I’m not Jewish, but I have lots of Jewish friends. Shoot, as a tween I went to almost as many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as I did birthday parties. I love Judaism’s sense for rituals. One ritual I particularly like takes place during wedding ceremonies, that moment when the glass gets stomped on and everyone yells “Mazel tov!” It’s such a dramatic moment, marking what came before from what is to come.

Tomorrow is the official pub date for “Rest Home Runaways.” I’m all aflutter, of course. The whole experience of this novel has been magical for me. (If you want specifics, check out the blog entry I wrote for Women and Words.) My point being: It’s no surprise that something woo woo should happen in regard to this birthing.

Let me back up. One of the locations featured in the novel is West Cliff Drive, a winding, scenic avenue that travels along the ice plant-covered cliffs of Monterey Bay here in Santa Cruz. Benches dot its ledges; one in particular plays a significant role. It’s dedicated to a man named Roland M. Forster. During the writing of the novel, I rode my bike out to Roland’s bench more times than I can count. I would sit there, staring out at the wheeling pelicans and sleek-swimming sea lions while I brainstormed the next chapter. So imagine my surprise when on my bike ride the other day I saw that Roland’s bench was broken.

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At first I was sad. Then I thought: Mazel tov! A bright future awaits.