Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been doing pretty well these past couple of decades without Disneyland. This is not meant as a criticism in ANY way to those who you who frequent the 160+ acre playground/fantasyland/shopping mall, but I’m just saying that planning a trip to said place takes, well, a lot of work, even if your in-laws are picking up the tab. It requires all sorts of sacrifices, such as no sleep (show me one family who goes to Disneyland who is well-rested during their trip), extreme patience (it’s impossible to Fast Track your entire way through that place unless you’re paying for a service or have a spare parent available to make the rounds) and an unlimited budget (for useless knick-knacks and souvenirs and overpriced drinks).
For a while I thought of faking everybody out and telling people I was on a prelim book signing tour for my novel, GOOD THINGS: A Novel, which is due out February 2007 by Berkley Books (Penguin USA), but unless that tour included stops at every penny-pressing machine within Disneyland, then the truth would eventually have me out. As I mentioned, my in-laws were generous enough to foot the bill to send the entire family to the World According to Disney, which was the first visit for my five and a half year old daughter (yes, I know, it’s unheard of). It was also the first visit for my six-month old son, but I’m not expecting that he’ll remember much other than the familiar screaming and crying from his older sibling as she melted down after the 8:00 pm Electric Parade.
I had a goal to write at least a page a day during our visit to the mainland from Hawaii, but that didn’t happen. I couldn’t even find my manuscript, not that I was really looking. Eventually I found it buried below two pairs of Mickey Mouse ears (monogrammed, of course), about 15 pounds of baby clothes and diapers, half a suitcase full of Barbie and other licensed products my daughter received as gifts, my tax return (lnog story), our passports, a box full of homeopathic remedies that I consistently forgot to give my children, and, how can we forget, about 30 one-cent pennies defamed and distorted by any and every Disney character.
So, back to my manuscript … it’s my next novel, THE ALOHA DIARIES. I’m giving away 30 one-cent pennies to the first person who can guess where the novel takes place. Just kidding. My daughter would kill me and, really, I don’t need that right now. Because with all of the pre-press surrounding my book (yes, there are tons! *cough*), I’ve had a few girlfriends come up to me and say, “Wow, I don’t know how you do it!” And they wax on and on and praise you and you’re standing there with this frozen smile on your face, waiting for the right opportunity to tell them that it’s a small miracle if you can even manage a load of laundry.
Clearly, I need a vacation.
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