We last left each other in the spring. I was on my way to Bhutan, Cambodia and Bangkok. And I know you were starring in your own adventures.

Our trip was amazing and I’ll offer more detail in future writings, but the upshot is: go, go, go! Bhutan is a particularly interesting blend of medieval, agrarian society with new cell phones, and a spanking new democracy welded to Buddhism at its very large heart. But magic doors is really my current topic, so…

Soon after I returned from Asia, I discovered I’d made a commitment to a longtime and beloved friend that meant I wasn’t going to be in town for our annual salsa competition in July. That was tough news for me to accept – and to break to Salsa Libre. Read “door closing.”

But then my decision seemed to lay out a welcome mat for inspiration, as in “door opening.” Since May, I’ve written four new tunes, a picture book (really?), and a new sci-fi short story. I’ve also decided to self publish my middle-grade novel, and I’m in talks with a brilliant artist for illustrations.

But what was my first reaction? Grumpy! So I felt ungrateful along with grouchy right up until my ever-wise friend Patsy said, “You’re not ungrateful for the gifts, you’re impatient with anything that interrupts them. This is the best ride in the creative theme park. Who wouldn’t be grumpy when they had to step off?”

So now I’m just full time grateful, and accepting the grumpy as part of the package. I’m also thankful for insightful friends and a very patient husband.

Have a great Holiday Season and a truly wonderful New Year!

Note: If you like sci-fi, check out Clarkesworld, the online sci-fi and fantasy ‘zine. Great writing, fun attitude – and they have gift subscriptions. I know my man is gonna love his.