Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedded Bliss

Hmmm.  Did anyone wake up to watch the royal wedding?  I did not, although I did wake up to pee at 4:30 and thought, should I turn on the wedding?  I'm glad I didn't because there were so many recaps.  I enjoyed the build-up, learning about how Wills and Kate met, and other such loving stories, but when it came to the actual wedding and the prep and the money spent and the silliness and obsessiveness of everyone, it seemed overkill.  I'm happy for the two as a couple, and royalty is for sure interesting, but did anyone else feel that the wedding looked a little dull?  Like, so serious?  I remember when Matt and I got married, there were multiple flubs (like when I had to repeat back the Hebrew that the Rabbi was speaking and I mumbled it because I had no idea what he was saying) and giggles, and Matt was shaking like a leaf.  I can't imagine the pressure to be on camera (like, in front of millions, not just the hired photographer and videographer) that William and Kate had.  Could they even be fully focused on the fact that they were getting married, or was it more like, I wonder if I have a royal booger in my nose that millions of people can now see.  And what about the after party?  Do they get one?  Will there be dancing and a DJ and silly toasts and old people doing the Electric Slide?  I hope so.  I know for certain they won't have this:

For our cake toppers, Matt and I used figurines of Leela and Fry from Futurama.  As you can see, Leela fell over.  Cause she was having such a good time dancing.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This morning I cried as I watched the devastation from the tornadoes that stirred up the South as easily as I stir up a bowl of SpaghettiOs.  (Um, I haven't had SpaghettiOs in a while because they taste like barf, but for some reason that's what came to mind.)  I have always been terrified of tornadoes, much more so than hurricanes.  Probably because living in the Midwest leaves little to no chance of a hurricane.  But also because tornadoes just HIT, whenever they want, with barely any warning.  I don't know if it's like this all over the country, but the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00, the tornado sirens go off as a test.  I have always been afraid that one day it won't be a test, but I'll just think it's a test.  And then what, I ask you?

My fear started early in life.  Tornado drills in elementary school, while less scary than fire drills because they weren't nearly as loud (in first grade, my incredible teacher, Ms. Norton, always let me go first in line during a fire drill, but not first so I had to hold the door for everyone else.  I'm not proud.), were still freaky.  Sitting with your head between your knees while being forced to remain completely silent was sobering for a six year-old (was sobering the right word to use?  For a six year-old?).  It never helped that when a horrible storm was a-brewin', my dad was the guy sitting with the front door open and the video camera rolling.  I was already in the basement with the radio tuned in.  Not that any of the adults in my house told me I needed to be prepared.  I was always just prepared.  Unless, of course, my stomach hurt so much from irritable bowel syndrome that I was in the bathroom next to the basement door.  The possibility of missing the basement during the tornado only worsened the IBS, making for a very stressed-out kid.  Thank God I was never actually in a tornado.  I will never live in a building without a basement.

My heart and hope go out to all of the people who lost their homes or worse during this most recent bout of tornadoes. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leap Out!

Today is the release for the sweetest new book called "Leap Back Home to Me," written by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by my husband, Matthew Cordell.  The book received two starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, much deserved.  Click here for art samples on Matt's web page.  "Leap Back Home to Me" is the simple story of a mom and her child, froggy style, as the mom allows little froggy to explore further and further out into the world, always inviting her/him to "Leap back home to me."  The last page always chokes me up.  It would make a perfect Mother's Day present.  I hope it's not what I'm getting, however, since I already have a copy.  Did that sound bitchy?  I am crazy grumpy this morning.  It's time (much too early, of course) for me to get my own little froggy out of bed.  I do highly recommend this book.  Let me know if you find it in your local book store!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shining Sleep

Would you go to n event like this?  It's an event at the Stanley Hotel, on which The Shining was based, with the Ghost Adventures guys and a slew of other psychic, ghost-loving people.  If you pay for the full ticket, you get to stay there for three nights and look for ghosts and go to a costume ball (Do you have to dress like a character from The Shining?) and meet all of the ghost dudes.  The real question is, with my Ghost Adventures obsession of late, would I go to this?

I would not, although if it were closer (like, not requiring a hotel stay) I think I might.  How could I not considering I blog about GA almost every day (is that why no one comments anymore?).  However, the thing isn't until November, so chances are I would spend the mega money on a ticket and then totally grow out of the phase by the time it happens.  And, besides, I am a grown-up with a husband and a child, and I can't buy plane tickets and hotel rooms and all because I want to see some dudes from a TV show I like.  Right?

