Japan

In less than a week, I will be on a plane to Japan.  (If you have a big brass gong near at hand, please strike it now!)  Busy as things have been around here, and given my compulsive tendency to compartmentalize my life, typing those words “plane to Japan” gives me a shock.  

Reasons to be anxious:

**Have never been

**Endless plane ride

**Sushi (do not eat)

**Language (do not speak)

**Knees (do not bend as well as they used to–and I will be spending a lot of time on the floor)

Reasons to be excited:

**Have never been

**Gardens

**Temples

**Noodles

**Husband who was there two years ago and has barely stopped talking about it since

Over the two weeks, we’ll be on our own part of the time, in Kyoto, and the rest of the time with his high school students, at Hiroshima and in Tokyo.  For several days we’ll be staying with a family who make their living brewing soy sauce!  I have a new journal at the ready. 

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More nice news: On my desk, to finish up before I leave, is the copy-edited manuscript of my chapter book Cody, which Candlewick will publish in 2014.  I wish I could reveal the name 0f the wonderful, witty illustrator they’ve engaged, but I’m still sworn to secrecy.

My lovely, lovely editor there, Liz Bicknell, has also sent me art from my picture book Phoebe and Digger, illustrated by the genius Jeff Newman, due out in spring 2013.  I’ll be sharing that here before too long.  

 And last but not least,  this week’s writing quote, inspiring if also a bit intimidating, since I never know how much I know: “ If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.    Good old Papa Hemingway

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