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23 posts from December 2008

2009 Recap - ETA: I mean 2008! Whoops! Ha! December 29, 2008

Look at that! It's the end of another year. Let's quickly go over what this very strange year has held, shall we?


Diagnosed as allergic to soy lecithin. OMG, I've been allergic to 99.99% of all chocolate goodness for that long? That's crazy. I'm doing okay with it, though.

It was nice this week, though, to remember that although I've been avoiding sugar, I'm not actually allergic to it. Therefore, when I had that lebkuchen and stollen that my sisters made, my face/eyes/tongue weren't going to blow up. Boy, did I get a sugar rush. But fun!

Harriet got older. But she also got wiser, and dare I say it? Cuter, too.



Boy, I didn't do much. I wrote. I knitted. I went to Stitches. I completed Jeanie, which is one of my favorite things I've ever made.



Bought my Roomba-boyfriend! I still heart my Roomba. Nine am, rain or shine, home or not, I am vacumming. If you have three dogs and four cats, you should totally have one. Of course, it breaks a lot, but Costco just refunds my money and I go down to aisle 19 and grab another one. I'm just about due for a new one -- the spinning arms fell off and the screw is stripped. Still working, though. The one I have now is the hardiest so far -- I will be sorry to see this one go.

Lala found Bart (who has been adopted by a man in Danville, so that means Bart is now RICH and spoiled and probably only eating caviar and prime rib. Do NOT tell Clara.)


I finished the first edit of Love Spun. Whoohoo!


We went to Hearst Castle for our 2nd anniversary. Yay! I had a really, really bad flu. Boo. I wrote most of a script. I sent out my first, trembling query letters to agents. I went to visit the little mama, who wasn't feeling well. It wasn't the best month for anyone we knew, actually.


Lala was deep in training for the AIDS ride, so I was a bike-widow for a month. Mom went into the hospital with lots of symptoms that eventually were diagnosed as multiple myeloma. I finished the Mom sweater at her bedside:



Lala rode the AIDS Lifecycle, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I was SOOOO proud of her.


Mom died. My heart broke in a way that will never be healed, nor should it be.

I re-learned that I have a kick-ass family.

We had a music party for Mom, which she would have liked very much.


Sister Christy had her appendix out in emergency surgery only a few hours after the above picture was taken. Of all of us, she really had the crappiest couple of weeks. Dude. That just ain't right.


I went up and worked for a couple of weeks at an expanded dispatch center for the big fires we had in California. It was good to get out. But I did work twenty-three days in a row (hello, overtime!), so I was good and tired by the end of it all. But that money paid for a new tattoo:



I attended the Romance Writers of America National Convention, which blew my mind. So many incredible, talented, smart, motivated writers, all in one spot. That was awesome.

And way more awesome, I got myself an agent! Susanna Einstein, best agent in the world.

Merlin Mann wrote a twitter that honestly changed the way I look at my writing:

Looking for the real "Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource?" Here you go: "Go write. Now. Then do it again tomorrow." There's your "hack."

Yep. I've done that ever since. I've missed a few days since August, but only when I was either sick or travelling, and that's allowable in my personal rules. Otherwise, I've written every single day, and it's made all the difference. I'm convinced of this.

I got a Kindle! I love my Kindle!

My friends bought me a desk! I love my desk! (It was to celebrate my getting an agent -- a token of their belief in me. I love them for it.)



Went to Strawberry Music Festival and missed Mom (but had fun with Dad and the Whoreshoes).

Got married. Again. I know. Third time's the charm.



I edited my little hands off, in preparation for Susanna sending out the book.

Said goodbye to sugar. (I'm still off the sugar and 14 pounds lighter for it. I don't miss it -- I'm so used to being allergic to things that it doesn't feel like deprivation, does that make sense?)

I ran the Nike half-marathon! Woot!



OBAMA! 'Nuff said.

I gave my first reading.

I GOT THE CALL! (Three book deal, HarperCollins (Avon), the first due out in a year.) AKA - the dream come true.

I received my Love Blanket from people like you:


I won Nanowrimo! (Third year in a row, yay!)