But what about ghosts?  How many of you think it would be fun to spend an evening or two sleeping in the hotel where Stephen King was so freaked by the paranormal activity that it inspired The Shining?  Of course I want to hang with the GA dudes, but what if I was stuck with someone else?  What if they paired with with some total freak ghost-obsessed person and they called out the ghosts to possess me and then I couldn't get the ghost out of me with an exorcism because I'm Jewish?  I am very curious about that, actually.  Do exorcisms work on Jews?  Like, since it's all crosses and holy water and stuff.  What would I do if I went to a Ghost Adventures event and a ghost came home with me?  If it were a friendly ghost, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.  Yeah it would.  I like my ghosts on TV or in the movies.  I am curious, though, have any of my blog readers experienced any paranormal activity  And I don't mean the movie.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Peep Time

One of my proudest creations will forever be the Weasley Family Peeptrait I made two years ago.  If you haven't seen its glory, here's a reminder:

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Celebrity Mail

I may have already blogged about sending my books to famous people.  It's sort of embarrassing that I do this, and I would love to hear back from any other authors who also do it.  I don't know why I feel compelled to connect with celebrities.  Obviously, I'm not the only person in the world who feels this way, since that's what made them celebrities in the first place.  There are numerous reasons I send my books out.  So, first I will tell you to whom I send the books, and then I will explain the reasons why.  All of this feels very humiliating and cementing my status as Queen of the Dipshits, but, hey, that's what blogs are for, right?

Here is a list (possibly partial because I may have blocked some out due to the ri-dork-ulous nature of this) of who received my books:
  • Rupert Grint
  • Wil Wheaton
  • Felicia Day
  • Paul Feig (I think?)
  • Possibly Richard Linklater
Okay.  So I am really blanking on this.  I have no idea how I select these people.  It must be when I'm going through obsessive phases and think, hey, these people make things I like so why wouldn't they like things I make?  And then I write them a gushy letter and include my books in hopes of... what, exactly?  A good question to ask myself, since I just mailed a few of my books out to (wait for it...) the Ghost Adventures Crew.  Yes, you may laugh.  I am laughing at myself right now.  Here is my list of why I mail books out to these people:
  • As I said, I would hope that people who make things I like would like things I make.  Resulting in...
  • I would love to get a letter or email back with them telling me they like my stuff.  Do celebrity compliments mean more than those from us regular folk?  They shouldn't, but I can't help but get caught up in it just a bit.  Not that I know what it feels like.
  • Is there a part of me that thinks if a famous person likes my work that they will then somehow either promote it through Twitter or their websites, or even take it a step further and want to turn it into a film for me?  Maybe.  But I don't think that's my main reason for contact.
  • Why does anyone contact celebrities?  Perhaps it's the idea that someone who is known and loved by so many took the time to chat with little ol' me makes us feel more special.  Ridiculous, but true.
Writing this blog post has made me feel a little pathetic and losery.  Geez.  It was supposed to be funny!  Did I mention the fact that I have not heard back from ANYONE?  The Ghost Adventures Crew has some time, since I just sent the books to them, but still.  Why do I waste my time, energy and money?  Is the possibility of something worth the self-degradation?

I will say this: when I was a freshman in high school, I was obsessed with the Nickelodeon show Don't Just Sit There (I may have already written about this, but humor my pathetic ass [actual ass not so pathetic now that I've been doing squats]).  More specifically, the band on the show.  Most specifically, the bass player, Chris Guice.  I wrote the band a letter, and I don't know how long afterward, they wrote back.  No.  Chris wrote back.  It was amazing.  It was everything!  At the time.  Not that a letter from someone on Ghost Adventures would be everything to me at this stage in my life, but it sure would be fun.  At least it would give me something to blog about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have been thinking about Nicolas Cage a lot lately.  How can I not, when Yahoo has his mug shot on every page?  Was that even a mug shot?  I didn't even read the story.  Ug.  Stars are so grody to the max that I don't want to deal with their crap anymore.  What an odd guy Nick is, though.  In a good way, most of the time.  Or at least some of the time.  I like that he is into weird, dark, voodoo-y things and has various non-real hairdos.  I saw him speak at a Comic-Con with his son, Weston, about a comic the two of them worked on together (now defunct, I believe), and as ridiculous as self-indulgent as they were, it was sweet how supportive Nick was of his son's goth makeup.  But what really got me thinking of him was this:

I watched Valley Girl whilst on the tread last month, and I had no idea Nicolas Cage was, like, fer sure so tubular.  He had the cutest little gap in his teeth!  And such great hair!  I know the hair isn't his fault, but did he have to fix the gap?  And I loved that the valley girl's name was Julie, so he had to keep saying my name.  Sigh.

