Bleary Photo Essay

Let’s start with a new cover that I LOVE. Here’s Graceling in Japanese, published by Hayakawa:

Can I have that outfit? At least the boots? Next, here’s one of my favorite things.

Let me help you parse that picture: an orchid sits in a leather chair. (No, that’s not where I normally keep it. The sunlight was streaming through the window where it normally sits, plus, it was being encroached upon by an aloe plant on one side and a zebra plant on the other, so I moved it to someplace dignified for the sake of the picture.) A stake protrudes from the soil and a small red monster sits atop the stake. A stem with a few buds is growing its way up the stake. BUT! BUT! Guess what? A few weeks ago, that stem didn’t exist. It was an orchid with a pot, big green leaves, a stake, a monster, and NO STEM. Then I went to Australia and left my orchids in the sunny window of a hot apartment for two weeks. A friend watered them for me. When I got back, they ALL made it very clear to me how much they’d loved my absence, but this orchid in particular had been busy, growing a whole new stem. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a stemless orchid to start all over with a new stem. I feel very proud. And it’s been so long since it bloomed that I can’t remember what color it is, so that will be an exciting discovery.

In case you’re curious, here is the monster close up. The monster was given to me by a lovely friend at my publisher in Germany, who will remain nameless for the sake of her anonymity :o):

One of the cutest things about the monster is that his back is yellowish orange.

As long as I’m showing you things in my house, here’s the portion of my world map that is no longer accurate because it doesn’t show the new nation of South Sudan.

Congratulations, South Sudan! Thanks to my friend D for this link to a Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres article about the humanitarian emergency in South Sudan. This brand new country needs a lot of help, and DWB/MSF is an awesome organization. Please consider donating, if you’re able!

Finally, here’s one more thing lying around my house these days.

Some of you can probably guess what that is. Here’s the view from the other side.

There should be more news about this big fella soon. :o)