Both my friends Kelly McNees and Stacey Ballis nominated me on Facebook to take part in the 7s game, wherein you post from page 7 of your current work-in-progress or forthcoming book. This is from the novel I'm currently working on. I nominate anyone reading this who is up for sharing to post their own page 7 in the comments.
After an indulgent steamy shower I put on the uniform that every upper to middle class new mother wears when she's not leaving the house: black yoga pants, comfortable but still body-conscious long-sleeved hoodie from an upscale overpriced women's athletic company (the type with thumb holes, for some reason), and helped myself to my third cup of coffee of the morning. I needed two to face the swimming pool and then one more to face the computer. My favorite was a tall yellow ceramic mug: it used to be from a set when I lived with Erica, but the other three mysteriously got smashed, so this one was precious. I like the mug because it contained a lot of coffee and let the coffee cool quickly enough for me to drink it as soon as I wanted. I never understood how people in the old days drank coffee from teeny delicate cups with saucers and the whole nine yards.
I opened up my email and saw a notice from Google alert I had set to my name. I knew there was no good reason for the Google alert aside from sheer vanity. It let me know if I was still being talked about, for better or for worse. Reading bad things about me, like the blog posts speculating on my home life (did you know there are websites dedicated to following the lives of bloggers as if they are celebrities in their own right?) or bad reviews of the books--they never stopped coming, even as the years passed after the last book)--was, of course, unpleasant, but it felt like the penance I had to pay for reading the good things about me and the books, too, which there was still enough of to satisfy the part of me that needed validation from strangers. That was a bigger part of me than I cared to admit. That part of me wouldn't be sure if it would be better to read something bad about myself online or to find nothing at all.