December-ing is simply that!  A month filled with Christmas-ing, a month to slow down professionally and simply enjoy wonders the season beholds.  Family gatherings, church pageants, a children's production of THE NUTCRACKER, parties, and our gala Christmas affair we share with dear friends.

When there are a few moments I will dip in and out of an adult novel having finished the rough draft.  I am in no hurry with this one.  It will come as it comes.  My problem is that it is so funny I laugh aloud when writing it. It is a hoot to be working on something so humorous.

Ending the year on several high notes:  receiving PARENTS MAGAZINE Best Books for Children citation for DIZZY DINOSAURS: SILLY DINO POEMS - AN I CAN READ BOOK (Harpercollins), published simultaneously in paperback, a  list consisting of only 20 titles.  I AM THE BOOK (Holiday House) received a EUREKA! Silver Medal Honor Book Award from California Reading Association, given to celebate nonfiction. Three of my titles, AMAZING FACES (Lee & Low), DAYS TO CELEBRATE (Greenwillow), and HAND IN HAND: AN AMERICAN HISTORY THROUGH POETRY (Simon & Schuster) appear on the Reading Is Fundamental  2011 Multicultural Booklist, supported by Macy's. Close to 600 collections will be given to elementary school classrooms in low-income communties throughout the United States.

An enormous amount of time was spent updating, after thirty years, an article for SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR a Gale Autobiography Project to appear next year.  Filling in thirty years in l500 words was quite the challenge.

I also penned a poem for Sylvia Vardell/Janet Wong's new e-poetry program, GIFT TAG (see www.poetrytagtime.com) based on a photograph of a stained glass window portrarying the nativity.

 

NATIVITY

Santas, toys,

presents wrapped

with bows so tight,

 

bright reds

shiny greens --

 

yet

this gleaming window

truly shows

what Christmas

really means.

 

(Copyright c 2011 by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.)

Later this month I will redo my study/library awaiting delivery of a new hand-hewn cherry desk made  in a Pennsylvanian Amish factory.  This will give me an incentive to 'weed' my room.  Sure!

I look forward to the coming year.  May the end of this year and the beginning of next bring health, happiness, and love to all.

Merry and happy