Bookwise, I feel oddly serene. I didn't realize how much I'd been holding in, and what a relief it would be to have WILD AWAKE become an artifact, something not-me, an object I could sign a stack of in a store and then walk away from. The truth is, the book has all but disappeared from my mind, and for the first time in two years I feel free. There's a great sweeping space, deliciously empty, where the book used to live in my head, and new things are bubbling up there, like the first ferns curling out of the earth after a forest fire. I'm happy—of course I'm happy—about everything that's happening, the Australian edition cover I am so in love with, and the first reader e-mails sprouting in my inbox. But mostly I feel a readiness inside myself, deep and certain, like something waiting to be harvested. I'm ready to get moving again. I'm ready to plunge into something completely mysterious and new. For readers, a book's pub date is a hello; for writers, it's a goodbye—a curiously delay in the transmission, like a star whose light isn't visible from the earth until the star itself has long ago burned out.
I don't know where I'll be over the next few weeks and months—asleep under the roadside maples, or curled up in the scorpion jar. But wherever it is, I feel certain it will matter later, will be something I sift through again and again, as if searching for those lost pieces I'm so sure I saw.
If you see me, say hello. Or just look between the pages, the one place I can promise I will always be.
|Australia-New Zealand cover|