Sharing videos appears to be a favorite method of saying our goodbyes this week. I could think of no better clip to express my feelings about my tenure here at the Ball than this one from My Fair Lady*:
What makes it perfect for me is that this is a rare clip of the number “I Could Have Danced All Night” in Audrey Hepburn’s own voice. As you probably know, her songs for the movie were dubbed by Marni Nixon, because Miss Hepburn’s singing voice was…well, less than stellar, shall we say?
Much like my own. *grin*
Seriously, don’t feel like you have to watch that whole clip. I mean, there are parts that are downright painful to hear. Still, I think her voice shows verve, even when she doesn’t quite hit the right notes. There’s a lot to be said for verve. So I want to give thanks to “lostvocals6″ on YouTube for the labor of love it took to sync up Audrey’s rehearsal track to the film.
The fact is, when you’ve been through a year like this with such a lovely and talented group of writers, and the truly supportive readers who have invited you to be a part of their lives, it is hard to let go. You do wish the dance could go on, and that the wonder and excitement, the newness of being a debut author, could last just a little longer.
Alas, all good things must end. Bittersweet though it is, I am looking forward to more new adventures out there in the publishing world. Besides, I figure I’ll come back here and crash the party when my next book comes out, so it’s not like this place is getting rid of me that easily.
*Of course, there are those who might say this next clip is more *cough* representative of my time here at the Ball:
I’m sure Dover and his bloomin’ arse might agree.
Big hugs to all Debs, old (er, perhaps “past” is a better word) and new alike, and to the readers and commenters who have made this such an amazing year for me!
After a year together, I guess great Debs think alike. Which is why two of my dance partners have already posted goodbye clips rather than try to say the farewell entirely on their own. Because, really, can anyone capture the turmoil of parting ways as perfectly as a good on-screen moment?
Farewells are filled with mixed emotions, and I’ve got them all.
There is also a sense of wonderment, mystery. The idea that anything can happen next. And you might even get to write about it.
There’s pride in what you’ve accomplished. Especially as a group. Dare I say… a club.
And, of course, there is always—always—the desire to sing. If you can’t say it perfectly, burst into song.
(I’m devastated the actual movie clip isn’t available, but just imagine Julie Andrews and you get the picture.)
It is with all those emotions that I say goodbye to The Debutante Ball and welcome the new class. There’s sadness, but also excitement for what is to come — not just for me, but for my fellow Debs as they move on to new projects, and for the new class as they take the reigns. And I’m so proud of what we 2012 Debs have brought to the ball and the legacy we will leave. And, finally, I want to sing. Because, well, there is nothing that isn’t best handled with a musical number.
And with that, I raise a glass to the future of The Deb Ball. May we still be at it, 19 years later.
You guys, I totally suck at goodbyes. I always cry. When I was little and my parents would leave us at my grandparents’ house for the weekend, I’d be crying before the car even left the driveway, upsetting my parents and probably offending my grandparents. I cried at the end of every school year, I cried when my middle school chorus teacher got a job in another district and left us, I cried when I moved away from Iowa, I cried when I even THOUGHT about my dog dying.
Don’t get me started about the scene in AIR BUD where the little boy is trying to get his dog to run away and find a new family. “Go on, Buddy, you’re free now. Go on, Buddy! Get! You have to go, Buddy. Please, Buddy, go. get! Goooo! Get out of here! Don’t you understand?! Get! I don’t want you anymore! Get!” SOBBBBBB.
And then he throws the ball so the dog will chase it, and by the time the loyal dog comes back with the ball, the boy has gotten on a boat and is floating away… and the dog TRIES TO SWIM TO HIM…
So what if it’s a mediocre movie about a dog who can play basketball; it is still the SADDEST MOVIE MOMENT EVER.
Seriously, watch 3:30-end and tell me you’re not at least a little bit misty:
(And if not: what is wrong with you? DID YOU DONATE YOUR HEART TO SCIENCE?)
Speaking of dogs, I even get sad when I have to leave mine alone in the house so I can, you know, go get groceries or have breakfast with a friend or be a functional human being. Because WHAT IF MY DOG MISSES ME?
And that’s the weird part about my weepy goodbyes: they’re not so much about me as they are about the people I’m leaving. I’m just so worried that they’ll be lonely! I hate thinking about that moment when the person you just left stops waving and finally turns away from the window to go back to their solitary life. I’m sorry I have to leave!
But you know what? This time it’s okay, because Reader, you are in such good hands with the amazing new class of Debs. You won’t be lonely at all! You won’t even notice I’m gone! You’ll be too busy getting to know them and enjoying their hilarious anecdotes and thoughtful comments to be sad, I promise! Here, go chase this ball while I run after that boat….
Friends, it’s been an awesome, surprising, crazy year. Thank you to my fellow Debs — past, present, and future! — for all the support & friendship, and huge congratulations to all of you!