I'm reaching for blog ideas today because I really wanted to blog, but I woke up all late. On a totally unrelated note, anyone see Into the Wild Nerd Yonder in paperback in the stores yet?  Tomorrow I will try to blog about sending books to famous people and never hearing back from them. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

That's Entertainment

What have I been watching and listening to lately?  I'm glad you asked.  Here is my list of weekend viewing/hearing pleasures:
  • Ghost Adventures - Duh.  Still watching.  Still following on Twitter.  Still kind of obsessed.  I want them to do a lockdown in my town.  Maybe I should pretend my house is haunted?
  • Arthur - Not the noseless aardvark, but the lovable drunk, this time around played by Russell Brand.  Matt and I had a chance to see a movie yesterday, and while I considered Hanna, I went with Arthur.  I thought it was quite sweet and funny, and Russell Brand was totally charming.  I completely see what Katy Perry sees in him.  What he sees in her remains to be seen (besides her boobs, of course).
  • Paul Van Dyk - This one's a listen.  I have been very uninspired musically for a while now (excluding Ke$ha, of course), and, I am slightly embarrassed to say, I picked up some Paul Van Dyk CDs from the library based on the fact that one of the Ghost Adventures guys recommended him.  Not to me personally.  Or was it?  Anyway, it's good music to work out to, and I'm happy to be in another genre besides morose, indie blah that is always what others seem to suggest (as was my previous life's genre).
  • Game of Thrones - This new show started last night on HBO.  I have not read the books, and the show was fine for a first episode.  I wanted more magic, and the sex and boobs were everywhere.  All I could think was that these were actors pretending to have ridiculous sex.  So, not so sexy.  But I'll keep watching to see where it goes.  The show, not the sex.
Now I shall stare out my window at the snow-covered ground.  Happy Passover!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Career Discounts

Today I'm going to speak at my old junior high about being an author.  It's Career Day.  I'm not the featured speaker or anything (I wonder who is) but one of the many people who a small group will see based on a test they took.  I think.  I did this last year, and I asked the kids if any of them really wanted to be authors.  I think one said yes.  So this year, instead of taking a clinical approach, I'm going to give more of a personal talk about how I became an author, not about being an author in general.  I am also bringing along a Power Point, which may or may not allow some of the kids to fall asleep, but will at least be colorful.  Jeez.  I hope I'm more interesting while I speak today than I am right now blogging.  Hopefully the shower will wake up my face and brain.

In shopping spree news, I went to Kohl's yesterday with a 30% off coupon.  I realize Kohl's is not the coolest place to tout my shopping spree, but with the minimal amount of time I have to go shopping by myself and the boring items I needed (slippers, bras, sunglasses, shorts) it did just fine.  I even bought a shirt handmade by Lauren Conrad!  Um, not really.  But I did buy a cute shirt with her name on it.  When I was trying on my clothes, a woman in a dressing room nearby let out the biggest, loudest, longest fart ever.  I would have been mortified if it were me.  Luckily there were no children in the dressing room to hear it, or the laughter would have been non-stop.  I was all business with my time constraint, so I suppressed my own laughter.  I wonder if that person was embarrassed, or if they thought it was acceptable to do that in a fitting room.  Like, it's sort of acceptable to do in a bathroom (although still mortifying in public, if you ask me).  When I went to pay, the lady at the checkout was a dud.  You'd think she'd be all congratulatory that I got the 30% (Kohl's sends you a peel off surprise discount that can be 15, 20, or 30%).  No, she didn't care.  Nor could she hear anything I said.  Not because she was hard of hearing, but because she was just really boring.  If I worked at Kohl's, I would be all up in that 30% game.  Her loss.

