Ohboy and goodygumdrops. It’s my favorite time of year. You might think people like me don’t exist, but I actually like both holiday fruitcake and New Year’s Resolutions.

I won’t burden you with sharing either of these pleasures, other than to say that 2007 has been almost all fabulous and I’m eager for what 2008 will bring. And I hope in the coming year to say more here about the great Alaskan books I’ve been reading. One of them is Heather Lende’s If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name. I wasn’t expecting a lot. I figured I knew small-town Alaska as well as anyone. But she’s so artful with voice and structure and capturing much of what matters in life. Thanks, Heather.

In one of those weird, can’t-explain-it coincidences, I read and cried over the death of Heather’s Good Dog Carl just hours before I learned of the death of our own Good Dog Carl. He was a sleepy little black lab pup when my son brought him home. Lynx graciously shared him with me for one whole summer, and after the two of them left for Adventures at College, it took me weeks to recover my composure on my daily walks. Carl would walk with his little wet nose bumping my calf, and I missed it. He grew into a great big smart and compassionate pooch, and I never stopped loving my borrowed grand-doggy.

“I do not approve,” Heather writes, quoting Edna St. Vincent Millay. “And I am not resigned.” Amen to that.

My other year-end tribute, this one not even a little bit sad, goes to the writing community I’ve enjoyed this year. You people are amazing. Thanks doesn’t begin to say it. I appreciate you guys. Tremendously.

So I forge ahead. Resolved, and not resigned.

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