I'm taking this opportunity to dole out some much-deserved shout-outs to friends who are extraordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things:
First, to my friend Cinde, who for years has longed to write: Cinde rocked NANOWRIMO for her very first novel! I'm so excited and proud of her for overcoming her own fears - not to mention while working full time and parenting a toddler with ambitions of his own - to write from her heart. Woot!
Next, to friend and readergirlz diva Dia Calhoun, whose fabulous new middle grade novel, The Return of Light: A Christmas Tale, was just released. It's a gorgeous, imaginative tale perfect for the 8-12 year old reader. Go check her out!
A very special shout out goes to readergirlz diva Janet Lee Carey, who just finished a draft of her magnificent next novel and who consistently offers gentle insight and wisdom to everyone who knows her.
Another goes to friend of my heart Molly Blaisdell, author of picture books, non-fiction, and several delicious novels and host of the soon-to-be famous Golden Coffee Cup Award: a big hooray for finishing the rough draft of her early chapter book! As anyone who has written a story knows, finishing the first draft is perhaps the most difficult task of writing.
And the last goes to faraway friend Linda Wingerter, my favorite illustrator ever, who has made the most beautiful, precious gift of an angel for the Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure auction. I am torn between hoping to win the auction myself and wanting someone who can offer ten times more for it to win - knowing that Linda is close friends with Grace Lin and the late Robert Mercer makes it all the more priceless. On a more personal note, the angel reminds me of how I felt after losing our daughter Ezri a few years ago. So yes, I'm going to be selfish and hope I win! But if you win, I hope you'll let me come visit.