on redbuds, good reads, and random picks

I've become obsessed with the redbud trees that seem to be blooming all over Houston these days.  If there ever was a symbol of hope and rebirth, I really believe these trees are it.



In other news, God bless Mir Kamin.  Yesterday, she took a near-hysterical phone call from me, as I was about to succumb to a severe case of writer's block, and lo, she unblocked me, like so much Ex-Lax (and despite what it sounds like, I mean that in the most complimentary way possible).  As a result, I feel like I'm really on a roll with this second book, and I might even have something to turn in to my agent this week (as long as I keep on rollin').  Thanks, Mir, I owe you.



Also, and rather randomly, I wanted to mention to you the book I recently read on my flight to San Francisco:  The Butcher and the Vegetarian, by very popular food blogger, Tara Austen Weaver.  Tara sent me an advance copy of her brand new book, and to be honest, I read it to be polite:  I like Tara, but I don't generally read romance novels, and judging from the cover of the book and its tagline, I assumed that by reading her book, that's what I would be in for.  I could not have been more wrong.

Despite appearances, this book doesn't have a drop of romance in it:  it turns out that Tara is a lifelong vegetarian (she was raised by a vegetarian mother), but because of doctor's (and holistic practioners') orders, she was encouraged to begin eating meat.  Thus began Tara's adventure into the culture of meat, and this book is a beautifully-written, very even-handed look at both vegetarianism and the meat industry.  She's done a lot of research here, and she's a solid writer who presents the pros and cons of both omnivorous and vegetarian lifestyles to both incredibly entertaining and intelligent effect.  I could not recommend this book more, to meat-eaters and vegans alike -- and I promise you, it's not going to try to convince you to adopt one lifestyle or the other.  I raced through this book, reading it in about two hours on the plane.  Really brilliant work -- and I say this without any reservation (or urging on Tara's part) whatsoever --  I strongly recommend you buy it.


And finally, speaking of books, according to Random.org, the winner of Katherine Center's latest novel, Get Lucky, is katie, who commented, "At this moment, I'm sitting in my dorm room in San Diego, Ca and to my left is lip balm, a remote, and lotion :)."  Congratulations, katie!  I'll contact you via email to get your snail mail address, to ship the book out to you as soon as possible.  And thanks to all of you for participating in yesterday's giveaway -- it was so awesome to see glimpses into your world (even your world, Denise, despite the fact that you were apparently indisposed in the bathroom at the time of your commenting.  You get mad props for being so open about your ... ahem ... location).

Thanks again, everyone.  With that, I'm back to the book.


Song: Back to life by Soul II Soul