Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

I am 43 today. Have a novella as a party favor.

Today is my 43rd birthday. Because I like to give party favors when I throw a shindig and can’t have an actual birthday party today, I’d like to offer you a virtual party favour.

This is my novella “Kiss Me Twice,” which appeared in Asimov’s magazine in the June 2011 issue.

Edited to add: Hurrah! This was just nominated for a Nebula which is just amazing. For a full list of Nebula nominees visit,


Kiss Me Twice

by Mary Robinette Kowal

A group of trendy-somethings milled outside the police line, clearly torn between curiosity and the need for a caffeine fix at the coffee shop next door. Scott Huang glanced to the corner of his VR glasses where the department AI hovered. “I guess murder trumps coffee, huh?”

Metta, currently wearing the face of Mae West, lowered her voice to the star’s husky range. “I take my coffee black, like my heart.”

“You don’t have a heart.”

“Then I take my coffee black, like my processor.”

“Nice.” Huang grinned at her. She customized her interface for all the officers on the force, but tended toward silver screen starlets with Huang. Her Diamond Lil was pretty special though; she’d even gone black and white for the occasion. Continue reading ›

A recap of my 42nd birthday

Today has been just lovely.  I got up  and discovered a seemingly boundless supply of birthday wishes scattered across the internet.  You are all wonderful people, you know that, right?

I spent the day in my pajamas.  Rob made me waffles for breakfast.

For whatever reason, not having to worry about other work or what have you, gave me permission to make phone calls that I’d been wanting to make, but hadn’t yet. I now have an appointment on Friday to head up to the North Portland library and spend time with a reference librarian in the Black Resources Center looking at the Fisk University Collection, for The Transfigured Lady. She seems as excited by this as I am, strangely.

I also called Fisk University, in Nashville, to see if I could get connected to someone who could help me track down what degrees were available to a young woman in 1903. (BFAs in English, Education, or Music).  Much to my surprise, the dean of the history department, Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Jr., answered the phone. I was totally expecting a receptionist who would send me to a faculty member’s voicemail.  Dr. Mitchell was incredibly helpful and a pleasure to talk with.  I love historians.

I spent the afternoon writing and then had this funny thing.  I’d invited -e- and her husband over to have dinner with us. I had the menu planned. I had the groceries.  At five o’clock, when I needed to stop in order to cook, I realized that a) I was on a roll with the novel and b) wasn’t in the mood to cook and c) it was my birthday so I could change the plans arbitrarily and no one would mind.

So we went out to dinner at Cabezon, which I’d been wanting to try. It was a wonderful meal.  The lavender honeycrème brulée was really one of the best crème brulée’s I’ve had in a good long time. Just beautifully balanced and the flavors kept unfolding in your mouth.   The whole meal was lovely and the service was good, so I definitely recommend the restaurant.

Rob brought a wine, which he says I gave to him at some point, that paired beautifully with the meal, a Savennieres 2002 Clos du Papillon.

So my 42nd birthday? Win from start to finish.  Hope your day was lovely, too.

Building an Elvis Garden Gnome

My brother, bless his heart, wanted to give his girlfriend an Elvis garden gnome as a gag gift on her birthday and discovered that no one makes them. This was actually a little surprising. So he turned to me.

To begin, I found an existing gnome in a position that would work for my needs. This one is called “The conductor.”  I really wanted one playing a guitar but the only one in that pose was also plaster, which wouldn’t work. I needed a resin gnome. Continue reading ›

Woodthrush Woods in the Snow

It is snowing in Chattanooga!

When I was growing up, it seemed like it snowed every day on my birthday or on the day of my birthday party.  That hasn’t happened in years.  This year it snowed for about three minutes on the 8th, just enough for me to feel like it was a real birthday.

Today, it’s really coming down.  Now, mind you, if I were in Iceland people would laugh at me for calling this snow. Still, this is what Woodthrush Woods looks like in the snow. If you click through there are some other snow pictures plus some non-snow pictures.

