Birthdays and School Visits and Our New Computer Overlords

Hello everyone!

I’m Jonah, and I approve this birthday.  More cake please! 

It’s been a crazy few days at Chez Birthdays and Deadlines, so, as promised, birthday photos!

Glorious duck!  For me?  Seriously?  How did she know I wanted a duck?

(Jonah obligingly took one look at this present and started quacking for the entire assembled audience.  Aw, my little star!) 

Glorious puzzles!  Now if only I understood the goal here…is it to eat all the puzzle pieces? 

First Birthday Cupcakes
Birthday banana cupcakes!

If you ask the birthday boy, adding bananas to anything makes it automatically awesome.

First BDay Cake-Eating
I cannot believe you have kept “cake” from me for an entire year!  

Being one is officially awesome.  Let’s turn one every day! 

He is a lucky one-year-old to have so many lovely people willing to come celebrate his birthday with us!  We love you all and can’t thank you enough!  Yay yay yay!  🙂

The other exciting thing I’ve done in the last couple of days is drive out to western Massachusetts to visit the totally awesome Norris Elementary School.  What an amazing welcome!  What fabulous students!  It was SO much fun!


These are the remarkable fifth-graders who organized the visit and invited me out.  It’s kind of a great story—at the beginning of the year, their librarian asked them all to write down their hopes and dreams for the year, and some of them said they wished Erin Hunter would come do an author visit:

Hopes and dreams! 

So they decided to make it happen, started researching, and found me—the only Erin Hunter on this side of the Atlantic.  (Vicky, Kate, and Cherith all live in England…so we’re very lucky that Vicky comes over to do book tours as often as she can!)  Their school isn’t too far from me, and the invitation was absolutely lovely, so I told them I’d love to come, although I’m obviously not the Warriors expert that Vicky is!  I’ve only written a few Erin Hunter books, and worked on the series as an editor, so I hoped they’d still want to meet me.

Luckily for me, they did, and it was a really fantastic visit—complete with lunch and presents!  Including the most adorable, soft, snuggly cat toy for Jonah!  Awwww!  He LOVES it…I’ll have to post a photo of him snuggling it when I can.  So so sweet!

A million thank-yous to Charlotte, Lydia, Emma, Jacob, Elizabeth, Barret, and Ileana for being so awesome, and to all the other students for your attention and terrific questions, and to the wonderful parents (yay Julie!), teachers, and librarians (yay Ms. Mari!) who took care of everything and made it such a fun visit for me.  I appreciate it so much, and I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Hooray for fellow readers! 

And finally, can I just say that watching Watson the computer on Jeopardy! was totally terrifying?  How close are we to The Matrix or Terminator now, people?  The best part was its (his?) kooky wagering, though.  What the heck?  Also the part where Watson decided “Toronto” was a U.S. city.  Too funny.  But still terrifying.

All right, after all that fun, I’d better get back to work – February is flying past!  Ack!  I do not approve!

Quote of the Day:
Dowager Countess:  Good heavens, what am I sitting on?
Matthew:  A, uh, swivel chair.
Dowager Countess:  Oh.  Another modern brainwave?
Matthew:  Not very modern — they were invented by Thomas Jefferson.
Dowager Countess:  Why must every day involve a fight with an American?
Downton Abbey