Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thirteen Years

This weekend is J's birthday. He turned thirteen, a real live teenager.

Here comes the cute baby picture montage:

Yes. One year we all had cow suits. I'll save everyone possible blindness and not include all three of us in said suits.

The cap-with-the -rim-turned-up shot.

Got a bunny! We still have that bunny and as much as the dog wants it, it is fiercely protected.

This one is from back when I was developing my own film and could only do black and white. There is a three-day festival here in August. Here's J in his outfit. Those straw sandles were cool for about five minutes.

Hamming it up for the camera on his first day of kindergarden.

The child has always loved drumming (still does!). Back in the day he couldn't pass a pair of chopsticks without beating out a tune. Don't ask me what he was thinking with the measuring tape over the ears. This really sums up his personality.

And now...thirteen years old and as tall as his dad. The yin-yang of hair thing is quite impressive.

He really is a fantastic kid. And my best friend. He understands more than anyone this whole dual culture thing and how difficult it can be and is always willing to lend and ear or offer advice. He's quite wise for his years. Thirteen years!

Now, I've always wanted to be a writer. A lot of people say that. My father thought that was the silliest idea he'd ever heard and was quite effective at squashing the big dream out of me. That is until J was born.

When I was a child it seemed all the mothers were stay-at-home-moms. I thought mine was the best, always ready with jugs of iced Kool-Aide and homemade cookies. She also made wedding cakes on the side. Everyone was always going on and on about these gorgeous cakes. I was very proud.

However, I've never been very handicrafty like her. I was shouldering this writing bug. So when J was born I decided to give it a try for real. Instead of telling everyone 'I'm a writer' I'd actually learn how. And do it. That was thirteen years ago almost to the day.

Flash forward to two weeks ago when I recieved an e-mail from a rocking publisher that wants to publish my collection of short stories. The real deal. I set out to find an agent right away because I have also been studying the business side of writing for over a decade now and I know pretty much how I want to proceed.

And then last Wednesday--three days before J's birthday--I got a phone call from a big name New York agent. I won't go into detail about my nearly puking, my flutterly voice, and my wonked out English, but I will say he offered representation. I am over the moon.

But what makes me the happiest is that J is so impressed, so proud. Hey, maybe you can't put buttercream and roses on a book and eat it but it's still a marvelous thing.

Like I told J, "Now, I can tell everyone that I'm not just sitting on my ass all day." I paused. He looked at me. "Okay, maybe I am sitting on my ass all day. But still!"


laughingwolf said...

happy b'day, j! :)

and grats to your mom for her persistence, it has finally paid off... in spades!

CrazyCath said...

Congratulations on your book deal. And on your young man - he looks like a son to be proud of. And your pride shines through.

Hope he forgives you the baby photos!

Thanks for calling by mine.

Kappa no He said...

Laughingwolf, I'll tell Julyan he'll be so happy someone named laughing wolf gave him birthday greetings. He loves wolves! And ... mom just did those cakey things. The book is all me! (^3~)

Crazycath, Thank you! He was doing homework yesterday and looked over to catch me uploading the baby pictures. I think since I put up the least embarrassing ones, he was kinda okay. At leat he didn't say anything or give me the evil eye.

laughingwolf said...

thx kappa, i'm honored :)

Gina said...

Julyan is truly so gorgeous!!! And Happy birthday to him for turning, the big 13!!! I loved all the pictures, but my favorite of the favorites has to be the cow outfit and the yochien uniform one! My oh my, did J look so angelic in that yochien uniform picture!!! And now!!! Holy cow, he's so big, so tall. Tell me this... if ya can.....even after 13 years, does it all still feel just like yesterday that J was a wee little babe? Even for me, my oldest son is age 6, and it still feels like just yesterday he was a baby to me. And the things you said about him...he sounds like a very *very* cool kid to know! Does he have any little girlfriends yet? : )

PS, congrats on getting published! Honestly you are so funny and your writing is so good, no wonder you got the book deal. You totally deserve it! : )

Kappa no He said...

Gina, thank you sooo much. You are such a darling. And YES, it feels like yesterday. I still tell stories that start with, Do you remember when...? I can totally understand why people have ten and eleven children. You just never want that feeling to end. And thank you for the book congrats too. I'm sure I'll be updating what's going on there as it happens. How's your trip?

Hilary said...

That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you. :) I'm glad you didn't let your dream get squashed. Congrats.. and happy birthday, J!

Kappa no He said...

Thank you Hilary! Muwa!! (^3^)/~

Kappa no He said...

Thank you Hilary! Muwa!! (^3^)/~

Mary Witzl said...

Good for you, Kappa, and congratulations!

I've got my kids' 7-5-3 pictures somewhere, but I've been given strict instructions not to display them, and I am sadly not technologically savvy. Sigh.

Kappa no He said...

Thank you, Mary! I think this is where my tech savvy ends. I tried to make a neat homemade banner on photoshop and nearly cried. Learning to speak Japanese was easier than that.

Anonymous said...

Tell J I said Happy Belated Birthday.


womaninawindow said...

How absolutely freaken wonderful! For you and for him.

Katarina-bakajo said...

My little sister Ami (14) Keeps commenting about how cut J is. He really is, if I was a couple years younger *sighs*. I admire your mum, I cant even spread plain vanilla icing on cake. w00t I'll be cheering you on in the writing business, I'll even buy a book ;D

Kappa no He said...

J, I'll tell him!

Womaninthewindow, thank you!

Katarina, ha ha, I think Julyan is just now starting to realize girls are interesting. Tell Ami thanks! That is so entirely sweet of you to buy a book. I'll keep you updated. Woot!

Tigermama said...

Happy birthday to your gorgeous son!

And that is fantastic news about the publisher and the publishing!

Latin Lupe Lu said...

What a great story. Congrats on your writing accomplishments. I ran across your blog through Hilary's blog - it just so happens that we have sons almost the same age (mine is 15) and with similar names - mine is Julian.

I'll keep in touch. I'm excited to see what happens for you.

Ello said...


How very awesome is that? Are you going to tell us more details? This is awesome news! I am really really excited for you!

And happy birthday to J! He's such a cutie!!!

Kappa no He said...

Tigermama, thank you bunches. I keep checking your blog to see if there's anything new.

Latin lupe lu, thank you for stopping by and commenting. That's so funny about our sons. We went with the different spelling because he was born in 'July'. Now I'm going to run over to your blog!

Ello, thank you sweety! Details to come soon. With all this overseas sending stuff back and forth, I'm just waiting to have signed contracts in my hot little hands before I completely spill the beans.

Tigermama said...

I am living with severe internet restriction. I`m lucky to get my email to open up (and comment on blogs!) let alone update my blog. Hopefully things will improve when we get our own place (end of August.)!

MDK said...

Love the pictures. Happy belated B-day to J and congrats on the writing situation! I can feel your excitement!

rebecca said...

your son in his youthful innocence noticed something very special that could be cultivated .... a wise young man before his years.

how exciting! you must be over the moon right now. as a writer (not professional), it is many of our dreams to be discovered. and yours came true. congratulations!

and this publisher found you through your blog? very, very impressive.

plaidearthworm said...

Somehow I missed this post! Just wanted to say Giant Congratulations on getting a top-flight agent and a book deal! You are a terrific writer, and I'm so happy for you. Also, congrats on raising a pretty cool kid. :)