From Woodthrush Woods

This is my 41st birthday

I know a lot of people refuse to admit their age, which has always struck me as a little silly since surviving another year is a good thing. Of course, the fact that Grandma is 105 and still sharp does tend to skew my perception of what “old” means.

You know, I’m still a decade away from middle age given my family.

All in all, 40 was a really fantastic year on the fiction front. Sold 2 novels, 10 short stories, made the Hugo ballot, and my 1st short story collection came out. I’ve been doing less puppetry over the past year, which gives me an identity crisis but nothing world-shaking.

In personal life, Rob and I moved back to Portland and it’s a lifestyle that suits us better than NYC. I miss my friends back there and, strangely, the subway, but I like getting enough sleep.

I look forward to seeing what 41 brings. It’s starting off well. Mom and Dad sang to me first thing this morning and I get to spend the evening with Grandma.

Grandma’s 105th birthday party

I spent the day at Grandma’s for her 105th birthday party. It was a lot of fun seeing all the relatives and catching up with folks. Grandma was in good spirits and excited to see everyone. Here she is with her birthday cake.

As we were getting ready to go, Mom was getting out of her chair, which is a little slow since she’s got a brace on her leg. Grandma looks at the effort it’s taking and with just a hint of a smile says, “Do you need to borrow my walker?”

I love my Grandma.

Happy 105th Birthday, Grandma!

Grandma turned 105 today and I’ll actually be in Chattanooga in time for her birthday party on Sunday.  She is a remarkable woman and the inspiration for my novelette First Flight.

I had been on a panel about research we were talking about the importance of primary sources.  One of the panelists said, “Of course, you can’t get a primary source if you want to talk about the Spanish Flu epidemic.”

It suddenly occurred to me that I could, because Grandma was born in 1905. It started me thinking about all the things she had seen in her life. In the story, the main character says:

I’ve lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Collapse. I lived through race riots, saw us put men on the moon, the Spanish Flu, AIDS, the Titanic, Suffrage and the Internet. I’ve raised five children and buried two, got twenty-three grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren with more on the way.

I’m not making any of that up (although I am losing track of the number of cousins I have).  I mean, the things she’s seen and the way the world has changed in her lifetime is staggering.  She’s an amazing woman, still sharp and interested in everything. I can’t introduce you to her for real, but the story comes pretty close.

Penguicon Day 2

Wow. I’m unbelievably tired. Although, I suppose considering my panel schedule today, that’s not surprising. I have an 8 am panel tomorrow.  Let me repeat that. 8:00 am panel.  At a con. Who scheduled that?

So, you get today in a nutshell and then I’m going to bed.  I had a load of panels, which were fun, and then went to Scalzi’s surprise birthday party, also fun.

I’m also possessed of an urge to teach a workshop at a con on how to build an animal costume that’s actually functional, breathable and has vision. I just want to take some of these people by the paw and explain to them that it doesn’t have to be like this.  But that’s not a good idea.

Rob’s birthday

Today is Rob’s birthday. I’ll be spending the rest of the day off-line with him. And no, we will not be dining with ninjas.

See you guys tomorrow.


When a friend calls and says, “My birthday is coming up. Do you want to have dinner with ninjas or dimsum?” The choice is clear. So, tonight, I had dinner at Ninja New York.

Not surprisingly, I had trouble finding the restaurant.

Once there, a ninja led us into the bowels of the building where a “feudal” Japanese village had been recreated.  Because I was late, Iwound up following a family with three little boys into the restaurant.  The ninja asked, “Do you want to go to your table the safe way or the ninja way?”

“Ninja way!” Three little boys, and I, chorused.

The ninja way was through a twisty and extremely dark passage built into the wall that led you up and down stairs back to a few feet from where we started, albeit on the other side of the door.

Dinner was fun, mostly because I think we were all determined to wring every bit of fun out of the experience. Otherwise… well, you know, ninjas are not trained to be waiters. Ours said that he’d majored in Forensic Astronomy and Ninja.  He was pretty funny all evening, but more of the ironic, hip version of ninja.

