Holiday Cheer

Something of a pot-pourri today.

Good news continues to roll in about the book.  We are now hearing about media coverage in newspapers and magazines, and it is all very exciting.  I will post nearer the time when and where things will be appearing.

In the meantime, I have to share this wonderful review of A GOOD AMERICAN by Michael Magras.  It was a wonderfully thoughtful (and generous) write-up.  Michael and I have been corresponding on twitter for some time, usually about either writing or jazz, and so it should come as no surprise that the focus of his reading was on the musical elements in the novel.  I have Michael’s new novel on my kindle and am looking forward to reading it over Christmas.

Speaking of which, the festive spirit has finally arrived in our house.  We had a late start and were starting from scratch in terms of decorations but the children and I have been hard at work with the glitter glue and stickers and now we have a nattily-dressed tree that we are quietly proud of.



The children are staying with me pretty much all the time until Christmas Day.  It will be beyond strange, and I fear beyond awful, not to spend Christmas itself with them, but such is life.  This year they will get two visits from Santa, and right now we are all focusing on those kind of silver linings, such as they are.

Once I have dropped the kids off, I will be turning the car east and driving down I-70 to St. Louis.  Since I won’t be seeing the children again until after the New Year, I’ll be flying back to England on Christmas Day itself, arriving home on what we call Boxing Day.  Being on the other side of the ocean from my children will be hard, but it will be wonderful to see the rest of my family (including the northern California contingent.)  While I am in England I will be reading (a lot), catching up on a backlog of blog posts that I owe various people, doing a variety of interviews and PR-related stuff, meeting my agent and seeing old friends in London, and (I hope) catching my breath before the madness of publication begins in earnest next year.

On the subject of catching one’s breath, I am joyfully rediscovering the therapeutic benefits of having a dog.  There is a park near our house where dogs are allowed to run off-leash and the four of us have been there three times in the last two days.  Theo runs with the other dogs, while my pet-crazy children pet any four-legged creature they can get near.  The weather has been unseasonably warm for the past couple of days, and we have loved just being outside in the fresh air, watching our puppy have the time of his life.  It’s astonishing how witnessing such unbounded joy can rub off on you and wipe away more quotidian worries.



The other wonderful thing about all this is the aftermath.  Tired children + tired dog = relative peace and deep, deep contentment.


Comments 5

  1. Great news, wonderful photos! (sorry about the Christmas, but yay for Boxing Day in England!)
    That photo of Theo coming out of the water is adorable, and even moreso the one of your son and he…. classic boy and his dog! Good times!

  2. All in all sounds like you’re in a very sweet spot for end of the year — coping well, counting your blessings.

  3. Alex, there is so much joy in this–so much good news–and your outlook is the best part. To have your kiddos there now until the eve is nothing short of heaven and you are savoring each second, I can tell. So thrilled for you all. That tree is trimmed with oodles of love, there’s no question.

    I so appreciated those pictures of Theo, the amazing mer-dog! Ian and I met at a very similar scene–on the levee where our dogs would frolick (unleashed!) in Lake Pontchartrain and it was perfection. I have always believed in the magic of dog parks. Just saying ;).

    Merry, Merry Christmas and Boxing Day to you all! Here’s to 2012 and A GOOD AMERICAN arriving under our February trees!

  4. I’m so excited for you with all the good news (and good reviews) about your book. I cannot even imagine.

    I’m sorry that your children have to be elsewhere on such an important holiday. My partner Norm shares your pain. It is great to look at the situation as you have done (e.g., they will get two of everything including Santa visits). Sadly, it never gets any easier. Just remember to squeeze them and love them as often as humanely possible.

    Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

  5. What joy! The picture of your handsome boy, his dog and a book tugged at my heart–reminds me of my boy at the same age, although the pet was a cat. Still is, even though the boy is now 14; I often hear, “Mom, can you get me such-and-such please? I can’t move; there’s a cat in my lap!” Hug those moments tight–they are fleeting.
    Enjoy your time in England, come back refreshed and ready for an incredible 2012!

    Merry Christmas, and a Happy and inspiring New Year–

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