Have a good weekend?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My aunt noted how I don't blog as much about writing as I used to.  That is because I haven't really been writing.  I know some writers write all the time, write several books at a time, would die if they were not writing.  I am not like that.  In fact, before I quit my job, I pretty much wrote only during the summers (except for the first half of Get Well Soon, which I wrote on a train to and from work).  Perhaps it is my natural writer way to need a break in between books, to refresh my brain and give all my ideas time to simmer.  I have an outline for my next novel (the book after the GWS sequel), and I have another idea that is really taking shape and would be something very different for me.  But I have pretty much put off all writing until I hear back from my editor, Liz, about GWS II.  And this is where the halt became official.  Normally, I hear back from Liz relatively soon after I send her my manuscript.  She'll write up a letter with overall suggested changes and ideas, as well as send me the manuscript printed out with her handwritten notes all over it.  This book, however, has been with Liz for four months.  She assured me a while back it was because she had a stack of books on lists that came before mine that needed to be tended to and it had nothing to do with what's inside my book.  Still, a girl can get a complex (and you know I'm that girl).  I emailed Liz today hoping to get an ETA, just a little hello and to touch base.  I'm terrified that the reply will say, "I've been working for months on your book and had to completely red pen every single page!"  No, I'm not actually afraid of that.  First of all, Liz and I have worked together on three books already, and she is wonderfully delicate in her ways.  I also feel like we work together so well, and I have a very strong sense of my writing and know this was a very well done book.  What will be interesting to see, and what I think I'm most afraid of, is what happens when I get it back.  Have I lost my mojo, or did I need this time, as I normally had when I was working, to cool off from the last book?  And somehow magically Liz knew this?  Or at least her schedule did.

Totally unrelated: I have been reading Twitter more (yet not tweeting more) because I'm now following the Ghost Adventures guys.  I finally get it!  Twitter, I mean.  It's like I know what these guys are doing at all times!  It's rather comforting.  See, these are the types of odd obsessions I need to curb before I can begin to write again.  I'm taking full advantage of my waiting period.  Now if you will excuse me, I have to see what Zak had for breakfast.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nerd Release!

Happy Nerd Release Day!  Today the paperback edition Into the Wild Nerd Yonder is (hopefully) out in book stores!  Please do me a favor.  If you see it in a store, make sure it's facing out to give it a little extra attention.  I think I will follow my own request and go to the Borders in town to harass them about my book.  If anyone does see it in a store, let me know!  Here's the cutie cover again:

I slept like crap last night.  Actually, since crap just sits there, I probably didn't sleep like crap.  See?  I'm so tired, I'm personifying poo. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Dreams, Bad Dreams

I had a weird weekend of dreams.  I think part of it had to do with the fact that I stopped eating dessert last week and then started again during the weekend.  Maybe the sugar messed with my brain.  Or it could have been "Black Swan," which I found completely embarrassing and ridiculous, not as compelling as everyone said, and also a little gross.  I feel like the movie was right on the border of being total trash and "art."  Did other people feel that way?  Because the thing was loaded up with awards nominations. 

Last night I had a really good dream.  I don't remember why or how I got there, but I was going to perform as a sort of high wire swing act in a theater.  It was going to be really physically complicated and dangerous, but in my dream I knew that I mastered it in three weeks.  My next door neighbor told me that everyone came from hours away just to see my performance.  I never actually got to the performing piece of the dream, but my analysis is very positive.  Like, I knew I was capable of this really tough feat, and I wasn't phased by it.  Right?  I used to be all into dream analysis, but I dream so often and remember them so much that I gave up.  Waking myself up in the middle of the night to write down what I just dreamt and then not being able to fall back asleep wasn't my idea of a good time.  I'm already doing that to myself with peeing. 

Friday, April 08, 2011

Random Loves of the Week

I just checked my blog stats, and my two most read blog posts of all time (which have been read literally ten times as much as my other posts) are:
More Covers for Your Covering Pleasure (1,323 page views), about the hilarious book covers I found in my library (If you like that post, you can also check out the "Julie's Most Awesome Book Covers" label on the side of my blog)
Why I Heart Ke$ha (1,055)
Isn't that wacky?  I wonder who is reading my Ke$ha post.  Nobody is commenting on it, yet it continues to get read.  I kind of love that.