When I left the restaurant and got on the subway, my car and the car in front of it had no passengers.  For three stops, the train would stop, the doors opened and no one got on.

I couldn’t help wondering if the ninjas had gone out and slaughtered everyone while we’d been in the restaurant.

Twitters for 2-10-08

  • 10:43 You can tell you’ve been gone for a week when breakfast = birthday cake. #
  • 12:01 Heading out for lunch with @scalzi now. Truly, the fun, it never ends. #
  • 13:22 Novel + sold = Best Birthday present EVER. Short form: to @2muchexposition of Tor by @arcaedia Long form: #
  • 17:22 Thank you all for the good wishes about my novel sale! I’m now off to the theater because you know, the day job still calls. Er…night job? #
  • 21:13 Having a cheese flight with @scalzi @paul_cornell and his lovely wife Caroline. Rob is selecting wines for us. #

Novel + Sold = Best Birthday present EVER

I’ll start with the important stuff. Shades of Milk and Honey, my Jane Austen with magic novel, has sold to Liz Gorinsky at Tor in a two-book deal. My fabulous agent, Jennifer Jackson, and I have been sitting on this news for a little over a week while we worked out details. Hardest thing ever. It was like having a birthday present that I could pick up and shake but not open.

So today, I was sitting in a Thai restaurant with John Scalzi when the phone rang. Normally, I ignore it when I’m on social time, but I had it out because I was on call for the theater. Needless to say, I’m glad that I picked the phone up because Jenn told me the amazing, amazing news that we’ve sold not just one book, but two books. John immediately turned and announced it to everyone in the restaurant and they all clapped. I’m still blushing.

Last week, Jenn called with the initial news while I was frantically mixing disappearing blood for the theater. So I was squealing with excitement while measuring ingredients into a beaker. Then had to run down there without being able to tell anyone. Well… I called my parents, clearly. Here’s what I wrote on the subway after the call.

I’m writing this on the subway on my way to the theater. It’ll be a week or more before you get to read it, but I’m simply bursting. I just got off the phone with my wonderful agent, Jennifer Jackson, who let me know that Liz Gorinsky, at Tor, has made an offer for Shades of Milk and Honey.


There are all these people on the train and I’m surprised that they can’t tell that I’ve just SOLD A NOVEL because I’m glowing. Since it’s still in the offer stage, it’s a secret beyond telling a few friends and family but I want to turn to the man sitting next to me on the train and say, “Excuse me. You don’t know me, but I just found out that I’ve sold my first novel and I had to tell someone.” Heck, I want to tell EVERYBODY.

I’ve called my parents, of course, but Rob doesn’t know yet, because he’s at work. Tonight is a late night for him, he won’t get off work until three. How in the world am I going to contain myself until he gets home?

ooo… Weeping with joy on the subway would probably be a bad plan. But I’m so thrilled. So very thrilled that I don’t think my vocabulary is large enough to express it. On the other hand, it can be summed up as, “I sold my first novel!”

Nails in My Feet

This is a reading of my short story “Nails in My Feet” from the Borderlands reading. Many thanks to Pip R. Lagenta for recording it. And for posting it yesterday as a birthday present.

Last day of the writing birthday retreat

Well, my guests have all gone to bed and I’m mostly packed. I decided to catch an early flight back to New York because there are some things going on with the show that need attention and it’ll be less stressful to just fly back and deal with it myself.

I have to tell you that this week has been wonderful. Having time to hang out with family and friends, write and cook has been just great. I don’t want it to be over.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to getting home to Rob. The only time my poor boy could schedule for his physical was on Thursday, so he wasn’t able to be here for the weekend. He also came down with a nasty, nasty cold. Hopefully I’ll be able to tend to him some when I get home and not spend all my time at the theater.

But if I do, at least I’ll have some very happy memories to boost my spirits. I haven’t even told you half of the cool things from this week. For now, know that I am an extremely happy forty year old girl.