Weekly Wanderings: September 16, 2016

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▪ There’s a crisp bite to the air in the mornings here now and the trees across from my house are beginning to acquire a rust-color tinge. This can only mean one thing: FALL IS COMING. Woot woot woot. I’m especially excited this year because Michigan is known for its apple cider mills, and there’s one only about 20 minutes from my house. Apple cider. Cider donuts. Caramel apples. Heaven. I’m trying to hold off a little longer before I make my first visit—it’s only mid-September, after all!—but a trip there is definitely on October’s schedule.

▪ Actually, I’ve had my first Michigan cider donut already, as they were handing out free donuts and coffee last Sunday morning at the Kerrytown BookFest. The book festival itself was great, especially because it was a really manageable size. As star-studded and exciting as something like the LA Times Festival of Books is, those big festivals are also huge, and often suck up an entire day or even weekend if the panels you want to see are spread out. This was my first time going to a local book festival, which I now think I prefer. I arrived around 10:30am, saw two strong panels—one on writing-for-hire, the other on writing mysteries—checked out the vendor area, and was back in my car heading home by 3:00. I enjoyed the panels and had a good time, but didn’t have to devote my entire Sunday to the festival. To me, that’s the perfect balance.

▪ There’s a complicated and often crowded four-way-stop close to my house, and the Ann Arbor City Council has approved a plan to turn the intersection into a roundabout next year. As much as I dislike the current setup (I think it’s my turn … nope, that guy in the far lane has decided it’s his … okay, now it’s definitely mine … wait, someone’s trying to cross the road to the bus stop …), this is me with roundabouts:

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Sigh. I guess just I’ll have to get better at them.

▪ No outside writing to link to this week, because right now most of my writing hours are going toward revisions of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know. Jeff Wasserstrom and I are doing a third edition (!) of the book, which should be out in winter or spring 2017. More details when I have them—first we have to finish the manuscript.

▪ And working on that—possibly while chair-dancing to “80s Mercedes” on repeat—is the sum total of my weekend plans. TGIF, everyone!

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