Showing posts from January, 2011

Randutiae for a Busy Week

I'm still having a funny stretch of dreams. The other night, after yet another trapeze class, I dreamed about a guy who was taking trapeze lessons. His name was Ted Zeppelin. The soundtrack of the dream was Pink Floyd, though, so there might be some band confusion in my brain somewhere.A quote from Mark Twain (thanks, Jen ^_^): "The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug."If you love libraries, you will love the speech Philip Pullman gave recently. It might even make you cry. (Thanks, Rebecca.)If you are a smooth criminal, watch out for these guys. (Opens to a music video. There are cellos.) (Also, I hope they keep extra bows on hand. !!)
If you like cellos and Metallica and wonder where my sister, secret codename: Apocalyptica, got her codename from, watch out for these guys. (Another music video.) (Also, I'm guessing that even people who *don't* like Metallica [like my Dad] would li…

And Indeed There Will Be Time

If only it actually were true, as J. Alfred Prufrock says, that there will be time for a hundred visions and revisions before the taking of a toast and tea. In my experience, a single revision can take months. :o)

As I recently promised I would do, I have been dictating *everything* with my voice recognition software, rather than typing, in order to be kind to my arms. It's made a huge difference. But there are certain frequent errors that are making me crazy and even, on occasion, worrying me deeply. My VRS frequently mistakes "will" for "won't" and "won't" for "will." It also mistakes "ever" for "forever," and vice versa. This means that I could say to someone, "I will love you forever," but my VRS could write, "I WON'T love you EVER." Luckily (?), another common mistake is the misrecognition of "loathe" for "love," so maybe what the VRS would actually write is, "…

I Dreamed a Dream

Some news deserves mention on the blog: in Germany, Fire, or DieFlammende, debuted on the Spiegel adult hardcover bestseller list. Shazam! Thanks so much to my German readers. I cannot wait to visit you in March.

Also, FYI to American and Canadian readers: Fire is just coming out in paperback (the release date is January 25). Shazam!

(I've been trying to incorporate the word "Shazam!" into my vocabulary more often. Am I overdoing it?)

I'm going through a stretch in which my dreams are directly related to exactly what I just did. The other day, I took a trapeze class, listened to the soundtrack of Les Miserables for the FIRST TIME EVER (how had I gone my whole life without doing this?), and had a dream that night that Derek Jeter (the shortstop for the New York Yankees) and I were setting off to rescue Jean Valjean (the hero of Les Miserables) together. I'm not sure what we were rescuing him from or if we succeeded; the dream seemed to be about the journey. Derek Jet…

Bears, Cars, and Feminine Sensibilities

On Tuesday I went for another lovely walk in another lovely snowstorm. Everyone seemed good-humored about having to balance on snowbanks. At one point, there was a man some distance ahead of me who was walking toward me and yelling that he wanted a bear. I wasn't sure what to make of this, but decided to cross to the other side of the street. Just in case he mistook me for a bear.

I also saw a man in a business suit carrying a 2 x 4. He wasn't yelling anything, just smiling pleasantly and swinging his 2 x 4 in a jolly manner.

Later, I sat in my front room writing, watching the snow get wetter and wetter. For a few minutes there, right before it turned to rain, the snowflakes were as big as cream puffs!

The longer I go not owning a car, the happier I am not to own a car. Those of you who've been around my blog for a while might remember how heart-rending it was way back when I lost my car. Preview: IT WAS HEART-RENDING WHEN I LOST MY CAR. But then I moved to a land where a per…


I'm reading a book that's gutting me and I can't put it down; I had to hide it under a pile of blankets today in order to get any work done; and I think you should read it, too. It's called Hush and it's by Eishes Chayil, which is a pseudonym that means woman of valor in Yiddish.

