Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

Last night, I pulled on a slinky long black dress, slinky long black opera shoes, and sassy black cowboy boots. Greg and I had dinner and danced at the Four Seasons Lake Austin (a simultaneous birthday and new year is a lot of "date" pressure on a husband).

Dinner was, hm, something small with lobster and avocado, something small with basil and tomato, lobster bisque, salad with goat cheese, a scallop, lemon sherbert, sea bass, and mixed berries. Greg had the same, except the beef instead of the bass, and it all sounded much more divine on the menu than it does on this blog but, regardless, tasted amazing!

My gift was a small arts-and-crafts desk we found at an antique shop off I-35, between here and San Marcos, for the guest room.

I'm off now to watch the "Monk" marathon.

Many joyous tidings to you in 2005!

P.S. See an ICL chat transcript with Kent Brown Jr., Editor-in-Chief of Highlights for Children Magazine.

See also "Grants, Fellowships, and Other Opportunities for Children's Writers and Children's Illustrators" by Erika Dreifus from ICL.

Friday, December 31, 2004

The Little Black Dog Gallery and Bookshop

"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.

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!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

In The Small, Small Night

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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

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.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tsunami in Asia

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.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

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.
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