What else do I love this week?  Ghost Adventures.  I know, I blabbed about it last weekend, but I have been watching it non-stop since.  I can't get enough!  I adore Zak, the big dude who is possibly the most sincere man I have ever watched on TV.  He doesn't care that he is afraid of snakes and heights and evil dolls.  And he gets all excited about the paranormal stuff they find.  His arms are ginormous, as is his heart.  I'm just guessing.

The next love is a family love.  Matt and I are very different thinkers, meaning we are not a couple who can finish each others sentences.  Occasionally that upsets me, but mostly I think it's great that we have very different brains to contribute to life.  Here is one occasion where we were definitely in sync (I keep wanting to type "n sync," which neither of us ever were).  Matt likes to find little videos for Romy to watch on YouTube, and she expects this from him.  Recently he pulled up this:

Not only does Romy now refer to herself often as Paul Simon (she did this previously with Michael Jackson because she liked to wear only one mitten), but yesterday I put on a CD of "Me and Julio," and Romy, no exaggeration, had me keep the song on repeat for over an hour and a half.  The funny thing is that I always envisioned dancing with my kid, when I had a kid, to this song.  So that's the in sync part.

Speaking of being in sync (um, not really), we're going to get our taxes done today.  I am never this late in the tax doing, but it somehow got away from us.  We like our accountant, so it's never a bad time.  Except for the scary ending.

It's supposed to be in the 80s here on Sunday, and I'm meeting up with some of my best friends.  Should be a great weekend!  Hope yours is, too!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I Saw David Sedaris

This may or may not make you think I'm a moron, but I do not read books written for adults.  The exceptions would be a) Stephen King, although I haven't completed one of his books in a while and b) travel guides.  So last night when Matt and I went to see David Sedaris speak, I hadn't read any of his works.  Nor had I listened to him on the radio.  Not for any reasons except that I am often fighting against the fact that I am an  adult and I enjoy adult things, and David Sedaris always struck me as having a very adult audience.  Plus, I'm a very slow reader.  Ridiculous thoughts, I know, being that I am a mom living in the suburbs and I'm closer to forty than thirty.  Whatever.  I very much enjoyed seeing Mr. Sedaris speak, sometimes relating as a child to his family stories, sometimes as a parent, and sometimes as an author.  Not an author who is flown all over the world and has books translated into a billion languages and, you know, speaks at theatres where people pay to see me, but, still, an author.

Part of his presentation was a reading from his journals, where he writes down humorous observations from his day.  For some reason it made me think of Seinfeld, also an observationalist (observationist?).  Later in the show, Sedaris mentioned that his mother had passed away years ago, and that was one of the good reasons to keep a diary: you can see that on June 8, 1982 you had a phone conversation with your mom about X. Some of you may know I wrote about journaling in Get Well Soon, where Anna talks about how depressing it is to look back at all of the crappy things you said about yourself, and I recently talked about this in regards to my own high school diaries when I spoke at a school.  So when Sedaris said this, my thoughts were conflicted.  I do love the idea of looking back and recalling a conversation with my mom (who is, gratefully, still alive), but think of all the journal reading and other content that I would have to wade through to get there.  Maybe Sedaris only journals about pleasant or observational things, not how he ate too much or embarrassed himself at a staff meeting.  Maybe I should keep a journal like that...  Tonight, just as I tried that Oprah thing years ago where you make a list of all the positive things that happened in your day, I will start an Observation Journal.  It will probably be more like, "Kids say the darnedest things," but I might as well try it.  In any case, it's the perfect excuse to buy a new notebook.  Anybody want to join me?  In the journal writing, not the notebook buying.  But feel free to buy a new notebook, too.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Bubbles Beware

Romy and I went to Target yesterday and bought these:

because I had a two dollar off coupon, and it was slightly nice outside and looked kind of fun.  Luckily, I opened one of the bottles and realized the paint-like consistency.  I put a hold on the bubble-blowing until after naptime, when we changed into grungy clothes and parked ourselves in our backyard.  If I hadn't, where would all this have gone?
Actual Romy hands and bubbles!
The packaging does not imply at all that this will be messy, although there is a hilarious, tiny warning not to use the bubbles at weddings.  Can you imagine?  The kids on the package are all clean and smiley, obviously enjoying their digitally created bubbles.  Here they are:

I called Crayola this morning, in a nice way, and a woman in a freakishly soothing voice tried to explain that they were meant for outdoors.  I told her what I told you, and she issued me an $8.00 refund. 

