Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello friends---

I know, I know, I'm a little early on my holiday greetings, but since so many of us are busy either getting ready to party or looking forward to the weekend, I figure what's a little anticipation among friends? I know I'm trying to put together my plan for the days to come, which I wholeheartedly hope will be sunny. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Fourth of July is one of those uncertain holidays. It can be hot and gorgeous or gray and wet. It's rarely full on raining, but it doesn't take much precip to put a damper on outdoor festivities. At the moment, I'm looking forward to going to a friend's house for fun, frivolity, and a basket of homemade fried chicken, and then it's off to the local fireworks display with my brother and his family. I'm sure a good time will be had by all. And since I've got party food on my mind, this seems like a good time to ask you all what you take to your favorite bbq on a day like today? Red, white, and blue jello salads?

The other big news this week is books and movies. I was lucky enough to see Harry Potter six this week (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), which I have to tell you was definitely one of my favorite of the novels. This is where Harry's journey really begins to turn dark and dangerous. My favorite kind of danger, too--not just fear that one might die, but fear that others one loves might die, and indeed that the world as it has been known might change forever, and not in a good way. When I first read this great book, my son and I engaged in lengthy arguments about whether Snape was good or evil or something in between, and the movie certainly highlights that question beautifully. The movie is absolutely gorgeous and moody and atmospheric; it has some of the coolest special effects I've ever seen. I can't wait to hear what you all think of it!

Speaking of opinions. Who among you have seen the New Moon trailer yet? What did you think? Are you looking forward to the movie in November?

And movies aren't the only winner this week. I just got my copy of Angel's Game, the prequel to one of my all time favorite novels, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Admittedly, I've only just begun to read it, but it's already hooking me bigtime. His writing is lush and lyrical and flat out awesome. I'm trying to savor the novel like a big box of Godiva chocolates, although we all know how hard it is to show restraint when what you really want to do is dive in and lose yourself...

I wanted to thank you all for your interesting comments and questions this week about the editing process. It is an arduous task (as my whining complaints no doubt showed), but it's also a great opportunity to get every single word in the right place, with the right meaning, to tell the very best story possible, and so I value the time it takes. I hope when you all finally read Winter Garden in February you'll appreciate all the hard work.

And speaking of Winter Garden, they're beginning to do some preliminary covers, and you all know that I'll post them here first. As soon as I have a final, I'll shoot it out over the blog.

Kim is tallying up all the firefly entries for the gift certificate contest, and we'll announce the winners next week.

Other than that, not much is going on in the Hannah household right now. In fact, I'm sitting on my back porch, watching the horses lean over the fence toward the apples just beginning to show on the apple trees. There are butterflies and dragonflies everywhere, and my white dogwood tree is in bloom. It's a perfect day to drag out the old laptop and say hey to my friends. So I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing, joyous weekend with your families and your friends.

Also, on a more serious note, I'd like to mention two of the big news stories this week. The deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett (she's still Farrah Fawcett Majors to me, that's how I roll, I guess, even though the love story with Ryan O'Neal has brought me to tears several times this week). These two icons have been a part of my life since my earliest memory. Yes, I had the Farrah 'do for many years and loved it. My bro had "the poster" up on his wall. And what to say about Michael? I used to watch the cartoon Michael sing ABC when I was little, and so many memories are tangled up with his music. Their lives were a real addition to our world, and our culture, and my childhood, and they will be missed. My prayers go out to their families.

What else is there to say? Aloha for now---


ps: I have a good friend battling breast cancer right now, and I would love it if you all could take a moment or two to say a prayer for her...


Blogger princessapr said...

We usually spend the 4th with my family in Western Maryland. There's a country parade of tractors and livestock (not really my thing, but the kids love it). This year, we're staying home. We used to be able to see the fireworks from our apartment, but construction made that impossible a few years ago. I vowed not to go back into the city again to watch with the exception of bringing Little Miss once. Too crowded and hot. We'll hang at the inlaws' pool instead.

Can't wait for Harry Potter. It's during RWA so I'll probably go during that weekend. Tonight, I'm going to see Public Enemies with a friend.

I did grow up during the height of the Michael Jackson era, slightly after Farrah Fawcett's peak. Neither had any major impact though, of course, I feel sorry for their family and loved ones.

