Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.
The Sunday Salon Button
I love new years, don’t you?  For some reason, I find them so cathartic, so refreshing.  The unknown adventures in the days to come fill me with such hope, such anticipation.  2009 was one heck of a year.  I can’t wait to see what 2010 holds for my family and me!
Speaking of family, we are officially back from vacation.  Being gone for eleven days was wonderful, but I was more than anxious to get home by the end of it.  There was no major family drama to disrupt the vacation, with either my immediate family or with the in-laws, but I have to say I missed my routine, my dogs, my things.  Most importantly, I missed the quiet.  Seven kids and four adults in one household on any given day was enough to drive me to distraction.  All of us were thankful to pull into our driveway last night and sleep in our own beds.
Today saw me just catching up.  Trips to pick up groceries and other supplies, weeding through the stack of paperwork and bills that piled up while we were gone, and just getting organized after having unpacked everything last night.  I’m going to try to go to bed early tonight, but I have a feeling that my body is still on Central Standard Time and vacation time.  That alarm at 5:00 AM tomorrow is going to be a very rude awakening for us all.  (I’m not even going to think about what is awaiting me at work tomorrow.  No need to put me in a bad mood on my last day of vacation.)
I finished The Swan Thieves on the drive home, Elizabeth Kostova’s second novel.  I’m still thinking about what I want to say, but my initial impression was that I liked it a lot.  She has a way with words that requires the reader to read carefully and slowly, savoring each word.  I got that impression with her first novel, The Historian, and I was equally impressed with this one.  The plot was interesting, and I definitely learned more about oil painting and painting in general than I ever thought possible.  It kept me reading for hours while in the car, which is always a good thing.  I hope to write the review this week.
Has anyone heard of  I finally bit the bullet and started perusing various job sites for writing positions. showed positions available, so on a whim, I applied to be a book reviewer for the Cincinnati area.  I was accepted less than two days later!  I’m supposed to write my first article this week, but honestly, I have no idea what to write.  I was told that it should be more formal than a blog, so I believe I am going to pull a book I recently reviewed and polish it up a bit for submission.  But if anyone else is doing something similar and has helpful hints on how to get started, I am all ears. 
I have no idea what else is on the horizon for me this week.  At this point in time, I just want to get caught up with everything, including my Google Reader, reviews, and prepare for Bloggiesta this weekend.  I also need to start studying for that third exam; I decided over the holidays to push the exam date back until sometime in February in order to allow me to keep my sanity for the month.  Between work and everything else, I know this week is going to fly.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Have a great week, everyone!  Happy reading!

Image: Signature Block

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