Secret #2: Picture book coming!

It’s August. How did that happen?! It’s not only August, it’s the very end of August. As in almost September. I can hardly believe how quickly the summer has flown by, in a way that only summers can. Life here has been full of travel, visits with family, adventures by the sea, weekly trips to our CSA farm, digging around in our own small garden, work, deadlines, my son’s second birthday (holy cow, I have a two-year-old), reading (of course), and…writing.

This summer I haven’t just been writing in my journal. In fact, my journal has been about as neglected as this blog. I have been writing a story that you all can read next year when it comes out as a picture book!

I am very excited to announce that I am the author of a forthcoming children’s book from Getty Publications, due out November 2015. Excited is an understatement. This is a long-held dream come true, and I feel just plain lucky. Does luck ever feel plain actually? I feel extraordinary and giddy in my luck!

The picture book, with the working title Therese Makes a Tapestry, tells the story of a young girl whose family works at the Gobelins Manufactory during the era of Louis XIV. It is being published on the occasion of a major exhibition of French royal tapestries at the Getty.

Through the wonders of Skype, I have been able to meet the team of incredible individuals that I’m collaborating with, including my amazing editor and the fabulous illustrator. I truly couldn’t be happier with the process so far. Again, I thank my lucky stars.

So that’s the secret I meant to share much earlier this summer. Thanks for sticking with me as I come and go! Stay tuned for more book updates in the future.

Photo of books about French tapestry and textiles piled on a table

A sampling of the books that have adorned my coffee table and desk of late.



Adventures in May and June

This past month has been a busy one! My sister-in-law and her significant other visited over Memorial Day weekend. In addition to eating our way around Madison, a favorite pastime whenever we have visitors, we made it out to Blue Mounds to explore Little Norway. The grounds of this national historic landmark are stunning, and the tour much more informative than I’d expected to be honest. Lots of great details. My only regret is that we were in such a large group (that’s what we get for going on the last tour of the day on a holiday weekend shortly after a Groupon had come for it!), it was a bit cramped in each of the small houses and buildings, and our poor guide had to balance explaining each place and artifact with preventing over-zealous observers (and a particularly roudy youngster) from picking up and bumping into some unique and fragile antiques. The flip-side of that, though, is that you’re really able to see everything up close unlike in museums where spaces and rooms are roped off. I’d definitely go again and recommend the site to others. Make sure you bring your camera, iPhone, or other picture-taking device.

Clockwise from top left: 1) one of many gnomes hiding on the property 2) our trusty tour guide leading the way 3) lantern 4) only complete set of this particular wash basin, pitcher, etc. known to exist in the world 5) spoons, including unity spoons (attached by wood chain in center) created from a single piece of wood. A newly married couple were expected to manage these at their wedding! 6) tools
Center: The stave-like building constructed in Norway and shipped on Viking ship to U.S. for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

That Sunday the temperatures rose into the 90s (an oddity we thought was a fluke but turns out to be a pattern so far this summer!) and we headed to the only public pool opened in the area; most others didn’t open until June! Here’s what happens when you mix such high heat with a holiday weekend and one available public pool:

Monona Public Pool Memorial Day weekend 2012But let me tell you, it was worth the crowds to get into the water.

The following weekend we headed to central New York for our 5-year college reunion at photos from Colgate University reunion 2012Colgate University. We were happy to see a new brewery in town: Good Nature Brewing Company. While my tasting was quite limited due to the baby belly, everyone else tells me the beer was outstanding. At $2 a tasting, it was an inexpensive and fun way to spend the afternoon! Other highlights of the weekend included partaking in Colgate’s traditional torchlight procession, and dinner at one of our favorite spots: Dinosaur Bbq in Syracuse. YUM. We have managed to eat there for all the major landmarks in our relationship: first date, the night we got engaged, and now with baby #1 on the way!

The following weeks were filled with housework (of the repaving and patio-adding variety), house cleaning, working weekends, and a lovely baby shower that our parents made it out for! Now that the craziness of that month is over, I plan to be back and at it here on the blog. Stay tuned!