That New Yorker cover? That’s pretty much what my house looks like these days, thanks to the recent Humanities Montana Festival of the Book and the pending High Plains Book Festival. The photo shows just a few of the books that came home with me from Missoula’s book festival earlier this month. God knows how many I’ll tote back from the High Plains event in Billings this weekend. Awhile back, I promised myself not to buy any more books unless I made room for them on the shelves by getting rid of other books. It took me about a minute to break that promise. I keep waiting to be sorry. Hasn’t happened yet.

As if the book festival weren’t enough excitement for one week, I got an email over the weekend notifying me that I’d been accepted for a residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal, an artists’ colony in Chapala, a town on the shores of Lake Chapala in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The news pretty much shot my concentration for the rest of the day. The residency runs from mid-December to mid-January. A month! With nothing to do but write, and write and write some more. This will allow me to finish and polish the WIP and – this may be the point where I verge into fantasy – maybe even start the next book. I am beyond honored and grateful. Sometimes the writing gods smile. And sometimes they throw in some holiday tamales in the bargain. Best present ever.