I'll definitely keep your friend in my thoughts and prayers. My sister-in-law had a biopsy on her back and there is a slight chance she has the same kind of cancer that her husband (my brother-in-law) and her best friend had though the doctor told her that he's not convinced based on the results so she's going for another opinion. The doctor thinks, even if it's cancer, that it could be treated easily and not even disrupt her life - both amazing scenarios. Cancer is a horrible and tragic disease that literally affects everyone at some point either directly or indirectly.

Oh, just to round everything out, I'm reading The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell. I had a big reading month. I love her previous books, but this one is a little heavy on the founding of the country which isn't my #1 interest though good material during the 4th of July weekend.

July 1, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hey Kristin!

Nice to hear from you again! Sooo, your next novel is called Winter Garden.. Is this a final title or a working title? Can you say yet what the premise of it is? Inquiring minds want to know.. ;)

I think that SHOCK was the emotion that I felt when I heard about Michael Jackson. I had been expecting Farrah Fawcett's passing because she had been fighting so hard for so long, and sometimes the battle is lost. I think that for the first time in a really long time, I actually have respect for Ryan O'Neal. I haven't had a good opinion about him since Tatum (his daughter if you don't know) wrote her book about her life growing up with him as her father. Now though, it was evident that he loved Farrah very much, and the support he showed her and their son appeared to be authentic and heartfelt.

Michael? I don't know.. I grew up listening to him just like you did, and I often wondered what made him such an opposite to the rest of the Jackson clan, Janet included. I stopped trying to figure it out long ago, but I was definitely NOT expecting the news that he died at such a young age. He was only 4 years older than I am! I do believe that when it is all said and done, drugs will have paid a huge part in his death. I feel so bad for his children and his family because this will be front page news for a while yet. How can a family grieve when the media rips something apart like they are obviously doing with his death? Sometimes you just want to tell them all to shut up and go home, ya know? My prayers are definitely with them in their time of grieving and trying to go on without him.

I will pray for your friend as well. I know you didn't mention a name at all, so I will just pray from Kristin's friend. I am sure that God will know who I am speaking to him about. I wish her a speedy healing time and I hope that the cancer will be totally eradicated so that it won't come back at all!

As for the food you asked about.. Hmmm, I don't do the red, white, and blue foods. I do cook a good meal with my gas grill, and we do enjoy the company of our family and friends. We are fortunate enough to live close to town and we can see the fireworks from our front porch over the trees. Arno hates crowds, so we rarely go to huge events like this together.

I just usually grill steaks and sausage links/peppers/onions, make some potato salad, and some sort of desert. The closest that I get to anything on the color theme is the strawberry cake that I make. It has fresh strawberries on both layers, juice infused into the cake that is strawberry juice, and then covered with Cool Whip and more strawberries. My mom loves this cake so much she wants it in November for her birthday. Yes, she gets it too, because I freeze the strawberries in season.. ;)

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your family as well! Happy July 4th everybody!!

Hey, if Kim needs someone to help her edit her book, I am very good at that.. Send her my way.. ;)
I think I would love to get into copy editing.. That would be SO cool!

Take care!

July 1, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger princessapr said...

Funny you say that, Linda. Editing was my original career choice. I went so far as apply for some jobs, but I decided to stray from the industry because I didn't want my hobby to interfere with my career. I think that's why I only dabble in writing and I never really want or consider doing it as something serious. Well, and the lack of talent, but that's just details...

As for red, white and blue, there's a bar here that has red, white and blue nachos. Red and blue berries with whipped cream. I requested fried chicken from my father-in-law. I'm not sure what else will be on the menu. I told him the baby loves fried chicken. It's kind of true, but she has nothing on my love for it, and he only makes it like once a year.

July 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Chasing Inspriation said...

For the 4th, my husband and I do the typical picnic with family and friends but instead of going out and seeing the fireworks, we stay in and watch a good movie on DVD. We've always had a dog and dogs tend to be on the sensitive side when it comes to fireworks. At least, our dogs are. Staying in and watching a movie is just easier. :)

I'm looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie but not much else is jumping out at me right now. I feel very out of it when it comes to movies. We haven't been to a theater since Christmas. But I do intend to see Harry on the big screen when the movie comes out.

