five things stand with boston

Here’s my weekly wrap-up post for what ended up being a WEEK.

1. Storytime! When I was 19, my boyfriend at the time took me to Boston for New Years. He grew up in the Boston suburbs—though most of his family was from the city proper and had the accents to prove it—so he knew a lot of people in the area and we met up with a group of his friends. Boston does a First Night celebration with short concerts and comedy shows and that kind of thing all over the city in various venues. It gets crowded, so I think we spent more of that night waiting on line to get into theaters than we did actually watching entertainment. This was long enough ago that my memory is a little fuzzy, but I do remember running across Boston Common in the cold and getting lost down odd side streets trying to find a theater playing some jazz and stumbling into a diner late because we were cold and hungry. Toward the end of the night, we found a good spot to watch the fireworks, and at midnight, my boyfriend kissed me and told me he loved me, and that was the first time anyone had kissed me at midnight on New Years and really meant it.

I lived in Massachusetts for a while, but I’m a New Yorker at heart, and we New Yorkers derive a fair amount of pleasure from ragging on Boston. But when I heard the news on Monday about the bombing, one of the first things I remembered was that First Night in Boston and how magical it was. I’ve spent a lot of time in Boston over the years and that city holds a lot of great memories for me. I watched a lot of news coverage Monday night and couldn’t stop thinking about how things would change for Boston now, how the city was different, how this memory would now be embedded in one of my favorite Boston neighborhoods.

The last third of my upcoming novella Save the Date actually takes place in Boston.

Because, on that night when I was 19, what I didn’t know was that this man and I would spend the next decade either together or negotiating how to be together until we reached a crossroads and finally ended it. I didn’t know that, in the fall of 2012, I’d be getting an invitation to his wedding to another woman. I didn’t know a joke I made about that on a thing called Twitter would turn into this really silly novella about a guy whose ex gets married in Boston. All I knew that night when we kissed at midnight under the fireworks was that we were young and in love and had a whole future ahead of us. Even if the relationship didn’t work out, it’s still a fond memory.

So, I’m thinking about donating some of the proceeds from the sale of Save the Date to One Fund Boston or the Red Cross or something. I feel like that’s really the least I can do for a city that gave me a lot.

2. The bad news has kind of overshadowed the good, which was that I had a blast last weekend at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York. Heidi Cullinan and Ethan Day flew out for it, and we had locals Damon Suede and Tere Michaels at the table, too, and they are all great and I enjoyed myself immensely. The change in venue from last year didn’t seem to slow down traffic much. Well, it felt a little roomier than in past years to me, but people kept pointing out that the room was about the same size, so maybe I’m crazy. But that was a good day.

3. Save the Date second edits went back to my Loose Id editor last night. The pub date for that is June 4th! Also, I posted what I now see is an awkwardly-worded blurb for my next story after that, a short novella called What There Is, to my Upcoming page. A blurb for Save the Date is there, too. There will be updated blurbs and covers and things as I get them.

4. On Tuesday, I had dinner with a friend in the West Village. We ate at a place on Bleecker that serves a few dozen varieties of risotto, then we visited a new bakery that specializes in macarons (we had to check this place out… for science), and then on the walk back to the subway, we passed a little shop that only serves popsicles. I should open a cafe that only serves one thing. Ideas? Maybe a bakery that only makes whoopie pies?

5. Those of you who are attending GayRomLit may be delighted to know that there are still spots left in the writers workshop, which yours truly is now helping to coordinate in my capacity as VP of Rainbow Romance Writers. It’s shaping up to be a pretty cool event. A schedule will be posted to the website once we’ve confirmed and finalized everything.

So that’s all the news this week. Let’s hope next week is a lot less terrible.