This has been Julie Halpern, YA author and bubble consumer, reporting for duty.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Medieval on My Ass

I don't like my last blog post, so I'm going to make a quickie happy post about how much I'm enjoying the Sims Medieval.  It's SO much fun.  I like it better than the regular Sims, in that there is much less inanity (ie: Medieval Sims don't have to go to the bathroom.), and there are way fun quests.  There are many glitches, though, that I know the good folks at EA Games are working on.  The EA boards are a pretty funny place to visit.  People have problems with the craziest things.  I especially enjoyed a board I visited because of a glitch in the game that directly affected me.  You see, I was playing a quest where my queen Sim needed to find her king and then have an heir.  The problem was, she couldn't get pregnant.  She woohooed a million times, and no baby.  So I went to the boards.  People are hilarious.  Apparently, whoever programmed the game decided that Medieval Sims can only have two children, and since my queen already had two illegitimate ones, she couldn't have any more.  How could I possibly win the quest?  One woman on the boards pointed out that IVF was not an option.  I thought that was great.  Also great?  Everyone on that chat was a woman.  Right on.  The Sims knows its audience.  Anyway, my queen was recently killed in a quest of assassination, so maybe my new queen (who, I have to say, is kind of a dullard) can woohoo her way to a new heir.

Anyone else out there playing this, or have I made myself sound like the biggest author goober in the blogosphere?

I Contest

First off, don't forget the contest to win a paperback copy of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder.  I only have three entries so far!  (Thank you to those who entered.)  I am so confused by the blogosphere.  I am assuming that my publisher recently mailed out copies of Don't Stop Now to book bloggers because it was on a number of "In My Mailbox" features this week.  For a little bit, I started getting all nervous again.  Does that mean the reviews will be coming in soon?  Then I started getting all panicked, like what if they think it sucks, and what if no one buys it?  But one question that I know a lot of us authors have is: is there a correlation between the two?  If book bloggers hate my books, does that mean other people won't buy them?  Or just those who know there are book bloggers?  Do teens, my main audience and the people I am writing for, read book blogs and take note?  I think of Get Well Soon, which has really sold well and continues to sell well in paperback.  I'm not talking best seller material, but according to the Amazon sales scan thing that authors can now look at, I'm selling at least 100 copies of it a week two years after the paperback release.  And I receive emails and letters on a regular basis about the book from readers.  All good.  So what sparks YA book sales?  Word of mouth?  Teen bloggers?  Librarians pushing titles?  A combination?  With Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, I have had such a positive reception from book bloggers, but I have only heard from a handful of teens (I'm referring to direct email hellos or by searching and finding blogger reviews).  Will all that change with the paperback?  Or is it a different title from Get Well Soon, so who knows what will happen?  I'm  not making a whole lot of sense, just asking a whole lot of questions.  Sometimes as an author these questions feel frustrating, like when you see other authors getting big pushes from their publishers or somehow getting mass attention.  It makes me think, why not me?  But sometimes it feels more confusing, like why am I writing in the first place?  If I were independently wealthy, then sure I could say something like, "I have to write for my soul" or "I couldn't do anything else" or "Teens need me."  But, really, I wouldn't feel the need to write with such frequency or worry what others thought about my work if I didn't need it to be my career.  Oh, and I'm still really bothered by the fact that the Don't Stop Now ARC is quite different than the final version of the book.  Not really in story, but I made changes to almost every single page that will end up in the final book.  What if those are the changes that would have made some reviewers change their tune (see, I'm already assuming the worst)?  Aargh.  I hope a bunch of teens find and love the book. And then buy lots of copies.  That's all I ask.  Well, that and a million other questions.