I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson, though I did admire his talent and felt so sad for the life he ended up leading - at least my perspective of that life. I admired Farrah through her battle with cancer and her work to change her image and rebuild her career. The Burning Bed is one of the most haunting made for tv movies I have seen and Farrah did an amazing job. I hope both Farrah and Michael are in a better, more peaceful place and I wish both their families well. It's so sad.

I will definitely pray for your friend. My FIL passed away almost three years ago from cancer, a good friend is battling a brain tumor and we just learned another friend has liver cancer. What a horrible, horrible disease.

I hope all the fireflies have a wonderful 4th! I had a great Canada Day yesterday and will be celebrating it again tomorrow night with another family of Canadian ex pats living in the USA. :-)

July 2, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

This past week was my youngest son's birthday and his greatest wish (well besides the multitude of gifts he wanted :) was to see the new Transformers movie. I caved and just the two of us went and caught a matinee. If you liked the first movie (which I did) you'll like the second! As a funny aside--my family usually waits for the DVD. A movie out for a family of five puts a major dent in the wallet. So when my son was convincing me we should go see the movie, he used every ploy he could think of, then as a last ditch effort "But Mom, I don't want popcorn or anything." Ahhh, kids. :)

July 2, 2009 at 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kristin,
Well I finished true colours.and I think you wrote that book for me.I LOVED IT.I could go on ,but this is a blog.You had everything I love.Sisters.horses,the pacific northwest,and family.Well done.The photo of you and Ben was lovely,also Kim.Nice to put a lovely face to a name.Gather you have been keeping busy,and well.Happy July 4th to all my American friends,and I will keep your friend close to my heart,and in my prayes
Big Hugs

July 3, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi KristIN
I would love to bring true colours to Village Books in Feb--would you sign it for me?
Uncle Ken was instermental in my love of horses.When I was a kid I thought he was the greatest guy,and he was
Hugs Sharon
How were the fire works

July 4, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I have finished Magic Hour and you know, I am still processing it.
I believe I'm going to write you a physical letter about that one. I will say that little Alice is still stuck in my head. I got to like her more and more as "Jewlee" got to work with her.

Yes I was shocked about Michael. All those good songs are coming back to me. We are the World, indeed.

I was sad about Farrah but I didn't really know Charlie's Angels.

I'll pray for your friend Kristin. All we can do sometimes.

"Savor his writing like a big box of Godiva chocolates?" Did I hear that right? A little birdie named Kim said that you don't like chocolate...

I don't necessarily like the jello desserts. So it was all the "normal" fare for us. Those firecracker ice pops are good, though.

I CANNOT WAIT for Winter Garden.

CONGRATS Kristin for Firefly Lane!!!!

July 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

I had to go back and read the blog. Kristin did say "savor like box of Godiva." Okay, what is going on here? The Kristin I know doesn't eat chocolate. It's a mystery--one I will have to get to the bottom of! :)
PS And little Alice. Just like you, that little girl will always stay with me.

July 6, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hey again Kristin,
I meant to ask you in my other post what kind of apple trees do you have in your back yard? I love Fuji apples with Gala coming in a close second. I am thinking about planting 1 or 2 trees in our yard. I am wondering how long it takes for the apples to start to produce? I have heard several theories of anywhere from 5 to 15 years of tree growth.

Did you plant the tree when y'all bought your home? If so, do you remember how long the apples took to start coming in?

What other types of trees do you have in your yard? NC is famous for the Crepe Myrtle Trees, and my favorite flowering tree in that group has royal purple flowers that bloom most of the summer before they start to deadhead and look yukky. I love hydrangea's, japanese maple trees, etc. I have dreams of lining our long driveway with Japanese Maples and then having the purple Crepe Myrtles once you start to see our house. Of course, I am also attracted to the magenta Crepe Myrtles. **Sigh** decisions, decisions!

Back to work I go!

July 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Leen said...

Dear Kristin,

I think I'll comment on your previous entry first. Since I'm "your European connection" now, I gotta stay connected, in each case! ;)

I don't know if I can be very helpful at pointing out where to find your books in Europe, though. I usually just buy them online. Amazon has a sister store in the UK, which is where I get the English version and then I have a couple of Belgian stores online where I'll find the Dutch version. Since I'm not too keen on "real life shopping" and I'm hooked on computers, it's more or less easy to do get books online and have them sent to my home address without an effort. It would almost make me lazy as hell, but then I have this frivolity of wanting to compare prices and editions of anything I buy online, which makes it a bit of a job to actually get something anyway.

