A Long Road to Guangzhou…

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

So…of course Friday night’s flight from Tai Yuan, China, to Guangzhou, China, was delayed. We ended up taking off around 10:30 p.m….and landing around 1:00 a.m.

(curse word, curse word, curse word)

By the time we got picked up, delivered to our hotel, and checked in, it was 3:30 in the morning.

Oy.

We were wiped. All of us. I.had no idea what day it was.

To top off the fun, Yao and I got up early–6.00 a.m.–to join our group for the children’s medical checkup for the U.S. Consulate end of things. A well-organized, but exhausting process. The TB test for the Yaoster was hell. This little guy let everyone know he was not happy with the blood draw.

But afterward we visited Carrefour for necessities (aka chocolate). As you can see, Yao could be the new model for the store.

Our Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three!

Today, Andrew cooked up our last big Sunday breakfast without our new son. (You can see his high chair is all set up & ready next to Tully.) Next weekend we travel to China for the adoption. We’ll be home in a few weeks to cook a Sunday breakfast for four! We can’t wait! Not even sure how I’ll survive the anticipation this week…

Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three

Our Family Is Growing!

So, dear readers & friends, surprise!

I’ve got some big, happy news to share! Our family is growing! In just two short weeks, my husband Andrew, daughter Tully, and I are heading to China to adopt this darling boy (see ooshy-mooshy sweetness below). We’ve been in process for an excruciatingly long while so it feels really wonderful to share this news out loud. La la la la! Tully is beyond excited to become a big sister, and we can’t wait to hold this little guy in our arms and hearts.


Nov 12 14 (3)
Did I say “two short weeks”?! Ahhhh, so much to do! Huzzah!

We’ll be in Shanghai, our old stomping ground, from July 6-11, before continuing north on our adoption journey. Looking forward to seeing old friends, eating great food, and showing Tully all the places we used to frequent when we lived in China.

Stay tuned!

Writing the New Novel

This morning while working on the new novel I remembered a music class I took in college. Part of our final exam was to keep 6 beats going at the same time using different parts of our body, for example, whole note beat with right foot / half note beat with left foot / quarter note with right hand / eighth note with left hand, etc.

6 beats at the same time. For an entire minute.

It was f’in hard, but weirdly centering, too. I remember sitting outside the student union on the stone bridge in Bloomington, Indiana, practicing and practicing.

Left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot, head, mouth. Keep it all going. At the same time.

I was studying poetry then with Lynda Hull and Yusef Komunyakaa so all this rhythm and all these beats blended with the poetry I was writing and reading and made this crazy kind of sense. Eventually. After many hours. After many days.

And I realized this morning that writing this novel, which takes place in Shanghai and is pulling me places I didn’t know I was going to go and is demanding multiple rhythms and beats…maybe even more than 6, is so much like that experience. I’m out there again, on the stone bridge outside the student union in my beloved Bloomington, with my eyes closed and one hand tapping 8th notes and my head nodding 16th notes and my mouth creating some syncopated rhythm that sounds crazy right now but will, fingers crossed, eventually make sense and be beautiful and express this blossoming story.

And then I’m so grateful for those class dinners at Lynda Hull’s house when she slowly pulled me out of my insane shyness and helped me believe in me. And that day when I heard of her death, which shattered me. Still shatters me. One of those voices I can still hear—will always hear—when I close my eyes.

So on I go with this novel. Informed by all this.

Tap, tap, tap. Tappity, tap-tap.

Tap.

Authors Fair at Haverhill (Massachusetts) Public Library: Sat, August 16, 1-3pm: I’ll Be There

Near Haverhill, Massachusetts? If so, come on out this coming Saturday, August 16, from 1:00-3:00 for the Authors Fair! I’ll be there with THE ART OF FLOATING, along with many wonderful authors. Great fun ahead!

FLOATING in the Haverhill Library

 

 

Awesome Readers, A Boxer, and Sold Out at B&N in Salem, NH

Yesterday I did a “meet & greet” at Barnes & Noble in Salem, NH. The setup?

Me. A small table with a lot of copies of THE ART OF FLOATING at the entrance to the store. Goal? Talk to folks & sell those books!