A teenaged woman in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, preparing herself for marriage, remembers an act of abuse within the community that she witnessed years ago. Today, she considers telling the truth about what she saw -- but knows that the consequences of doing so will be catastrophic, because her community insists on silence and has many, many mechanisms built into its social structure to enforce that silence. This is a book about a crime against a child, a tragedy, and a spectacularly unjust cover-up, and (like all the best books) it's about a lot of other things, too. It's beautifully written and completely believable (and also wickedly funny in places). I have no idea what'…

But Tonight I'm Cleaning Out My DVR

So, I'm always in search of good TV, but if it's too good, it tends to sit in my DVR for a while before I work up the mental energy to watch it. At the end of a long day, it's easier to watch a so-so episode of something crappy than pretty much anything PBS ever airs, know what I mean? Except that I'm kind of ruthless about axing shows from my recording schedule if they start to bore me -- Chuck started boring me recently and, unthinkably, I also realized I was ceasing to care How He Met Their Mother -- Leverage almost lost me with their Christmas episode, but the season finale (read: Eliot) brought me back -- Grey's Anatomy lost me SO long ago, when the writers destroyed the WONDERFUL character of Izzie so thoroughly and CONTEMPTIBLY that I began to wish she would die but then she took too long to do so and then DIDN'T AT ALL -- and then there are the shows I'm dying to find time to watch, but I want to start them from the beginning, like Mad Men and Frida…

In Which I Can't Even Come up with a Subject Line

I'm a tad bit disappointed with my new outside stick-on-the-window thermometer. Its little suction cups work excellently and it has a cute picture of a bird on a thistle, but it's been telling me all weekend that the outside temperature is 122°F (50°C). This is not helpful.

I had a big, ambitious post planned for today, all about TV shows I recommend, but then I sat down to "spend a few minutes" pulling together some preliminary tax numbers for 2010. Six hours later, I staggered from my office desperate for it to end, tripped over my yoga ball, landed on my foam roller, then lay on the kitchen floor for a while, bemoaning all existence.


The Horn Book Magazine did something super-cool in their latest issue: they published an article about fat politics in YA literature! Go read "YA Fatphobia" by Kathryn Nolfi, right here. And if you'd like to read a good reaction piece, Rebecca Rabinowitz wrote one here. This is not a small thing. I'm really, …

In Which I Resolve Things (and Make Another Attempt at My Pullover)

Trapeze photos ahead!

So, this time of year, if it feels right to me, I come up with a few resolutions that make me happy, are designed to bring me peace, and sometimes even take away some of the pressure I've been feeling. They're always realistic, and they are never, ever, EVER punishing or self-loathing. (I don't believe in self-limiting New Year's resolutions. This is probably a reaction to the explosion of fat-phobic resolutions so many people make this time of year that give me the heebie-jeebies. Have you heard about the New Year's ReVolution against weight-loss resolutions?)

This year, I find myself with four.
I'm going to finalize Bitterblue this year. And I'm going to start writing something new. I think both Bitterblue and I are looking forward to this.I'm going to bake some bread this year. Do you know how long it's been since I kneaded bread? I haven't made bread once since I moved back to Massachusetts, and it's one of my most …

Notes for the New Year

I kind of love New Year's. Other holidays make me grumpy, but the new year makes me all contemplative and stuff. I'm thinking about my resolutions for this year, and will probably post something about that soon.

To my readers in Germany: I'll be visiting you this March (yay!), in Cologne, Leipzig, and possibly other places I don't want to name yet until I've confirmed them. (Fire is coming out in Germany this month -- Die Flammende -- you're looking at the cover to the right ^_^.) Also, to my readers in Australia (and maybe even New Zealand, though I'm not sure yet if I'll be able to swing that): a writer friend of mine has talked me into some travel Down Under in late May or early June. I'm extremely disorganized about planning it at the moment but fully intend it to happen. (It didn't take much for her to talk me into it. Basically, she said, "I'm doing some events in Australia. Wanna come?" and I was all, "YEE-HAW!") I&…