Thursday, November 30, 2006

buyer's guilt

My work has become an inevitable avalanche--I can foresee my upcoming burial. A wiser artist would hole up in the studio to try to stem the tide, but not I. Instead, I go out to dinners, visits and most recently the opening of my group show at the Foster Gallery.

Want to know the truth? I went because I wanted to wear my new dress. I bought it during the summer in Montreal and haven't had an occasion to wear it since. Thanks to global warming, the weather was warm enough and the opportunity ripe. Ah, now I am relieved of my July buyer's guilt.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ego boost

I admit I'm easily influenced by other's opinions. My friend Jarrett once gave me the wise advice to never read reviews. "Good reviews just stroke your ego," he told me, "and bad reviews just make you feel bad. Neither makes the book better." Good point, and advice that I try to take to heart. However, I admit feeling a bit low when glancing through Kirkus' Best Books of 2006. Lots of great books, I thought, Aliens are Coming, Butterfly Eyes...but nothing by poor l'il old me.

Humbled, I settle down to read the MT Anderson interview, when lo and behold on the last page is a notice of MY book. Year of the Dog is listed as one of the best early chapter books of 2006!

I know it doesn't make the book better, but my ego sure likes it.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Yes, instead of the traditional picture of the matriarch carrying a roasted turkey, this is a picture of me carrying a trayful of turkey cupcakes. I know you're not surprised. This year, I traveled to Chicago to my sister's for Thanksgiving. While she and her husband slaved over the turkey, sweet potato tarts, cranberry bread and pumpkin pies, I contributed the turkey cupcakes.

These were made with (or in spite of) the help of my niece Lily, whom despite other's proclamations is the cutest niece ever. And while this photo doesn't even show a quarter of her cuteness, I had to include it as it shows one of her own turkey cupcakes (can you guess which one?)

These cakes seemed fairly popular with the kids, who promptly ate the decorations, licked off the frosting and then asked for another. However, with 2 pumpkin pies, an apple pie, a pecan pie and champagne jello, there were a lot of turkey cupcakes leftover.

And these are a lot harder to make sandwiches out of.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

autumn in the pacyforest

Red leaf
abandoned by friends
and burning
on my branch
If I let you go
will you fly in the sky
or fall to the ground?
the ashes of dead leaves
at my feet
make me cling
to you

Saturday, November 18, 2006

showing off

This is a photo of my empty closet that was once full with over 30 framed pieces of my art. Where have they gone? Well, I'm having two shows...
The first one is:

Illustration Strange Turns of the Mind's Road
Group show with Jarrett Krosoczka, Ann P. Smith, Peter Reynolds, Paul Olson, Fred Lynch, Grace Lin, and Kelly Murphy.

November 27, 2006 - January 5th, 2007
Foster Gallery
10 Campus Drive Dedham, MA
Opening reception - November 30th, 2006

And the other one:

Grace Lin:The Path of a Children's Author/Illustrator
Owen Smith Shuman Gallery
Groton Public Library
99 Main St.
Groton, MA 01450

November 18th- December 26, 2006
Artist talk--December 5, 7pm

Books and art will be sold at both events so a great time to get some holiday gifts (or free food). As for me, I think I might get to wear my new dress. That's hanging in the other closet.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm always really shocked when I realize people actually read this blog. Whenever I write, I usually assume the only ones reading it are my handful of friends and a few on the periphery. To be honest, I'd rather keep this illusion as stage fright occurs when I think about how much I reveal about my life (though I am trying to be better about it compared to my first blog).

Many a things that I write I don't say to people in person, even friends I am most comfortable with, because I just can't imagine anyone wanting to hear me whine all the time. Which is why perhaps writing and blogging is such a seductive pastime, it allows me to whine silently, sans guilt.

But recently, on the Blue Rose Girl blog I posted an excerpt of an essay on racism, which garnered a comment faulting me of excessive negativity. "I just get tired of stories like this," the insightful Sally J. commented.

And I realized silent or not, my words are still bellyaches and groans foisted upon readers. And this, I regret. Perhaps you, dear reader, think I don't have a sense of humor or have an inflated idea of my own importance--both of which is not true (at least I hope not). However, if that has crossed your mind, I am truly sorry.

But there are only about eight people reading this thing anyway, right?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

truly great review

My sister just sent me this link to a truly great review of The Year of the Dog. It completely made my day!

It's such a great review (almost nothing makes an author happier when they read someone who really "gets" their book) I'm considering sending it to the Cybils to use as a review of the day, but maybe that is too self-serving. I cringe at the possible tackiness of doing that, but my upcoming credit card bill is starting to make me shameless.

Monday, November 13, 2006

author photo

Since Lissy's Friends is about origami animals, I made the following author photo. I'm very pleased with it, the likeness is quite impeccable--at least in my opinion! I think I might use it for all my publicity from now on.

Friday, November 10, 2006


A lot of things fall through the cracks in mia casa. I can't tell if it's because the cracks are so large or if it's because I am so careless, but the bits and pieces of my life seem to fall like the autumn leaves. And as we learn we were remiss about Robert's remission, I realize how impossible it is to catch all that falls during the descending season.

Monday, November 06, 2006


This past weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine from college. Because of fate and inconvenience, this was the first time I had seen him since my wedding. And so much had changed! He's now the proud papa of two, with a dog, house and gold minivan.

Since meeting him, I've felt an odd sense of mourning. The time that has past, the roads that I've taken--all so different from the path I thought I was on 10 years ago. The what-if's of life seem to follow me like a funeral parade. What if Robert and I had stayed broken up that time? What if we had brought him to the doctor sooner? What if he had never had cancer?

And the answer to all of that is simple. Everything would've been different.

And I find myself grieving for the life that I'll never have. The life that seemed an apple pluck away but was really just an illusion. I realize that it was just like a fluffy white cloud in the sky--when you fall, you think it will cushion you but instead it disappears as you go right through.

But perhaps it is all for the best, as my feet and head are now watching the ground instead of the sky and I am walking one step at a time. I'll just be grateful I don't need a gold minivan for that.

on the bluebonnet masterlist

Hey, The Year of the Dog is on the Texas Bluebonnet Award 2007-2008 Master List. cool beans!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

grace goes to washington

I was in Washington DC this weekend for the Multicultural Children's Book Fair at the Kennedy Center. It was great fun, met neat people and all...but I have to say the highlight of my stay was the hotel room. Last year I traveled so much that I would forget what number room I was staying in. But this room will be remembered. Why? Let me take you on the tour:

First I enter and see a lovely vanity area and bathroom to my left. I forgot to take a picture of the actual bathroom but suffice to say that it is about 2 times bigger than the one I have a home.

Then the nice cushy bed, with the softest throw you can image (like a cloud). There's a sitting area and also an office table with free dsl and refreshments (including chocolate coveredbiscuiti). It's a little bit of a mess because I've already help myself and started to spread.

But the best part is when you turn the corner--there's a kitchen! I've never had a hotel room with a kitchen before. The refrigerator is full size and there's a bottle of sparkling apple cider waiting for me. Gosh, I could make myself at home...and never go back to my real home. Think Robert would notice?