Monday, April 04, 2011

History of Cheese

This past weekend (last weekend?  Why do those things always trip me up?), my family visited the most excellent Milwaukee Art Museum for their Art in Bloom event.  People (florists?  And maybe others with floral gifts) design flower arrangements based on works of art, and the flowers are displayed near their inspiration.  Romy's favorite part was eating at the museum.  Here's a sweet picture of the two of us from the day:
On our drive to and from the museum, we passed by the Mars Cheese Castle.  For anyone who has read an ARC of Don't Stop Now (out June 7!), you know that the characters visit the MCC, and one of the funny bits, that even travels further in the book than just that chapter, is that the MCC does not look like a castle.  The narrator, Lil, sort of goes on about it.  It's funny, and it was true.  WAS.  The Mars Cheese Castle must have finally got the memo because on the same plot of land as the original, non-castle-like building they built a gigantic (wait for it...) castle.  Poof.  That's not the only castle in the book that is wrong.  Lil references the MCC when she visits another castle, the Enchanted World Doll Museum in Mitchell, SD.  As I wrote the book I learned the museum, a favorite of mine when I visited Mitchell several years ago, had closed the previous year.  Now TWO locations in my book are wrong!  Who knows?  Maybe there are more.  I have decided right now that the book is historical fiction, set in the ripe, ol' year of 2006.  I think that's going far back enough.  That way, both of the castles are as they should be.  I hope no one calls me on it.

And now for a contest!  The paperback of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder comes out in stores on April 7.  Why do you need this paperback?  Because:
  1. It has a purty new cover!
  2. It contains a hilarious (I totally laughed when I read it) interview with me!
  3. You can read the first chapter of Don't Stop Now at the end of the book!
If you'd like to win a copy of the paperback, comment on this post (with your email addy, please) by this Friday, April 8 with the nerdiest thing you do.  I'll randomly select a winner some time on Friday.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Soiled Doves

I am in love.  With a TV show.  Well, maybe not in love, and I don't even know how long it will last, but I sure enjoyed watching it last night.  Perhaps I'm behind in my new found adoration of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, but better late than never.  Usually after I put Romy to sleep, Matt and I either watch a rented movie or something off our DVR.  For some reason, last night I flipped around and found this show.  We watched two episodes.  Ghost hunting shows can be repetitive, the same guys running around with night vision goggles, jumping and yelling when they think they hear or feel something.  There are generally two types of shows: one approaching ghost hunting in a very scientific manner, and the other with your average Joe off the street screaming their head off.  Ghost Adventures is like Zoolander gone ghost hunting.  The main guy of the three is Zak Bagans, who takes everything extremely seriously.  And not in any sort of intellectual way.  He plays the tough guy and has the most gigantic arms to back it up.  I can't quite explain why he's so awesome (and awesomely hilarious) because you have to watch this guy to really get the full effect of his douchiness. No, that's not the right word.  He's not a jerk, and maybe I don't really know him from just two episodes.  It's, as I said before, that he takes himself so seriously.  Not that I don't believe the ghost aspect of the show (I do, maybe), but isn't it funny to be running around in night goggles, claiming the random sounds you pick up on your special recorders are words?  Just a little?  He doesn't think so.  The best episode, of the two, took place at a theater in Tombstone, Arizona, where a whole lot of Wild West people were shot.  Zak and the boys moseyed all around the place, after they were locked in for the night, looking for ghosts of gunslingers and, as Zak would not stop saying, "soiled doves" when referring to the supposed ghost prostitutes that resided there.  It was embarrassing, yet slightly endearing.  I don't know how many more episodes I can convince Matt to watch, but you can be sure I'll be watching more.  Beats the heck out of the crap that is Celebrity Ghost Stories.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Local Elections

This morning I spent about an hour looking up names of candidates in our local elections.  What do other people do?  It's like there's so little information out there, if you don't count the barrage of hideous signs on peoples lawns.  Our local newspaper conducts interviews and posts them online, which is where I found most of my info (except, of course, for those candidates who didn't return their interviews.  Nice going, peeps.).  It makes me wonder how many people actually read up on the nominees or if they just vote for people they know.  Do they know people?  Do most people vote?  One of the hot topic issues in my town's election this year is repealing red light cameras.  I think this is freaking ridiculous.  The argument is that having red light cameras makes our town less welcoming.  As if people won't visit our town when they find out we have red light cameras.  Really?  Who gives a shit about red light cameras if they're catching people who are breaking laws?  I don't get it.  If they stop people from running red lights and, oh, I don't know, killing other people, why would they be such a bad thing?  People are weird.  These aren't the kind of lights that record all the time; they just snap pictures of cars running lights.  I'm sure the red light freaks will win, though, since the other candidates don't have a platform.  They should have made a platform like, repeal morons from our town.  Was that mean?  Elections always make me sad.  Unless they make me happy.  But they really show off the people who I completely disagree with in the world.  Ug.  No more negativity.  Next week-- a contest to win a copy of the new paperback edition of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder!  That's positive, right?

Have a great weekend!