The Friday Five!

1. Whew. That’s all I can say about this week. Between the election and my cover reveal it’s been BIG BIG stuff for days, and I’ve been stuffing my face with cookies to deal with all the excitement/stress. I have this recipe I make whenever someone I know is having a hard time: I call them my Everything Is Going to Be All Right Cookies. Basically, it’s the normal chocolate chip cookie recipe you find on the back of the Nestle chips, but you add a cup of dry oatmeal and a half a cup of Grape Nuts cereal. The end result: total bliss. I’ve already had two this morning and it’s not even nine a.m. yet. Whoops.

2. I was SO excited to share the cover reveal and excerpt for THE MOON AND MORE yesterday. (If you missed it, you can check it out here.) It’s always such a crazy thing to have a book you’ve been working on for two years or so FINALLY start to emerge into the world. It’s exciting and terrifying and wonderful, all at once. I finished the book way back in May, then edited over the summer, and by June it will be in stores. (If you’re wondering when WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE will be out in paperback, that’s April.) Now, I just have to start ANOTHER book to distract myself from all the nervousness. Number twelve? Really? Maybe tomorrow. I’ll have another cookie first.

3. It’s been almost a month since my dog Monkey passed away, and it still feels weird not having him around here. We’ve been a two dog family since back when I was in college, and when we just have one it just doesn’t feel right. That said, I am REALLY not ready for another dog right now. My little Boston Terrier, Coco, is small and easy to deal with. She’s 17 pounds or so, six years old, and portable: I can scoop her up easily at a moment’s notice, which is necessary as she is a barker and a jumper. But my husband is slowly developing a case of puppy fever: I can see it happening, every time I pass by him at his computer and see the page for Boxer Rescue. And don’t even get me started on the idea of a puppy. Boxer puppies (and we would have to get a boxer, even though I am lobbying, unsuccessfully thus far, for something smaller) stay puppies for about, oh, six years or so. They are bouncy, like Tiggers. We’ve just finished this huge remodel, the house finally looks nice, and NOW we’re doing to introduce a teething, unhousebroken terror into the mix? The answer: probably. I mean, for all the convincing I’m trying to do to my husband (and, let’s face it, myself) there is also this:

I called this Monkey’s “What You Talking About, Willis?” look. It killed me, then…and, fine, now. Oh, please just let us hold off until spring. Or the new year. Or…

4. This has been the month of new photos for me. Last week I posted my new pubshot, and a couple of weekends ago we went back to my friend Kristin’s studio for a family picture. My kid was sick, my husband was exhausted, and I was…well, sick and exhausted. Coco, true to form, was just fine. The photos came back, and I swear I cannot stop obsessing about my neck. What is WRONG with me? But it just looks weird. You know how if you look at ANY word or picture for too long it starts to seem strange? That’s where I am right now with trying to pick one of these shots for our holiday card. All I see is my neck. Happy Family? Neck. Cute kid and dog? Neck. Even the stuffed giraffe in the picture has a shorter, more normal neck than I do. I have a feeling we’ll just be going with a plain shot of my kid, again, probably WITH said giraffe. Or maybe I just close my eyes, pick one, and be done with it? Decisions…

5. With Halloween over, my kid (and the local malls) have turned their attention to Christmas. Already, there are ornaments and trees and Santa and everything else. Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorite holidays, is as usual sort of overlooked. But I LOVE an eating holiday, and this is a year that I think, more than ever, it’s important to focus on all the good things we are so lucky to have. I’ve had friends diagnosed with cancer this year, watched others suffer through the recent storms in the Northeast—some STILL without power—and seen others struggle with family issues and work stuff and everything else. I always love the idea of a reminder of all the good things in the world, and Thanksgiving has that PLUS family coming together. And mashed potatoes and stuffing. I mean, come ON! So even if everyone else has already moved on to December, I am going to savor these weeks of November, even with their early darkness and encroaching winter. Take stock, and you might just see you have more abundance than you even realized. If we can’t celebrate that, what CAN we get excited about?

Okay, one more cookie and then off to have my day. Have a good weekend, everyone!