By the way, I didn't really pursue it but it caught my attention that the name of one Gunilla Holm was mentioned related to the Swedish translation of your novels. So maybe that helps too, in case someone's looking for a translated version.

Which brings me to reading itself: while I'm waiting for the Dutch translation of "True Colors", I still have a pile of (cheap) books I bought at the last book fair I went to, that'll keep me busy at least until the next fair in December. Currently, I'm reading "A bend in the road" by Nicholas Sparks, after finishing "The Guardian" by the same author and mostly liking it a lot. I've got two more paperbacks right next to me and then I think I'll have to see what more I can read before leaving on vacation. I'll probably bring a couple of books on my trip too, but the last couple of years, I've hardly ever read more than a couple of pages - a chapter or two at the most - while I was at my friend's.

I gotta mention too, that your "slip of the tongue" (was it, really?) regarding the title of your upcoming novel, makes me look forward to it a lot also. "Winter garden" appeals to me, for some reason, mostly because I can paint vivid images that go with it. Makes me somewhat "know" what kind of cover to expect, even though it'll probably be totally different than what I've got in mind anyway. No biggy - I bet I'll still love it.

Movies... not usually something I can talk a lot about, because I'm never up to date with them, but as for Harry Potter, I'll make an exception to that rule. I'm planning to go and see it on Wednesday the 15th which is the release day here. Should be fun!

As for the Godiva chocolates... I'm sure that even someone who doesn't appear to be fond of chocolates, likes the taste of those! I mean: come on, they're Belgian - everybody knows that's where the good stuff comes from! Seriously... I've tasted American chocolate too and it doesn't make me gag or anything, but compared to the "real stuff", it doesn't stand a chance. So I get the comment you made: even if you don't happen to be a great fan of chocolate, you do recognize quality. That's all there is to it! ;)

Finally, a note on people who have passed on. I'm not that familiar with Farah Fawcett. I recognize the face and all, but that's about it. Michael Jackson, of course, is something else. Not necessarily a big favourite of mine, but at the same time someone I think deserves his place in history. I don't own any of his cd's, but I have a healthy kind of admiration for him anyway.

The day he died, we actually had a Belgian singer taking her own life also. Again, she was not exactly someone I'd go to concerts of, but there were quite a couple of traits in her personality that I liked anyway. She covered Cohen at some point and Leonard returned the favour last weekend by dedicating his concert in Belgium to her.

All of that makes me think a lot about life, about living it to the fullest, about so many dreams I still have to fulfill, ... Sure, I'll mention your friend in my prayers sometime. You can never have too many people thinking of you. All it takes is just a couple of fireflies as a guiding light to whatever you're aiming for. Or that's how I see it anyway. :)


July 7, 2009 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Leen said...

Gotta add one more thing, cuz this'll make you laugh and it only happens to me, of course!

Did you know there's a 4096 character limit to a message you post on here? Cuz I found out the hard way there is with my last message!

The summit of it all, though... I copied my comment in my text editor to see by how much I was over the limit and when I cut out a couple of things between brackets, it turned out to be 4052 characters, according to the editor, so I pasted it here again... NO GO!!!

Finally, I'm down to 4049 characters and YESSSSSS... it has accepted my message! Man, the way we're being censured by this Kristin Hannah person on her blog is like totally amazing! Thought I should mention that to all who want to post something in the future... it's a warning, but don't forget to laugh! ;)


July 7, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Kristin, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend battling cancer. My family has really dealt with cancer in every way, shape, and form so I know how you feel, as much as I dont' want to admit it. My prayers go out to them. M.J. was pretty tough news to everyone I think. I'm only 17 and I was obsessed with him when I was little! & Farrah's story was hard with cancer. Is it possible to hate a disease as much as I do?! I'm always jealous of how you describe your location! Apple trees, horses, sounds gorgeous! Harry Potter was very good, I would have to admit and very excited for New Moon!
Kristin M

July 22, 2009 at 1:14 AM  

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