Usually this is the time of year when I start grousing about being too cold, and how the leaves are blowing off the trees in great numbers, and the yard is full of pine cones and I can’t go to the beach anymore. But this year, I don’t know…There seems to be goodness—even wonderfulness—everywhere I look around me lately. Here’s a list, because I think it’s important to write down these things, even if all it means is that I can go back and read the list some other time when I’ve forgotten.

So here goes, in no particular order:

  • First of all, it stopped snowing, and we got our rightful autumn back. It’s even been sunny and 70 degrees a few times since that fateful day a few weeks ago when we had all the snow, and I was sure we would never have any warmth at all.
  • My cousin Jennifer, who moved to California a few years ago and started her own life, is coming back for a five-day visit. And for once, we don’t have to do a whole bunch of other things while she visits—like attend funerals or try to see each other between her work schedule. We are going to talk and talk and talk. (Note to self: Lay in a supply of throat lozenges.)
  • Oh! GOOD PUBLISHING NEWS! My book—Kissing Games of the World—comes out in paperback next week, which means that it is now somewhat affordable. The average person doesn’t have to choose between eating a plate of beans and buying a book. (You can even order it on this site—just cast your eye over to the right side of the page and click on your favorite book-buying venue.)
  • And even better news:  Target has named it a Breakout Book, meaning that it will be on display in all Target stores, beginning Dec. 27 until Feb. 14.
  • Oh! And even more interesting Kissing Games news. My publisher is sending the book out to bloggers who might want to review it on their site or hold giveaway contests. It was recently reviewed (most favorably, actually) by a woman who writes the blog Baba’s Farm Life. Read her review here. She may become my new best friend.
  • My writing workshops have been the most fun things ever. The fact that three times a week now, I get to sit with writers and help them with their manuscripts while we all eat the blueberry scones I’ve made—well, that is just the best reason to get up in the morning I can think of.
  • Lyle Lovett has a new CD, and a song called “Keep It In Your Pantry” keeps making me smile.
  • And the most important thing: IT IS NOT SNOWING.