Getting Our New Son’s Visa in Guangzhou

The day before we were to head to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, the visa issuing system went down. Tech issues. Yep, seriously.

I put a call out on Facebook for positive visa system energy (maybe a first?!) and y’all complied! (Many thanks!)

I’m happy to report that all that positive energy worked! The visa system at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, was up and running this morning! We’re now back at our hotel, waiting for Yao’s passport with his U.S. Visa.

Wait! Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?!

Yes! Yes, it is.

Tomorrow?

Hong Kong or bust!!!

U.S. Consulate Ticket_Guangzhou

And finally…today’s math equation: Consulate + heat + humidity = sleeeeepy boy. (And one happy mama…)

Sleepy Boy After Consulate Appointment_Guangzhou

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

Author Series at Amesbury Public Library

Amesbury Public Library Author SeriesCome on out, readers & writers! I’ll be talking about writing, place, my novel The Art of Floating, and lots more!

This event is part of the Amesbury Public Library’s Friends Membership Month! The Friends fund all of the programs and museum passes at the Amesbury Public Library, join today and be part of a fantastic group of people who love their library!

 

Registration is Limited! Sign up TODAY!
www.amesburypl.org or call 978-388-8148

Kicking Off the “Penguin Bookshop Writer Series” in Sewickley, PA

2015 Penguin Bookshop Author SeriesThe Penguin Bookshop is excited to launch the Penguin Bookshop Writers Series with author Kristin Bair O’Keeffe and her writer’s workshop “Writerhead“!

This event will be free and open to the public.  Registration, however, is suggested as space will be limited.  Please call the Penguin Bookshop to reserve your spot now!

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As defined by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, writerhead is the “state of dreamy concentration during which a writer is most creative, productive, and artistic.” You know, the state of mind writers are in when they’re caught up in those beautiful (sometimes excruciating) sh, sh, sh, sssssshhhhh, I’ve-got-to-get-this-down-on-the-page moments. Also known as “the zone” or “the groove.” In this workshop, Kristin plumbs the mysteries of writerhead, engages writers in a deep (and often hilarious) exploration of their own writerheads, and coaches writers on how to school the non-writers (philistines!) in their lives about this delicious state of writerly nirvana.

Getting Real & Talking Risk at the “Newburyport Literary Festival”

9780425271483_large_The Art of Floating_HIGH RESLovely readers! Don’t miss my event at this year’s Newburyport Literary Festival: “Getting Real:  The Raw, Risky Business of Writing Fiction.” Grab a coffee and settle in!

When: Saturday, April 25, at 9:00 a.m.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church (26 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA)

Who: Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, Holly Robinson, Lorrie Thomson

And so much more at the Newburyport Lit Fest!

Authors Live Panel at the Andover Historical Society

Five local authors, including Cheryl Murnane and Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, will be panelists who share in a discussion of writing in the 21st century. Writing styles and inspiration sources will be discussed. Audience questions will be welcome. Cost is $5 per member, $7 per non-member, students are admitted free.

Great Fun at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport

Last night, at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport, author Holly Robinson and I talked about our most recent novels (Hers: BEACH PLUM ISLAND. Mine: THE ART OF FLOATING) and the ins-and-outs of place/setting in fiction. Great crowd, great discussion, great venue (speaking of place!), and, yes, great cookies!

A big thanks to Priscilla and the Emma Andrews Library team for putting together such a spectacular event! And thanks to all who came, listened, asked good questions, and bought books!

Cheers!

Reading at Emma Andrews Library

Book Club Visit in Boise, Idaho!

A big thanks to this spectacular book club in Boise, Idaho! I Skyped in for a wonderful discussion about The Art of Floating. Nothing like a glass of wine and good book talk. (It was my first book club visit in Boise, Idaho!)

Book Club in Boise, Idaho

Book Club in Boise, Idaho

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.