my darling, my wonton

Last year, when I first read The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, the wonderful middle grade novel by Wendy Wan-Long Shang that recently won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Children’s Literature Award, I noticed something interesting in the Acknowledgements:

No acknowledgement would be complete without recognizing my sources of support: my mom, who told me I could do anything; my dad, who made me believe writing was in my blood; my husband, who wrote ‘writer’ on our tax forms and has never (never!) once wavered in his support; our three beautiful, funny children; my amazing extended family; Fairfax County Public Library; A&J Restaurant, which makes absolutely inspirational bowls of soup. Get the Shanghai-style wonton soup.

Is there anything more exciting than a writer who cites soup as a source of inspiration? If you’ve read the book, you know it opens with a restaurant scene and contains many food references, including a reverential beef noodle soup as well as homemade dumplings. Yum!

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beary christmas in leesburg, virginia

Every year, I crave an old fashioned Christmas. Simple joys are the most meaningful, the most enduring. One need only step back in time.

Leesburg is the kind of place where there are wreaths on every door. Charming, quaint, picturesque — a town where people actually smile more and have time to chat.

You can tour the historic district in a carriage if you like,

clip clop

wave to the snowman as you go by,

guess what’s in those presents on the porch.

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