Spotted on the Subway

The Statue of Liberty

A good friend recently asked me what’s been the most exciting thing about getting published. For sure, the day I sold Georgia’s Kitchen ranks as number one. Nothing can compare to the feeling of learning the manuscript I’d spent years writing, revising and polishing was going to become an actual book, one that people outside of my immediate family and best friends would be able to read. Celebrating the journey to getting published with all my friends and family at my book launch party was a close number two, and the first time I laid eyes on a stack of Georgia’s Kitchen for sale in a real-live bookstore number three. Until yesterday.

After a jam-packed New York City morning and early afternoon – a half-dozen rides on the granite slide at Cental Park’s Billy Johnson playground (bring pieces of cardboard to make the ride even zippier), a lickety split tour of the children’s zoo, a trip to the indoor carnival at the Park Avenue Armory, complete with giant ferris wheel and jugglers, and lunch at the Eat Here Now Diner – my insatiable daughters still wanted more. Though I was ready to pack it in, pack the car and head back to the tranquility of our upstate New York home, Ava and Flora were having none of it. “What about the boat ride?” they asked. I’d promised them a trip on the Staten Island ferry to check out Lady Liberty and seeing as they weren’t about to let me off the hook, we hopped the number 4 train down to Bowling Green.

When the train pulled in to Grand Central, I saw someone reading a book. A book with a familiar red cover, a slice of yellow running across the top of the back. “I think that woman’s reading my book,” I murmured, turning to my husband. “Is that Georgia’s Kitchen?” I gestured to the woman, who was walking into our car. My husband, my daughters and I proceeded to stare at the nice woman who was, indeed, reading Georgia’s Kitchen and, fortunately, oblivious of our stares (I took this as a good sign.). “Of all the train lines and all the subway cars, she walks into ours?” Warren said, not meaning to summon Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, but doing a good job of it nonetheless. He stood and, accompanied by Flora, walked over to the woman to tell her his wife had written the book she was reading and just happened to be sitting in the seat right over there. I waved and smiled, too shocked and delighted and flabbergasted to do anything more. She told him she was loving it (yay!), and had recommended it to all her work pals (double yay!). For a New York author, especially a debut New York author (though I no longer live in the city fulltime, I will always remain a New Yorker at heart), nothing can top the feeling of spotting someone on the subway reading your book.

Later, we stood on the ferry’s upper deck with all the other tourists and passed by the Statue of Liberty, who was ringed with a golden light.  New York has always been a city of infinite possibility, a city where anything can happen, a city for dreamers. To the woman reading Georgia’s Kitchen, a big, heartfelt New York thank you for reminding me.

Lady Liberty

3 Responses to “Spotted on the Subway”

  1. by amber on


  2. by Kari on

    Bravo! Tears in my eyes.

  3. by Gil Johnson on

    I am not surprised. The book is in the culture!

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