My body has finally convinced me that a continual diet of nuts and chocolate does not result in one feeling very well. Especially if the one in question is a lazy diabetic. ;) I can stay conscious for about eight hours max and then fall into a sugar-high slumber which has probably taken a few years off my overall life span.

Time to get off the couch and start wrapping up 2006! And maybe eat some fresh fruits and vegetables to get some nutrients into my system.

Too many presents arrived at Casa Staring. Now we must follow the "when something new comes in, then something old goes out" rule in order to keep the clutter at bay and try to keep the dining room in its current spiffy shape.

Nothing like having a clear dining room table when you're editing a book, I always say.

And with horrible holiday eating comes the ultimate in weird dreams. On Christmas Eve night I found myself playing the role of the psychic in Medium who had to stop a window from falling in order to save the life of a little boy. I think he survived, but the voice of the brainiac husband kept droning on and on, forcing me to wake up before I could confirm the crisis was over.

Another dream had me trying to rescue President Palmer from season two of 24 before he sampled the crab dip that was laced with anthrax...or cyanide...or artificial crabmeat. All turned out well since I had brought my friend Joanne's famous seven-layer dip in order to keep him out of danger.

Hey, Jack Bauer was impressed enough to let me use his computer to check my email. No new messages though. Sigh.

I've also been using the time between family gatherings to feed my appetite for great reading. Right now Meg Cabot's Size 12 Is Not Fat is keeping me entertained. I'll move on to something darker next...

As the New Year approaches, I'm getting a tad nervous. Mainly because 2007 is the year that things will happen. (Hey, did you hear that echo or is it just me?) Books will be revised. Yes, I said books with an s and everything. An agent will be found. :::crosses fingers and toes::: Another magazine column will be sold. And a 40th birthday will arrive without too much anxiety. :::wipes a bead of sweat from a furrowed brow:::

All is possible. I just have to find a place for all the stuff in the living room first.