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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

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