Chickens were wanted, and are still being planned for.


New York! (Dude, wasn't I just there? Almost a whole month has gone by? That's bizarre.) I met my agent! I met my editor (May Chen)! It was so great! (Lots of exclamation marks!)


I accepted an offer in Germany for my book. (Thanks, little mama.)

I signed The Contract.

I went to Dad's house for Boxing Day, where we all played Apples to Apples (best family game EVER). I swear I could feel Mom in the kitchen while we laughed in the living room. It was very hard, for all of us. But we made it through. I can only imagine the holidays get easier as time goes on. I hope so, anyway.

All in all, a very, very bad / very, very good year.

And you've been here for all of it, and I thank you. I adore you. I send kisses. Let's move on into 2009, shall we? I'm ready.

12-25December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas (I always type Merry Christy, since I'm more used to typing my sister's name than the holiday) to you, if you celebrate it. If you don't, then enjoy the non-hoopla!

Actually, this year I am seriously non-hoopla Christmassing it. I'm working today, which is fine. A coworker and friend just lost her father, and went home to Albuquerque, and I'm working for her. Way too many people around me have lost loved ones, just in the last few weeks. It is teh suck.

Tonight, though, I will go home. Lala will be there. Her brother will be there. They will be playing Rock Band, I can almost guarantee it. (Or beta-testing City of Heroes for Mac - they are excited about that.) There will probably be something to eat, and most certainly something to drink, and we will open presents. That should be good.

Tomorrow I drive to Dad's house. The sisters are already there. We will be sufficiently Christmassy and we will get clam chowder. Then I will drive back and finish working on a January 2nd book deadline (yay!). Then this whole holiday crap will be over and we can go back to normal.

I like this photo from 2003. Mom with her new Xmas accordian:


Yep. That's all. More fudge, please.

We Are So CoolDecember 23, 2008

I went to the optometrist the other day. Lala worries about my not being able to read things on the freeway as well as she can. I know I can see just fine. But to prove her wrong, I went in, and the doc told me I have great vision (apart from my lazy eye, which isn't all THAT lazy). But I do have astigmatism (or as I always hear it, a stigmatism), and I should wear glasses while working so that my eyes are more relaxed while driving.

So I have the best of all worlds: I get to pick cute glasses and wear them when I feel like it. Yay!

But I have earned it: I started wearing glasses when I was six -- thick, coke-bottled glasses. Seriously farsighted, I even had to wear bifocals. It sucked. I wore them until I was about fifteen, when my eyes suddenly got better, and I've been good ever since.

Last night, Lala and I got into a competition.

She said, "That's so cool that you get glasses. You'll look hot."

"Hey, I've done glasses. I deserve this. I had the worst glasses when I was a kid."

"No, I had the worst glasses," she said. 

I said, "You don't even understand what I'm saying. Let me tell you about bad glasses. I had the WORST glasses. They were huge, tall ovals with the flat bottoms. Tortoise-shell. With the stems that attached at the bottom of the lenses, and then went UP and over the ear. Polarized. AND THEY WERE BIFOCALS."

Lala just looked at me. She took her time.

"Battlestar Galactica."

Dear Digit, December 22, 2008

When I take you to bed with me, I expect certain things. I expect that you will cuddle. If you use your claws and growl because you get confused, that is okay. I'm used to that about you. You will eventually calm down and settle in, and then we will be happy and warm.

If, on a morning that I have to get up at 4am, you decide to howl at 3:15, I will be annoyed. I will, of course, leap out of bed to hustle you out to the front porch where I plan to give you breakfast to shut you the hell up.

If, however, you get lost under the bed and continue howling, I will howl back. Lala won't like it, but she won't really wake up, either, so that part's all right. But when it takes ten minutes for you to come out from under the bed (so unlike you! You are nothing if not decisive!), I get really ticked. That is not okay, buddy. That's even worse than jumping on the domino game last night.

So I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, because of you. It's hours later (and several weird work deaths and calamities later), and I am firmly still on the wrong side of the bed. I would like to get back IN to said bed and stay there for a few hours and attempt entry into the world again.

