Thursday, January 27, 2011

Off we go!

Hey all! I'm heading out to NYC tomorrow (in the wee wee hours of the morning) to attend the SCBWI Winter Conference. Maybe I'll see you there? Hope so! (If I don't see you at the conference, maybe we can have a drink at Kidlit Drink Night?)

I'll definitely post some photos upon my return.

I also wanted to direct your attention to a giveaway the Elevensies are really excited about. Click the poster for more information:

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wintry getaway

This past weekend we spent time with childhood friends in a . . . what would you call it? A lodge? A retreat? Whatever it's called, it lies about an hour north of St. Louis.

(Please pardon crappy iPhone photos.)

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It was very remote and snowy.

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We couldn't make it up the hill in our SUV the first night (rental place LIED about it being AWD, argh). Another member of our party actually ended up in a ditch and had to call a tow truck. It was a long walk with suitcases, I tell you. (The creepy noises in the woods didn't improve matters.)

On Saturday, the kids and some of the adults sledded the hill pictured above. (I'm not sure if the photo accurately represents the steep incline. Or maybe I'm just a nervous old lady.) On my first trip down, I crashed most disastrously, flipping Charlie Brown-style (only frontwards)*. For a moment I had grave concerns about brain damage, but then I shook it off and dragged myself up the hill . . . to try again. And again and again. SO FUN!

*It really felt like I was spinning through the air, but I probably just flopped over.

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On Sunday we had a banquet-style tea. French Breakfast, Earl Grey and Rooibos Chai were served along with scones, jam and real Devonshire cream. Oh, and delicious cucumber sandwiches!

We also discussed Wolf Hall. I'm pleased to report that everyone who started the book finished it by Sunday. Yay! We all miss Thomas Cromwell now.

I'm fortunate to have such good friends, and to have kept them for so long. Until next time, mes amis!

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ETA: speaking of tea, on Saturday Steve and I picked up this tea set from ASL Pewter Foundry in Louisiana, MO. Isn't it handsome?

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Five -- bringing back the happy

It's been a rough week, so I'm dedicating this Friday Five to happy things.

1. In case you didn't see me raving on FB and Twitter -- Tangled is a must see! The trailers just didn't do it justice, in my opinion. It's beautiful, funny, romantic, and features the most delicious secret tower I've ever seen. I want one of my own! Full-sized, please. This is cute, but I'm afraid I just couldn't squeeze the old carcass into it. :)

Also, this is an embarrassing admission, but when I saw the credits . . . I didn't know who Zachary Levi was. It's Chuck, of course! So you Chuck fans need to go see right away. Mandy Moore is quite good, too.

2. Downton Abbey is finally coming to PBS. I hardly know a thing about this show, except that a) it's an ITV costume drama, and b) people are raving about it. Weee!

3. I am loving Wolf Hall. I avoided this book for a long time -- wasn't sure I wanted to read more about that clever lunatic Henry VIII ruining so many lives with his whims and lusts. And for some reason I thought Thomas More was supposed to the main character. ("But he BURNED people," I thought.) Duh, the novel is actually about Thomas Cromwell. I'm only 200 pages in, but already I'm quite in love with him.

4. Looky, looky what I've got:

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Julia Karr's XVI! The first of many gorgeous Elevensie books that I'm going to DEVOUR this year.

5. And finally, I must share this review of THE REVENANT by Kate Messner. I admire Kate ever so much -- she's amazingly accomplished and talented. I LOVED The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z and can't wait to get my hands on Sugar and Ice. She teaches full-time, writes like mad, sells books right and left, presents at conferences, etc., and yet she always takes the time to write very detailed, thoughtful reviews of the books she's read. Even if all my industry reviews are terrible, I'll always be able to go back to this one and say "Kate liked it, and she's COOL." Thanks, Kate!

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]