Feeling a Little Hungary?

Monday April 30 2012

Warning: this is a bittersweet post.

My agent Kathleen called me early Tuesday morning as I was leaving to take my youngest son to school. Whenever I see her number pop up pre-eight AM, I know something is up. And I was right.

Larkstorm sold to a Hungarian publisher!

What does that mean? In addition to all English and German speaking countries, the good people of Hungary will be able to read about Lark and Beck in their native language. How awesome is that?

Even better – it was a complete surprise. I had no idea it was even being considered!

I immediately hung up and called my dad to tell him. I don’t care how old you are, hearing the pride in your parent’s voice is one of the best things ever.

Dad and I laughed about it because our family is Hungarian – my grandfather and his siblings grew up speaking the language. But in the middle of our celebrating, Dad said, “Uncle Louie died.”

Pause. Heart on the floor.

My Uncle Louie was my grandfather’s older brother and best friend. They built their homes next to each other and did almost everything together. When I was a kid, I used to hang out in my grandpa’s poll barn listening to them “shoot the breeze” while working on cars. Uncle Louie always had candy for me and loved showing me his toe – or non-toe, since it was cut off in a childhood bike riding accident (lesson: don’t ride bikes barefoot!). He made homemade pickles and would drive for hours to get free cucumbers. Never mind the cost of gas, the vegetables were free! And best of all, he had dirty sayings on the walls of his garage that I didn’t understand until much older. Basically, my Uncle Louie was awesome.

During those hours I spent with my Grandpa and uncle, I learned all kinds of things – how to make potato pancakes, roll back odometers on cars, and turn almost anything into a money-making situation. They were schisters and proud of it.

But I never learned to speak Hungarian. Little words I picked up here and there. And despite eating the food almost nightly, the language didn’t trickle down to me.

So I find it fitting, on the day I sell Hungarian rights, Uncle Louie died. He was the last of my family to speak the language, and now, despite never learning it, my words will live on in that language too.

Love you, Uncle Louie!

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