I'm not even tired. I'm just firmly entrenched in The Grump. Grrrrr. I think I will wait until YOU are happily asleep and then howl at YOU. See how you like it, big boy.

But I will still give you kisses when I get home because you are still adorable. Nothing changes that.

yours in love and grumbling,

Contract! December 19, 2008

Know what I did last night? Before going out? I went over MY CONTRACT.


I was stupidly thrilled that it had come FedEx overnight delivery. That just smacks of Important, right?

I read every sentence, and flagged every question I had to go over with my agent Susanna, which I did this morning. Have I mentioned recently she's the best agent ever? No? She is.

It. Is. So Exciting.

Also, you have to buy it, okay? I'm freaked out that it won't earn out (earn the advance) and then they'll never want another book from me, and then I'll have to, oh, I don't know, get a job at the fire department or something. Ack!

You know what's soooo cool, though? Next year? When the book is out? I will "have" to go to all the knit-events to promote it. Oh, no! I have to go to Maryland! Oh, no! Rhinebeck! All the Stitches events! (And they're tax write-offs, too. Pinch me.)

Also in big news:

Lala knows how to hold Digit like a baby.

Held likeababy

Do you have any idea how INSANE that is? I rarely pick him up, and when I do, he squirms out of my arms. He always has. He'll get on me, and lie on me, and cuddle with me, but it has to be on his terms. He's never enjoyed being held.

But Lala believes in holding cats like babies WHICH IS WRONG. She maintains, however, that this is the correct method, so both the kittens like to be held on their backs, since it's been happening to them since they were young.

Last night, a few beers in, Lala tried it with Digit. I got out my cell phone so I could call the paramedics.

And he loved it. It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. He started purring instantly. HE DOES NOT PURR WHEN HELD. He tends to bite or scratch. No, he purred. He batted my hands playfully with the claws retracted, and then rubbed his head against me while she held him. Finally, after maybe five minutes, Lala put him down. I tried it, and he turned into a spitting, fighting machine, which is his normal M.O.

She is the cat whisperer.


Really? December 18, 2008

If you leave an anonymous comment that's snarky, I'll delete it (especially if it's spelled poorly -- then I'll giggle a little while hitting delete). (Also, it's not really anonymous. There's no way you can stop Typepad from capturing your IP address. Then I find out who you are. Silly you.)

Seriously, why do people read the blogs of people they don't like? There are only two people (maybe three) that I don't like in all of blog-land, and I would never visit their sites. I wouldn't ever even give them a drive-by click -- they don't deserve that hit. Not that any of us check our stats anymore - I haven't checked mine in years (maybe I should start? But I get more than a million hits a year. Don't really have the time, which is a good problem to have -- I ain't complainin'). But if they DID check their stats, I wouldn't want them seeing that I had visited their site. A visit to a site is like a vote. The more the better, no matter why they're coming. I don't spend my clicks like that, you know?

But I can't figure out why people who don't like me would read my site.... Who has the TIME? Who is that bored with her life? Who wants to be upset like that? Am I really that fascinating? Is it the cute animal pictures? Do they have a major crush on Lala and they're jealous of me? Seriously. Must be that last one. Oh, yay, I've figured it out! (And yes, she's crush-worthy, isn't she?)

Now back to the really serious stuff in life -- what to wear out to the City tonight. I'm thinking my new fascinator-hat, mmmm?

Perfect Chemistry Rap

I've never seen a book trailer that made me want to buy the book. I'm kind of stymied by them, actually. An ad? A little movie, for a book? What's the point?

That was, until this one. From galleycat:

Shortly after Simone Elkeles sold her latest YA novel, Perfect Chemistry, she began thinking of unique ways that she could promote the story of a romance between a rich white girl and a Latino gang member in a Chicago high school to readers. "Book trailers are great, but in order for mine to stand out it needed a 'wow' factor," she told us, "or at least a 'that's totally off-the-wall and goofy' factor." Elkeles was a big fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a teenager, and loved the way the show's theme song told the character's story. So she began writing a condensed version of her novel as a rap song.

