I'm finally sitting down to write my happy post. Why is it harder to write about happy, nice things than the things that make me angry? Maybe it's for the same reason that people say it's harder to write a happy poem than a sad one.
Last week some very sad things happened. There was a school shooting in Nebraska and a shooting in Arizona. Terrible, inexplicable acts of violence that kept me up at night. I debated talking about those events here, but I felt that I didn't have anything to add. I just don't know what to say.
So after some thought, I've decided to continue posting about my small, little life and the happy moments in it. I feel like that's all I can do, just hold up my little candle and say, "Look: People are good. We are capable of great kindness and generosity. We are better than this."
My Little List of Happy Things
1. Internet Friends: Sabrina is a friend I met online through another friend I met online, which sounds crazy but I suppose it's actually fairly common these days. We encourage each other and check in on one another. I considered sending her a Christmas card or cookies but then thought that might be weird. I didn't want to seem too forward. Lucky for me Sabrina is much braver than I am! I came home from Christmas to discover this beautiful package:Just receiving something in the mail from a friend made me so happy. The gift arrived wrapped in origami like paper jewels I didn't want to open. Sabrina made me a beautiful necklace, bracelet and earrings. And the bracelet even has a little gold key like in my novel The Charmed Bracelet!!!It was so incredibly thoughtful of her. I'm very grateful for friends near and far whether I've met them in person yet or not.
2. Terri Windling prints: First, the prints themselves. Terri had a sale at her Etsy store so I asked for one from Husband for Christmas but then I ordered two more--the fox fairy sisters, which I blogged about in December. ("Devon Fox Fairy" on left and "Desert Fairy" on right, this camera photo in no way does the prints justice.)All of the prints are so beautiful. They were even mailed to be by other amazing writers: Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Midori Snyder. That, to me, was a gift in and of itself.
And then despite having the FLU, Terri sent me an extra print in the mail because one of my other prints was late!!! It was so generous of her and so unnecessary. Here's a shot of the "Sycamore Fairy" on left and "Storyteller" on right (again, please forgive my poor photo quality).Being the twin sister of an artist, I felt a bit guilty about accepting a free print. I wanted to say, "No, let me pay you! I want to support your art!" But don't worry, I'll find other ways to support Terri and her writing and art.
Although I was willing to wait as long as I needed to, I'm so happy the second Fox Fairy print came so quickly. It's the "Desert Fairy" and I find her hypnotizing. Please note, too, that the additional print was of the "Sycamore Fairy" and she has a fox companion. I can't help thinking that Terri or one of her kind author friends selected that print on purpose to fit with the other two fox prints I bought, which is really special. And if they didn't do it on purpose, then it's just meant to be!
I'm very grateful to own these gorgeous prints and I feel so inspired by them. They feel like magical companions, cheering me on to create beautiful writing. (Read Terri Windling's fantastic novel The Wood Wife and you'll really get what I mean!)
3. Ellen Oh's book deal: HUZZAH FOR ELLO! She is so funny and nice on her blog, which I have followed for a while now. Last year she went through a really tough time personally and with her writing (she had to find a new agent and tackle major revisions) and now to see her come back so triumphantly is wonderful. Not only that, but her THREE. BOOK. DEAL. is a fantasy about Ancient Korea, which makes me drool. And she kept on writing it even though some agents rejected it and told her no one would want to read about Ancient Korea. That just goes to show you that if you believe in your story, you can't let criticism stop you from writing it. Make it better, but don't ever give up.
And finally, I love Ellen because she and I share an unhealthy obsession with Daniel Henney.Side note: My biggest regret about aging down The Charmed Bracelet to YA is that now Daniel is probably too old to play the male protagonist (a half fae, half Kitsune--that's a Japanese fox faerie) Adder Whitethorn in the hypothetical movie of my as-yet-unpublished book. Huge disappointment.
4. More Happy Publishing News: A friend of mine and editor at Soho Press Juliet Grames is going to be working with Andromeda Romano-Lax on her second novel THE DISCUS THROWER. Romano-Lax shared the news here. In her words, "The book is set in Italy 1938, and is a road adventure story, through Tuscany and the Piedmont, about classical art, politics, and love. Pub date is early 2012. Best of all, I'll be working with an editor I really, really admire."
This news makes me all kinds of happy. First, since Juliet is a friend of mine I'm happy because she is super excited to be working with this author, whom she admires. Second, I'm happy for the author because it's always great to hear a happy publishing story and this one is extra happy since I know how passionate and dedicated Juliet is. I can't *wait* to read THE DISCUS THROWER when it comes out. These two women together are sure to produce something amazing!!!
5. Baking Cookies: If you're having a bad day, just bake cookies. Mail them to some friends. Here's a picture of the Ginger Jacks I baked last night, with assistance from Husband. They're going in the mail today (hopefully).Baking cookies will make you feel all warm inside. Plus, you get to eat at least three cookies guilt-free because SOMEONE has to make sure they're edible, right?