Showing posts from April, 2010

There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

I wonder if anyone has ever written a paper about the wanton destruction of property and how it relates to the concepts of home and homelessness in the Buffyverse? Everytime I watch a "home" that I've grown fond of get torn up or chopped down or blown apart (for example -- spoilers! -- Buffy's living room; the library of Sunnydale High; Sunnydale itself; Angel's first L.A. office; various parts of Angel's hotel; Lorne's club over and over again), I think about it. It'd make an interesting paper. I'm not sure if there's such a thing as "home" in the Buffyverse.

And a more serious matter: I wonder if anyone has ever written a paper about how completely outlandish it is that Lindsey McDonald was voted number eight on the list of the Top 20 Sexiest Men in the Buffyverse. Eight? Seriously? I won't argue with Spike at #1 (even though I think of him as "generally fabulous" more than I think of him as sexy), and I can'…

Boring as Nails

There are times when I wander around feeling like I have way too many things I want to blog... and then, the more I think about it, the more I realize I'm wrong about that, because all those shiny topics basically break down like this:
40% things that are too personal for blogging.40% things that would take up too much of my free time and sanity points (for example, a list of all the ways the Vatican blows my mind, seriously, WTF?).20% things that are boring as nails.As you can see, I've chosen the boring as nails category for this post.

(Incidentally, not all nails are boring. For example, mine. Also, come to think of it, Spike's.)

(You see what we've been reduced to here on the blog?)

Truth: I don't have anything to blog today, this week, or possibly this eon. Except for these two little things I want to share:

1. Above is the cover of the Complex Chinese character edition of Graceling, published in Taiwan by Gaea Books and scheduled for May. Click to see it bigg…

Home Is Where the Orchids Are

When I arrived at my sister's, secret codename: Cordelia's, house early last week, I very nearly kissed her on both cheeks.

When I arrived at my own door late last week and pulled out my keyring, for a moment I couldn't remember which key was the one that opened my door. I thought to myself, This is ridiculous, I've only been gone a month. Get with the program! --But I think it's more than the time away. It's having been to so many places, all so different from each other; it's learning how to say hello and please and thank you in so many languages; it's meeting and growing to like so many people; it's a series of extreme experiences.

I'm HOME. I managed to do a lot of writing while I was away. My orchids are thriving. My house is a bit dusty. My city is beautiful. My TiVo worked like a champ while I was gone but the three episodes of Chuck it recorded disappointed me. I need to do some food shopping. There were boxes of foreign edition…

Location: Florida

So, this is how it's done.

First, in one arm, you pick up the twin who's falling asleep in her bouncy chair. Then you crouch down and, in the other arm, pick up the twin who's being cranky on the floor. Then, babies crying, you shuffle over to the stereo on your knees and use your elbow to turn on the Cranberries. Then you sit down on the floor for a second and do some adjustments. Baby adjustments are difficult when you've got a baby in each arm and no free hands, but you saw your sister, secret codename: Cordelia, doing it yesterday, so you know it can be done. Finally, each baby in as comfortable a position as can be achieved while she's bawling and thrashing, you stand yourself up, go to the rocking chair, and sit. You rock, bounce a bit, and make shushing noises continuously for about ten minutes. The babies scream and kick. The moment one settles down and begins to fall asleep, the other yells, kicks her, and wakes her up. They take turns at this for a…

From Here You Can Almost See the Sea

The Italian cover of Fire, published by De Agostini. Click to enbiggen. The text means something along the lines of, "Her mystique is a gift as sharp as a blade." :D ------------>

My subject heading is a David Gray song (click here to listen) that popped into my head the instant I walked into my hotel room in Lisbon and saw the view of the river. (Lisbon is situated on the Atlantic, and on the Tagus River, which flows into the Atlantic, as per this map.)

I wasn't prepared for the beauty of this city. I've heard San Francisco compared to Sydney, but why have I never heard it compared to Lisbon? I can see the Sydney/San Francisco connection, which has to do both with attractiveness and with the progressive culture, but LISBON is a city of extreme hills and close knit buildings and colorful rowhouses like San Francisco's (though the buildings are older and more European in feel, naturally), not to mention a gorgeous reddish-gold bridge that made me blink when …

Madrid Miscellany

¡Hola amigos!

Here's something I saw written on a wall inside a building today in Madrid:

I have sometimes dreamt that when the Day of Judgement dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards -- their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble -- the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have love reading.”

-Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), fromHow Should One Read a Book?

Some random thoughts today...

When the weather outside is frightful, the weather is even more frightful at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

On the weekend in Paris, I ordered a crepe on the street with ham and cheese, and accidentally also ordered it with egg -- perhaps I tripped and cried out "Oeuf!" while I was ordering? Such are the perils of trying to communicate in a foreign land. That&#…

In Paris, Remembering Bologna

Is it possible that Bologna was only a week ago?

The following photos were taken by Federico Borella, who kindly gave me permission to display them on my blog. Thank you, Federico! (And click the pictures to enbiggen.)

The sword-fighting took place in a courtyard adjacent to the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna's center.

Sword-fighting experts showed off their stuff (and their snazzy Fire tunics).

Not only can they fight, they can teach! Federico (not the same Federico as the photographer) was awfully patient with me and my giggles. (And my bizarro foot placement? Doesn't it look like I should fall over?)

Next, the translator of my books, Claudia Resta, happened along.

We had a score to settle. Claudia keeps changing my character names because they sound like swear words in Italian. And I keep writing really long books that she has to translate! Everyone knows that the best solution to any disagreement is a duel.

Do you notice, in the following photo, that two people look highly comp…

Paris Fo Shizzle

Fire cover for the French YA edition, published by Hachette Jeunesse (click to enbiggen) ----------->

Hi everyone! It's my third country in a week and my third language adjustment. Luckily, I never managed to learn much Dutch, so my Dutch is not interfering with my mangled attempts at French the way my Italian is. Do you think the cabdriver minded when I left him with an enthusiastic, "Merci, signore!"?

I am in Paris. You know all those things everyone always says about Paris? Turns out they're true. One thing I know for sure about Paris is that after I leave, I intend to come back. (I felt the same way about Amsterdam, btw. Though these are two very different cities. For starters, Paris is huge. But Amsterdam is just beautiful! The architecture -- the tall, skinny houses along the canals -- so pretty. I took a canal cruise with my lovely editor during a free moment; it was perfect.)

I have no book events in Paris. I'm here because I needed a place t…