Monday, January 31, 2011

THE AVIARY Cover


I have a lot of light reflecting off the glossy paper, but you get the idea. It's spooky, isn't it? Hints at the mystery inside...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun at Flintridge Bookstore this Sunday


I'm looking forward to meeting girls and their moms in La Canada Flintridge on Sunday. We authors will have a chance to chat, talk about our books and sign them, too. Last year the event was a great success, and I feel lucky to be an invitee for 2011.

Hope to see you there:
964 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada, CA
818 790-0717

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

THE AVIARY--Almost Complete


Just heard from Knopf today that THE AVIARY bound copy and jacket proof is in the mail. The aviary above is a pic culled from an antique store. I had the pleasure of checking out many cages and aviaries for the book. This one has a zinc tile roof and is very charming, I think (though the birds are stuffed. Yeeks!).

Will post a photo when I get the real thing. Can't hardly wait...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gingerbread Mandala



Every December, I make a gingerbread house. I scrounge for the oldest ingredients in the cupboard (since I know the thing will not be eaten) and make the dough. After the dough is mixed, it must be refrigerated. After that, I bake the parts of the house which must dry overnight before construction. The next day comes royal icing making and the laborious process of holding the parts together as they dry. The pastry bags spring leaks and we (my kid assistant and I) end up sticking to the kitchen floor when we walk. When the house is complete, we mount it on cardboard and make a candy garden. We are so pleased with ourselves when it is done that we don't mind scrubbing down our sugary kitchen!

Six weeks later, the tree has been taken down. Nothing of the holidays remains except a shedding poinsettia and the gingerbread house. It's so hard to let it go. So much work! And it has given us pleasure appropriate to the season. But now?

I thought about those sand mandalas made by Buddhist monks--the ones that can take years to complete--and how they blow the sand away as part of the ritual when the work is completed. We're both quiet as my kid assistant stands poised over the little house with a hammer. Miraculously, the house resists the first blow! (That's how old and hard it is.) She tries again, and voila! Down it goes, shattering into pieces. We both manage to laugh. It was actually kind of fun.

Time changes. We move on.