Stop the presses! This is one of the best birthday presents ever! I just looked on the events calendar for my local library (a great way to find book groups and writer's critique groups, by the way) and what did I see but Author Visit: Tamora Pierce in big, bold letters.
For those of you who don't know, Tamora Pierce is an author of fantasy books for children, teenagers, and adults like me who aren't sure about the whole 'growing up' thing. Her books include the Song of the Lioness quartet (starting with Alanna: The First Adventure), Trickster's Choice, the Immortals (starting with Wild Magic), and many, many others. Her words have been a constant companion for me through the years, and I'd just like to thank her for being one of the inspirations for my current quest to become a published author.
If you're interested in seeing Tamora, here's a list of her upcoming appearances.