Friday, December 01, 2006

Decking the Halls

What's new? GLS and I did another radio interview about Santa Knows (Dutton, 2006), this one with WEOL AM 930/"Les in the Morning" in Elyria-Lorian, Ohio. I spent some time cleaning up my profile and sidebar on Cynsations and Spookycyn. I also worked on a discussion guide for Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007).

This weekend, GLS and I will be reading and signing at Barnes & Noble Round Rock on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and at Barnes & Noble Westlake on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. GLS also will be speaking to a teen reading group at the Cedar Park Public Library on Saturday at 11 a.m. We hope to see some of you there.

I plan to spend most of today blessedly working on E.

More personally, my home is now decorated for Christmas. The electric train is set up on the kitchen table. Berry garland is draped over the fireplace mantle and what was once great-grandma Bessie's clock. Red and white crystals hang in candycane colors from the parlor chandelier. Throw pillows are embroidered with German nutcrackers and sayings like "hum bug." The stable of the creche sits atop four Chirstmas picture books.

What I love most is the tree. It's about 10', set in the corner of the dining room, safely protected by French doors from the cats (and vise versa). The unifying colors are traditional--gold, silver, red, and green, though GLS is talking about adding a dark blue.

The theme is music as represented by musical notes and instruments, as a tribute to the original owners of the house. We plan to augment that with books/writing ornaments this year.

The tree also features ornaments more personal to us. The ballet dancer from "The Nutcracker" is a tribute to the years I spent in audiences cheering my pseudo-baby sister and dear friend, a dancer who lived next door to me as a child. (She was later my matron of honor).

The Plaza Lights painted ball is a reminder of my hometown of Kansas City, which hosts a traditional lighting ceremony each Thanksgiving night.

The Eiffel Tour is a reminder of my summer law studies in Paris.

The Marshall Field's clock and miniature silver Art Institute of Chicago harken to GLS's hometown, where we lived in the early years of our marriage.

There are clay armadillos and metal angels and a new limited edition Radko Austin postcard ornament, and a T-rex lurks in the branches in honor of GLS's debut novel.

Here and there, I can also spot an ornament inherited from Grandma Dorothy. This is my first Christmas without her, but the spirit lives on. I can almost hear her, complaining about how the gravy didn't turn out just right.