Recently I finished a new Gooney Bird book which takes place in February, just before the children go off on thier school vacation ("Gooney Bird on the Map"..the second-graders are studying geogaphy); it will be published next fall. So I have been thinking about February, and what a crummy month is usually is...weatherwise, at least.

But yesterday was my February child's (my oldest child)'s birthday...she is FIFTY THREE!  How did that happen?!...and I was remembering how excited I was (I was TWENTY!) to be driven to the hosptal in New London, Connecticut, that cold morning. It was a Thursday. She was born that evening, and in those days new moms stayed in the hospital for a few days...unlike now.  So there I was, thrilled to have my pink-cheeked, reddish-blond-haired baby girl (and I also had a good book, I remember: I was reading Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" (see, I was scholarly even when I was a college drop-out and a too-young mother); and that weekend a big snowstorm hit Connecticut. Much of the hospital staff couldn't get to work. So it was very bare-bones and quiet in the corridors. Quite a nice little vacation, actually, with a book, a baby, and food on a tray.

Here she is six week later:

Max baptism

wearing her grandmother's christening gown.

I have just finished the first draft of Part 2 of the fourth book in what was once The Giver trilogy, soon to be, I guess, quartet. It is now at 309 pages so I expect the final first draft will be well over 400, the longest book I've done. And it is taking forever because I interrupt it with other, shorter projects (and also trips, moving, movies, and real life in all its various forms)

This house officially goes on the market February 27th (photo from real estate brochure):


...and in the meantime, they are starting work on our new and smaller place: bookcases, etc. If this house is sold we will move in late May and so between now and then I will have to face the monumental task of sorting things out and making decisions. AND a book tour (for "Bless This Mouse") in late March. AND the Arbuthnot Lectre (St. Louis, mid-April). AND the IRA convention (early-May) etc. etc.

But I focus on smaller increments of time. Tuesday, an eye appintment. Tuesday night a friend arrives from California, for two nights. Thursday and Friday mornings I spend at two different schools...something I almost NEVER do anymore.

Oh dear, I am falling into the Blog Trap:  Recitation of My Life. How dull is that! February is the cause. We all become lifeless and boring in February.

Sorry. :-(