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Novel numero SIX!

So I just turned in my sixth novel!  We haven’t even begun to edit it, and the title is still TBD, and it’s still early days (because it won’t go on sale for a year or so)–but I have that giddy, in-love feeling you get when you’ve just written something with some real magic in it.  I wish I could share the WHOLE THING right now, but I’ll have to settle for this little excerpt below:

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 [Excerpt from Katherine Center’s sixth novel—slated to go on sale SPRING 2017!]

Twenty minutes later, he pulled up the parking brake beside an airplane hangar at a private airfield in the middle of nowhere.

I looked around. “You can’t be serious.”

He leaned in. “Are you surprised?”

“Yes and no.”

“Just pretend. Just once, I’d like to surprise you.”

“Fine. I’m shocked. I’m awed.”

“Don’t pretend that much.”

“Can we go to dinner now?”

“Not yet. I want to show you something.”

“What?”

He turned off the ignition. “If I could tell you about it, I wouldn’t need to show you. Would I?”

He came around to my side and took me by the hand, and then he pulled me behind him, bent over, tiptoeing, around the far side of the hangar.

I followed him in a state of cognitive dissonance—knowing exactly what he was doing while insisting just as clearly that he couldn’t possibly be doing it. “Are you sneaking me in here?” I whispered.

“It’s fine. My friend Chip did it with his girlfriend last week.”

I tugged back against his hand. “Dixon. I can’t!”

“Sure you can.”

“Is this—illegal?”

“I just want to show you my plane.”

“It’s not your plane, buddy.”

“Close enough.”

I had zero interest in seeing his plane. Less than zero. I was interested in wine and appetizers and candlelight. I was in the mood to feel good, not bad. “Can’t we just go to dinner?”

He peered around, then turned back to me. “Anybody can go to dinner.”

“I’m cool with being anybody.”

“I’m not.”

Then, with a coast-is-clear shrug, he pulled me out across the pavement and stopped in front of a little white Cessna. It looked like the kind of plane you’d see in a cartoon—wings up high, body below, and a spinny little propeller nose. Very patriotic, too. White, with red and blue stripes.

“Cute,” I said with a nod, like, Great. We’re done.

But he took my shoulders, and pointed me toward the cockpit. It hit me that I was supposed to get in.

I took a step back. “What are you doing?”

“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go for a ride.”

Nope. No, thanks. “I don’t want to go for a ride.”

“Yes you do.”

“I’m afraid of flying. As you know.”

“Not with me, you won’t be.”

“It’s not about you. It’s about flying.”

“You just need the right pilot.”

I was shaking my head—half disbelief, half refusal. “You’re not even certified.”

“I’m as good as certified. I’ve done everything there is.”

“Except take the test.”

“But the test is just to see what you’ve already learned.”

“Dixon? No.”

“Margaret? Yes. And right now before they catch us.”

The force of his insistence was almost physical, like a strong wind you have to brace against. He wanted to do this. He wanted me to do this—to show faith in him, to believe in him. It wasn’t a test, exactly, but it was still something I could fail.

I wasn’t a person who failed things.

I was a person who aced things.

It felt like a big moment. It felt draped in metaphorical significance about bravery, and trust, and adventurousness—like it would reveal something essential about who I was and how I’d live the rest of my whole life. Saying no to flying right now somehow suddenly felt like saying no to every possibility forever. Would I be a chicken? Would I shy away from possibilities? Would I let my worries hold me back? Would I always refuse to rise to the moment?

In a way, I never really had a choice.

 

Texas HAPPINESS tour!

I’ll be doing a three-day, three-city tour around Texas in June to talk about my new book, HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS!  Please tell all your Texas friends!!  I promise to make it fun!!

 

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DALLAS :: Thursday JUNE 25 :: The Wild Detectives :: 7:30 pm
 
 
SAN ANTONIO :: Friday JUNE 26 :: The Twig Book Shop ::  6:00 pm
 
 
AUSTIN :: Saturday JUNE 27 :: BookPeople :: 3:00 pm
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And here’s a little 3-minute video about the stories I write–and why I write them!
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Hope to see y’all there!!
To get notified about upcoming books and stay in touch:
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This about sums it up for me.

The lovely and hilarious Karen Walrond and I just collaborated on a project.

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I started out wanting to make a book trailer for my new book, but we wound up doing a video about my writing process.

[Click here to see the video!]

That’s me talking in the video, trying to say something coherent about why I write the kinds of books I write–about the challenges of writing stories that are both funny and sad at the same time.

