I vividly remember the moments when I’ve had the idea to write each one of my books. I can tell you exactly where I was, whom I was with, the quality of the light, how I got the idea.
For this book, I was unloading the dishwasher on a Sunday afternoon. My husband was watching golf in the next room; my daughters were playing Restaurant.
Suddenly, I was hit by an intense wave of homesickness. I felt the way I did when I went to summer camp for the first time. Homesick–but why? I was standing in my own kitchen! I was homesick, I realized, for here and now–a kind of prospective nostalgia for this time of life.
That emotion was so puzzling, and so strong, that I began to think seriously, for the first time, about the idea of “home” and its relationship to happiness. Before long, I’d vowed to do another happiness project, this time devoted to home–with a special focus on issues that converge in “home,” such as time, body, possessions, family, and neighborhood.
Now, some people assume that this examination might only be interesting to people with families at home. Nope! It’s meant to be interesting to anyone who has a home, and who’d like their home to feel more…homey. (I’ve been surprised by the number of people who say to me casually, “Oh, I hate my home.” That seems so bleak.)
As a writer, publication day is always a milestone moment for me. It certainly went into my Milestone Journal.
Some highlights coming up:
Leonard Lopate, WNYC, September 4
Today show, September 5
Katie Couric’s Katie, October 11
Amazon Top 100
I’m extremely grateful for all the people who did so much to help bring this book into the world. What a joy it was to write! (With every book, I think, “Alas, I’ll never again have as much fun with a book as I’ve had with this one.” But the next one is always even more fun.)
And thank you, readers of the blog, for your insights and enthusiasm!
Today is also my wedding anniversary, so as important as Happier at Home is to me, I’m reminded that the element of my life that really makes me happier at home is my husband. Wherever he is, that is my home, and I’m happy there.
Happy September, and happy reading.
Happier at Home hits the shelves in four three two days tomorrow today. Want to win a free copy? I’m giving away one book each day for the next week.
Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, a name will be picked at random. U.S., Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away.
Want more information about Happier at Home?
-- read a sample chapter on the subject of time
-- watch the one-minute book trailer, "Ten ways to be happier at home"
-- listen to a sample of the audio book
-- request the one-page book club discussion guide
-- read the Behind-the-Scenes extra (though that will be more interesting if you've read the book)
-- come to a book event