A young adult novel, as a rap video. I thought that it would be so horrible it would be worth watching. It WAS worth watching, but it's not horrible. In fact, it's so damn cute that you need to see it, too, and I absolutely know I'll buy the book, if only to honor the spirit that went into making the trailer. I'd embed it here, but you should probably go watch it in high quality, so go HERE. And enjoy.

(And Lala? Get to thinking about my cowboy rap, kthx.)

RadnomDecember 17, 2008

That should so be a word.

  • It is official, sugar gives me headaches. I had a chocolatini last night, and it was more sugar than I've had in forever. This morning I have that slight, nagging headache (it is not a hangover, that's a different headache, trust me).  But GOD, was that drink the best.
  • Giving up sugar hasn't been hard (strangely) and I've dropped fourteen pounds with almost no exercise. (It's not that I don't want to run -- I just haven't been able to find the time around writing, working, traveling, and being sick. Today, a run! (Or not. You know.)
  • I am so not in the mood to edit. Let's blame it on the sugar last night (but oh, was it gooooood). I'm actually making quiche right now for the first time, in avoidance. Maybe after the quiche is done I need to go out into the world to write. It ain't happenin' at home. (Quiche is asparagus and feta. I hope I haven't screwed it up. Cooking now.)
  • Harriet is now officially so old and senile that she really doesn't know where or where not to pee, so now the dogs are sleeping in the living room (no carpet). It worked okay last night, but we felt guilty. Anyone have a favorite brand of doggie diapers? (Seriously, any ideas are greatly appreciated.)
  • I do, in fact, think I'll catch the ferry to SF and write there this afternoon. Maybe get some clam chowder. Or oysters!
  • My current favorite square (it changes hourly, honestly) on my blanket is this one:


       I can't remember whose this is, and I'm comforted by the fact that I could pull out the map and find out, and I might, but for right now I'm just loving touching it. It's so SOFT.
  • Five minutes to quiche. Then I'll eat a piece. Then I have to spend an hour editing. Okay? Okay. 
  • La just found a dead dog and had to come home to wash the blood off her hands from moving it out of the road. Poor La.
  • THIS QUICHE IS SO DAMN GOOD! Feta + heavy cream = divine. I don't want to ever eat anything else. (I used the Cooks Illustrated quiche lorraine recipe but subbed asparagus and feta. That's the smartest thing I've done in a long time. Store-bought crust, natch.)


  • I need another piece.

Siena, Violet, GermanyDecember 15, 2008

Bear with me.

Six or seven years ago, I went with my little Mama to Italy. In Siena, we stayed at Alma Domus, an old convent converted into a hotel. It's still run by the nuns there, and down below the rooms is the cell where St. Catherine (patron saint of Italy) received her stigmata. (In the church you can still view her head and her finger. Deliciously grotesque.)

It was the most wonderful place to stay, maybe one of my favorite hotels ever, and I believe it was something ridiculous like $30 a night.

It was a small, narrow room, and dark. I opened the shutters to the french doors while Mom used the facilities. The view that was on the other side of the doors was completely unexpected, better than anything I could have imagined. I waited for Mom to exit the bathroom. I demanded that she shut her eyes and cover them with her hands. I led her by the shoulders out onto the narrow balcony.

I told her to open her eyes.


All of Siena, with the Duomo front and center, at our feet.

That's not even where I was originally headed. Well, then. I promise I'm rambling slowly to a point today; forgive me if it takes a while to get there. But I love that memory. Her excitement at that view was like when a kid finds a bike under the Christmas tree. Only better. Damn. 

So, in Siena, while wandering around, somehow we ended up (as people do) in a pharmacy, sniffing things. We found a package of violet soap. (I love violet because my mother's mother had a little pot of solid violet perfume. When I was little, there was no more perfume left in the tiny pot, but Mom kept it because of the gorgeous smell. I loved to stick my little snout in it.)

Now, this violet soap in Siena was like NO other violet I've ever smelled -- it was the distillation of violet's very essence, amplified to capital letters: VIOLET! I AM SO VIOLET! We bought a package each. The hotel room was between the pharmacy and the town square, so we dropped our goodies in the room and went on tromping around the city in the light rain. 

