Gifted, part II Monday, Dec 22 2008 

tyke1 I must have read this book forty thousand times as a kid – Tyke, the Little Mutt, by Dorothy K. L’Hommedieu. I even tried to buy it from my local library with my allowance (no dice).  When they eventually de-shelved a lot of the books from the kids’ section, I tried to get it then; encore no dice, it was gone.

Many years pass.

When I opened the package – though of course I knew it was a book, I had no idea which book – I burst into immediate, joyful tears.  The right toy at the right time.  Thank you, Rick. And thank you, Tyke, for being so unforgettable. . .What is your right toy at the right time?  Did you give it, or get it?

tyke2

The gift you give yourself Sunday, Dec 21 2008 

What is it?  What’s the present only you can give yourself this season? – and not something material, either; those kinds of things always seem to find their way into our hands sooner or later, and – while I am a big believer in the right toy at the right time – can only offer so much in the way of lasting joy.

So … what is the gift you give yourself, that no one else can, that no one else can even know that you want?  More time to spend reading?  More time with your partner/kids/friends/drinking Champagne/doing the crossword? No more crosswords, ever?  A  different job?  A task completed, a worry erased, an achievement accomplished, a pleasure enjoyed ….

Do it.  Give it.  Now.

Book Bench Reads Headlong, Part II Friday, Dec 12 2008 

It’s very cool, being the fly on the wall for this New Yorker discussion – like that people-talking-about-your-book-in-the-bookstore-aisle dream. Ligaya Mishan’s doing a fantastic job asking the questions, and the answers are thoughtful and chewy — and fun.

The New Yorker Book Bench Thursday, Dec 11 2008 

…is where Headlong sits today.  This was a fun interview, especially when I got to express, at last, my love for scraps.

Make it new Tuesday, Dec 9 2008 

Dan Bostick at Full Cast Audio was kind enough to send me a hot-off-the-press copy of their audio version of Kissing the Bee – I listened to it last night, and was blown away.  This is, obviously, a piece of work I know very well, almost too well, but FCA’s actors made it new for me again, to the point where I was talking back to the characters (“Oh, Dana, it will be OK!  He loves you!”), and caught up in the story’s unfolding as if I was coming to it for the first time – which, thanks to the skill of their collective performance, I was.  Brava, bravo, FCA.