Friday Five: What a Long, Strange Week (Couple of Weeks...) It's Been

It can feel strange to celebrate anything personal when there's bad or scary news all over the world. But maybe when things feel uncertain or crazy, that's actually a good time to celebrate small victories and joys. So here's my Friday Five, encompassing the past two weeks! 

1) Yeah, so...my book came out! HOW IT FEELS TO FLY is officially on shelves, and I couldn't be happier. It seems to be finding readers and getting a generally positive response—and hopefully the momentum will only build from here. Also, this past Tuesday I had my launch party at Books of Wonder, alongside authors Caela Carter (Tumbling) and Jennifer Castle (What Happens Now), and it went so well. We had a great panel conversation—here we are chatting about our books and our writing process. Can't wait to do more of these events and meet more readers. 

2) My wonderful sister was here to celebrate the book launch with me! It's always a pleasure to have her visit and catch up on sister-bonding time. Love you, Mary-Owen! :) 

3) I love seeing friends I don't see that often, and I love meeting their adorable babies, and in the past week I got to do both: first at a Prospect Park meetup with my grad school crew (two of whom now have baby girls) and then at my Books of Wonder party. (Not to mention all the book-world friends I've gotten to hang with at the other panels and events I've attended recently—June has been such a packed book month!) 

4) On Saturday night, my husband, sister, and I went to the Broadway musical Waitress, which is based on the 2007 movie of the same name. The show was so lovely, and I can't stop singing/humming the songs. Two thumbs way up! 

5) Last week I read my grad school friend Mia Garcia's debut YA novel, EVEN IF THE SKY FALLS, and I just loved it. It's a 24-hour whirlwind romance set in New Orleans during midsummer Mardi Gras, with a hurricane on the horizon. But it's not all about the swoons (of which there are many!). Protagonist Julie is in New Orleans on a Habitat for Humanity–style youth group trip, hoping to take a break from the mess of her life back home. When she ditches her group and heads off into the city by herself, she meets Miles, a charismatic musician with family/home life problems of his own. They agree not to share real names or baggage and embark on one of the most charming not-really-a-date first dates I've read in a while. This book made me smile, but it also had moments that were really wrenching and real. More Mia books, please! 

What are you happy about this week?