When we got back to the hotel that night, we both thought we could smell a hint of violet in the elevator. We wondered aloud about it. But oh my god, when the elevator doors opened on our floor, the smell of violet hit us like a punch. Our room was at least ten doors away from the elevator, and the doors to the room were closed. We looked at each other. It couldn't possibly be from our soap.

But it was. The rest of the trip was marked by that trailing violet smell. It was on our clothes, in our suitcases, in our hair, in every room we slept in for the rest of the trip. I've never been able to find that particular scent since until recently I smelled a candle called, moronically, "Living Room." It's a lighter version of that smell, so I bought it.

I burned it this morning while I wrote. I usually burn a candle when I write in the morning before dark -- something about the ritual of it draws me into the words or at least reminds me of my smoking days, which is a happy memory -- but I haven't been able to burn that candle. Until today.

Because this morning I woke from a dream about my mother. I was at some kind of graduation, my own I think, although I couldn't tell what I was graduating from. Everyone was around me, all my loved ones. I thought, "Mom's not here." Then I felt, really felt, a tap on my shoulder from behind me. Mom's cute little voice said, "Mom made it." I turned, and she was there. I swear to god, she was really there. She looked strong and healthy, probably about sixty years old, so about the age she was when we went to Italy. I got to grin at her for long seconds, and she grinned back. I got to hug her in the dream, and it was so very, very real. I could feel her body in my arms.

Then I woke up. I stayed in one spot, memorizing every part of the dream. I struggled for so long after she died with dreams that were clinical and corporeal, dreams that had everything to do with disease and nothing with who my mother was. 

Then I got up and burned that violet candle.

And guess what? Today I'm accepting an offer from a German publisher (Goldmann) for my book. It will be translated into German, a language my mother spoke fluently (she taught English in Wurzburg for several years in her twenties). Coincidence? Sure, it's highly likely that's all it is.

But I like the shape of this coincidence.

Ways In Which I am Not Sure About This Work WeekDecember 14, 2008

My work week started out so strangely that I'm not quite sure what to think about it. Fortunately, it's one of my three-day work weeks, or I'd be really worried.

1. I woke up at 4am, on my Monday (which is your Sunday), bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not only mostly over my cold, but also ready to dive back into edits. There was no reason for this, other than the fact that I spent a majority of my weekend resting in bed (hmmmm..... I suppose that might be considered a reason.)

2. Also related to bushy tails: I HIT A RACCOON on the way to work this morning. Oh, it was awful. I was going 65, and it was dark, and the raccoon streaked out of the darkness and under my tires. I had no time to brake, no time to swerve (both of those things were good for me, bad for the raccoon). I did, strangely, have enough to let loose a guttural, primal scream that scared me almost as badly as killing the poor thing. I killed him HARD. At least I can comfort myself with the fact that he died completely instantaneously, no doubt about it. My hands shook for a while after that and I slowed to 45mph (no traffic on a Sunday morning in the Bay Area that damn early) to make sure my transmission wasn't going to fall out and that a tire wasn't going to blow. I DARED any CHP officer to pull me over for driving too slowly -- he would have had to hear all about it. Tires and car seem to be fine. Poor raccoon. I hope he has a really nice rebirth as a dog. Although preferably not reborn to my household. We have enough animals.

3. After that, coming down the grade into Pleasanton, I saw the biggest, brightest shooting star I've seen in ages. Maybe years. I thought it was a rocket at first, heading for the earth, but it blazed out. Some bit of space debris, I'm sure, but rather stunning. It cheered me up no end after the raccoon debacle.

4. My nose is about to fall off my face. The cold has abated, but it has left me with the reddest, most chapped nose and lips. People look at me and say, "Oh, poor thing," unprompted.

I remain cheerful. This will be a good week. I would like to finish more pages, generate less roadkill, see more falling space debris, and use more moisturizer (god bless lanolin).

