Showing posts from September, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

This Monday post comes to you a bit later than usual, courtesy of US Airways, who stranded me in Charlotte last night. Blergh.
I spent the weekend at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance conference in Mobile, Alabama. I sat on a panel, went to dinner with some lovely booksellers and Houghton Harcourt friends, had a signing, and collected about 6.02 x 1023 free books. Yes, that's right, I now have a mole more books than I had before.
I learned that downtown Mobile is right on the Mobile River and the Mobile Bay, which feed into the Gulf of Mexico. From my hotel room I had the most wonderful view of the dockyards and many big, big boats. I LOVE dockyards and big, big boats.
I learned that southern independent booksellers are awesome and that some of the nicest people ever work for my publisher. Which I already knew. But now I know it even more.
I learned that the band The Who has ruined any possibility of my ever pronouncing Mobile correctly (because of that song about h…

Sylvestor, Thomas, Pema, and Aunt Marzipan

Meet my old pal, Sylvestor, who is a cat-about-town in Seattle (and has excellent taste in fiction).
Here's something theologian and therapist Thomas Moore says in one of my very favorite books, Care of the Soul:

"The Greeks told the story of the minotaur, the bull-headed flesh-eating man who lived in the center of the labyrinth. He was a threatening beast, and yet his name was Asterion -- Star. I often think of this paradox as I sit with someone with tears in her eyes, searching for some way to deal with a death, a divorce, or a depression. It is a beast, this thing that stirs in the core of her being, but it is also the star of her innermost nature. We have to care for this suffering with extreme reverence so that, in our fear and anger at the beast, we do not overlook the star."
Here's something Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön says (from her audiobook How to Meditate, paraphrased by me):
Approach your own frustrations in meditation -- such as your inability to …

(1) News, (2) Snoods, and (3) A Baby Card Rant

1. I have a Finnish deal -- thank you, WSOY -- which means that sometime soon, as promised, I'll be posting about why I love Finland. Also, School Library Journal gave Graceling a starred review. Also, the amazon blog Omnivoracious posted this interview with me the other day. Also, I've added a link to the left called "Praise for Graceling," which will take you to review clips. Also, Fire revisions are going okay. So, no complaints from here. :o)
2. My publicists, Barb and Sarah, have been coming up with some stupendous variations on the battle cry, "SNOOD, BE DAMNED!" Here are some of my favorites: "OUT, DAMN SNOOD!" And, "WHAT THE SNOOD?!!" (As in, What the snood is that smell?)
3. Why are baby cards so awful?

Seriously, why is it so hard to find a baby card that is not either (1) extremely gendered; (2) extremely gooey (along the "ickle beebly baby" lines with pom poms and bows); or (3) implying that all life problems …

Who Are Your Character Crushes?

So, the other day in the grocery store, the two people in front of me were listing their celebrity crushes. Ewan McGregor; Kate Winslet; Colin Farrell; Colin Firth; John Stamos; Emily Mortimer; people I'd never heard of and therefore can't remember; the list went on and on. So I gave it some thought, and came to a conclusion about myself. Now, some of my friends are going to blow their drinks out of their noses when they read this, but nonetheless, here's the conclusion: I don't have celebrity crushes. (Just hold on, friends, because there's a second part to this, with which I will regain your trust:) I have character crushes. HUGE difference.

Take Jared Leto, for example. I don't really know much about Jared Leto, I'm pretty much indifferent to him, and in fact, I'd rather eat a moldy grape than watch Requiem for a Dream ever again.

But Jordan Catalano? I know and love Jordan Catalano -- I went to high school with Jordan Catalano -- maybe you d…


(This is my new battle cry, invented by my publicist, Sarah. Do you find, as we do, that it is immensely satisfying when bellowed?)
Trying to lay low these days, not work too much, not get too crazy. I spent last week proofreading Graceling for the UK edition and doing a couple of interview things. This week I'm settling down with my Fire revisions -- which, I'm pleased to say, are not nearly as terrifying as I'd feared they would be. SNOOD, BE DAMNED.
Great news: I have a Brazilian deal for Graceling and Fire. Thank you to my new publisher, Editora Rocco!
I have been listening to the album Classic Yo-Yo, which I probably don't have to tell you is all Yo-Yo, all the time. Well, mostly Yo-Yo. He performs "Simple Gifts" with singer Alison Krauss, whose voice is impossibly sweet, delicate, and clear -- three adjectives chosen haphazardly because really there are no words. Want to come up with your own adjectives? Well, luckily, this fine fellow on youtube …

You Can Stand Under My Umbrella (ella-ella)

I have a secret love of rain gear.
Here is the truth about my sparkly purple iridescent umbrella: it is translucent blue on the outside and translucent pink on the inside, which is why it appears to be iridescent purple.
After my recent garbage bag boots experience I obtained some fabulous knee-high green galoshes. Purple umbrella + green galoshes = beauty.
So, here's the question: what color raincoat should I get?
Here's the other question: what color is your rain gear?

Surrender! Before I hurt myself!

I can do it! I can lift it! Just give me a minute and I will crush you!

I am fierce! I will squash you with giggles!

1. At long last, here are the images I promised from the School Library Journal photo shoot, all photos by the wonderful Jensen Hande. Some of you may notice that I am not wearing the snood. If this upsets you, which would be perfectly understandable, blame my sister, secret code name Cordelia. She said the snood didn't match the sword. (In color? In shape? In atmosphere?) Also, she kept calling it a snoot.
2. My uber-cool friend Rebecca Rabinowitz guest posted at Shapely Prose the other day with recommendations for fat-positive children's books. Part One is about picture books and Part Two is about middle-grade and young adult books. Definitely worth checking out.

3. I saw FOUR baby blue herons on the pilings the other evening. When they flew away they were all flappy and floppy. It was stupendous.

4. Cordelia may have snood anger issues, but nonethele…

In Which Graceling Steps Into the World; Also, a Cry for Help

Well, folks, reports have been coming in from friends with sharp eyes: Graceling has been spotted in bookstores in Union Square (NYC); Harvard Square (Cambridge, MA); Decatur, GA; Atlantic Beach, FL; Jacksonville, FL; and St. Cloud, MN. And it's in stock at and, though not yet at I guess it's official -- Graceling exists. Please support independent bookstores! And if you have any interest in buying a signed copy, please contact my local bookstore, the Bookmark, by calling (904) 241-9026 or emailing bkmark at bellsouth dot net. Then they'll call me and say, Kristin, get your ass out here and sign this, and I'll be tickled pink, because the Bookmark is only a block from the sea, and I always like a good excuse to go to the sea.
In other news, sometime in the next week I need to record an interview for an audio podcast, and one of the questions is about what I'm reading. I want to answer the question honestly, but I find myself in a…

Who's Up for a Labor Day Rant?

I've read a few articles lately and been involved in a few conversations that have gotten me thinking about the topic of audience age. And then, the other day, a wonderful conversation about writing, readership, the "intended audience," etc. erupted on the blog of Sarah Prineas, the author of The Magic Thief. The conversation is here, and here are some of my favorite quotes:
"As Gorky once said, 'Writing for children is the same as writing for adults, only better.'"
"My all-time favorite writing quote is this one by Madeleine L'Engle: 'You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.'"
Like Prineas, I don't have a rant in me about people who think it's easier to write for kids. I also don't have a rant about people who think that writers "for adults" are somehow objectively better or more serious than writers "for ch…