Happy New Year!

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01 Jan Hello, 2017

 

 

Happy New Year! Or as the Broadcasting Legend™ would say, “Kala Podariko,” or “Happy First Foot!” Cressie was our first-foot this year, which is only right, as she is the happiest, most light-hearted and fortunate of creatures, despite her great age and serious health issues. Bless you, little freckle-pawed Cress. Every day’s a gift.

 

Boudin, of course, was right behind her.

 

We’re expecting great things from you, 2017. Don’t disappoint us!

 

 

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08 Jan Starting from Scratch

starting-from-scratch

A lot has happened, and you know what? I’m just going to draw a line under it and start, as my dear mother used to say, from scratch.

 

I’ve put The Taste of Cloves aside for the moment. I will always love the sixteenth century—the Renaissance, that turning point between the Age of Faith and the Age of Reason—but fiction set in the sixteenth century seems to be “out” at the moment. Particularly if it’s set in England. More particularly if it involves Anne Boleyn in any way. So my dear Mary Talbot and her beautiful white hunting hounds and her anguished triangle with Harry Percy and Anne B. will have to simmer on the back burner for a while. What goes around comes around, and her time will come another day. Simmering often makes things better, after all.

 

In the meantime, I’m pecking away (another of my mother’s phrases) at a fabulous new project that’s not really like anything I’ve written before. Well, in a way I suppose it is, because I’ll always write about love and courage and beauty and the ultimate significance of the human spirit. But this has a contemporary setting (well, mostly contemporary—even the modern day always has underpinnings of history) and a distinctly Gothic flavor. It doesn’t have a title yet. We’ll see. I don’t have a lot of time to write these days, but I always have to have something to be working on. Something new. Something started from scratch.

 

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01 Jan Freckled Paws and Hoppin’ Jim

 

Kalo Podariko! (“Happy First Foot,” the Greek wish for a happy new year.) The first foot over our threshold this morning (as it is pretty much every morning) was a freckled beagle paw belonging to our Miss Cress. I love her freckles—I’ve given her freckled paws to Seilie, Rinette’s little hound in The Flower Reader. Since Cressie is a typically beagle “merry little hound,” I think she’ll bring us happiness in the year to come.

Living in Texas as we do, we’re also supposed to eat black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s day—the dish is called “Hoppin’ John,” the etymology of which is obscure. Sadly, the Broadcasting Legend™ and I don’t really like black-eyed peas. Heresy, I know. What we’ve done is create our own version, which we call “Hoppin’ Jim.” Heh. It’s a sort of bean soup made with ordinary white beans and the bone from the Christmas ham, and it is delicious. I’d post a recipe, but none of the things Jim cooks actually have recipes. He’d say something like, “Well, you take the ham bone and put in the beans and some other stuff and simmer it all afternoon.” Right.

I like vegetables—shredded carrots and greens of some sort—in my Hoppin’ Jim, but I have to add those separately so as not to sully the purity of the original.

Warmest new year wishes to all, and God bless us every one.

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01 Jan Kalo Podariko 2010!

“Happy First-Foot” again for 2010, and may the first foot to cross your threshold today bring you health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.

When it’s typed or written, “2010” looks really different from “2009”—more consistent, streamlined and futuristic. A solid, stable, blocky-looking year. I’m counting on you, 2010, to follow through on that promise. 2009 was a very good year for me in many ways (like this, this and this) but it was an exhausting and heartrending roller coaster of a year in other ways, purely personal. I am ready for some consistency. Some solid, stable, blocky-looking days and weeks and months. Bring them on, 2010.

My resolutions: love more, laugh more, read more, write more. Kalo Podariko!

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26 Dec The Day After Christmas

Cressie: “Uh-oh, I don’t think we were supposed to start taking down the decorations quite yet. Boo, quick, help me hide the evidence!”

Boo: “We are so busted.”

Cressie, Boo, The Broadcasting Legend™ and I will be back in 2010. We wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year!

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