Readings, readings, everywhere...

Tomorrow night I'm at the Borders in Wynnewood at 7 p.m.. Hope to see you there!

Thursday night, Susan Isaacs, my favorite writer of all time, is at the Philadelphia Free Library...and I can't make it, as I will be en route to Seattle for a wedding, but you should go, especially if you've never encountered Isaacs' smart, funny fiction. If you like my stuff, you'll love hers. (And if you go and get to talk to her, tell her I say "hi.")

Next week, I'm off to New York, Michigan, Minnesota and Chicago, and then back home to read from the paperback of GOODNIGHT NOBODY at any bookstore that'll have me, including a wonderful, cozy new independent shop in my neighborhood, Headhouse Books.

It's been kind of quiet around here lately, because I have been putting the finishing touches on THE GUY NOT TAKEN, the collection of short stories that will be published in September...and polishing a big round-up/review on the state of women's fiction, which will be published in the July issue of Elle...and enjoying the spring weather, my brand-new bike, and all of my usual reality TV favorites, plus "The Sopranos" and "The Office."

Last but not least, I've been planning the girl's third birthday fete.

We ordered the invitations on oFoto, with a cute picture of the birthday girl. They looked lovely on the preview screen. When they arrived, the girl had major red-eye. Seriously, like Damian-level red-eye. Which I wish I'd known about ahead of time, not so I could have swapped out another picture but so the text could have referenced her Satanic appearance. YOU WILL ATTEND MY BIRTHDAY PARTY! AS YOUR DARK LORD I COMMAND YOU! ALSO THERE WILL BE CAKE!

The cake is actually a problem. I asked the girl who she wanted. Ariel? Dora?

No.

"Laurie Berkner!"

If you've got a toddler in your life, and a TV set, you probably know Laurie Berkner ("And Brian and Susie!"), who are rock stars for the five-and-under set. Laurie's huge on Noggin, but, I'm guessing, not so big that there are easily obtained birthday cake with her green-pants-and-blue-tee-shirt-clad likeness on them.

Which means my husband and I are at a kind of moral crossroads. Are we the kind of parents who tell our kid, No, sorry, no Laurie Berkner on the cake, pick someone else? Or are we the kind who download a bunch of photos and take them to our favorite South Philadelphia bakery to see what they can do?

We shall see.

Jen