And you know why I can? Because I know you readers are going to LOVE the new Debs of 2013, and I know we are leaving this gorgeous dance floor in their expert hands—(er, feet?).
But I can’t lie. I’m going to miss this place. A whole lot.
Those of you who’ve shared this year with us, you know I am a child of the 70s (I give you Exhibit A, Exhibit B and, my personal favorite, Exhibit C) so it shouldn’t surprise any of you, dear friends, that every time I am faced with a goodbye, this theme to the classic Neil Simon movie comes rushing to my brain. (What can I say? I’ve always had a soft spot for Richard Dreyfuss.)
Now that you have an ear worm for the rest of your day (You’re welcome), let’s stop being glib, Erika, and get serious.
I could say that I’ve been in denial a bit about this year being over for us of the Deb Class of 2012 (because I have) or that I can’t believe how fast this year has gone (because I can’t) but mostly, it just comes down to me wanting to say this:
Thank you to my beloved fellow Debs, those who helped to usher us of ’12 in, those of the class of 2013 who will two-step-and-Mambo into our reader’s hearts when we leave, and especially to those I’ve been so thrilled to share the dance floor with this year. Thank you to our readers, to our bloggers, our Deb Friends and Deb Guests, and a special thank you to our honorary member of 2012, Deb Mom Marcia.
Like David Gates sings, goodbye doesn’t mean forever. So please stay in touch friends. Come visit. You know where to find me.
Now let’s all wipe our noses and just all do like the greatest Debs ever do when it’s time to roll the credits and carry on: sidle up to the table for some cheesecake.
This week’s theme is endings and if you follow along with us, you’ll know why: it’s the Class of 2012’s last week here at the Deb Ball.*sniff*
Wow. Has it been a year already since I first came out as a Deb? I kind of want to stay here forever and force you shiny new Debs to drag me out of here, kicking and screaming like we did with those who came before us. But in some ways, I’m also ready to move on and let the new class step in and take over. It’s been a busy year and I’m ready for a rest.
I’ve had an amazing time over this season, not just making new friends in my fellow Debs and our wonderful guests (and watching my TBR pile get higher and higher), but also in stretching my writing skills. I’d never blogged regularly before I was a Deb, and the pressure of having to come up with a post weekly (I truly don’t know how people do it daily) that said something hopefully meaningful and insightful was challenging some days, but I did it. Sure, some posts were cathartic and personal and some were more…shall we say…fluffy, but I enjoyed writing each and every one and now, a year later, I have fifty two essays that I wrote on various topics.
There was a lot I discussed about writing and publishing, too, like posts on plotting and dialogue, query letters, book marketing* and elevator pitches. And I didn’t just talk about this stuff, but I learned from my fellow Debs, too. Their insightful posts on writing and craft and their experiences in this nutty business were always interesting and insightful and every morning I looked forward their posts and interpretations of the week’s topics.
And I got to celebrate five different book launches with my fellow Debs: Erika, Rachel, Molly and Linda (and my own). How amazing is that? To have a group of smart, funny and amazing women to share this crazy road with? Priceless.
Okay, so maybe I’m not completely prepared and ready to get off this dance floor just yet, but I must; we need to make way for the new ladies with their shiny tiaras and pretty new gowns. But really that’s okay. Because there are other ballrooms we 2012 gals can dance in, and we can always come back and visit. And we’re not really talking about endings here, but a new chapters. And as book people, we know new chapters can hold endless adventures. And I for one, can’t wait to see what’s on the next page.
But before I go, on this, my last official entry, I’d like to thank everyone for coming out and reading my posts—from my Mom, who visited and commented faithfully every week, to the other people not related to me, who still took time to read and comment and even all you lurkers out there who read and hopefully enjoyed your weekly peeks into the craziness that is my head. Thank you and I’d happily put every single one of you on my dance card.
Congrats to Sara, winner of a copy of Bringing In Finn!
From the 2012 Debs…
Deb Joanne doesn’t really have any big news this week, so she’s going to tell you go to order Deb Linda’s IN A FIX because you’re going to want it the second it officially releases in just DAYS.
Deb Erika is seconding Deb Joanne’s news. Run, don’t walk (okay, maybe skip) to your nearest bookstore for your copy of IN A FIX and begin immediately. (Okay, don’t read while you’re driving home. But if you want to start reading once you’ve parked in your driveway, don’t blame me if you can’t get out of your car.)
Deb Molly thirds (that’s a thing, right?) the opinion that you should go get IN A FIX. And she would also like to thank Robert of The Book Stall in Winnetka for throwing a truly fabulous book event this week! Ladies, if you ever have a chance to do an event at the Book Stall, DO IT.
