First, the good news: I have a Romanian publisher. RAO is taking Graceling on, and I'm thrilled. I know nothing about the Romanian language, but doesn't it look beautiful? Now I want to learn more. If you know anything, feel free to educate me.

So, I've been thinking about favorites. People always like to ask for your favorites -- what's your favorite band, your favorite writer, etc., etc. -- but sometimes I feel like no one ever asks for the right favorites. I can't name a favorite band, so when people ask, I mumble incoherently and probably sound like a musical ignoramus. But, I can name my favorite anthropomorphized vegetable. How come no one ever asks me for my favorite anthropomorphized vegetable? Come on, people! Get with the program!

Anyway, I thought I'd list some of my favorite favorites, mostly ones that no one ever asks. (Because really, why would they?)

For example, when you get really wonderful, spectacular news, what's your favorite thing to do? Mine is to call my parents and tell them. Do you have a favorite muppet? Mine is Grover. Do you have a favorite name? Mine is Jacob.

My favorite part of flying is takeoff, unless I'm in a little plane, and then I like the dipping and veering. My favorite time to be in New York City is right before Christmas, when everything's decorated with lights.

My favorite thing to bake is bread. My favorite thing to do on Sunday is listen to NPR all day long. My favorite time to go for a walk is sunset.

My favorite day to spend at the beach is a clear day in the 50s so I can bundle up in hat and scarf and drink a thermos of tea. Plus, the dolphins come out on the cold days. My favorite sight at the beach is dolphins.

Sometimes I paint, very badly, and when I do, my favorite thing to paint is anthropomorphized asparagus (making asparagus my favorite anthropomorphized vegetable!). If you don't believe me (and if you don't believe I paint badly), here's my atmospheric, Western piece, "Armed Asparagus" on the left...

...and my grueling representation of an asparagus in the Tour de France on the right. I've also done a circus asparagus, a gymnast asparagus, an asparagus in formal wear, and an unclothed asparagus reclining on a divan between busts of Shakespeare and Beethoven (I call that one "Reclining Nude"). I do paint broccoli, corn, onions, leeks, etc., too, but I tell you, nothing inspires like asparagus.

Hmm. I'm feeling a bit claustrophobic trying to type while surrounded by asparagi. They do tend to be very tall paintings....

Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale is my favorite beer. Cordelia brought me a sixpack last week when the ceiling collapsed. Cordelia always knows, even better than I do, when I need a specialty beer (or six).

My favorite tree is this enormous live oak in the gardens of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville. Its trunk splits off in six directions and the branches touch the ground and then rise up again, almost like whole new trees. It's big and old and it's one of my soulmates.

At the moment, Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett is my favorite book. It's simple and beautiful and profound, and it only has 31 words, so check it out if you get a chance.

My favorite place in Rome is the Pantheon. It makes me feel the same way the oak tree and the Gravett book make me feel: at peace.

Finally: My sisters are my favorite. And so is solitude.

Will you tell me some of your favorite favorites?


Anonymous said…
My favorite sensation is when I wake up the morning (after restful sleep) and my limbs feel tingly and slick as they wiggle in the covers. It makes me want to burrow deeper for a second, but then I itch to jump up. **sigh**

Oh and my favorite food is strawberry cake from a local bakery. They sell it by the slice, so you don’t have to burden yourself with the eating whole cake and risk a diabetic coma. Anyway, it’s practically crack cocaine.

Thanks for asking.

PS - I think your anthropomorphized asparagus are very cool. But I’m curious – did you paint them for a particular reason? What brought on this veggie art?
NoGrandmother said…
Your asparagus paintings are charming.

My favorite tree is the paper birch.

My favorite meal is pizza and wine:

pizza and wine!
pizza and wine!
There's nothing finer
upon which to dine!

My favorite holiday is Christmas.

My favorite book to read when I'm sick is A Little Princess.

My favorite book to read when I'm feeling fragile is The Blue Sword.

My favorite time to think is while walking.

My favorite pen is a Rotring Art Pen with a medium nib. (broad and double-broad will also do)

My favorite house is Innisfree, my great-grandmother's house, in South Strafford, Vermont.

My favorite way to celebrate Friday is to have an extra glass of wine and stay up way too late reading.

I agree with you: no one ever asks the right kind of favorites.
Kristin Cashore said…
Emily, thanks for telling me your favorites, and I wish I had access to a strawberry cake right now.... I can't really remember what brought on the veggie art. Oh! Wait! I just did! It was because I took a watercolor class at the MFA school in Boston, and in class we were painting still life fruits and veggies, and in our homework we were allowed to branch out and interpret the assignments however we wanted to. And a pear roller-skating seemed so much more fun to me than a pear in a bowl; and then I painted a criminal pear behind bars, and moved into veggies... it just felt fun, I guess. At one point I started making paintings for a veggie alphabet book, with all the veggies dressing up and going to a party (broccoli drying her hair, corn shaving, dill choosing her dress) but I got bored -- and sidetracked, for some reason, with asparagus.

That is probably way more of an answer than you wanted. :o)
Kristin Cashore said…
Owlet, I adore your favorites. And good tip there with A Little Princess -- I need to reread that more often! I haven't read The Blue Sword in years and am a little afraid to read it now, because I have trouble reading fantasy when I'm writing fantasy -- the similarities start to creep me out.

I think I might have to look out for that pen -- are you a lefty/are there smear problems?

And your favorite way to celebrate Friday is AWESOME.
NoGrandmother said…
1. I may have changed my default name again: WHO KNOWS? Only the computer knows!

2. I am a lefty, but I don't crook my hand: I hold my pen like a mirror image of a right-handed person holding a pen. Thus, I failed handwriting in fifth grade because I couldn't make the spirals point the "correct" way.

So, er. I don't have trouble with smearing except when I get all excited. Which happens more frequently than I care to admit.
Kristin Cashore said…
You're new username is sad -- *hug*

Wow, I've never heard of a lefty like that!
Anonymous said…
My favorite tree is this beautiful Plao Verde behind my house.
My favorite sticker has a chicken playing guitar.
My favorite building to design is an arts center.
My favorite iced tea is pomegranate.
My favorite Cliff bar is chocolate chip.
And lastly, my favorite produce character is the Mariachi Mango, which I designed over the summer in Maui (aaahhh, Maui)
I really enjoy the asparagus. They're quite inspiring.

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