserted the required number of francs. (Yes, this was olden times.) I dialed the number for a pension recommended by LET’S GO, all set to launch into my stilted French, but the number was disconnected.
That did it. Strasbourg was out! We headed back to the train station and jumped on a train just departing for Munich (which, as it turned out, was due to arrive at midnight, so we kept going to Vienna).
Fast forward to now. My husband, son, and I have been given the opportunity to spend a year in, yes, Strasbourg. If I’d had Google image search back in the eighties, I would have braved the rain and the hobo and pushed forward to what appears to be a kind of fairytale city.
We fly out in two weeks. It still seems a little unreal. But my son is enrolled in school and we’ve got an apartment waiting for us with our names on the mailbox, so I guess it’s really happening.
Stay tuned for details. I, for one, can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a birthday party coming up? And you’d say to your friends, “AREN’T YOU EXCITED ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY PARTY?!!!!” And they’d say, “Wait. What? You’re having a birthday?”
Waiting for a book to come out is kind of like that. [...] Continue Reading…
As a child, I was never a fan of baby dolls, but I loved the third-hand Barbies that lived in a shoebox under my bed. These were pre-Malibu Barbies, which meant they were brunettes – just like me! So what if the [...] Continue Reading…
Whenever I talk about my writing, someone inevitably asks where I get my great ideas. (Okay. Fine. They just ask where I get my ideas. I like to believe the “great” is implied.) My answer is a two-parter: one, I am perhaps less engaged with reality than, say, your [...] Continue Reading…
Bubble World is still a couple of months away from making its way out into the big, bad world, but Kirkus Reviews (which has a reputation for being kind of, um, mean) has some nice things to say. I mean — “nifty” and “spunky”? It doesn’t get much better [...] Continue Reading…