This is my favorite part:

“The only compass you can follow as a writer is to tell the story you long to hear.

And I long to hear stories about how people pull themselves together–much more than stories about how they fall apart.

I read once that we go to non-fiction to learn things and we go to fiction to feel things.  I don’t’ want to feel bleak, or dead, or bitter, or disappointed.

I want to read stories that make me laugh–and give me something to look forward to.  Ones that believe in love and hope and kindness.  Stories that see the best in us.

And that’s the kind I want to write, too.  I want people to come away inspired and grateful for all the blessings they tend to forget.”

I also like this, and it’s something I think about a lot:  “We have this funny misconception in our culture that only darkness is important.  But I think light is just as important.”

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Karen spent the morning at my house, and she totally captures the feel of it!  It was a school morning, so the kids and husband were out, but the dog makes several appearances.

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(100 Days of) HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS

In the weeks leading up to the on sale date of my new novel, Happiness For Beginners (March 2015), I’m celebrating by making images of my favorite quotes from the book.

Getting the word out about a new book is never easy!  You can help out by SHARING THESE QUOTES (or others!) in any way you like!  Drag them to your desktop and email them to friends or post them on Facebook!  Or pop on over to Pinterest and follow and share the  (100 Days of) HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS board.  Or get inspired and write them on your own sidewalk in chalk, or paint them on your car window in shoe polish, or embroider them on a shirt!  Send me a picture–I’d love to see!!!!

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ORDER your own copy of HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS HERE!

Be the first to find out about new books HERE!

There’s more to come, so:

Find me on Pinterest HERE.

Find me on Facebook HERE.

Follow me on Twitter HERE.

How to Have The Best Vacation

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QUOTES

Here are some Katherine Center quotes–gathered from around the web.  For more, come on over to Pinterest!

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From essays:

 

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.

–Katherine Center, What I Would Tell Her (Mom 2.0 Video)

 

“Nothing that doesn’t push you past your limits can change your life. It’s true of work, it’s true of parenting, and it’s true — a hundred times over — of love.”

–Katherine Center, Nothing Worthwhile is Ever Easy

 

There is an entire universe of things my mother knows that I don’t.

–Katherine Center, Things To Remember Not to Forget

 

We all carry our mothers inside us.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

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Maybe the past is supposed to fade—and that’s actually a kindness of human memory.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

 

You can’t know what you know now and feel the way you did then.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

That’s what just hit me:  How you really can’t have everything.  You have to give up the old to get the new.  You can’t be the child and the mom at the same time.  You can’t be your young self and your old self at the same time.  You can’t know what you know now and feel the way you did then.  You can’t, you can’t, you can’t.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

 

Our lives disappear, even as we live them.

—Katherine Center

 

We build our lives in moments, and even the ones we can’t remember become the story of who we are.

—Katherine Center

 

The human race has a lot to answer for, and it’s not as easy to feel hopeful as it should be—but you make it more important to try.

—Katherine Center

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The way that I love you makes me a better person.

—Katherine Center

 

The way that I love you makes me a better person, and the way that you love me back makes every sorrow worth it.

—Katherine Center

 

Don’t let anyone convince you that love doesn’t matter.

—Katherine Center

 

We are at our finest when we take care of each other.

—Katherine Center

 

And so my hope for you, good boy, as you grow taller every day, is that you will learn to take good care of yourself, and you will learn to take good care of others—and, someday, you’ll see how those two things are exactly the same.

—Katherine Center

It’s so easy to think that your strengths don’t matter.

—Katherine Center

 

Look for beauty in everything.

—Katherine Center

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The best things about womanhood might possibly even be the conversations.  The chatting.  The gabbing. The whispering.  The hands-on-hips eye-rolling.  The yukking-it up.

–Katherine Center,  Kirtsy Video

 

We’re looking for stories that speak to us.  We’re looking for stories that connect us with something true.  But, instead, a lot of the time we get strippers.  All I’m saying is, when boys are writing the stories, the percentage of strippers is bound to go up.  And real stories about real women kinda don’t get written at all.

–Katherine Center,  Kirtsy Video

 

And despite everything I know now, I still believe, as I did when I was little, that there is an entire universe of things that my mother knows that I don’t.  I still believe that nothing truly bad can ever happen if my mother is around.  I know it’s not true.  But still.  It is true.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

 

I worry constantly about carpool and whether or not I’ve forgotten a carload of weeping children at the school gate.  How on earth does anyone do it?  How did she make it look so easy?  Or maybe time makes everything seem easy.  Or maybe I am really terrified that I’ll never become enough like her to keep her with me. I know that we all carry our mothers inside us.  But somehow that doesn’t seem like enough.

