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...