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E is for Edward

E is for Edward, a God of Goth Pride
He wrote silly nonsense, and later he died.

Happy birthday, Edward Gorey, from the legions of young people you inspired…and me.

 

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10 Things You Can Do On My Birthday

Hero by Alethea KontisToday is 1-11, the day we celebrate PRINCESS ALETHEA’S MAGICAL BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA! I do hope you have marvelous things planned for today. I do!

If you don’t have some marvelous things planned, here are ten suggestions for how I would love you to spend MY FRABJOUS DAY.

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If you have a few extra dollars:
1.) Order some of my books. All the links are here. Already own the complete Princess Alethea library? Consider purchasing some extras for baby showers and children’s birthdays…or for your local school library. (If you order them from here, I will even sign & personalize them for you.)

2.) Are you a fan of Peter David? You should be. Buy a few of his books and help Peter and his family defray the cost medical bills caused by a stroke he had over the holidays.

3.) Are you a fan of Jay Lake? You should be. Click here and find out all the various fun ways you can help Jay cover the cost of genome sequencing for Jay’s cancer.

If you haven’t got a penny to spare:
1.) Write a fabulous five-star review of one (or all) of my books on Amazon, B&N, Audible, or Goodreads.

2.) Go “like” or “tag” a bunch of my books on Amazon, etc.

3.) Go review or like or tag five of your favorite authors.

4.) Go visit the website of five of your favorite authors. If they have blogs, leave a nice comment.

5.) Write a letter today, snail mail or email. Make it personal. Fan letters count.

6.) Call someone you love today.

7.) Take a picture of you or your child with one of my books and I’ll put in in my Family Album.

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Much love to you all — I hope you have a wonderful, shiny day! xox

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Rainbow Sun

I meant to post this the other day, when I accompanied FGB into DC to help him with some work. I was looking out the window for a street sign and the sky took my breath away. There was a full, perfect rainbow all around the sun.

Rainbow Sun

I thought this a fitting magical image with which to wish my father a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

Love you, Dad. xox

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

Please feel free to leave a comment wishing my mom a very happy mummbledymumble birthday!

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Princess Alethea’s World-Wide Tiara Birthday Spectacular!

The votes are in, and everybody agrees. Mark your calendars!

What: Princess Alethea’s 35th Birthday Spectacular
When: January 11, 2011
Where: Your blog (or facebook page)
Who: YOU, wearing a tiara!

As discussed previously,35 is my mother’s favorite number. I’m only going to turn 35 once. As it happens, that happy event will occur in less than a month, on 1-11-11. (It’s a Tuesday.) If I don’t do something BIG, I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life. (I generally try not to regret things.)

I’m very excited and it’s a very big deal. As I don’t have the resources to throw a ball worthy of Cinderella (yet), I still want to find a way to celebrate this day with all my favorite people in the world. That’s right, that means YOU.

So here’s the plan: on January 11th (at 11:11, if you can), post a picture of yourself wearing a tiara. Post it on your blog or Facebook, or email it to me and I’ll stick them in the photo album. Camera shy? Post the whole family, or your pets, or your teddy bear wearing a tiara. Don’t have a tiara? Make one out of aluminum foil. Go to this website and make a paper tiara in a few simple steps.

You can do it! It’s easy, it’s cheap, and you now have something to post about on a random Tuesday. Laugh! Have fun! BE ORIGINAL! You have a month to get creative. And please, spread the word! I’m only going to have one 1-11-11 birthday, and I give you all express permission to spam the world about it.

Please help make my birthday the most awesome, shiny 1-11-11 birthday a girl could have. Thank you!

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For My Mother, On Her Birthday

An Ode to Motherhood
To a mom who cooks and cleans
And washes all my favorite jeans
The last time that you left a spot
Very happy I was NOT!
But where a spot you did not miss
Turns out another called a kiss
Life ain’t that easy, you see
I guess that’s why you’re stuck with me.
(And I still love ya, Mom!)

~Alethea Kontis, Age 10
June 1986

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Apex Birthday Sale!

Today is Jason Sizemore’s birthday, founder of Apex Publications and Best Boss Ever.

Today is also the five-year anniversary of Apex — my very first publication credit was the essay I wrote for issue 3 back in 2005. How time flies…

Jason’s posted a little thank you post over on his blog if you’re so inclined to hop over and read it. If not, you should be aware of this vital information:

To celebrate I’m giving out a $5.00 coupon for use in the Apex Shop good on any order until March 23rd. Just enter BIRTHDAY on checkout to receive your discount. (Hey, after five years, y’all know that I’m always hustling!)

Hop on over! Check it out! And if you don’t have a copy of Beauty and Dynamite or Harlan County Horrors yet, now would be the perfect time to pick one up!

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Infamous Birthday Pictures

…and by that I mean that the birthday was infamous. Not the pictures. Or maybe they are. You decide.

Click here for the full album.

