Grounded for All Eternity

A shipment from an interesting address…

I was at the barn yesterday with middle child. This in itself is a pretty much daily event considering the love of said child’s life is a thousand pound princess with an attitude problem and a love of treats.

This trip was a little different because middle child’s first heart pony is struggling with his PTSD. He’s a cuddly, unpredictable bullet train, and while child has moved on to bigger, we still love him dearly. S wasn’t even in the saddle when this tiny package of speed bolted, scaring the heck out of a new student having a lesson, and sending kiddo to the ground. I was pretty focused on calming the pony (middle child is not phased by falling) when my husband sent a message: “Look what just arrived.”

I’ve been Christmas shopping since October, and I work from home. Boxes show up all the time. It took me a second to read the shipping label, but when I did…Rock Center, Simon & Schuster. Oh.

Oh yeah, there’s that sick feeling I got when I read the email from my editor saying that Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) had arrived in her office. It’s such a terrifying feeling knowing that something that has existed in your heart and imagination is now a physical thing that other people can experience. Kinda like being at the top of that first hill on a roller coaster asking, “Why do I do this to myself?”

But first the pony needs help and the princess needs riding and oh yeah, I promised to pick up take-out. Was I stalling? I don’t think so…*cough* maybe.

I opened the box as soon as I walked through the door and stared in silence while my kids and husband ooh’d and ahh’d over them. I couldn’t stop touching them. I flipped the pages and my kids argued over who got to give one to their librarian. I touched the cover and read random words and yes, that’s a real book. Amazing. Truly something I’ve wanted for a very long time, and a far cry from the stapled notebook paper of my childhood.

So…yes, ARCs are here! Now, what to do with them…

Darcy Marks is a lifelong reader who learned to walk quite well with a book in front of her face, thank you very much. She lives in Vermont with her husband, three genre-defying kids, a very needy cat and an extremely friendly former racehorse, where she writes rebellious fantasy books for kids. When she’s not reading or writing she explains math and science to lawyers as a forensic toxicologist and used her several black belts to help found The Safety Team, a non-profit changing the world and smashing the patriarchy one step at a time. She is the author of GROUNDED FOR ALL ETERNITY and other snarky books for kids.