It's a New Year, and Fear Is a Friend Who's Misunderstood

And now, the New Year's Meme. (Thanks, Jess!)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Good grief. SO MANY THINGS. I guess the biggest thing, encompassing most of the other things, is that I published my first book. But I also contributed to a political campaign, re-read almost all the Lord Peter Wimsey books, and bought a slow-cooker, all for the first time.

2. What are your New Year's resolutions for 2009?
I'm going to spend January mulling this over, and will post about it once I've worked it out. I love the New Year; I love taking stock of time and how one fits into it; I love realistic and heartfelt resolutions. So. More to come.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several people. And any minute now, one more is going to drop!! :o)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the USA in 2008. However, while on an ill-fated trip to Key West, I gazed across the water in the direction of Cuba. :o)

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
An autumn with leaves that change color. (We don't have that in North Florida.)

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 4. Election day!

8. What was your biggest success?
Getting through my Fire revisions despite self-doubt. Also, pushing along with the writing of Bitterblue despite constant interruption and distraction.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still can't teleport. Dammit! Where are all the radioactive spiders?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Knee-high green rain boots.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm stealing my friend Jess's answer here: the American voting public!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Um, the American voting public. I am sick and tired of states outlawing same-sex marriage, and this year one such amendment passed in my own state by a landslide. Florida, I'm ashamed of you. (Don't even get me started on California.)

14. Where did most of your money go?
Ha! Taxes. :o)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The buttercream cupcakes at Let Them Eat Cake! Also, Barack Obama. Also, tea.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? (It's never actually a song from the year in question)
Okay, I better not get any crap from music sophisticates about this, but I would have to say "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you a. happier or sadder? b. thinner or fatter? c. richer or poorer?
a. happier, healthier, coping better. b. fatter. c. richer, in many ways.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Staying in the present.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying about the future. :o)

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Not that I noticed.

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't really hate anyone with a deep and sustaining hatred. Not even Dick Cheney. So, no. :o)

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I really loved Cranford on PBS.

23. What was the best book you read?
Good god, are you serious? Okay, I'll take a shot at it. I loved loved LOVED The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart and The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman and Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett. I'm stopping there -- finger in the dike.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm. That's also impossible to answer. Brahms' Requiem? Or maybe a few songs by Ani DiFranco: "You Had Time" and "Gratitude" and "Angry Any More" and oh, others, too. Oh! And Patty Griffin! (a few songs)

25. What was your favorite film of this year?
Lars and the Real Girl. Also, I re-watched The Philadelphia Story -- wow, that's a good one.

26. What did you want and get?

27. What did you want and not get?
A vacation from drama!

28. What did you do on your birthday?
Went out to dinner with my darling future brother-in-law, secret code name: Joe. Convinced Joe to teach Feed by M.T. Anderson in his college-level literature class. Ordered some tuna that came out a little too raw. Ate it anyway. Got a hysterical phone call from my sisters, secret code names: Cordelia and Apocalyptica, who were in Montreal, and who sang Happy Birthday to me in some non-English language that may have been an attempt at French. Went back to Joe and Cordelia's place and ate cake, which Cordelia had baked for me even though she was going to be out of town. It was a lovely, peaceful day.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I suppose it would've been nice if my ceiling hadn't caved in...

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Two words: writing pajamas.

31. What kept you sane?
Good books; meditation; having friends and family who didn't care if I burst into hysterical tears now and then; my agent and my editor.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Pelicans are guaranteed to make you laugh no matter how rotten you feel.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Pain throws your heart to the ground.
Love turns the whole thing around.
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
but I know the heart of life is good.

-John Mayer, "The Heart of Life"

Feel like picking your favorite question and answering it in the comments? Go for it! :o)


Anonymous said…
I've been reading your blog since I finished Graceling, but this is my first comment.
Favorite books of 2008:
I agree with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I basically devoured that book and then continued to think about it for weeks. Also, Graceling :) I love books with strong heroines and Katsa definitely was part of that category. Lastly, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Once again, a really strong heroine along with a frightening concept for the plot. I'm looking forward to lots of new books in 2009 and sequels to current favorites. Happy New Year!
Stephanie said…
I totally agree about wanting to see fall leaves that actually change to a different color other than dead. I see these pictures of the northeast and think, "Is that even real? Can leaves really be that color?" It's depressing.
im sorry but no air!?! i very-much-dislike that song! not as much as corn or lemons though.
jill u r right. i love the hunger games. oh and leaves changing color is good for about a week. then it all falls down and its ugly.
now for a random thing that is important to me. i was listening to npr and they were talking about some great unknown books. and i noticed that they completly skipped teen literature. they went from little kid, to 10 year old, to adult. anyone else kinda mad about that? i mean teen literature is coming back. twilight saga, graceling, inheritance cycle, anything by scott westerfeld. those are some awesome books. what do u think?
Anonymous said…
Ive noticed that leaves in fall are like cornflakes:fun when there crunchy, miserable when there soggy. So do you think you might make a sequel to Graceling..? My favourite books of 2008 would have to be The Twilight saga, Graceling, Inkheart, and a second glance, by Jodi Picoult.
Anonymous said…
What song will always most remind you of 2008?

Regret by Julia Nunes

Have enjoyed getting to e-know you a bit, and loved the book!

Teri Hall
Kristin Cashore said…
Hi Jill, thanks for commenting for the first time! :o) I have The Hunger Games sitting on the floor beside me right now... I have a few TBR piles, and one of them is on my office floor, for some reason... I'm merely looking for the right moment, because I understand that once I start reading it, I won't be able to stop! (Hence, probably best not to start reading it the day before my copyedit is due, and so on....) LOVED Frankie L-B and find myself wishing she'd write the novel about what happens when Frankie is a freshman at Harvard (or wherever) and Alpha is a junior, and the power struggle begins again!

Hi Texas Pixie! Ha ha! Yes, it really is real -- it's where I grew up -- and I miss it so much!

It Depends on the Day -- well, I didn't say it was a wonderful song, just that it was a song that will always make me think of 2008! ;) I totally agree about NPR and about a lot of other news organizations that overlook teen lit, btw. Melissa Marr wrote a great post about it a couple weeks ago; check it out here if you're interested. That being said, I did hear a cool interview with Scott Westerfeld just last weekend on the NPR show To the Best of Our Knowledge -- you can listen here if you want!

Hi there SnowinginVictoria -- thanks! You'ew right about the leaves and the cornflakes ^_^. One of my favorite things is to walk through crisp leaves. Soggy, smelly leaves = not so fun. Are you in Victoria, British Columbia, or Victoria, Australia, or some other Victoria? Hmmm, I wonder if it ever snows in Victoria, Australia. Good grief, I'm chatty this evening, this is getting to be the longest comment ever. Anyway, regarding your question, there's some info about my next two books here.

Hi Teri -- thanks! I'll check out the song :o)
Letter Garden said…
5. What countries did you visit?

China for 4 months. It was my first time staying that long in my 2nd home country. I was there to study Chinese although I didn't make much progress I met a bunch of dear new friends.

"Graceling" is goint to be published in Germany. YEAH!
Hmmm...a book tour to Germany would be nice. *winks*
tinkandalissa said…
I love that you are so real with your answers!!
#6 - problem solved, come to Asheville in Sept/Oct to see the fabulous leaves on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
#11 - I have black rainboots with white polka dots and pink lining. Love those little guys!
#22 - I have to say that one of my favorites is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It is just SO wrong, but so damn funny!
#23 - Also impossible for me to narrow down. I loved the Twilight Series, I know, I know...Of course, Graceling is in my top 5!!! I have Hunger Games at home in my TBR pile, but I picked up Robing McKinley's Chalice first. Still trying to get thru that one. I finally had to compile a list on my computer of books I want to read. It just keeps growing and growing, I'd never remember them all!
#25 - I absolutley LOVED Lars and the Real Girl! Wall-e was cute too. Pineapple Express had me laughing my ass off.
#31 - Uh, yeah...still struggling with that one.
Happy New Year!
PS I made chocolate pot de cremes for my New Years dessert. Holy shit those were good. I am just cooking up a storm lately! That does not bode well for my resolution to lose the '08 chub.
Anonymous said…
I have to say this is my first comment on your blog... and really my first reading of it as well. I am still reading Graceling. Which is wonderful. And I love authors who take time out of their day to communicate with their readers. I'm not one to enjoy uptight people.

Anyways thankyou for your book and your blog and I hope you enjoy the New Year! May 2009 bring as much to you as it seems 2008 did! And I look forward to your sequel!


Oh and I suppose I should answer one question... So ... What country did you visit in 2008?

Anonymous said…
Lars and the Real Girl -- a movie with a very kind heart. Loved it.

Jenny Moss
Stacey said…
your answer to #30 made me laugh, I LOVE my PJ Pants, if i could live in them i would!