Oh, yesDecember 11, 2008

Oh, yes
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

I love Friday Night Lights.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

Quite cheered by this photo, though. Heh.
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I Give Up

I have the best intentions when it comes to pajama days. I think they're a great idea, and I want to embrace them. But every time I try to have one, I fail. I end up going out, doing chores, or just having a normal day, no matter how hard I try to stay at home relaxing.

So today, my first day off at home in almost two weeks, I am having an enforced pajama day.

I wouldn't have even chosen this. But this cold that's whomped me upside the head has pinned me with exhaustion and an awfully stopped-up nose, so I guess my body is making me take a day off. (The worst part is that it's not even that bad. If this had been a work day, I would have gone in and I would have been okay being miserable there. It's not the flu. It's just a cold. And extreme fatigue. Double-bleah.)

Some things I'd thought of doing today:

Clean the house
Go ice skating
Take the dogs for an adventure
Drive to Pescadero for olallieberry pie
Start a fruitcake (really)

Instead, it's almost noon, and I've been blogsurfing all morning. Now I'm going to eat something and get back in bed. I have some Friday Night Lights to catch up on. I don't even plan on knitting. I'm going to be the biggest slug possible.

It's kind of nice in an agonizingly awful way. Digit, who is howling to be let outside (NO!), feels the same way.

New York, the RecapDecember 8, 2008

I don't know where to start, so I'll just jump in.


Janine, Stephanie, and I went to New York. They are coworkers of mine, but more than that, they're friends. We had such a great time that my stomach muscles still ache from laughing. We laughed almost constantly. If you were in New York last week and heard screams of laughter, it was us, I can guarantee it. We were ridiculous, wonderfully so. 

We were originally slated to stay at the Chelsea, which had been the only room we could get within our price range. But at $331 a night, it was still mighty pricey for our three nights, so at the last minute we Pricelined and got THE BEST HOTEL for only $191 a night (taxes and charges drove it to $227, still a savings of a hundred a night!). We stayed at Murray Hill East Suites, which was right under this beauty:


Could there be a better view in the world? Comparable, sure. But better, I don't think so. The room was good, quiet, and BIG, with its own kitchenette. Highly recommended.


Brooklyn Bridge! It was cold, but perfect. Just like every other part of the trip. You know how everything goes just right? When everywhere you go, it seems like you were meant to be there? Everything falls into place? The whole trip was like that, to the point that I worried that the plane would crash on the way home, because it had just been TOO perfect.


After walking the bridge with the girls, I left them to hit the Statue without me: I had a date with my agent.

I was nervous. I was excited.

She was SO GREAT.


Seriously, I have lucked out in every possible way. We went to Ringo for lunch. We had reservations. Susanna is soooo awesome, even better than I could have possibly imagined. She's the kind of person that I'd pick as a friend if I met her at the bookstore, you know? We had Veuve Clicquot! Seared tuna! Straight-up class, yo! I believe I might have spoken in too many capital letters and I stole two tissue packs (so cute! instead of matches!) and my excited state might be given away by my flaming cheeks above (pre-wine, even!), but it was great. So great. 

Then I went and met my editor. I know, right? She was also awesome, so sweet and charming. I was overcome with a Very Large Afternoon. It did not disappoint.

(Confession: When I was in the elevator at HarperCollins, I grabbed my cell phone out of my purse to take a quick pic of myself. You know how I am. Yep. Dropped it, and it broke into all the pieces a phone can possibly break into. So I stuffed the phone, back, battery and assorted bits into my purse and attempted to be cool as the doors opened. Then when I hit the lobby on my way out, I asked the doorman to take my picture. He hesitated. I said, "Oh, is that not allowed?" He said, "Nah, but I'll do it anyway." So here's the coolest picture EVER:)


Oh. Yeah.

With my business taken care of, I had a whole day free with my friends in which to see/do/eat everything.


In St. Patrick's. I loved the way they greeted each other, with kisses and promises to see each other soon.


A parochial theme emerges. I loved this nun, skating at Bryant Park. She was the only nun on the ice, and she moved smoothly, around and around.


Still some color.


These two were so cute. Both were bundled up, wandering through Central Park with their two friends. They threw off their outer clothing and she squeaked, "Quick! Pick me up!"


Aren't those lines gorgeous?


