New book-and-mag news in the final Phoenix of the year, just below 98 Reasons.
Tomorrow or the next day: first in a series, I Interview My Visitors. It would be fun to interview the passers-by who never leave a note--or to have a list of who and what they are--but this one promises to be amusing and interesting and very Southern.
The second "Long Grass" book will be Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon.
Addendum: January 3rd marks my first sale of the year: a story, Prolegomenon to The Adventures of Childe Phoenix, to Gavin Grant and Kelly Link's Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet at Small Beer Press. Those two titles deserve each other, don't they?
Addendum no. 2: This morning I was sent this warning about libraries. Didn’t librarians once steer children and adults toward the best in books? My mother was a librarian who had me reading classics and researched new books and writers. Librarians "ought to regard themselves as not just experts in the arcane ways of the Dewey Decimal System, but as teachers, advisers and guardians of an intellectual inheritance. The alternative is for them to morph into clerks who fill their shelves with whatever their "customers" want, much as stock boys at grocery stores do."
Addenda, addenda, good and ill . . .
This year Mike's annual New Year’s Eve dinner-till-midnight had a little less of the performance about it than last year's Delhi-narrative meal, but was quite good. Some day I'll have to gather all his menus together . . . I was remembering some delicious tiny soufflés baked in oyster shells from 2004, but I can't remember the rest of the menu.
tampenade with homemade bread
bruschetta di pomodoro
shrimp and scallops with tarragon cream over puff pastry shells
orange, avocado, and pomegranate salad
serrano pepper dressing
pheasant marsala with parmesan couscous
homemade chocolate truffles
(almond, walnut, cocoa, or cayenne infused)
start and finish with Taittinger's Brut La Francaise
fish through main with Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé
At midnight, we all wandered down to the lakefront park to watch the fireworks: some lovely low-to-the-ground vases of bright twigs and buzzing bees, and a satisfying weeping willow. It felt strange to see them reflected in open water, instead of shimmering on ice and snow. On the way back, the ducks and geese were chattering and scolding near the shore. We always end up with tea--not being coffee drinkers, and knowing nothing about the stuff--and we saw guests off before 2:00 a. m. and tumbled into bed.