Anubis & The Princess

Mr. Ichi & Chuck Wood

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

There is a moment from this weekend frozen in my mind: the girls are on the couch combing their lustrous clean locks, Tomo’s patiently waiting to find out just what he’s being sent to the drug store for this time, and I’m cross-legged on the floor between Della’s legs as she sits above me on the couch, inspecting the itchy nape of my neck. Kelli slides to her knees in front of me and announces: “You know why Murphy created this weekend? Because we all needed something to blog about.”

There is a moment of silence as the truth of her statement sinks in. And then: “Dibs on The Gift That Keeps on Giving as a title!” I yell.

“I get Shit Happens!” chimes Gypsy.

The hippie smiles and says, “Of Lice and Men,” and we all double over in laughter.

It was a weekend for the history books, ladies and gentlemen — the kind that brings us all closer together and reminds us what really makes a family. Because birthdays shouldn’t just be about fancy dresses and presents. They should be about laughter and love…and lice.

I’ve lived more life in the past six weeks than most people dare to live their whole lives. The parting of ways, the moving, the goodbyes, the journeys, the memories revisited, the sadness, the joy, and the pain. These weeks have given me everything I’ve wished for and then some. They have brought me new friends. They have made me sick. They have made me tired. They have given me hope for the future. My birthday marked the end of that journey. (The first chapter, anyway.)

In an effort to maintain what little sanity I had left, I postponed my Big Fabulous Party plans until later (possibly spring) and settled on a smallish get-together with only enough of my friends to fit around the dinner table (and their children). Oooh, a fancy dress party a la Mary Robinette Kowal’s last year. That would be fun. Excellent idea! Nice, relaxing, and low-key.

Thursday night there was some drama. Some folks got upset…and then got over it. A Canadian arrived. I went to bed early. Friday was awesome. There was Scrabble and giggles and turtles. The zombie kind. Tomo came and brought his girls as one of my birthday presents–Ariell returned one of the books I had lent her over New Year’s. There was dancing in the garage. We ate spaghetti. We remembered why we needed each other, and my worries went away.

And Ariell’s head started to itch.

Early Saturday morning, there were dead bodies on the pillow and a very distraught almost-thirteen-year-old.

“So, I hear my present came with a bonus,” I told her. She laughed.

Tomo went to the store and bought a two-pack of lice shampoo. Having been through this enough times in Elementary school with my sister, I knew a thing or two about Ye Olde Louse Comb. We’d nip this puppy in the bud, no worries. Ariell and I watched TV and bonded as I took my time combing her terminally tousled hair. We had no other plans. Dinner was five or six, the Eagles game started at eight — otherwise it was just us.

But the wimpy little shampoo didn’t work. A few things in the house broke. The turkey was wonderful and the stuffing divine and I looked great in my dress…but around halftime we decided that a.) the Eagles weren’t going to win the game and b.) we needed more lice shampoo. Not only was Ariell still finding Little Monsters, but the back of her neck was covered in bites. I was determined to conquer this once and for all.

I changed out of my dress and joined Tomo this time for the hunt…and was very surprised at what we discovered. 1.) There are many different brands of treatment available for lice, F.) There were not more than two boxes of any kind on the shelf, and 45.) I did not get yelled at for sitting on the floor in the grocery store for an extended period (but that’s another story for another time).We bought three boxes — one for Tomo and one for each of his daughters, just to be safe.

I finished combing Ariell’s hair for the third time sometime before 2am. “You realize this officially makes us sisters now.” I told her. And then I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. I dreamt of lice and crazy psychosomatic itching.

Only…it wasn’t psychosomatic.

Sunday morning brought us our third run — this time to the Rite Aid because we’d already bought out the Giant’s stash of medicine — bringing our total brands of medication tried up to five. We were informed while checking out that “Yeah. the entire district has it” which just made us laugh. Because we didn’t have local lice. Ours was imported from Virgina.

Only the best for Awesome Porch.

We broke a few more things this day — including the upstairs toilet — and while I had to wash my own hair it was Della who put in the gel and combed it out. Della…to whom I gave lice in the second grade all those years ago after she tried on my Brownie hat. It all comes full circle, doesn’t it?

Lice is a thing. It happens. Whether or not it’s a tragedy is only a matter of perspective. It brought us all to new levels of togetherness. It helped clean and spray the entire house. It taught us a lot, about lice and about each other. It provided a case study on the best lice medication to use (we all agree Lice MD is the best, the one with the green comb. It was the most successful, and was the least harsh to use on a poor sore head that’s already been terrorized by Little Monsters).

Most of all, it caused a quarantine that forced the whole crew to stay one more night. I got to wake up on Monday — my actual birthday — and have cake and singing and breakfast with all my friends. My more than friends. My family.

So..thank you, Ariell. Little did you know, you brought me the greatest gift of all.

Lice.

Best birthday present EVAR.

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Birthday Radio Silence

I didn’t actually mean to shove the laptop in a corner and leave the phone downstairs all weekend…it just turned out that way. If you just can’t wait to hear about all the fun and games, pop on over to The Gypsy’s blog: www.kellidunlap.com. Otherwise I’ll be blogging tomorrow about Illness, Infestation, Interesting times, and Mr. Ichi.

Much love to all of you and thanks for the birthday wishes!

xox

The Princess

Happy birthday to me!

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