8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Blast Off (Plus, Umbrellas!!)

8. Warm hellos to everyone coming to my blog from NaNoWriMo. Welcome! The comments you’ve written here and there in various posts have brought tears to my eyes. Thank you! I really do know what it’s like, and I really do hope you’ll keep writing despite how hard it is, and despite all the voices that tell you not to. (To any of my regular readers who have no idea what I’m talking about, I wrote a pep talk for National Novel Writing Month, which you can read here.) To all those writing novels/short stories/fan fic/WHATEVER this November: good luck. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and KEEP THE FAITH.

7. For those of my blog readers who are Megan Whalen Turner fans — and I know there are a lot of you — check out her interview last week at Hip Writer Mama.

6. Next, remember the other day when I mentioned Tu Publishing, a small, independent multicultural SFF press that needs funding to get off the ground? Well, now there’s a new, fun way to help: the Kickstart Tu Publishing LiveJournal Auction. You can participate by donating and/or bidding on items. Head on over; take a look; consider bidding; consider donating.

5. At the store the other day, there were samples of mead. At first I walked right on by… but then I stopped. What self-respecting fantasy author with a tendency to tipple would turn down a taste? I asked myself, alliteratively. It was good! The mead dude told me the only ingredients were honey, water, and yeast.

4. For those of you who hoped you’d seen a merciful end to the Gallery of My Favorite Objects: BWA-HA-HA-HA! No such luck. Today I present a small selection of:

My Umbrellas.

As you can see, the taking of this picture required talent and grace.

So, I’m an umbrella junkie. Here we have my green umbrella shaped like a leaf, so that when you carry it in a rain shower, you feel like a woodland fairy; my clear dome umbrella, excellent for good visibility during a vertical downpour; and my MoMA blue sky umbrella, which is black on top, sunny underneath, and was a gift from my outlaw brother-in-law, secret codename: Joe.

3. My icon picture above is the Fall 2009 cover of The ALAN Review. Click on it to see it bigger. Isn’t it fun? Can you recognize all the books represented? I’ll leave it open for people to guess/identify, but if it’s too small and people are stumped, I’ll identify everything in the comments.

2. I know a lot of people were just at NCTE/ALAN — hope it was a lovely weekend!

1. Finally! To those of you in the Boston area, I’ll be reading from Fire, blathering, answering questions, and signing books tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24) at the Harvard Book Store (1256 Mass Ave in Harvard Square) at 7pm. Come out to say hi :o)