O Christmas tree…

We didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year.  We figured we’d just be asking for trouble, what with Billie, our frisky little year-old Sheltie, running around the house.  I scattered some ornaments and lights here and there to brighten things up, and tucked some evergreen boughs along the mantel to give us that lovely holiday scent, but I was still feeling a little sad on Christmas Eve.  I do love a tree.

Look what I woke up to!

 

Our amazing sons waited until we’d gone to bed, then collaborated on creating this AMAZING piece of art, all made entirely of books!  Imagine my delight when I went out into the family room on Christmas morning and found it waiting for me.

Best.  Present.  EVER!

 

Happy holidays!

My family is home, the house smells of evergreen and good things baking, the decorations are up and the presents all wrapped — time to sign off for a bit here and enjoy the holidays.  See you all next year!

Two more winners!

The results are in, and the final two winners of autographed copies of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS are Kimberly Mitchell (for the Cynsations giveaway), and Rebecca Kim (for Authors are Rockstars’ KidLit Corner giveaway).

Congratulations, ladies!  Your prize will be in the mail to you soon.

Everyone else:  Stay tuned, because there’s one more giveaway ahead to help kick off the new year.  I’ll be posting information towards the end of next week (hint:  start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions…)

 

 

And the winners are…

The results of the Cynsations giveaway are in (well, 2/3 of them), and an autographed copy of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS goes to … Sara Orlowski!

And now for the grand prize winner–drumroll, please.  Megan Phillips was chosen to receive all of the swag pictured below:

In addition to an autographed copy of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, your box will also include the new BETSY-TACY TREASURY (which contains the first four books in Maud Hart Lovelace‘s series:  BETSY-TACY, BETSY-TACY and TIB, BETSY AND TACY GO OVER THE BIG HILL, AND BETSY AND TACY GO DOWNTOWN), PLUS the first two BETSY-TACY “high school” books (HEAVEN TO BETSY and BETSY IN SPITE OF HERSELF), PLUS this totally cool BETSY-TACY canvas bag!

Congratulations to you both!

I’ve been given your snail mail addresses and will be mailing off your parcels this weekend.  I can’t promise they’ll make it to your, uh, home for the holidays (sorry, couldn’t resist), but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, we have a straggler out there who has not responded to emails — he or she also won an autographed copy of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, but must hop to it and reply, otherwise another winner will be chosen.  So please check your email if you entered this giveaway, OK?

Podcast interview at Authors are ROCKSTARS!

Allison and Michelle at Authors are ROCKSTARS! are debuting a new feature this month called “KidLit Corner.”  Guess who had the honor of being their first guest?  Yup.  Me!

Click here to hop on over and listen to our audio podcast interview.  (You can also download the mp3 file, or find the interview on iTunes.  Cool, huh?)

We had a blast — Allison and Michelle are smart and funny, and they put me right at ease.  Plus, do you love their logo or what?  That’s rockin’ Jane Austen on the drums in case you’re wondering…

But wait, there’s more!  After you listen to the interview, be sure and follow the directions on their blog to be entered in the giveaway for an autographed copy of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!  Wheeeeeeeeeee…

Little snow, big snow

Have you ever had one of those writing days (weeks, months) where it seems it’s all you can do to eke out a paltry handful of words worth keeping?

The muse is napping, perhaps, or has skived off to go bowling with friends, leaving you to sit and stare at an (almost) blank page. Frustrating, isn’t it?

When this happens to me, I always think of my Nova Scotia grandmother.  Her name was Eva MacDougall, but we called her Nana Mac.  Nana Mac was full of sayings–some salty, some hilarious, some wise.  One of her wisest was “little snow, big snow,” which she attributed to the Mi’kmaq, a First Nations people from her region of Canada.

“Do you see that snow?” she’d say, looking out our window.  (I grew up in New England, and Nana Mac often came down to “the Boston States,” as she called New Hampshire and Massachusetts.)  I’d squint, because the stuff sifting down from the sky hardly qualified as snow.  A flurry at best, maybe.

“Little snow, big snow,” she’d tell me, nodding sagely.  “It adds up, you’ll see.”  She’d go on to explain that the biggest snowfall accumulations often came as a result of the smallest, finest flakes piling up gradually over time, while the big, fat flakes that arrived with such pomp and circumstance — look! snow! — often petered out quickly and melted away.

Nana Mac was usually right.

So I keep this in mind when I’m writing, and the going is slow.  Word by word, snowflake by snowflake, a story is built.  Stay the course; just keep writing.

Little snow, big snow.

 

Congratulations to the winner!

And the grand prize for Stiletto Storytime’s Holiday Read-a-Thon mini-challenge giveaway goes to … Carlee Michaud!

(Look for your package o’ goodies in the mail soon, Carlee.)

All the rest of you, remember you have until December 14th to enter the Cynsations Home for the Holidays / Betsy-Tacy giveaway.  One grand prize winner will receive  an autographed copy of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and two BETSY-TACY books all in a BETSY-TACY bag, plus two other winners will receive autographed copies of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Holiday shopping tra la

Bought my first gift of the season today from…

 Pink♥d is one of my FAVORITE Etsy stores!  It’s the brainchild of Stephanie, a talented teen friend of mine.  Click here to check out her gorgeous designs.

I picked out a pair of super cute earrings for a relative (shhhhh!).

Have you done any holiday shopping yet?  Did you find any treasures?  If you’re making gifts this year instead of buying them (I make jam and shortbread for friends and relatives every year), what’s your favorite thing to make?