The Friday Five!

1. Okay, so it’s a new year, which means it’s my annual opportunity to do the whole clean-slate, start-over, brand-new-me thing. Which will last…oh, a couple of weeks. So far I’ve given up my morning magic bar habit (one day and counting!) hit the gym (did squats and lunges!) and attempted to the get the rusty, creaky gears of my brain involved with writing moving again. All this industriousness will, if tradition holds, last for a few weeks before I kind of slide back into my regular ways. However, usually, SOMETHING I’ve tried to change sticks, and I’m just hoping it’s the writing thing. Although I’d really like to kick my magic bar problem. I don’t NEED chocolate chips, coconut, graham cracker crumbs and pecan chips every morning with my coffee, right? Although having just TYPED that, I am not sure. Whoops.

2. I’ve been sticking close to home, appearance-wise, for the last year or so, because I actually WAS writing and had traveled SO Much to promote WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE. But now, with the paperback of that book due out in April and my NEW book, THE MOON AND MORE, due out in June, I’m starting to book more stuff. First up: an event on Friday, January 18th in Pittsburgh, PA, at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. I’ll be talking, taking questions and signing books, and you can get info on tickets here. If you’re NOT in PA or nearby, never fear: like I said, I’ll be OUT and about in 2013. Might even need a new suitcase. (Any excuse to shop, right?)

3. Speaking of shopping, that’s another one of my resolutions that has already hit the dust. It’s only January 4th and I swore that I would not buy ANY more purses this year unless it was, like, a fashion emergency. (Which has a flexible definition, and don’t think I didn’t realize that when I said it.) Anyway, I FULLY intended to stick to it…until I was at Nordstrom today and saw this Coach bag that was just calling to me. It was like I could hear it! (Okay, not really.) Anyway, I had some holiday money and decided to get it, even though I was feeling guilty. But then—BUT THEN!—they went to ring it up and it was ON SALE. For, like, $100 less! So clearly it was meant to be, and Meant To Be trumps resolutions. Right?

4. Another one of my resolutions (I know, I had a lot, it makes for a better batting average when I can’t stick to them) was to read more great books, and luckily I am starting it off strong with THE MIDDLESTEINS by Jami Attenberg, which is flat-out awesome. I’m about halfway thru and wish I had more time to read, which is always the sign of a great choice. On audio I just finished Joe Bastianch’s RESTAURANT MAN, which was a great pairing to the books I’ve read by Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay about the chef/restaurant world. On the YA side, I’m racing through Gayle Forman’s newest, JUST ONE DAY, which is out this coming Tuesday. Also out Tuesday is Elizabeth LaBan’s THE TRAGEDY PAPER, which I got to read early and really, really liked. So even though I am failing at the whole shopping thing, at least I am reading. And as we all know, reading trumps all.

5. Finally, I know I write here and on Twitter a lot about the daily chaos around our house. There is my energetic five year old, who wants so badly to be a Princess she often insists on being addressed as royalty. My puppy Goose and Boston Terrier Coco, who continue, daily, to break my No Barking Loudly Before Sunrise rule. My husband, his worker Will, various friends and relatives coming and going. And then there are the chickens. Our Rooster Foghorn is kind of my boyfriend, we love each other so much. I mean, what’s NOT to love about this face?
On the flip side, there is Frank. Frank is my OTHER rooster, the cranky head of our small group of furry-footed d’Uccles. He is a walking example of little big man syndrome: though he’s about a quarter of Foghorn’s size, in his mind I am his bitch. So we have this continual battle of wills whenever I have to go out to the coop to get eggs, because I have to establish my dominance every single time, even if it means him coming at me and me shrieking, somewhat embarrassingly, like a little girl.

Anyway, last week I decided to document it. You can tell I was nervous because I forgot to hold the camera in landscape. He’s small but his beak is SHARP! I was, as always, grateful for my thick Hunter boots. Take that, Frank!

Have a good weekend, everyone!