Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, December 28, 2012

fortune cookie friday

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."
-Dalai Lama

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

even brighter

This is a look of awe:

Because it was Rain Dragon's first time seeing this house:

Yes, it's the bright house even brighter! We are going to miss this after we move, we might have to come back just to see it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, December 21, 2012

fortune cookie friday

"Giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold."
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

making cookies

It's my annual baking bonanza! I am an enthusiastic baker (notice that I did not say good or skilled) but I find I rarely have time to do so except for special occasions. However, I was so enamored by the mooncake cookies that were made for the Starry River Booklaunch that I felt like I had to make my own. And holiday treat making was the perfect excuse!

Along with the Sasquatch's mom (Mother Sasquatch?),  Saquatch's sister (Sister Sasquatch?) came to help me out:

Mother Sasquatch clued me in on the secret to  perfect mooncake cookies-- the adjustable rolling pin! It's rather amazing. The rolling pin doesn't allow you to roll your dough thinner than your chosen thickness so all your cookies are uniform:

But, the real magic (and fun) was using the mooncake molds:

Look how pretty they are!

But I have to admit, I love packaging:

I am particularly in love with my label. It's become an inspiration for a new baby book idea. I really hope it works because I  it! 

So, next time when students ask me where I get my ideas, I'll tell them I get them from baking cookies!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's definitely that time of year! Things have been crazy, at least for me as I've been finding the baby + book balance a hard juggle. But I made time for what has become a little tradition--having a booth at the RISD sale!

However, I barely made it. I packed late and set up in a sleepy stupor. The booth was far from a thing of beauty-- wrinkled tablecloths, no display (I forgot to bring the hooks for the prints) and low stock. But I was so bedraggled I couldn't even complain--I was just grateful to be there!

I decided to rely on Rain Dragon to liven up the booth, anyway. She had a great time at the sale, smiling at people and looking at all the neat things:

you can still get this cute dragon onesie, though I heard that they will be gone soon...
This year, they gave my good friend Anna Alter the booth next to me which was really nice. Her beautiful booth attracted a lot of people who wandered over to mine, causing brisk sales:

I didn't purchase much from other booths like I have in years past, even though there were a plethora of amazing things. I have to save up money for our big move and I am kind of hoping that if there is an surplus I can splurge and buy this light for Rain Dragon's bedroom.

Afterwards it was the 2nd part of the tradition, meeting up with some of my blue rose girls. When you work at home, it's hard to make friends  and I feel so lucky that my little circle of friends is still intact--even as we move around and make additions:

this year with a blue rose baby!
Until next year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

on my desk monday

On my desk (table) is this year's very small Christmas tree. It's been so busy and our place has been so crowded (which is why we are moving) that we couldn't find the time or space for a real tree, much less make special ornaments like years past.  Believe me, I feel the shame! Poor Rain Dragon, her first Christmas tree is so puny.

Lucky for us, this year the Concord Museum decided to feature my book Bringing in the New Year for one of their Family Trees and we were able to pretend ownership of that:

Didn't they do a great job with it? Even the dragon on top was hand-made!

But I don't think Rain Dragon was fooled:

but she still liked it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Like everyone else, I've been extremely sad about the school shooting in CT. It's touched me deeper than other tragic new stories of late not only because I am such a new mom but also because  I am(or was) scheduled to visit Sandy Hook school--that same school-- in May. It was planned for the whole school to be reading my book in March. I am so heartbroken to think of the little hands that will never touch any books again.

 Recently, I've been so worried about how to juggle things--work, the new house, moving, the baby. It's been stressful and sometimes I have found myself scratching my head, trying to figure out how I got myself into all of this. But when I hear about events like this or remember Robert, I realize how lucky I am-- how honored I am-- to have all these complications and how much I have to cherish.

Friday, December 14, 2012

one more star for Starry River!

Library Media Connection just honored Starry River of the Sky with another (this makes six!) starred review! They say, "The writing and themes are lovely and readers feel the story long after it has ended…with the layers of myth, folklore, and superb storytelling, readers will be moved. Read this book; share this book; send Grace Lin a thank you card for sharing this story." WOW!

