Big Thanks to Hedy Hustedde at the Bettendorf Public Library and the hardy souls who came out to hear about “The Christmas Cats” series.

Since Michael Shaugnessy of the University of Michigan had done a 14-page (!) interview, which Allison Levine and I posted on my website (, I ran copies of that and handed them out, thereby leaving time for the participants to actually contribute great, creative ideas to accompany next year’s book, “The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer.”

Thanks for the suggestions, guys, and I hope you enjoyed hearing such stories as the reviews of Book #1 by friends of Andrew Weinert (the first artist, along with Emily Marquez Vlcek).

Don’t forget that I’ll be in Rock Island from 6 to 9 p.m. at S&K Models for the Rock Island Gallery Hop this coming Friday night (free photos with the Cat).

On Saturday, we’ll be inside the Four Seasons at the Geneseo Christmas Walk, as we have been for at least 3 years. Free photos with the Cat. (The Grinch charges!) I will not be at the book signing mentioned in Metro East, as the festivities in Geneseo start at 2 p.m. and Death Valley Days go on forever at the other store mentioned, which I will no longer visit. [Finally, I can hope to get expensive P.R. materials returned, rather than completely lost by the staff, who are hostile, to boot, for reasons they could not explain when politely asked.

After the Christmas Walk, I’ll drive to Chicago and read the book at several schools in the lead-up to the Writers’ Benefit for New Orleans, wh,ich is taking place December 19-21st. Talked to Jacquelyn Michard today (her birthday) regarding her keynote duties, but, alas, the author of “The Deep End of the Ocean” will not be able to come to NOLA  so close to the holiday.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday to all, and I hope to see you in Rock Island or Geneseo this week.