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January 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!

December was a month of well-paced business. I did a bit of catching up with home maintenance, reacquainted myself with the concept of rest, and gleefully threw myself into Christmas decorating (Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!). As always, my favorite holiday dinner party was one with great friends, Christmas carols, and being entertained by gifted musicians, singers, and composers from my own circle. I enjoyed the annual performance of Carol of the Bells (always brilliant!), and we closed our group singing with the Hallelujah Chorus! I even managed the solo part this year before running out of breath! So much fun.

I swapped my usual New Year's Even Open House for a more intimate dinner for six, and it was lovely. Another highlight of the month was seeing an exhibit of costumes and backdrop paintings by Marc Chagall! I'd no idea he'd created so many works for the stage. They were brilliant, of course. If this exhibit comes to your town, I'd highly recommend that you see it!

St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe
Marc Chagall never disappoints. His costumes and backdrops for the theater were as fantastical as his paintings.​
Marc Chagall Costume exhibit

Of course, December and early January is also the time for Best of Year Book list announcements, and I was happy to find One Last Word and The Watcher on a few of them: Kirkus Best Books; SLJ Best Books; NCTE Notable Poetry Books; Nerdy Book Club Winners; BCCB Blue Ribbon Books; SLJ's 31 Days, 31 Lists; Good Reads Your Year in Books; Pernille Ripps' Favorite Chapter Books of 2017; Top 20 Books of 2017. Whew! Between the Lines, due in February, is also showing up on lists of books to watch for in 2018! I'm so grateful.

January 2nd marked my first tour of the Rose Parade floats in person. This set the stage for 2018: I've decided this will be a year of attending to my bucket list. Seeing Rose Parade floats—Check!
What do you have on your bucket list? Do try to check off a few items this year. In the meantime, embrace the chance for new beginnings, and make a personal pact to engage with all that life has to offer in 2018.

St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

The Rose Parade floats were amazing! The full-sized floats were incredible, some rising 26 feet in the air, but for me it's all about the details.

Rose Parade float
 
Rose Parade float
 
Rose Parade float
 
Rose Parade float
 
Rose Parade float
Rose Parade float
Rose Parade float
Studying these, I went from thinking "Ooooh!" to "Ahhhh!" to "Yum!" Just stunning.
Rose Parade float
Look at the raisins, grapes, and apricots!

 

All for now.

Until next time,
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Nikki Grimes

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