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In Michigan...
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...but without snow. Sigh! Yesterday it was nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit here. When we arrived, we could see a few last, pathetic piles of snow still clinging to the sides of the road; they're all melted now. I guess we won't be going sledding on this trip after all!

We had a lovely week in Wales, staying in a tiny little town surrounded by huge black hills. No high teas were consumed, but I did have several very good lattes in a nice café, and best of all, on our final day there we walked around the ruins of a medieval castle. They're free and open to the public, which fills me with envy. When I was a kid, I would have killed to have a castle in my town! Kids in Wales have no idea how lucky they are. If we lived there, during the summer, I would do all of my writing in the castle grounds. Actually, that's my favorite thing about Wales - it's absolutely chock-full of castles! Of course, that's because they had a horrible, bloody history of occupation...but hey, CASTLES! Castles make me very happy.

We arrived in Michigan Sunday night, and I am just now starting to feel remotely human again as the jet-lag begins to fade and the CFS begins to balance itself out again. On Monday, our first full day here, I braved the jet lag and the worst of the CFS to do what I'd been waiting for for weeks: go to the East Lansing public library! I filled up my arms with all the American novels I'd been reading about online for months and felt dizzy with bliss. We're leaving tomorrow morning for our week in Florida, and I am going to be well-supplied with fantasy novels (both adult and YA) to read on the beach.

I also read some fantastic British fantasy novels last week, both of which I got as Christmas presents. Patrick gave me Jasper Fforde's fifth (and newest) Thursday Next novel, First Among Sequels, and I adored it. I love this whole series - it's so witty and smart and hilariously weird about all the things I love most. This one started out a bit slowly, but by the middle, I was laughing out loud and trying to force Patrick to listen to quotes from every scene (he refused - he wants to read it himself!). I can't wait for the next book in the series.

And Justina gave me a great book by a Scottish writer I'd never read before, Martin Millar. Lonely Werewolf Girl is a world away from any other urban werewolf novel I've ever read before - it reads a bit like one of Iain Banks's funny, weird literary novels about crazy family's just that this particular big Scottish clan happens to be made up completely of werewolves. It was funny, weird, and original, and I really, really enjoyed it.

Now we're sitting in my favorite East Lansing café, enjoying the exotic experience of free wi-fi (a concept that has not yet reached Leeds). In a little while we'll wander over to Barnes & Noble, and then move on to the specialty used SF store to look at the past few issues of Locus. It's good to be back in Michigan. :)

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