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A Hazardous Occupation

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madkestrel
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August 16th, 2012

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#13 Finding bits of work I'd previously thought were lost forever

It's been a rough few days, with the computer having gotten sick. It isn't well yet, but I found something to be happy about today anyway. In searching for some research I'd done, I located the original map of the Nine Islands, the world of Mad Kestrel. I'd been hunting for that stupid thing for months, so when I ran across it, by complete accident, I wanted to dance for joy.

And another thing that made me happy...I discovered that Mad Kestrel is now available for the Kindle! How awesome! If you've been waiting for the e-version, your wait is over!

August 13th, 2012

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#12 My husband

He's spent the whole evening trying to remove a particularly nasty virus from my computer, and I know he's going to stick with it until he makes it work or until the bloody thing blows up, whichever comes first.

August 12th, 2012

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#11 Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!

I discovered NPR's news-based quiz show a few years ago, and now I can't miss it. Somehow they manage to find the humor in the daily grind that is our news. One of my professional dreams is to get famous enough to be a guest on the "Not My Job" portion of the show. Peter Sagall, Carl Casell, I love you guys!

August 11th, 2012

Happy As Kings

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#10 Shooting stars

When my son was three, I woke him up in the middle of the night to go outside and watch the Geminids. It was bone-achingly cold, so I wrapped us both in blankets and we curled up together on the back porch to stare at the blackness of space. He didn't manage to stay awake for more than two or three stars, but I held him as he slept and watched for about two hours as sparkling lines of light flashed across the winter sky above us. Tonight the Perseids peak, and I'll be out there again (fortunately these don't require winter gear!)

August 10th, 2012

Happy As Kings

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#9 Riding with the top down

My husband drives a convertible. This afternoon I decided to get sushi for dinner (because cooking just was not happening) and he offered to drive because he had an errand to run. The sky was clear and I laid my head back against the seat and let the setting sun warm my face while the wind tossed my hair. It's a sort of serenity, that feeling of riding out in the open like that.

August 9th, 2012

Happy As Kings 8

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#8 Curiosity

I was six years old when Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar lander and onto the surface of the Moon. I remember looking at the moon the next night, wondering if I could see the men walking around up there. (Hey, I had better eyesight back then. But still...) I've been a space geek ever since, and even though I have no interest at all in going there, I'm still fascinated by the stars. I've been worried for a while that our nation had lost its desire for adventure, but with the successful landing of Curiosity, I know we haven't. There are worlds to find, and it delights me to know we'll still be looking.

August 8th, 2012

Happy As Kings 7

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#7 Camelot

Go on, try it...sing "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood" and then tell me you aren't at least smiling just a little. Even better, play all the parts while you're alone in the house. Belt all the songs at the top of your lungs. Even the sad ones are fun.

August 7th, 2012

Happy As Kings 6

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#6 Talking to little children

There's something magical about having a conversation with a toddler. They see the world differently from the rest of us. To them, it's still new and shiny and full of wonder. And they love to explain to tired adults how everything works. I might think that a car goes because its engine makes the wheels go round, but to a toddler, the car goes because dozens of tiny apatosaurs are under the hood, running from dozens of tiny T rexes. The clouds are made of marshmallows that got too hot on the stick and floated up into the sky, and wrapping a long towel around your head automatically turns you into Rapunzel. Spend even a short time talking to a toddler and your whole world brightens.

August 6th, 2012

Happy As Kings 5

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Oh, thou most fragrant, aromatic joy, impugned,
abused, and often stormed against,
And yet containing all the blissfulness that in
a tiny cup could be condensed!
-- William A. Pricé

There aren't many kinds of coffee I don't at least like, although if I'm given a choice, I'll take coffees from Africa or Indonesia over all others. It's not particularly popular to like Starbucks, but I do. Any place that will give me a cup of the wonderful stuff is a friend to me. I guess I'm edging a little on this one, because coffee doesn't make me happy so much as content and calm and mildly blissful. Which is a little like happy, isn't it?

August 5th, 2012

Happy As Kings 4

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Books.

Books have always been the joy of my life. When I was young, I could lose myself in the worlds of fantasy when the real world was too much to bear. The people who wrote those amazing stories had to be otherworldly creatures, I thought, much too brilliant to walk among us ordinary mortals. My parents took me to the library nearly every Saturday, where I loaded up on books for the coming week. I grew up on Marguerite Henry and Alexander Key. I solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Happy Hollisters. I explored the mysteries of the world with Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jules Verne and scared myself to bits with H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. Now that I'm old, that love of books hasn't diminished. I became a writer because I wanted to do for other readers what my favorites had always done for me. There's something thrilling about holding a stack of library books or a bagful of new books from the store, knowing that adventures await me with the turn of a page.
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