Friday, September 28, 2012

Catching Up

A lot of catching up, processing, and plan-making going on here, jammed in between large gobs of revising... I'm sure I'll get back to blogging regularly once I'm more on top of things. In the meantime, NAIBA members, I will see you Saturday evening in Arlington, VA at the Book of the Year Awards Banquet. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome, Kathy Dawson Books

Congratulations to Kathy Dawson, my darling editor, who will be starting her own imprint at Penguin in winter 2014. Kathy, I'm so happy for you, and so proud to be a part of this venture. You deserve it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A couple of links from my tour, video and audio, Madrid and Paris

Here's a video link to the Q&A portion of my event at Casa del Libro on Madrid's Gran Via, September 11. It's about 14 minutes long; my editor, Patricia Escalona, serves as interpreter. It might be a little bit tricky for non-Spanish speakers to follow, because the English versions of the questions didn't always make it into the microphone. Though my answers did. The first audience question was, "Why do you write about girls?" ... I wonder, why is it that writing about boys requires no justification, yet I am repeatedly asked why I write about girls?

And here's an audio link to an interview with L'autre Monde in Paris, conducted by Xavier Desnos, who asked some nice, in-depth questions about Bitterblue. My wonderful interpreter was Adèle Ecochard. About 9:30 minutes.  And Some photos and other stuff are here.

Many thanks to everyone involved :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Home

That insubstantial, hook-shaped landmass I can see from my airplane window is unmistakably Cape Cod.



I am home :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just a Few Amsterdam Scenes


Having trouble with your boat? No. No problem. Why?

In Postcards from No Man's Land,
Aidan Chambers describes the buildings of
Amsterdam as looking like books on a bookshelf.
Now I always see them that way. 



Reason #1 of 2 for spending some of my
precious free time in the Rijksmuseum: 
detail of The Love Letter, by Johannes Vermeer.

#2 of 2: detail of The Milkmaid,
 also by Johannes Vermeer. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Traditional Dutch Dinner

My Dutch publisher took me to a traditional Dutch restaurant, and all they gave me was this stick to chew on.


Just kidding :). There was a lot of food, and it was delicious. (Though you may find this post gross if you're a vegetarian.)


Bread with butter and a lard type spread that was YUMMY (above). A mix of little starters, including a white radish soup, marinated pumpkin, truffle potatoes, black pudding, and my favorite, little sugar bread sandwiches with duck liver terrine and apple syrup (below).


Here is my bowl made of potato, with beets and sausages inside. There was also a DELICIOUS rabbit stew I forgot to take a picture of.


And finally they brought the stick! It came with the crème brûlée, which had a touch of licorice to its taste (amazing), and a cone-shaped serving of strange gray licorice ice cream (very nice). The stick is called  zoethout -- sweet root -- and it is, in fact, for chewing. It was very tasty!


My Dutch schedule is hardcore and I may not have time for taking pictures, so I wanted to get this blog in before the hard stuff begins. We ate this gorgeous dinner at Restaurant Greetje, Peperstraat 23 in Amsterdam. Yummy. 

Sens and environs

Greetings from Belgium, which I'm crossing by train. I'm on my way to Amsterdam.

This is a post that will definitely require a cut. I have minimal time, but will try to make notations of locations and so on!

Sens is a town in the Burgundy region of France, about 100 km southeast of Paris.

Sens street scenes. 
I'll go ahead and cut here. Click to see more:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dernier Bar Avant la Fin du Monde, Paris

Deborah Harkness and I did an event Friday night at a bar called Dernier Bar Avant la Fin du Monde -- "the last bar before the end of the world."


It's a fantasy/SF themed bar in Paris.  We answered questions, did interviews, signed books...


Talked to readers....


I'm not saying I walked into the men's room by accident or anything, but if I had, it would have been because the signs were confusing for humans.


However, Deborah and I were not the stars of the night. That honor went to the cocktails. The bar invented a new cocktail specially for Deborah and one for me. 


Mine, blue and green like Katsa's eyes, was minty and had a LOT of rum in it.


Deborah's, black and red for witches and vampires, was licoricey on the top and cherrylike on the bottom. And we both photographed it at the same time. I love this picture of Deborah. "How many authors does it take to photograph a cocktail?" she said.


My ice cubes arranged themselves neatly at one point, so I positioned my straw as shown. Everyone agreed it was the spitting image of Katsa.


Thanks for a lovely event, everyone :) (And thanks, Lora, for commandeering my phone and taking pics with me in them!)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Window Shopping in Paris

A shop cat. 

A cat umbrella in a shop window!

Not sure what's going on here, but I like it.
(ETA: I have been reliably informed that the little dude
is Professeur Tournesol (in English, Professor Calculus)
from Tintin. Still not sure what's going on, but thanks B ^_^)

Insubstantial ladies. 

Immodest insubstantial lady. 

If her back hurts, they shouldn't make her
stand in the window all day. 

She has dressed and positioned herself
not unlike the lady on her shirt. 

Adorable. 

Men should wear these shoes more often. 

Yes, this is an excellent outfit for riding a carousel.

I LOVED this lady in the awesome ensemble
fixing her hair in the window. 

Tarte multi fruits. Speaks for itself. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Few (Extremely Random!) Paris Scenes

If it's hard to capture the scale of Madrid, Paris is impossible. It just can't be done with a few iPhone photographs; I've barely taken any pictures of buildings at all. What I've included here is random and occasionally odd. I also have a collection of window shopping pictures, which will probably be my next post. For now, some Paris scenes:

I think I know where this is going. 


Bridge across the Canal Saint-Martin

Interesting courtyards...

...and backyards. 

Delicious lunch at Les Enfants Perdus (rue des Recollets)...

...where they have this strange old coffee maker.

How happy this man is to have found his cat.
(The cat seems less thrilled.)
(Louvre, Mesopotamian wing.)

Lion standing guard. Also from the Mesopotamian wing. 

Yes, I made Marie stop and wait while I took this picture.
(Which was in the subway.  Not the Louvre.)

Dogs ride the subway, too



Cimetière du Père Lachaise





Lots of famous people are buried in this cemetery – the list is overwhelming (check out the Wikipedia page if you're interested, and please forgive me for not linking – it's hard on my phone) – but I was content to seek out two individuals: Oscar Wilde and Frederic Chopin.

Ah yes. Good old Fred. 

After that, I just wandered. 

Quoth the raven, Nevermore. (Except I think that's a crow.)

I ended up taking a whole lot of pictures, so this seems like another good post to use a cut. Click the link to see more: