Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hello everyone--

Happy halloween to all of you! In honor of the scary holiday, I am sending you this photo of my family on a road trip in the seventies. What could possibly be scarier than a family road trip? Am the the one in the oh-so-hip black vinyl boots. I have to say, I always remember my mom in that color. Isn't she lovely? And are my brother's pants a riot, or what?
As I sit here, typing away, it is actually not raining here in the Pacific Northwest. It's 3:30 pm, and there's no rain falling. That may not sound like much, but for my neck of the woods, that's a noteworthy event. I can't even remember how many times my husband and I accompanied our son trick or treating in the pouring rain.

Is it just me, or is time flying at a particularly speedy rate this year? I mean, wasn't it summer like a nanosecond ago? It seems as if I were just putting on shorts to run to the store, but now its Ugg boots and gloves all the way. The leaves outside of my window are particularly stunning right now--tangerine and scarlet and yellow. But the ends are starting to blacken and curl up. In another nanosecond, I'll be looking through skeletal leaves and waiting for snow. As I said, time is flying. I actually considered Christmas shopping this week. Christmas shopping!!!! Yikes. It isn't even Thanksgiving. I quickly came to my senses and called my good friend, Jayne Ann Krentz, who met me for tea instead. Phew. Much better. :)

(A reminder---does anyone want to swap Thanksgiving recipes this year? Last year you all had some GREAT sounding dishes. And I do NOT want to hear from Kim again that I don't serve enough food). :)

Back to the point. Maybe it just feels that way because October has been such a busy month for me. And you guys KNOW I am not a fan of being busy. I'm a fan of sitting on the beach with a good book or a good friend. And yet, in the past month, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. All of it has been for good causes, but phew, I'll be ready to slow down again. That's the secret btw to living in the Northwest. Sure it rains alot, but all that misty weather forces you to slow down a bit. Why go out in the rain? So, yes, I've been running less (and it shows, believe me, but that's another lament alltogether), and watching more television. I've also been updating the website.

It's that time of year again, can you believe it? I actually have another book--books, I guess--coming out in a few months. As most of you know, Winter Garden is coming out on or about February 5th. (Kim--do you remember the actual date?) And True Colors is coming out in early January in trade paperback. It's all very exciting, but it makes for a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Reading Group Guides, new interviews, flap copy to approve, copy edits to peruse, new Behind-the-book peeks. I want to make sure you all have plenty of cool extra information that can only be found on the website. What I need is an insomniac alter ego who would take care of these chores for me. Hey, wasn't that a Stephen King novel?

Here's an early peek--just for you guys--of the whole cover of Winter Garden. I thought you might enjoy seeing how a cover looks before it goes to the printer. This is the first time I've shown it to anyone. If you can't read the copy, let me know and I'll repost it. I'm really excited about this novel and I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Which--of course---brings us to the idea of a contest for a giveaway for the advance reading copy. I'll be posting the contest in early November, and I just want to remind you all to mark on your entries that your fireflies. Also, if any of you have contest ideas, please share. I have an idea in mind, but you always come up with better ideas than I do.

Also, you all know how much I've been working to support breast cancer awareness month. I hope by now you've all had a chance to check out the Tribute Wall and the Firefly Fund. http://www.kristinhannah.com/content/tributes.php To those of you who donated, thanks from the bottom of my heart. I truly think that even five dollars can make a difference if enough of us do it. I'll definitely be talking to donors at the end of the year, and we'll figure out how to spend the money together. Thanks!! It feels great to make a difference, doesn't it?

Well, I better get going again. Unfortunately, I live out in the country, so if I want to see kids trick-or-treating, I have to go to town, and frankly, it's a ritual i hate to miss. I am glad I know longer have to go door to door, but I miss the feel of my son's hand in mine, and the way he used to grin up at me with every piece of candy dropped into his bag. And, of course, I miss sneaking his candy...
Have a great weekend, everyone!

big news!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey everyone---

Kimberly Fisk got her first review on her debut romance, Lake Magic. Those of you who are regulars know that Kim is a great friend who has the toughest job in the world--she tries to keep me organized and on track. So let's all congratulate her on this great success and get her to post the review here on the blog.

Woo hoo Kim!!! Way to go.

A big firefly welcome to Rebecca Wells!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hello again---

I know it's been a while, but a few months ago, I promised you all that the fabulous Rebecca Wells would be stopping by on the blog to say a few words to you. Between her busy schedule and mine, it's taken a little while to put the whole thing together, but when you read her very cool essay, I think you'll agree with me that it was worth the wait. It's exactly who Rebecca is--open, honest, spiritual, and thoughtful. You can find out more about her and her books at http://www.rebeccawellsbooks.com/. I would have posted a photograph of her, but you know me. It was technically over my head. I was lucky to figure out the website link and the book cover. :)

She's put out a call for your thoughts on making friends, and given how much we've discussed friendship on this blog, and it's importance in our lives, I think it's a great idea to spend a few moments reflecting on how some of our best friendships started. I hope Rebecca will check back with us every now and then and share her thoughts, too.

And so, without further ado, here is Rebecca's post to all of you. It's called "Making friends from eighth grade on." We are really fortunate to get a chance to hear from her directly. Please feel free to post questions or comments to Rebecca. I'll pass them along to her...

A little while ago, I left a note for Kristin at a local independent bookstore, and asked the bookseller to give it to her the next time she came in. Time passed, and eventually I heard her voice on my machine. We phone-tagged each other f or a while, then we finally got together for tea at my hour. Time flew as we talked about everything under the sun, and before we said good-bye, we put another date in our books, and a few months later we enjoyed pastries at a local outdoor cafe. (I just loved how generously she shared her blueberry muffin!) Now she is on my mind--how is she doing I wonder, what she's up to, where she is (you can never keep up!) I send her pink and blue thoughts or P&B's as the Ya-Yas call prayers. I have no idea where my baby friendship with Kristin will lead, but that's okay. It's all an adventure. I do not know the map or the country of a new friendship, but I know that if all of us leave our hearts open and let our antenna pick up the clues that tell us that another person’s someone whose own heart is open, and able and willing to meet us in friendship, then all kinds of new flowers can blossom.

Remember making girl friends when we were in grammar school-- eighth grade especially. How I recall the equal parts fear and e excitement! Those days as girls when, in brave moments we might blurt out, "Will you be my friend?" How open that was! How innocent, and hopeful! With also a tinge of fear. What if she doesn't like me?

Sometimes I ask myself: how do those eighth grade girlfriend days effect how I make new friends as an adult? How does that little girl figure in the woman I am now? Since first painting female friendships in their rich, complex relations, in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and now, in my just published first stand-alone book, And, I 'vet learned from the hundreds of letters and emails I receive from readers that I'm not alone in exploring these questions. How do we "make" new friends?

When we're grown-ups (well, more or less grownups!) it's a different kind of vulnerability we feel when we make new friends. Our culture leaves us with so few unscheduled hours in a day that most of us have little time for a new relationship, even if want to. We have to take time away from one part of our lives in order to give it to a new friendship. How do we balance this? How do we make room in our daily calendars for the time we want to spend with a new friend? How do we allow ourselves to become vulnerable to prospective new girlfriend in our lives? Time is precious to us now, and to give it is to give something that has become golden in this rushing world.

In this world which values consuming and driving fast through life, we have to slow down in order to do anything that involves nourishing the soul, and that includes making time for a new friend. Ah, but when we do, we open up a new pathway through which a new friend might walk. Or not. We take chances here. She, the one willing to open to us is taking chances as well. How does she know we will not hurt her? Opening to a new friendship takes courage. Courage is necessary to knock on the door of a new friendship. If we don't knock, then we stay safe in our world, as we know it. But if we knock, it's possible that a door can open into a new world, a world in which new laughter can erupt, new loyalties can be forged, and the magic of a new girlfriend can make itself known.

Then, making time doesn’t seem so difficult. We decide that a friendship is important, and bump something over to make room for it. Life is big, the world is generous, and, with some effort, we can learn to embrace not only the eighth grade girl within ourselves, but the same in our new friend.

Making friends might start with something as easy as a note left in a bookstore!

I'd love to hear your stories of new friends. If you'd like to share, please visit me at rebeccawellsbooks.com and you'll be able to jump to my social sites from there Who knows? You might find a new friend there, or somewhere thereabouts!

84,000 Blessings,


I didn't forget...aren't you surprised?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hey everyone--

I'll bet you thought I forgot my promise to post birthday photos. Ha! I didn't. I just had a heck of a time downloading the pics from my camera. But now, without further ado. Here they are!
First off is the FABULOUS pineapple upside down cake that my good friend Jill Marie Landis made for the party. It was every bit as good as it looked.

We--"the girls" gathered together in the world-famous tiki-port (okay, perhaps that's over stating it a bit--it's only famous in a very small circle). What's a tiki port, you might reasonably ask. It's a car port that lives for mai tais, tiny pink drink umbrellas, pupus (Hawaiian for appetizers), and sudden bursts of ukelele playing. In the tiki port, you know that when the music starts, someone is going to dance the hula...

Now that's the kind of birthday party you can't have anywhere else...

Here I am with the other birthday girl at the party. Turns out Carla and I are friends, sorority sisters, and we share the same birthday. Pretty cool, huh? Carla brought a list of others with the same birthday, and here's a few: Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Will Smith, Barbara Walters, and Mark Hamill.

Since I blogged a bit about running in Hawaii, I thought I'd share this photo of the beach I run on. Sometimes I'm on the sand, sometimes I'm on the road (really, it depends how strong I feel that day--the sand is a killer), but this is always the view. It's pretty inspiring. It makes running as pleasurable as it can be.

And that's the news on my birthday and the end of the vacation in Hawaii. I think I shared with you that I read Pat Conroy's South of Broad, and I really liked it. You can't beat Mr. Conroy for evocative writing about place. In this case, he turns his practiced eye on Charleston, and the novel is a beautiful love letter to that Southern city. It made me want to pack my bags and head for the airport.

I also read the new Michael Connelly. Scarecrow. The man is flat out reliable. He never lets me down.

Favorite book of the vacation, though, was probably Kathryn Stockett's The Help. That is a book that has really stayed with me.

Now, I'm back in the cool Pacific Northwest. Wearing sweaters and drinking tea and hoping it doesn't rain so hard that I can't run outside. And let's not forget--watching my favorite television shows. Can we all send up a thanks for the new season? I was getting tired of reruns. :) Favs so far---Fringe, Search for the next iron chef, Brothers and Sisters (rocking so far this season), Project Runway, and of course, The Biggest Loser. I must admit that the jury's still out for me on Grey's. What do you all think of it so far?

I wanted to thank you all again for your support of the Firefly Fund. I can't tell you how it feels to see your names come through the donations list. I knew that this blog had somehow managed to garner a following of cool, interesting, caring women, but even knowing all of that, I was unprepared for the response. It's a tough economy, after all, and it's always easier not to get involved. And I know from our conversations that you each have other causes that you support financially and otherwise, so again, thank you so, so much.

If you haven't checked out the Tribute Wall on the site, I really urge you to check it out. The entries are really moving. http://www.kristinhannah.com/content/tributes.php

Above is a photo of me at the Safeway grocery store chain's kick off for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pictured with me is Trish May; you may recognize her name from the posts about the Firefly Fund. I'm really proud to be partnering with her. And who knew that Safeway gives millions to breast cancer each year. They also sponsor a mobile mammography van that helps women who live in outlying areas. We all know that the best way to beat cancer is to find it early. So, way to go, Safeway!

(Now, you're all going to hear from Kim that she didn't know anything about this outing. All I can say is oops. I forgot. Mea culpa, Kim.)

Btw, I understand from my publisher that I might be touring in February for Winter Garden. I hear often that you'd like me to come to your home towns, so this might be a good time to contact your local independent or chain bookseller and tell them you'd like to see me...

Well, that's about it for now. I'm deep into revisions on the book for 2011. Only a month ago, I think I bragged that I had more than half the book done. Then I gave it to my friend and critique partner, Megan, and thanks to her insightful reading and liberal use of the red pen, I have less. A lot less. :) I keep telling myself that more work will make it so much better. Honestly, I have no doubt about it. Megan and I have been editing each other for more than twenty years. And we've stayed best friends. :) Of course, I curse her name on a regular basis when I'm reading her remarks...



Wow!! You guys rock!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am really blown away by the response to the Firefly Fund!!! And the Tribute wall. I've already had several submissions, and each one both brings me to tears and makes me smile. I guess I wasn't alone in wanting to remember a loved one.

And thanks so so much to Lisa. You were our very first Firefly Fund donation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know you say you never win anything, but your generosity has really touched me, so when I have an advance reading copy of Winter Garden, you're at the top of the list!

Again, thanks to everyone who has passed the blog along and put the word out. I always said this blog attracted the very best women in the world and you have proved me right once again. And if you haven't checked out the Tribute Wall recently, give it a look-see.

I'm working out the bugs on the site now--Patricia, are you still having problems? If so, please let me know. And don't give up. :)

Birthday photos tomorrow--I promise. Forgive the recycled photo--it's just how I'm feeling, though.