Showing posts from July, 2008

The Florida Report

On Wednesday I was feeling a bit melancholy, and I'd also run out of bagels (possibly related). So I went for a walk to the bagel store, listening to sad Ani DiFranco songs on the way. When I got there, the bagel store was closed, so I walked to the grocery store, where the bagels are less stupendous, but acceptable in emergencies. On the way home I wore my sunglasses and my sun visor because the light was blinding, and I crouched under my purple sparkly iridescent umbrella because it also happened to be pouring. Just your normal summer day in north Florida.
The sad thing about summer here is that the pelicans on the broken-down pilings in the river go away -- maybe they go out to sea? But recently, a single blue heron has been spending a lot of time on the pilings. A solitary blue (for you Cynthia Voigt fans out there). I stopped to commune with the heron for a few minutes; and then, closer to home, I stopped to commune with a couple of the neighborhood's less skittish …

I'm Shipping Up to Boston (to Find My Wooden Leg)

Extra points to anyone who can identify the source of my title. Cordelia, Joe, Athanasius, and Mr. Meriwether Tigleth Bonaparte Monkey: you are not eligible for this contest. (Edit: And no googling!)
This post is a shout out to my Aunt Mary, who just arrived in northeast Thailand, where she'll be volunteering as an English teacher for the next few months before moving on to Vietnam to do the same. Here's what she wrote in her first email: "Made it to Thailand safe and sound; how could I not? I had going for me prayers to Jesus, medals of St Lucy, Jesus, and the Holy Family in my pocket, the Buddha and Sophia at my side, and a prayer cloth around my neck! No wonder I was feeling such calm during the trip."
Aunt Mary, you also had with you the undying love of one atheist in Florida. :o)
Aunt Mary is a person who inspires me. She has a way of finding her place in the world -- making her place, and finding her places -- that I admire so much that I almost pop when I t…

"We went to the moon to have fun...

...but the moon turned out to completely suck."

Have you all read Feed by M. T. Anderson? (That's a link to the Amazon page, if you'd like to read the book's premise. Which you probably don't need to do, because you've read the book already, because you aren't years behind, like I am. You're probably all reading the Octavian Nothing books. Whatever. It just means I'm better than you are at resisting the feed. *thhhbbbtttt*)
Like I was saying, Feed. I'm reading it for the second time this week (by which I mean, I also read it for the first time this week. And now I'm reading it again. For the second time. This week. And ever. I HAVE ONLY EVER READ IT TWICE. THEY WERE BOTH THIS WEEK).
I have something to say about Feed, but I'm not entirely sure what it is. That may not surprise you.
Here's the thing (WARNING: spoilers ahead!). There seem to be things I love about Feed. And while reading it, I find myself wandering ar…

Stuff and Things and also a Starred PW Review

The best thing about Graceling tattoos is that if you happen to be two years old, they take up half your forearm.

Behold my Gollancz cover, for the UK edition!

I think it's gorgeous and striking and I love the atmosphere. It isn't faithful to the character's actual wardrobe (no, I don't generally clothe my characters in skintight leather!), but it still captures the right feeling, in my opinion. Also, OMG, what an excellent sword.
It does remind me that I wish the default woman in magazines or on TV or on book covers wasn't always so skinny. To be fair, I never specifically state that Katsa isn't skinny. I believe I'm mostly vague throughout, and I hope that I've allowed for interpretation. But anyway. This all brings up a thing I've been thinking about lately, and a thing I struggle with and get frustrated about as I work on my writing. I don't like the idea of contributing to our society's fat-phobia. At the very least, I want to avoi…

It's a Mad Mission -- Sign Me Up

My title comes from a song by Patty Griffin, who's on my iPod and in all my CD players at the moment, thanks to my friend Joan, who also happens to be one of my intrepid readers.
I miss forests and hills, but I'll say this for Florida: the skies can't be beat. Every day there's a new sky and new clouds and new colors. The sky here has inspired the eye coloring for some of my characters, actually (eye color is important in all three books). A character in Fire got his eyes and hair from the St John's River and the sky above at night, and a character in Bitterblue from all the different purples here at sunset. It makes going for walks a tiny bit narcissistic, because at certain times of day, I see my own books wherever I go.... but it also gets me in the right frame of mind to go home and get back to writing.

Anyway. Without further ado, here is a list of the reasons why I'm not scared of revising Fire: I am the best person for the job. (I mean, sure, Joyce Ca…

It's Just a Phase

I thought y'all might be getting tired of my book cover, so today I'm giving you my agent wearing a Graceling tattoo on her pregnant belly. Doesn't it look great?!! Faye, if the baby turns out to be a Graceling, don't blame me. And don't name him Po. Apparently that means "butt" in German.
So, I've been thinking about how useless it is to wait for the day when writing starts to feel like an even keel. Seems like I'm always leaning one way or another -- and there I'll leave the sailboat imagery, because frankly, I know nothing about sailing -- but what I'm trying to say is, I can't really define the way writing usually is for me. It would be more accurate to say I go through constantly changing phases.
Like, either I'm in a period of fast and furious writing, or I'm in a period of daydreaming more than I'm writing, or I'm in a period where it helps to read novels, or I'm in a period where I can't bear to rea…


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 th…

Over-optimistic Are Those Who Have Not Seen and Yet Believe

So, my earplugs are among my most prized possessions. Nothing is more important to a writer than a pair of earplugs when, for example, your neighbor develops musical ambitions, or someone starts blowing dust along the sidewalk with one of those damn leaf-blowers. My neighborhood isn't quiet, and most days I put in the earplugs at some point. It helps me focus to be immune to audible distractions.
However, I now know, having conducted an involuntary experiment, that my earplugs do not mask the sound of my living room ceiling collapsing.
Here's how I reacted. I looked up from my writing notebook and, with a sinking feeling of doom, said out loud, "What the f%#@ was that noise?" I put my notebook down, walked into the living room, and took a moment to understand what had happened, because, frankly, the whole room looked like it had exploded, and I didn't get it. Then I looked up.
"Oh my F%#@ING GOD!" I yelled, twice, probably louder than I meant to, due …

Allegorical Cats, Metaphorical Cats, Statistical Cats and Mystical Cats

Graceling readers: notice anything peculiar about this cat?

(Or should I say, this cat-sa?)

(with thanks to my pal Rebecca, the clever one who informed me that there are white cat-sas that have Katsa's eyes. ^_^)
I want a cat, but I do everything at my own pace, and this is a thing I need to prepare for slowly. It's a big responsibility for a person who only likes to be responsible for herself. I mean, I don't even have a plant. I'm ready for a cat, though, it's time for a cat, so these days I have felix catus on the brain. I'm remembering the best cat I ever knew, this deep gray, green-eyed little lady called Jane. Jane and I grew up together. She was the kind of cat who knew when you were crying under your covers and scratched on your bedroom door so she could come in and keep you company in your despair. She did a lot of loving things, but not the disturbingly loving things our other cats did, i.e. kill mice and leave a pile of perfectly dissected intern…