It was a little over a month ago that our younger son Joel married Priscilla Hernandez, the love of his life, at Cliffview, a rustic retreat near Red River Gorge. It took him a mere fourteen years to convince his bride to marry him, and I’ve never seen anyone more thrilled than our son! We are incredibly happy for him, and to officially be a part of Priscilla’s family. Our extended families spent the weekend at Cliffview, and it was wonderful to spend time together. Priscilla’s mom Betty and other relatives prepared the most amazing authentic Mexican food. My waist line will never be the same, but it was definitely worth it!

Meantime, I have some fun book events coming up. This coming Saturday, November 10, from 2-4 PM, I’ll be signing books at the Hurstbourne Barnes and Noble in Louisville along with other mystery writers in Derby Rotten Scoundrels, our local Sisters in Crime chapter. Then next Thursday, November 15, I’ll be attending Indiana University Southeast’s opening reception for an Authors and Artists exhibit that includes my YA novel, It Should Have Been You. And on Saturday, November 17, I’m thrilled to be a part of the annual Kentucky Book Fair from 9 am to 4 pm at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  At 10 AM in the Spalding Room, I’ll be a panelist along with YA writers Mindee Arnett, Geanna Culbertson, and Kristina McBride on “Fierce Females in YA Literature,” a topic near and dear to my heart. If any of you are in the neighborhood, I’d love to have you come.

I’ve been offline for a while due to a particularly heavy semester—never again will I agree to take on this heavy a course load! I love my students, and I love to teach, but no sooner do I manage to comment on one set of their papers than a brand new bunch arrives.  My own writing has really taken a hit. I’m reminded of that saying that, “You can have it all, but maybe not all at once.”

But when I think about the horrors going on in the world, my own problems seem minor in comparison. Just this morning, I woke up to the news of yet another mass shooting, this one at a bar in California.  Last week, it was a shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh where my older son’s dearest friend had his bar mitzvah. And here in Louisville, two folks of color were gunned down while shopping for groceries. When will this end? How did we end up with a President who encourages hatred and violence? And how do we get mentally ill folks the treatment they need, and keep guns out of their hands? Surely we can do better than this.

Even as I celebrate family joys and our son and bride’s beautiful wedding, I’m so hoping for better days ahead for our country.