“The Little Black Dog Gallery and Bookshop was started by children’s book author Jackie French Koller. Jackie has written over thirty books for children of all ages including picture books, chapter books, novels and series.” Visit online and at 16 Union Avenue in Westfield, MA.
I’m officially a year older today. There’s nothing like having your birthday on New Year’s Eve to make a person reflective. Sort of a double whammy.
So, for 2004, I must say–to mutilate Dickens–it was the best and worst of times. I visited San Francisco and sold my second novel and hosted a novelist workshop and went “home” to Kansas City thrice and lost my dad and spoke in Indianapolis and started two blogs, and, well, there’s more, but enough about me. Three of my best friends had babies and two of them got married. My husband finished his second novel, which will come out next year. The house has more furniture. I found my share of heroes and faced a few dragons–some slain and others befriended. The new president is the old president, and half a world a way, it must feel like the apocalypse. God is (particularly) in vogue, reality TV is (thankfully) fading, and it never fails to amaze me, the generosity and perseverance of the human spirit.
For 2005, my resolution is to show more kindness.
P.S. Author Uma Krishnaswami listed a number of books to look for in 2005. Very classy.
P.S. Watched “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” on DVD, which was pretty much what I’d expected. It sort of does and doesn’t work in the same way that “Legally Blond 2: Red, White, and Blonde” does and doesn’t work. Also finally saw the last half of the last season of “Sex And The City,” which I found especially enchanting in light of the fact that Carrie and Alex’s hotel room was at the George V. Can’t believe even Alex didn’t make time for the restaurant. One of the many reasons Big was the better choice!
Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Web Site offers a new online article, “The Holocaust Through Kids’ Books.”
Received a review copy of In The Small, Small Night by Jane Kurtz, illustrated by Rachel Isadora (Greenwillow, 2005). Kurtz’s 2004 fantasy, The Feverbird’s Claw, also was a Parents’ Choice award winner.
In other news, Mercury, Bashi, Leo & Blizzy have a new vet; you can learn more about her at Cats Love House Calls.
It was a beautiful 70 something degrees and sunny here in Austin. I enjoyed lunch with Greg and Anne Bustard (author of Buddy: The Story of Buddy Holly (Simon & Schuster, 2005)) at Guero’s to celebrate her sale of “Do-Si-Fido” to Ladybug; then Anne and I did some shopping on South Congress and she picked up a birthday present for a friend at Mi Casa (one of my fave stores!).
Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution.
Charlesbridge is sponsoring an essay contest for This Is America by Don Robb, illustrated by Christine Joy Pratt (Charlesbridge, 2005). Students from third to fifth grade are eligible. Really cool prizes, by the way.
In other news, it’s snowed clear down to Corpus Christi. And if you’ve watched “The Year Without A Santa Claus,” you know what snow in Southtown means! Snow Miser and Heat Miser have worked out another truce. In any case, how about getting into the act. You can make your own snowflake at Popular Front.
I’d like to recommend “The beauty found between lines of Christmas letters: For those of us who have forgotten to mention Jesus” by Stephanie Marshall from yesterday’s Houston Chronicle. Stephanie is a gifted writer and dear friend.
What I gave Greg: cat-themed bowls; a book on writing comedy; and a Swiss pen (perfect for a writer-lawyer-engineer!).
What we gave each other: an arts-and-crafts bookcase for the library.
It was an honor yesterday to receive cards from Little Brown and Harcourt. Speaking of Harcourt, they have an interview up with Caldecott-illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon–gotta love those husband-wife teams!
Some Leitich Smith holiday factoids:
tonight we’re having sushi keilbasa, using the recipe in Tofu & T.Rex;
tomorrow we’re having lox and bagels for breakfast;
dinner will be tortilla soup, turkey with whole wheat stuffing, French green beans, and berries for dessert;
Greg also picked up a tiny bottle of caviar (la ti da);
the theme of our tree is music;
we have a kissing ball hanging from the parlor entry;
red and green pillows are on the chairs and daybed;
Cyn’s favorite pillow says “Dogs Have Masters; Cats Have Staff.”
Many Holiday Blessings to you and yours!