My coffee cup runneth over

I live a charmed life. There is no doubt.

In the last 48 hours, friends of mine in the publishing world, in education, fellow writers, relatives, high school buddies, readers, and students getting by on ramen noodles have contributed a total of $1,100 to our race effort!!! That means we are already more than 20% of the way to our goal of $5,000!

I am stunned and humbled.

I got a little teary-eyed yesterday as I read through emails from people who have lost dearly loved parents, siblings, and children to cancer. It feels like everyone is touched by this and reminded me again why our effort is important.

Thank you all very, very much. If you haven’t donated yet, please go to the Laurie Halse Anderson Team Website and contribute. If you want to support the guy-side of this effort, go to my husband’s site and give money there. The totally awesome Nancy Werlin donated to Scot, so if you give on his side of the ledger, you’ll be in extremely good company.

If you can’t afford to donate (I totally understand – been there and have the tee-shirt), please help out by blogging about our cause and bugging your friends who have so much money they can afford to blow three dollars on a cup of coffee. You know who I’m talking about.

(For the record, we ran at the gym yesterday. BH ran 5 miles. I only ran 3 because my knee was a little squeaky.)

Along with the fundraising email, yesterday marked the official beginning to The Busy Season. This Spring I am traveling to Chattanooga, TN (they’re reading SPEAK for One City/One Book), Springfield, IL (Illinois Reading Council), Nashua, NH (SCBWI New England), and San Jose, CA for writing workshops.

In addition, I have a new picture book coming out in June that has such a gorgeous cover I can’t wait any longer to show you.

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What do you think? (I’ll be giving more info about the content of the book and some sneak pictures of the inside soon.) I’ve been working on this project for a veeeeeeeeery long time. It’s hard to believe it’s actually coming out.

Dang!! I was jumping up and down so hard I spilled the coffee again.

I have miles to go before I sleep tonight: chapters to revise, a gazillion emails, and new material I have to generate for the website. Thanks again for a great kick-off to the race in June. Please wish me luck with the Revision Race of February.

edited to add Today is Langston Hughes’ birthday, one of my favorite poets and guiding lights.

Lake Placid Half-Marathon countdown: 136 days

Friday 5

What’s something that’s hanging from your ceiling?
A small glass star, filled with wishes.

What’s something that’s hanging on your wall?
A poem by Louis Erdrich. (scroll to May 29th.)

What’s something that’s hanging in your closet?
Enough sweatshirts to get me through the winter.

What’s hanging from your rear-view mirror? (for those without cars, what’s something hanging from the rear-view mirror of a car you’ve recently ridden in?)
Nothing. I don’t like distractions.

What have you been hanging onto for too long?
A couple of ancient resentments. Must throw them into the fire and release them.

Want to play? I tag everybody.

Back and flying

Ever have an experience that was so amazing on several levels that you don’t want to talk about for fear of somehow disturbing or diluting the memory?

That’s what the poetry weekend retreat was like for me. That’s also why you won’t be getting many details, except that it was a much-needed creative and spiritual boost. I will say that I had one of the best runs of my life, thanks to the freakish January weather. And I wrote a lot of poems – none are fit for public consumption.

Today is Christmas #3. The last of our brood is up visiting with a buddy and if they ever wake up, the presents are waiting under the tree. Tomorrow the decorations will come down and the new year will truly begin.

I finally figured out my Resolution. (Back story – I have been working on this for weeks. Instead of writing a resolution, I kept making to-do lists, which is a very different thing.) My resolution this year is to live with kavannah, a Hebrew word that refers to mindfulness, especially in prayer, directing the energies of the heart, and an awareness that I rarely have, and would very much like to cultivate. When I get busy, I tend to let life blur around me, and then I complain about it. I don’t want to do that anymore. So I will work on being a little slower and a little more aware this year. Yay! (Thanks, Deb H., for the word I was looking for.)

Last night we celebrated my mom’s 76th birthday. The best part was watching her argue with dad because they couldn’t agree how old she was. Heh.

Back to deadlining….

Talking about leaving the nest!

Several of my chicks have flown the nest in a big way. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

This is the paradox of parenting. You want to raise your kids to be strong and kind, to have a sense of morality and direction, to make good decisions, etc etc, blah, blah blah. But if you do your job right and accomplish all that stuff, then they want to leave.

Le sigh.

Last week BH and I drove down to PA to help Mer (daughter #3 for those of you with a score card) finish moving into her slightly off-campus apartment. She’s spending the summer down there, living out every college almost-sophomore’s dream about not moving home after freshman year. And we are really proud of her, because she’s doing it in a smart way – has a job, is taking a class, found a great apartment, and clearly doesn’t need her mom so much.

Le sigh.

Then on Monday, BH and I took Stef (#1) to NYC on a very, very slow Amtrak train.

(This post will now pause to bring you the following haiku:)

Hours late again
We tried to submit, accept
Train zen is a crock

(Back to post)

Why were we going to NYC? Because Stef thought it would be a good idea to spend the summer in China. Yep. Right this very second she’s eating breakfast somewhere near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. She is on a very cool program that offers an 8-week language intensive course, run by CET.

And because the Internet is a wonderful thing, you can follow her adventures. She is anshutian.

More details about our trip & photos