And so…

At 2:00 pm, this:

photo 3

At 3:45 pm, this:

photo 1

Huzzah! So much fun there. Awesome customers/readers, great staff and managers, and so many wonderful books! Big thanks to all!

 

 

Gorgeous Review of THE ART OF FLOATING at New Hampshire Writers’ Network

Bubble_Morgue File FreeI loved giving away two audio editions of THE ART OF FLOATING last week! Lots of fun! Thanks to all for playing!

Last weekend, over at the blog for the New Hampshire Writers’ Network, Jamie Wallace wrote a shining review of THE ART OF FLOATING that has my heart singing. Here she is, talking about FLOATING. (There’s lots more…just click here to read the entire review.)

“It has been a while since a book swept me off my feet.I had forgotten what it feels like to get so lost in a book that time slips away and chores go undone. It’s a lovely feeling. Secret. Intimate. Delicious. The temptation and the anticipation. The savoring and the rationing – how many chapters left? How many pages? I can’t wait to read the next bit, but I don’t want the affair to be over.

“I bought the book on Sunday afternoon and our whirlwind tryst was over by Tuesday night. Four hundred some odd pages devoured in a matter of hours. The story drunk down in stolen sips and unabashed gulps, leaving me intoxicated. For the two weekdays that I was entangled in the book, it was difficult to concentrate on any task – domestic or professional. I sat at the desk in my home office, feigning focus on the screen but really just counting down the minutes until I could find an excuse to sidle up to the dining room table – only a few feet away – and read just one, quick chapter. . . .”

Huzzah!

 

Giveaway! Win the Audiobook Edition of THE ART OF FLOATING!

THE ART OF FLOATING_AudioGuess what, folks? June is Audiobook Month!

Time to celebrate! And to do so, I’m going to give away two—yes, two—audio editions of  THE ART OF FLOATING! (Yep, unabridged.)

One.

Two.

Before I tell you how to enter the contest, I have a confession to make.

Ready?

I have never listened to an audiobook. (Well, except for the fantabulous Skippyjon Jones series with my six-year-old. Skippyjon is hilarious!) But in honor of Audiobook Month, I’m going to take the opportunity to change this; I’ll be listening to an audiobook. (Suggestions?!)

Want to enter the giveaway? Here’s how:

TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE SOUND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!

(examples: your kiddo’s voice, a cow mooing, teapot whistling, the recycling guy in Shanghai calling out for electronics, etc.)

  1. leave your favorite sound as a comment right here on this blog entry

  2. tweet me about your favorite sound on Twitter (I’m @kbairokeeffe.)

  3. leave your favorite sound as a comment on my Facebook author page (Just click here.)

 

The giveaway will run from today (June 3) through midnight (EST) Friday, June 6, 2014.

Rules:

  • This giveaway is international.
  • I’ll notify the winner via email or Tweet. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. Please check your SPAM folder!
  • I’m not responsible for lost packages.

 

 

Book Club Love!

Stack of Old BooksOn Friday night, I’ll be meeting with another book club to discuss THE ART OF FLOATING, and this one has stolen my heart! Mind you, all book clubs rock, but this one has gone over the top in marvelous ways. It is:

  1. hosting a beach-themed dinner to accompany the discussion [THE ART OF FLOATING takes place in the Newburyport (beach town) and on Plum Island (beach).]
  2. having every member make a list (as main character Odyssia Dane is a major list maker)

This is going to be so much fun. (And guess what? I’m even making my own list!)

Will update with photos after our discussion!

Cheers!

NOTE to BOOK CLUBS: If you’re interested in reading THE ART OF FLOATING, there are discussion questions (written by yours truly) at the end of the book. And I’d love to join you for a discussion, either in person (if you’re close) or via Skype/phone. Check out the “Book Clubs” page for contact info.

 

Dream: Fish Stuck on Curtain

In a deep swimmy sleep last night, I dreamed a fish was stuck to the bottom corner of a curtain. Her scales were dried out, and the fuzzy curtain gripped her. She was gasping. I filled a pot with water and immersed her (and the bottom of the curtain) in it. She swam free, released from the curtain.fish