Louisa May Alcott on PBS

What are you doing tomorrow night? 

I know what I’ll be doing.  I’ll be watching the premiere of Louisa May Alcott — The Woman Behind Little Women.  (Dec. 28th/PBS)   

Those of you familiar with my novel The Mother-Daughter Book Club know that I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Concord, Massachusetts, the historic town where Louisa lived when she wrote Little Women.  I used to visit her home, Orchard House, regularly, hoping perhaps that some of its magic might rub off on me, and that I, too, might grow up to be a writer someday. 

Surprisingly, that someday eventually came. 

 And even more surprisingly, I eventually had the opportunity to write about Louisa herself, for in my novel a group of sixth grade girls and their mothers form a book club and dive into “Little Women,” learning about the book, its author, and themselves in the process.

I learned a great deal about my childhood hero in the process of writing The Mother-Daughter Book Club, and I can’t wait to see how the film (based on Harriet Reisen’s acclaimed biography) portrays her.  Advance buzz promises a real treat.

Here comes the sun

Well, OK, not really.  There’s a winter storm watch in effect here in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve just sent my boys to the grocery store (one major benefit of having teenage drivers around) to stock up in case we get iced in.  Last year we were stuck at home for days and days.  They’ve called twice with questions, so it will be interesting to see if what they come home with is even close to what’s on the list.

Back to the sun.  I was in L.A. over Thanksgiving, spending a couple of weeks with tween niece while my sister and her husband were in China fetching home new wee niece (more on that delightful addition to the family in another post).  We went to Disneyland and got sunburned (it was 80 degrees!  in late November!), and we also made a jaunt to Balboa Island, one of my favorite spots in Southern California. 

The transition from the land of perpetual sunshine back to the frigidly cold Northwest hasn’t been easy (I’m having niece withdrawal, for one thing), and on an icy day like today it’s lovely to have a few photographs to remind myself that summer will be coming around again here, too, soon enough…

Welcome to the tiniest ferry in the world

It’s true — just three cars.  See?

The destination is so worth the short ride:

We had burgers at Ruby’s at the end of the pier and watched the surfers.  Then it was time for Balboa’s most famous treat.  Yes, all you Arrested Development fans, you guessed it — frozen bananas on a stick!

This one was taken with my old cell phone’s crummy camera, but I quite like the Holy Grail-like ethereal glow.   It perfectly captures my feeling of reverence toward my new favorite treat.

After frozen bananas, it was time for a ride on the Ferris wheel, which is almost as teeny as the ferry, but still manages to give a good bird’s eye view of the bustling island.

All in all, a most satisfactory day, as you can see from our smiles.

Another fabulous MDBC giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, Jennifer Donovan at 5 Minutes for Books is offering a wonderful giveaway:  a complete set of my mother-daughter book club novels (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne, and Dear Pen Pal), along with The Anne of Green Gables Treasury.   Hurry on over and enter to win — the contest ends December 8th!