The Gretel hat did come in very handy.


Janine and I could pass for sisters, couldn't we?


Confession number two: Some of my writing money, someday, when I can, will be spent on a diamond ring for me at Tiffany & Co. In New York. No other Tiffany is like the New York Tiffany. That will be such a good day.

And I will buy it from Melissa, who was so sweet to us. She took the time to show us all the beautiful smaller rings that we still couldn't afford, and she had EXACTLY the same level of classiness that John McGiver did when he played the Tiffany salesman in Breakfast at Tiffany's. She had that quiet seriousness, the confidence that the three silly girls in front of her might really be serious about diamonds. Which we were. Melissa, you made us feel as important as the woman I saw holding out her light blue Tiffany store charge card. Did you know they had CARDS? Wowie.

Honestly, though, we didn't really shop much. A few tchockes, a mug and a pen, and THIS fabulous friviolity:


A fascinator! It's from a hat-maker in Ontario (can't remember the name now). She had a booth in the Holiday Fair at Grand Central, and I couldn't live without this. Sure, I'm in my pj's in the hotel in the above shot, and I have no makeup on, but imagine: makeup, hair done, and simple black dress? Divine, no?


The Cartier window was like an advent calendar: the boxes moved in and out, displaying increasingly wonderful and elaborate jewelry. (Not as pretty as Tiffany's, to my mind.) You can see Janine in the bottom of the reflection. When one of the large rings came out on display, she started saying, "Yes. I do. I will. Yes, I sure do."

And we ate. Oh, yes. Thank you for all of your suggestions! I think, overall, my favorite meal was the arugula/feta pierogies at Veselka. Hey, you think this might be the owner's car? (Parked a block from the restaurant.)


And of course, the pastrami at Katz's.


We had so. much. fun.


Suddenly out of steam.
The End.

PS - I heart NY.


Going homeDecember 6, 2008

Going home
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

TiffanyDecember 5, 2008

Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

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Central Park!

Central Park!
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

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Bryant Park skating

Bryant Park skating
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

No, I haven't strapped on the skates yet, but its such a perfect day.
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Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

These people were all carrying two or three large Tiffany bags each.
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And when I said editorDecember 4, 2008

And when I said editor
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

I meant agent, of course. I had the most amazing and fun lunch with my agent, Susanna Einstein. (After my friends and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, above.) Now I am going to meet my editor. Yowza!
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Grand Central station!

Grand Central station!
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

I am on my way to lunch with my editor. Pinch me.
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New York! December 2, 2008

I leave for New York tomorrow!

    Me, last year, on the Brooklyn Bridge

Last year, when I went to Rhinebeck, I spent a few days in New York City. I remember that I kept thinking about my book. It had gone to the final round in that Borders/Gather contest, and one of the judges was a Simon & Schuster editor. During the time I was walking around the East Village, my book was being read. In New York City. My heartbeat never slowed.

Of course, it was a first draft (how presumptuous of me to enter a first draft! How cheeky! And how glad I am that I did!). It didn't win, but placed in the top five, and I got the MS back and went to work making it better.

Now, a year later, I'm leaving tomorrow for New York. I will be lunching with my agent. I will be meeting my editor for coffee. I will be talking about my book. My books. My book DEAL. Oh, lordy.


I have no idea whether holding a completed copy of my book will feel better than this. I can't imagine that it will.

*For my New York gang, sadly, my time is FULL. I'm with two friends that have never been to NY before, and we're only in town for two days. Every single minute is full of Stuff to Do and See. And eat. Really, I'm going to New York to talk books and EAT: Katz's pastrami, Veselka's pierogies, Yonah Schimmel's knishes, Magnolia's cupcakes (any others that we just CAN'T miss?).

But I'm sure I'll be back soon and we can have a major blow-out knit-out then. (A reader pointed out a while back that New Yorkers don't routinely take over cafes and bars as much as they do on the west coast. Knit-outs in knitting shops are not half as common out here as it is to see a whole coffee-shop taken over by a knit-group. So start thinking now about a bar with good lighting (?) that we can take over next time I'm in town.....)