Deb Linda is ramping up into high gear for the release of In a Fix on Sept. 4th! She also wants to thank her fellow Debs for the truly fabulous Launch Week, and all the fantastic readers who left comments all week long. The winners of the ARCs are:
Tuesday: Molly Frenzel
Wednesday: Diane Henders
Thursday: Abby Mumford
Friday: S.P. Bowers
Congratulations, all of you!
Past Deb News
Deb Kristina‘s new novel KEEPSAKE was reviewed by Deb Friend Swapna Krishna on her blog–read her wonderful review here!
It’s been a week of great news from Deb Sarah Jio! Not only did she share a fun video of blackberry pie making in honor of her upcoming release, BLACKBERRY WINTER, but she also shared the news that she has sold her fifth and sixth novels to Penguin! Cheers, Sarah!
Deb Guest Matthew Quick‘s novel BOY21 got a fantastic review from PaperblogPrincess this week! Click here to read!
Deb Dish – Since we are gearing up to pass the tiaras to the gorgeous and talented new class of Debs, we’re preparing for some tears. Tell us one book that is guaranteed to bring out your hankies, ladies.
Deb Joanne Oh yes. There are two that easily come to mind: Chris Crutcher’s DEADLINE and Jenny Downham’s BEFORE I DIE. I bet you can guess what they’re about and there’s no secrets that they both have sad endings, but oy, we’re talking the snotty cry here. Just don’t make the mistake I did and read either of these on your lunch hour AT WORK.
Deb Erika Oh, I’m such a cheap date when it comes to crying at books. I bawl openly and often. Happy tears, sad tears–I do ‘em all! Anything from Life of Pi to The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Deb Molly I still have deep emotional scars from reading Where The Red Fern Grows in fifth grade. I sobbed when I read the book alone, I sobbed again when we had to read it out loud in class, and I sobbed AGAIN when we had to watch the movie! That was probably the origin of my “no dead dogs” rule for books (though I broke it for The Art of Racing in the Rain – worth it!)
Deb Linda OLD YELLER. I read that book when I was a kid, and I still can’t even think of it without tearing up. What is it about dog books? Oh, and LITTLE WOMEN. Beth! *bites finger and sobs*
Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom and a part-time dance instructor for three and four year olds. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster, October 30, 2012)
About TOUCHING THE SURFACE:
Life altering mistakes are meant to alter lives…
When Elliot dies for the third time, she knows this is her last shot. There are no fourth-timers in this afterlife, so one more chance is all she has to get things right. But before she can move on to her next life, Elliot will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.
As she pieces together the mistakes of her past, Elliot must earn the forgiveness of her best friend and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
I’ve always been in awe of Anne Frank. I read THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK for the first time when I was a tween and it moved me. It changed how I saw the world and it transformed my image of what kind of person could be a hero. I kept a diary on and off as a child because of Anne’s life, but more importantly, I became someone who wanted to have that same kind of impact on the world. Most of my life, I’ve struggled with feeling inadequate because I had no idea if I had anything amazing to bring to the table. More often than not I suspected that I didn’t, but I would remind myself that Anne simply rose to her own occasion. It helped me to understand that I should start by trying to be the best person I can be in the life I’m already leading. Over time I’ve learned that there is courage in the act of living and growing with intention. And perhaps, I should worry less about altering the world and start with changing myself–because that is what I can control. It is not up to me to decide where my ripples go and how they might affect other people. It is simply my job, to put the best that I have to offer, out into the world…
Which talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could play an instrument and speak another language. Not giving up though–those are on my bucket list.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel –something that’s not even in your book.
The character of Oliver was originally 4 years old when I wrote him and he liked to suck his thumb and twirl Elliot’s hair. Even though he’s been “revised” and didn’t get the chance to interact with Elliot like that, I still picture him like that when he was a little boy. And as I “grew him up,” I kept those characteristics in mind.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
There is a lot of advice out there and most of it is very good information, but I caution all aspiring writers to keep an open mind while remembering that it’s important to find your own way of doing things. Productive writing styles are like finger prints–everyone has a different one. We can learn and improve as writers, but we also need to remember that we can waste a lot of time trying to be just like everyone else. If what you’re doing works for you, don’t be afraid to raise your freak flag and be proud. Odds are you’ll make someone else feel better about their own approach to writing.
Which animal would you like to be, and why?
I’d be a Red-Tailed Hawk. These hawk started showing up in my life when my dad got very sick and have continued to “show up” when I need them ever since he passed away. So, for that reason alone, they are special to me. Additionally, if I had one super power, it would be to fly…
Thank you so much for having me over to the ball–I’ve had the most wonderful time. <3
Thank YOU, Kimberly! If you’d like to find out more about Kimberly and TOUCHING THE SURFACE, you can find her at:
The Debutante Ball website contains copyrighted material and may not be reused without prior written permission.
The names The Debutante Ball, The Debs, and The Debutantes, and The Debutante Ball
theme and imagery are protected.