–Katherine Center, Things to Remember Not to Forget

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From various interviews:

I guess that’s the upside of not being young anymore . . .   You know from experience that the struggle always leads, in some way, to something better.

–Katherine Center

 

I like to write about people who are real and likeable.  I like to write about people who tell their stories in that close and intimate voice we use with best friends. I love the closeness and honesty and vulnerability that come from characters who can talk that way.

–Katherine Center

 

All my main characters are people I’d love to sit around having coffee with. They are people who will tell you honestly about the things that scare them and worry them and trouble them.  Because those moments of connection between women–when they really decide to be honest with each other about their lives–are some of the best things in life.

–Katherine Center

 

Some of the greatest ideas we have come from making do.

–Katherine Center

 

What matters most is how you respond to your heartbreaks and your disappointments and your fears.  What matters most is who you become in response to them.

–Katherine Center

 

Writing a novel is a lot like reading one.

–Katherine Center

 

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Success is doing the right thing for who you are.

–Katherine Center

 

My goal is to try to be as happy as I can — going through every day just as it is.

–Katherine Center

 

If you feel lucky, then you are.

–Katherine Center

 

Look for the good stuff.

–Katherine Center

 

You don’t have to be perfect to be awesome.

–Katherine Center

 

From Novels:

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People are always beautiful when you love them.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

 

In fiction, you can be as true as you want.  Real life is a different story.

–Katherine Center, interview

 

Sometimes there is no way to hold your life together. Sometimes things just have to fall apart.

–Katherine Center, Get Lucky

 

There is no tenderness without bravery.

–Katherine Center, Get Lucky

 

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It’s vital to learn how to make the best of things.

–Katherine Center, Get Lucky

 

Beauty comes from tenderness.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

 

It’s always better to have what you have than to get what you wanted.

–Katherine Center, Get Lucky

 

I suddenly understood what it was, exactly, people longed for when they longed for their youth.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

The eyes see everything through the heart.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

 

When you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

 

It’s more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous than to sit pretty for pictures.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

 

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“Here’s what I tell myself now. That it’s vital to learn how to make the best of things. That there is no tenderness without bravery. That if things hadn’t been so bad they could never have gotten so good. And that it’s always better to have what you have than to get what you wanted. Except for this: Every now and then, when you are impossibly lucky you rise above yourself-and get both.”

–Katherine Center, Get Lucky

 

I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart–and nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It’s more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous than to sit for pictures. A woman’s soft tummy is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Beauty comes from the tragedy that each person’s life is destined to be lost to time. I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart–and nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love. I have trained my eyes to look for beauty, and I’ve gotten very good at finding it.

–Katherine Center, Everyone Is Beautiful

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Text from the Mom 2.o Video:

 

What I Would Tell Her (If I Knew What To Say)

You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely:  So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.

You’ll forget all this when you grow up.  But it’s okay.

Being a mother means having your heart broken.

And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.

And it’s the best there is.  And also, sometimes, the worst.

Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.

Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.

But you must remember this:  What you’re doing matters.

And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

The truth is, being a woman is a gift.

Tenderness is a gift.

Intimacy is a gift.

And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.

That’s why I have to love you this way.  So I can give what I have to you.  So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.

I have watched you sleep.  I’ve kissed you a million times.  And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your ONLY life every single minute of every day.

And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.

The Lost Husband–LAUNCH!

It’s been a heck of a week!

We had a FANTASTIC crowd at the launch for The Lost Husband this week!  It felt like there were a thousand people there, which can’t be right.  But it was standing-room-only, and Brazos Bookstore sold out of books.

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I am so grateful to all the people who came to cheer this book on.  And I’m grateful, too, to TARGET for choosing it as a featured book and  USA Today for calling it “heartwarming.”

And so, so grateful to PEOPLE Magazine for giving it a beautiful review!

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It’s always a bit of a naked feeling putting out a new book.  You’ve worked so long and so quietly–and then, suddenly, it’s out there, and reviews are popping up everywhere . . . That’s part of the fun, of course–because it’s gratifying to share the stories with readers at last.  But it’s a little nervewracking, too.

I wish I could send everybody who came to the launch–or who’s given it a good review, or who’s Facebooked about how much they loved it–a heartfelt, handwritten thank-you note on gorgeous linen stationery to tell them how grateful I am.

As it is, I’ll just have to hope that somehow they already know.

 

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