Aside from the usual December chaos of preparing for TWO holidays (we do both Hanukkah and Christmas in our house), here’s what I’ve been up to lately! 

1. Hanging out at Pawing Through Books! This great book blog is hosting a 25 Days of Christmas Extravaganza: 25 days of holiday-themed author interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! My interview posted yesterday; read it here! There’s also a TOKYO HEIST giveaway, which ends 12/31/12, midnight EST. Thanks, Peggy and Lisa, for having me on your blog!

2. Chatting with the Boston Athenaeum, one of the country’s oldest private libraries! They wrote an article about me and TOKYO HEIST for their December Authors feature. You can read the article here. (And if you’re in the Boston area, or visiting, do stop by the library for a tour sometime! The first floor is open to the public, and it’s the best place in the city to curl up with a book!)

3. Visiting schools! I’ve met with some students in Boston, and am spending the day at a high school in Hampton, New Hampshire tomorrow. Last Thursday I had an amazing time at the Chenery Middle School (Belmont, MA) Winter Book Fair, singing books with Julie Berry, Jack Farraiolo, Erin Dionne, and Erine Moulton. This was my first book fair, and I was astounded by the turnout. I signed more than 50 books in two hours. Wow! Collectively, we helped raise a lot of money for the library, who received a percentage of book fair sales. The library relies entirely on the Winter and Spring book fairs to raise money for new books. It felt really great to work for such an important cause, and to meet with such an enthusiastic reading community. I met so many great kids, including several aspiring novelists. One girl has written six novels already! (Go, Shira!)

4. And for something a little offbeat (or, hopefully, ON beat . . . ) I’m preparing for a taiko drumming show! I’ve been taiko drumming for almost three years now. The group I study with, Odaiko New England, will be putting on a Winter Showcase this Saturday at 5:30 in Woburn, MA (a suburb of Boston). I’m performing in two songs. If you’re in the Boston area, looking for a fun alternative to the Nutcracker and other traditional holiday entertainment, come check it out! (Bring earplugs — it’s noisy!)

What about you? Are you doing anything offbeat or unusual this holiday season?