Wright Household Christmas Letter for 2009

From the pen of my beautiful and talented wife:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


“God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalm 68: 6)



This year has been a wonderful year for us, a year of dreams come true. Most of all, it has been a year of patience rewarded, where long periods of waiting have finally borne fruit.


But first, the general news:


2009 was a wonderful year for the Wright family. Juss played soccer. Orville went to film-directing camp. Ro enjoyed summer school, and all three boys participated in our best CS VBS ever at the endof the summer. June brought John and my twentieth wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we took a honeymoon trip (we’d never had one) to Montreal, where we enjoyed the city and participated in this years Science Fiction World Convention. Montreal was just wonderful, horse drawn carriage rides, Chinatown, a beautiful botanical gardens, and a taste of travel to a place where they spoke a different language. (I was pleased how much French I recalled.)


Our boys are all prospering this year. They have had their best year yet in school and are all growing closer to being readers. Orville, who has been unable to read for some unaccountable reason, just read a complicated sign in a movie that flashed by so quickly, even I did not catch it. While he still has some ways to go, great progress has been made! The same goes for Juss, who just officially graduated from “Non-Reader” to “Beginning Reader.” As for Roland, he reads slightly better than he talks, which is a mystery to us all.


Now, comes the waiting part, from longest wait to shortest, but in order of reversed importance:



John had a good  year in the short story department. While both of the books he’s working on are running late, he had four or five short stories appear in books or magazines, including two of our favorites, the best stories he has ever written, both of which had been written in the early 90s. We have been waiting since then for them to find a home. It was so much fun to finally get them both in print.


One Bright Star To Guide Them is my personal favorite of all John’s short stories. It appeared in MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION in their April/May issue.  I really love One Bright Star and was happy to see that some readers did, too. 


Twilight of the Gods (Norse Gods in Spaaaace!—kind of) which appeared in an anthology called Federations, and which is being considered for some Year’s Best anthologies. Both of these stories are ones that he wrote around 1990.


He also had a short story in the latest Clockwork Phoenix anthology.



My waiting part:


Back in 1992, I started a book, then called Prospero’s Children. I put it aside for a time, returning to it in 1998. By 2001, I had finished the first version and sent it off to my editor at Tor.


To make a long story short*, Prospero Lost, the first book in a trilogy called Prospero’s Daughter, finally came out this August. It was in bookstores all fall, though it seems to be disappearing now as the new books come in for Christmas. It should reappear in paperback this summer. Meanwhile, it is still available to order. (See links below. )


What a great joy it is to finally be a real author. I was driving along about a month ago and just started laughing. After all that wait, I finally had a book!


* The longer version is posted on my blog. This is the link to Part 4, but Parts 1 to 3 are linked at the top of the page: http://arhyalon.livejournal.com/79729.html



And, at long last:


About four and a half years ago, we decided to add to our family by adopting a girl from China. At the time, we thought we would get a child between two and four years old. Juss was two and we figured the girl would either fit between Ro and Juss or be slightly younger than Juss.


Back then, the wait for a child from China was six months.


Well, we did our paperwork slowly, figuring that we were not in a rush, finally getting our papers to China in April of 2005. By that fall, it was clear that the wait had started to grow. More applications, from all over the world, and less available children made the wait climb and climb. (Currently, it is more than four years.)


There was one way to jump line and get a child more quickly and that was to pick a child from the Special Needs list. (Special Needs is a very broad term here. Some children on the list has serious needs. Others had very minor problems. “Older” counts as a special need.)  Occasionally, we did ask for a child from these lists, but someone else was always ahead of us.


So, we waited.

and waited

and waited.


By this summer, we had waited four years since we started the process. Juss was not two anymore, he was six. The idea of taking on another little child was beginning to seem like a real burden. I was not willing to give up, but I was no longer so eager.


Then, an email came: a family was needed for a beautiful, smart 13 year old who would turn 14 in November. According to Chinese law, once she was 14, she could no longer be adopted. She would never have a family. In addition, we were told that the fate of women in China without family connections was grim.


It seemed impossible that we could get her in time, the paperwork takes so long…but it was as if our future daughter had a Fairy Godmother in China. Paperwork that usually takes months arrived in half the time. It was miraculous!


Only one thing did not come quickly, our appointment with the US Consulate. Finally, we called China (at $6.50 a minute!) and talked to someone there. When I described my problem, the man asked “Are you Mrs. Wright?” He knew our case! This, despite that they have thousands of adoptions each year! The nice gentleman sorted everything out for us (a document was missing) and we were off to China!


We were quiteworried going in, but our trip went very smoothly, without a single hitch. In one day, we saw Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, a jade factory, the Great Wall, a silk factory and a tea house. The Great Wall was the most amazing part. It was tremendously steep where we were, and the steps were uneven. One step would be two inches, the next one twenty inches. When John paused to rest, an ancient little Chinese woman pointed at him and laughed out loud. John took it in good humor.


The next day, we traveled to sunny tropical Guangzhou and met our daughter! What a lovely and spirited girl she turned out to be! Her only request was to bring treats to her 19 fellow orphans at the boarding school where they lived. So—with the help of our wonderful guide Simon—we went off to the grocery school and watched our new daughter fill a shopping carts with spicy beef noodles, fruit, orange soda, and a bit of candy. The next day, we brought all this to her old school, met her wonderful house mother, Auntie Mei. Then, at her request, we took her and her closest friends to MacDonald’s.


The whole trip was wonderful, and now we are the proud parents of Ping-Ping Evelyn Wright, who is settling in nicely and is adored by her brothers.


We are very grateful to my mother and Bill Burns, the children’s godfather, who kindly watched the boys for us, with help from wonderful friends (Jen Cook, Abby Hillman, and Tracy MacNamara.)


Much love to you all!

Jagi, John, Ping-Ping, Orville, Roland, and Juss



P.S. For recent pictures of our kids/China/etc, look here: http://arhyalon.smugmug.com/  and look under either OTHER/Snow or CHINA.


P.P.S. If anyone is interested in any of our recent writing:





Twilight of the Gods, Federations: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1607012014/thewrighthouse


Clockwork Phoenix Two (John is also in the first Clockwork Phoenix.):



Prospero Lost



Or, if you want a signed copy, there may be a few left here: