Airplanes are magic

It’s always hard leaving home, especially for a week. Sunday morning was last minute packing, tea-drinking, mild fretting. Because I had proclaimed Spring the day before, we were enjoying more lake effect snow.

Image hosting by TinyPic The drive south to Syracuse.

But we got to the airport in one piece and my flight took off with no problems. I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the air (movies in the air – amazing) and scribbled ideas and headed into better weather.

Let’s review yesterday’s visuals:

Image hosting by TinyPic Mexico, NY

Image hosting by TinyPic San Diego, CA

::great sigh::

The very, very nice people of La Jolla Country Day School took me out to dinner last night at a restaurant that overlooked the Pacific ocean and the setting sun… yeah, it had everything, crashing surf, beach, crazy freezing cold surfers, you name it. But the company was even better and it was a terrific way to end a long day. I leave here in a minute to go to the school. Tonight I fly to LA, tomorrow, the Chadwick School.

South Carolina weekend

When the sun came up this morning I staggered out of bed. Time has flown since Thursday. What, it’s March? No way!

I took the long way to South Carolina, impeded by the snowstorms that affected Philly and Laguardia. Got in four hours late, but I made it and that was all that counted. I knew I was going to like the community when we passed a Mrs. Smith’s pie factory on the way to the school. If I lived there, I would erect a house of worship next to it.

Mabry Jr. High was wonderful. The kids were very forgiving when I asked them to repeat things fifty times because my dumb Yankee ears struggled with their accents. I took a couple of photos and have stuck them behind the jump. Thank you to librarian Michelle Pope, asst. principal Crystal McSwain, Kelly Wright, and all of the teachers and kids who were so much fun. Friday night I went to a reception for Jamboread where I got to meet luminaries like Spartanburg’s mayor, the library board, etc. I always feel awkward at events like that, but a number of librarians were there as Emergency Conversational Partners and that helped.

Saturday was Jamboread. “What is Jamboread?” you ask. It’s an amazing book festival sponsored by the world-class Spartanburg, SC library system. Four authors, 6,000 book lovers, puppet shows, face painting, and a guy in a mouse costume. Along with Christopher Paul Curtis and me, readers got to listen to illustrator Janet Stevens and Andrew Clements.

I knew the day would rock when I walked into the teen section of the library and found the opening line of SPEAK painted on the wall, along with other notable quotes. Yeah, I puddled up. I wanted to throw myself on Susan, the YA librarian, and sob, but I didn’t want to scare her. I ate breakfast with the winners of a poetry contest. Note to world: Spartanburg is the home to the poets of the next generation. These writers blew me away with their talent. The bagels were good, too. Many thanks to everyone who made the day fly, especially Leslie and Margo.

Random Spartanburg notes:
– The Miss South Carolina pagent was going on and all the participants were staying in my hotel. I saw Miss South Carolina, wearing her crown and surrounded by an adoring throng, getting out of an elevator. I do not understand pagents. Must explore this.
– Grits. Which I am strangely fond of.
– Did I mention who I had breakfast with yesterday?
– This country would be much better off if all mayors supported libraries as much as the Spartanburg mayor does.
– Back to the pagent thing. I lied, I do understand it. I want a crown.

Photographic evidence


Well, that “week” went fast. I leave again in a couple hours for South Carolina.

Let’s hit the rewind button, shall we? Yesterday… yesterday was a bit of a fog. I planted my rear end in front of the computer from breakfast until 9:30pm. I ate in front of the computer. Drank coffee and tea there, too. Spend all that time doing one last pass through TWISTED, checking for loose ends, stray mistakes, creeping errors. Now it is DONE…. until I hear from the Editress who may want more revisions. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday was a school visit to the schools closest to my house, Mexico Academy Middle School and the High School, in snowy Mexico, NY. Rest of the week and my conference in Washington after the jump

Warning – mushy romantic post

Some of you know this story, but for those who don’t here goes.

I have known my husband since I was three years old. He was six when we met; an older, wiser man. Our mothers were best friends and liked to drink coffee in the afternoon, so he was in charge of walking me home from kindergarten. We spent a LOT of time together as kids, but never romantically. In fact, when our moms would predict we’d wind up together, we’d groan and shriek and spit “Ew!”

That attitude changed when we were hit with the puberty stick.

And then it changed again when I went away to college because we were young and stupid. We married other people and went almost twenty years without being in contact with each other. When our first marriages ended, our paths crossed again. The second time around we weren’t so stupid.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

The end of a tree

I didn’t go on about it too much at the time, but Christmas this year was amazing. My husband worked his butt off finishing up various construction projects in time for the big day, and we decorated the house so beautifully I never wanted to go to sleep; I just wanted to wander from room to room for days on end saying drippy things like “Oooooh, pretty lights!” and “Ribbons and pine cones – how tasteful!”

Yeah, I know. Pathetic. But it really did look nice.

We fulfilled one of my lifelong Christmas fantasies this year: we had two trees – the living room tree, and another one in our bedroom. (Yes, they were both live. We don’t do plastic.) I didn’t think about the implications of removing the upstairs tree when I was decorating it. I was too busy drooling and saying “Pretty lights!”

Yesterday while I was obsessing about the details of the ending of my novel, my husband took care of tree removal.

Wait until you see what he did to it