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Mid December already! Where have we been? To California and back again–Stanford is such a beautiful campus and I thoroughly enjoyed the Sarum Seminar evening (I could relax–Emma was talking): A Great Good Place for Books IS a great good place for books in Oakland; San Francisco–what can I say, a fabulous city, and City Lights is another great bookstore; Bouchercon was fun. The weather for the trip was absolutely perfect, warm and sunny. Since our return Emma’s kept us in England and the Low Countries with Joan of Kent, right here in our office.

I wanted to plug a book to which I contributed a story “The Cat Burglar”–all proceeds go to Humanities Washington: Nightlights: Stories and Essays from Northwest Authors
http://www.humanities.org/
Every year 5 writers are invited to read an original story (10 minutes reading time max) at the Bedtime Stories fundraising dinner for Humanities Washington. The theme changes each year.

My invitation came 7 years ago as I was departing to spend some time with my mom in what proved to be her final illness. Visiting her in the hospital, I’d told her I was trying to come up with an idea for a very short story around the theme, In the Wee Hours. As I sat with her and my niece and nephew one afternoon, she asked me to tell her something really silly–“Cheer me up!” So I proceeded to tell, with lots of sound effects, the saga of the cat burglar who’d been taunting my household for almost a year. By the time I was finished we were all laughing and wiping our eyes, and all three encouraged me to just write up that story, just as I’d told it, for the event. So it’s a very special story for me. Mom died before I presented it that autumn–but she would have been so proud–it brought down the house–my comedy debut!

It’s an amazing collection–a few of the contributors whose names you’ll recognize are Tom Robbins, August Wilson, Charles Johnson, Tess Gallagher, Rebecca Brown.

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