As for the quote the represents my last year, i guess its the same every year because i always kind of try and live like this. to have something in my life thats worth fighting for:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

and i think with everything that happened with the election this year, maybe we are getting out of the complacency that we have been in as a country!

as for the best books i've read this year, wow, i've enjoyed EVERYTHING i've read. I've read a lot of teen fantasy this year, including Graceling and Hunger Games (yeah, dont read this unless you have 2-3 days to totally devote to it, i'll have you hooked!) This has definitely been a good book year for me!

and i have Cranford on my DVR to watch, I've heard good things! I also enjoyed some of the versions of Jane Austen Novels that PBS did this year!
Jeanne said…
I taught Feed in a college class a few years back, and the students who read it loved it, although it took them a while to get into the way the characters talk. Every year, it seems like something else from that book comes true in some way.
Lula! said…
Well, hey there. Many goes...

1. Firstly, do not fear me. I'm just a fangirl.

2. So I'm a Twilight nutjob (but not a TwiMom. I am a mom, but not one of those moms. Had to clear that up!) and then I became a nutjob of The Hunger Games. Best book I've read all year until 2 weeks ago. I tend to blog incessantly about Twilight...and Hunger Games...and Lost...and Battlestar Galactica...and Jason Statham...but I digress.

3. A friend told me about Graceling. I read. I loved. I will reread very soon. I've thrust it into the hands of people in need of fantastic fiction, sent it across the country to one of my BFFs to read, and will blog about it later this week.

4. You need to know all this because you need to know that I will now begin stalking you, in a non-threatening manner. And the fabulous people who read my blog will most likely start stalking you as well. It's how we operate. (And that's a good song by Gomez, just as an aside.)

Again, do not fear me.

Oh dear. You're fearing me already. Sigh...

Loved the book...truly...thanks for adding to my reading obsession/enjoyment.
Kristin Cashore said…
Letter Garden -- yes, Carlsen will be publishing it -- the title will be Die Beschenkte :o)

Hi to everyone writing in! *waves*

Jeanne -- I know, scary, huh?

And speaking of scary -- um, hi, Lula... ;)
Erin said…
The Philadelphia Story is brilliant. :)
Kristin Cashore said…
Erin -- agreed! Really survives repeated watchings.
Anonymous said…
after plowing through my stash of books i was saving for winter break much too quickly, i felt a need to take a trip to the bookstore. but a trip to the bookstore...well for me... is never that simple, it's a long drawn out process. and seeing as i'm a broke high school freshman, and my mother was waiting in the car, it was quite depressing that i only had the time and money to pick out one book.

anyways... i picked up Graceling because i am a judge of books by their covers, read a couple sentences of the inside cover, and went to buy it solely because of the strong, female protagonist. i've fallen in love with Po, and i'm twiddling my thumbs until October.

thank you so much for Graceling, it's oh so wonderful, and possibly my new favorite book.
Anonymous said…
So many good questions! Um, for one I definitely feel happier and richer this year than I did last year (thanks to Jesus, whom I began to truly follow for the first time in March 2008). By richer, I mean spiritually - I owe my parents a few hundred dollars now for damaging my grandparents' car, while last year I had no debts. My greatest musical discovery this year was Coldplay. I know, I know, they've been around for a while, but this year I actually began to appreciate their unique style. And finally books; Graceling, of course, and Breaking Dawn and The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker (the guy's a genius, honestly). There are more, but if I included them all my comment would be way too long, and it's already sort of lengthy.
Second comment on your blog......I sent the non threatening "stalker" Lula your way......whom you'll very quickly find out is a pretty amazing person, and by the time we are done with our Graceling lovefest on our blogs (and by extension our friends), you are sure to have many more non threatening stalkers/commenters eagerly awaiting your prose. I'm telling you this now so that maybe you'll remember me (and Lula) when you are more famous than you already are...and everyone is vying for your autograph.....:)
Kristin Cashore said…
Hi Elli! Thank you so much! And I must say, I've been very fortunate with my covers :o)

Hi Mimi! Thanks for commenting!

And hi Angie, and welcome :o)
Anonymous said…
I did laughing when i read your comment about people giving birth. *chuckles* "hello babies welcome to earth!"
Anonymous said…
Hi Kristin. Joan from Jax here. Just catching up since I've been such a delinquent friend. Still pretty much in hibernation mode but trying to poke my head out a time or two. Caught up with your blog today. Congratulations on all the recognition Graceling has been receiving so deservedly.

I passed on your cupcake info to Anita; she'll be pleased.

And tonight I'm sending you a link for a Neko Case performance on youtube. I can't remember if I shared any of her stuff with you along with Patty, but she's another real favorite. And she has a very Katsa like spirit in my opinion (killing aside). You should check her out if you have a chance:

And, by the way, nice video yourself:

Popular posts from this blog

My Books

Some WINTERKEEP Blather, Plus All Eight New Covers

Contacts, Info, and Credits