Happy Birthday to Cyn

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!

A Tuna Christmas

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!).

Tonight Greg and I had sashimi at Kyoto and then wandered up Congress to the Paramount Theatre to enjoy “A Tuna Christmas.”

In other news, it was a treat to receive a holiday card from HarperCollins (Laura Geringer has the nicest handwriting), and I’m greatly thankful Alex Sanchez is safe in Thailand.

This Is America Essay Contest

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.

Merry Christmas!

What Greg gave me: three scoops of bath ice cream (you must try it); nambe salt and pepper shakers that look like vampire hunting weapons.

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!

Sushi Keilbasa

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!