(By the way, today is the last day to order autographed copies!)

fortune cookie friday

"Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, December 13, 2012

adventures with babies at book events

Considering  our  event in PA, I've been pretty nervous about my schedule. I've been sifting through the calendar trying to figure out what must be canceled, what could be rearranged and what must be borne. Because Rain Dragon seemed to have reached her limit.

And the bookclub meeting for the FCB was an event that we'd have to get though, I decided. Not only did I really want to meet the readers of Starry River of the Sky, the event was a "friendraiser" for the FCB--to help build awareness of their program of bringing in authors to visit low-income schools, a program I feel very strongly about.  So, off we went.

It was not a fortuitous start, however, because as soon as we arrived Rain Dragon had a magnificent pooptastic diaper causing us to have to wipe her whole body down and discard her clothes. We had forgotten to replace the spare outfit in the diaper bag (used it in PA!) and were forced to bring her to the event naked:

Rain Dragon is embarrassed that now everyone knows she had a big poopie diaper

Fortunately, the Super-Librarian Christian Porter lived close by and grabbed an outfit for us:

Because it was time for the book club meeting! Even though they had warned me it was 75 people, I had thought it would be 25 kids at a table with their parents in the back. Instead it was full room, beautifully adorned with a theme of purple and stars--just like the book:

Unfortunately, that meant my little show and tell of small sketches was rather a dud (should've brought the powerpoint presentation!) but my ol' reliable draw-along of a tiger didn't fail me:

And all this time, how was Rain Dragon doing? She was actually very quiet and content. It helped that the Park School Library is a really amazing space:

looking at fish
playing around--she's learned to crawl!
After my drawing demonstration, it was time for book group discussions. The FCB helped start the groups going with some prompts:

aren't these great questions?

And after the discussions, it was Q&A with yours truly. However, by this time Rain Dragon wanted to see what everyone was talking about and insisted on being a prominent observer:

I had to hold her the whole time I answered questions, but she was very good & quiet while I did so. It was only when I tried to pass her off to the Sasquatch when she protested!

This continued even during the signing:

I want to sign, too!
 But, all things considering, it was a great event. It helped that everyone was so patient and understanding--it renewed my hope for my future events.  But most of all, I loved seeing and meeting all the readers of Starry River of the Sky! Thank you, FCB, for sponsoring! Thank you, Librarian Christian Porter, for  Rain Dragon's emergency outfit!Thank you, Park School, for hosting! Thank you, readers, for coming!

and Rain Dragon says, "Thank you for the balloon!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Order your autographed book before Friday!

 Starry River of the Sky has been receiving some nice notices! This book is definitely my best reviewed book--FIVE  starred reviews as well as a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2012!  Shelf-Awareness gave it another starred review, calling it "a timeless treasure," and most recently NPR named it one of The Year's Outstanding 'Backseat' Reads, For Ages 9 To 14! WOW!

Of course, all these accolades are wonderful but they are only important because they hopefully convince readers to give the book a chance. So I hope you give Starry River of the Sky a chance and share it with other readers!  If you'd like an autographed copy for the holidays you have until this Friday, Dec, 14th to order. If you were interested in prints to go along with the book, I also suggest ordering soon to make sure you get everything in time!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On my desk monday

prints, books and baby toys--leftovers from Saturday's RISD Holiday sale...still recuperating!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:
shèng dàn hóng

Friday, December 7, 2012

fortune cookie friday

"A hundred no's are less agonizing than one insincere yes."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, December 6, 2012

and the winners are...

Midnight struck and this morning (rising very early thanks to Rain Dragon) I picked the winners of my Starry River of the Sky Giveaway!

The four winners of the Special Edition Pocket Pacy are:

Heather Shirey
Andi Kasen Bergman
Deborah Sue Rowan
Samantha Pham

And the GRAND PRIZE WINNER, of the portrait painted by me is........

Deborah Dominey!

Congrats to all the winners! Pocket Pacy winners please send me your mailing address at gracelin.manager@ and Deborah Dominey please contact me at that same address to discuss your portrait!

Thanks so much for all whom entered!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012