Ho, Ho, Ho

As this year winds down, I am grateful for much.

Thanks to everyone who comes to this site.   BagLady and Bookwitch and other readers have found new friends here, as have I, too.  BagLady is a Dairy Farmer in Canada and Bookwitch is a transplanted Swede living in England, but neither of them has to camp out at Heathrow or St. Pancras to exchange Christmas greetings.  It makes me happy to think that V I and I helped make this happen.

I’m grateful to my webmistress, Lisa Hazen, who created this beautiful site, and helps keep it running, responding to my cluelessness, whining and other problems with speed and skill–despite having two very active little boys to contend with!

The economy has taken its toll on our family as on others, with one son laid off the day before Thanksgiving and his wife unable to work, but I feel fortunate that I am in a position to help them through this bad time.  Our family situation makes me more aware of the dire straits many find themselves in who don’t have resources to help them through, and I’ve cut back on Christmas shopping to provide more Christmas giving to our local shelters and food pantries.

In the year ending, I experienced the highpoint of my professional career, with the event at the PEN International Congress in Tokyo.

Photo by Teruzou Sugiyama of my presentation in Tokyo

My time with Ms Yamamoto, my translator, was very special, as she hosted an exquisite dinner party in the Ginza, and accompanied me to Kyoto, where she allowed me to lecture at her old university, Doishisha.  Through her I met Professor Usui and other interesting women and came home wishing I had some of their energy, their poise and their skills.

The Mystery Writers of America announced that they are awarding me the Grand Master designation at our annual meeting in New York in April, and I feel very honored to stand in the same company as Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King.

Our beloved dog Callie is suffering from disabling joint problems, but she still has great energy and liveliness of spirit and my happiest hours are spent playing with her.

I’m thankful for the mundane, for delicious coffee, a good espresso machine, hot water, chocolate, fresh running water.

Above all, I am thankful for my friends far and near–Eve, Laura, Joanna, Jo Anne, Kathy, Isabel, Dorothy D, Dorothy G, Laurie, Jean, Henry, Jolynn, Dash, Mike, Ann, Sue, Sally, Margaret, Margot, Miriam, Karl, Andy,  Yayoi, Natalie, Pamela, William, Rachel, Jonathan, Martha, Vince, Maude, Simone, Louis, Dante, Dominick, Kerry, Liza…I hope this is the year when we see more, not less of each other

  • Sara, without your talent and generous spirit, the world would be a smaller, less inviting place. Thank you for VI, and for sharing so much of yourself with your readers and fans worldwide. You deserve the accolades and recognition for all that you do.
    I, for one, am grateful that you take the time to share glimpses of your private life with us here on your blog, and I wish you the very best of the season, and in the year ahead! Blessings on you and your family, and give Callie an ear-rub from me!!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Callie is having stiffness–have you tried acupuncture? Acquatic therapy is good for that in dogs, too. Over the counter glucosamine caps always helped my older goldens. She is lucky to have an owner who spends time playing with her.

    I, too, appreciate your terrific writing and your being willing to communicate with your readers on this blog. I join you in being thankful for good coffee drinks and chocolate.

  • Thank you, my sisters! Shirley,thanks for the suggestions. We’re taking Callie to a rehab clinic on Tuesday where they’ll see what they recommend for her, but I’ll try some glucosamine, too.

  • Thank you, Sara. We all have to cut down, and I find there is very little I actually want, and even less that I need. (That purple pyjamas from Marks & Spencer yesterday was pure accident…) Bag Lady and I love meeting here, so it’s good that we can. (We do, don’t we, Bag Lady?) And this Christmas when so many people seem to have burst water pipes, I’m simply glad if my pipes stay unfrozen. Though if you find something that works for Callie, let me know, and maybe it’ll work on me? Getting stiffer and crankier every day.

  • rullgardina

    I started reading your books when I was around 12 and I’ve been reading them ever since. VI is such an inspiration of strength. When I reread an old book I feel like it rubs of on me a little and helps me have more guts and integrity. That award is so very well derserved.

  • Annikabryn

    Sounds like a nice trip! How was the security check at the airport – I hope you didn’t have to jump up and down?
    annika b

  • Yes, bookwitch, we do (we Swedes must stick together, regardless of how far apart we are, physically!) – and we love Sara for providing us the opportunity, don’t we?

  • And of course, Annika is another friend found through you, Sara.

  • your comment about being ‘thankful for the mundane’ resonates. My list of the mundane starts with the same as yours (good coffee) and runs on through radio 4 and seeing the names of good friends in my email in-box and on the screen of my phone.

  • genny from jersey

    Sara, thank you so much for your continued thought provoking comments. You are an inspiration in a time than needs just that.

    Like you, we are also aware of so many people struggling, not just financially but also in being able to have their full part of the “American dream”. We all need to continue to fight the good fight.

    I’m sure the Chicago winter doesn’t help Callie’s joint problems. I hope you’re able to find something that helps her. It’s great that she continues to be active and bring joy to you. Her spirit reminds me of one of my brothers. He suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis , in addition to other medical issues, but each year in December he participates in the Jingle Bell Run Walk in Kankakee to help raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation.

    Congratulations again from the well-deserved recognition of your craft.

    Wishing you joy, health and happiness for the new year.

  • Well, bookwitch told me to come here so here I am! Looking forward to getting to know this blog in the New Year! Warm wishes and I hope 2011 brings better things to all who sail around you.

  • Jan Carlson

    Great things to be thankful for; I’ve always considered myself the richest person I know because I am made happy with the little things…… the bright sunshine here in Minnesota today, it’s free and anyone can enjoy it!
    V.I. Warshawski I love ya,

  • Thank you all for coming to the site, and for your generous comments. They help sustain my spirits in these stress-filled times. May the New Year be one of peace and health for you and all those who are dear to you.

  • JoAnn Welsh

    Wishing the best for all of you in 2011…May it continue to bring all of us together — and hopefully it will bring some relief for your son and his wife, Callie and your back. And for now, please excuse me while I make my first coffee of the day…I’ve already finished off my husband’s Christmas chocolate.

  • Sara, I am grateful for you!! I always say you’re my favorite client, and I’m totally not kidding about that. 🙂

  • I might add that you NEVER whine. And trust me, I am an expert on this subject.

  • Hope you have more family members whose chocolate you can move on to.

  • Penny Thornton

    Sending you and your family very best wishes for a happy, healthy productive 2011! And a new book? How about another great stand-alone like Bleeding Kansas?

  • Idzan

    Happy 2011 Sara and everyone. Looking forward to Sara’s new book. Idzan Ismail Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

  • Golyndes

    Hi Sara…..Kathy and Louis arrived safely and Kathy and I beat Louis and Dick at pinochle ….two games to nothing. Happy New Year to you and Courtenay…..Gail

  • Sara Paretsky

    Gayle, thanks for joining the conversation! Congrats on the pinochle victory and happy new year to you and Dick


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