Days 5 & 6: Life’s Little Surprises

Day 5 didn’t have to work very hard to surpass the bar set by Day 4. I mean, watching back-to-back episodes of Saved by the Bell (back before A.C. Slater was in A Chorus Line) would have been better than Day 4.

But the universe works in mysterious ways, yin and yang and all, and Day 5 turned out to be the Best NYC Retreat Day Ever.

First, I headed over the the West Side for an iced latte and a long meeting with my agent, who is fabulous and well-suited to soothe my neurotic, insecure, self-inflicted writing freak-outs (despite the Jack Nicholson comment, which was well-deserved and directed more at my questionable mental health than my writing). Not once did he look across the patio cafe table and say, “Sarah, it’s great that you’re in New York and can call on me whenever you need to chat. So, do you miss Denver? Do you ever think about moving back? Maybe you should? Do you need any help packing?”

Faith in my chosen career path (and associated life’s dream, driving passion, singular raison d’être, etc.) restored, I headed to Barnes & Noble for a fix. Five fixes, actually, including Christopher Moore’s LAMB and a book for Alex.

Hey, you say “obsession,” I say “research!”

After the book indulgence—er, research investment, I had to get back to the East Side and thought I’d walk through Central Park. You’d think it would be a pretty simple task to walk straight across a big green rectangle, but…

Those of you who know me won’t be shocked when I say that I got totally lost—er, turned around. Off the path. For an hour and a half.

But getting totally lost in Central Park turned out to be a great idea.

Life’s Little Surprises (the good kind)

A turtle! But not just any turtle. This is a New York turtle.

“Are you talkin’ to me? Oh, I’m funny, huh? Like a turtle-clown, huh? I’m here to amuse you?”

I didn’t take the bait. Despite his tough exterior, this CPW turtle is a big softie on the inside.

Go read that last part again.

Ha! (Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week…)


I loved watching this fountain scene from an unnoticeable distance. The photo is kind of scattered, but if you look closely (or click on it for a larger view), you can see how much is happening and just imagine what people are thinking and talking about, paths crossing, all connected for a single moment by the fountain.


First, there’s hula hoop 101—so random. So cool.

Hula hoop 101

And, what’s got these two so engrossed?


Oh, right. She was actually bending over and twirling (not at the same time), but I opted for the wholesome family shot instead.


After watching paths cross at the fountain for a bit, I thought I’d finally found the right path to the East Side. I walked another several minutes, only to end up… right back on the West Side, ten blocks south of my original departure (and planned arrival) street.

That’s when I stumbled onto the best little surprise on my wandering journey through the park.

Listen to what it says. Really listen.

Easy if you try

It’s a good directive for us neurotic writers. And everyone else, too.

And in the end…

This evening, my 6th NYC retreat day, I packed it in a day early and headed back to Queens. I was missin’ on my husband, and ready to come home. I’m not finished with book 2 yet, but that’s okay—I got a lot of writing done and reveled in the relatively uninterrupted solitude as planned.

Despite day 4’s katsaridaphobic1 meltdown, my NYC writers retreat brought me to a place of peace with this book. When it’s ready to be finished, I know it will be… and then it’s on to the next one.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I can’t handle that much pressure!

1. Katsaridaphobia: fear of cockroaches! Ewwwww!

Month in Review: A Pictorial Essay

This week marks 5 since we arrived back home in April. In some ways it feels like we never left. In others, it’s like we’re still here on vacation, time ticking toward the day we head back to Denver. I’m not sure when it’s going to finally hit us that we’ve traded in all that space and comfortable cost of living and sunshine and distance from family drama to come back, but when it does, I think I’ll be ready.


In the mean time, enjoy a few photo highlights from our month in New York so far…

It’s Spring! Speaking of getting sprung… I hate seeing flowers locked up like this. So unnatural.

Daffodil Delinquents

View outside of Seaside Johnny’s in Rye, where we tried to eat but had to move inside ten minutes into it because it was like 40 degrees and windy. Kind of like it is right now. Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve seen the ocean since a trip to Acadia in 2003, so it was cool. Like the beach, ‘cept different.

Seaside Johnny's

Cherry blossoms on West 4th Street after downing a few margaritas outside in the Village. It was 70 degrees that day. Unlike today. But anyway.

Cherry Blossoms

Speaking of cherry blossoms and happy times, I got to meet a few fellow YA authors from the 2009 Debs group at Candle 79 this weekend. Writing is such a lonely, crazy pursuit—it’s nice to take a break and hook up with people who are equally lonely and crazy. I mean, in the writing sense. Not that they’re crazy. Just—oh, never mind. It was a great time! Thanks, Neesha, for the pic.

*Waves to Debs!*

2009 Debs Brunch

Fun with my brother, Pook, at the Museum of the City of New York (don’t blink, or you’ll miss it) and a stroll through Central Park, followed by too many drinks and therapy at Wicker Park. Fortunately there’s no photographic evidence of that. Really, this isn’t a theme with me, it’s just been a month of celebrating our triumphant return!


Museum of the City of New York

Central Park

A little pigeon PDA right outside my window. Some people don’t like these birds, but I do. They make cool sounds. I’m trying to develop a way to communicate with them, but unlike my multi-talented husband, I can’t get the warble quite right and I usually scare them away.

Pigeon PDA

Speaking of love… Mother’s Day post-brunch at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope. I’m going to stalk the building every day until the tenants in the apartment above give up, and let me move in, so I will never be more than 10 steps away from this decadent dessert den.

Chocolate Room

Butterscotch Custard Love

Finally, me and Mom at the old Irish pub Alex and I used to frequent when we lived in Woodside. This picture was taken the day after we moved back, but since I didn’t get to see Mom for Ma’s Day, she can look at this and pretend that we had brunch together on Sunday. But really I was at the Chocolate Room, as you know. Which was way better. But anyway.

Me & Mom

Happy Spring, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy *insert favorite thing here* Day!