Thursday, June 30, 2011

NOLA Meals

I'm sure you're all wondering what I ate in New Orleans (um, yeah), so I shall tell you.  Here is a fantastically detailed list of all the food I consumed.  Don't say I never gave you anything:

Day One:
We arrived at lunchtime, and I had packed PB&J for the family.  I'm smart like that.  Because everything airport related takes way longer than you'd like.  After walking in 7,000 degree heat, we made it to Cafe du Monde and had our beignets.  I'm fascinated by New Orleans and how people can eat outside in the oppressive heat.  That, and so many people there smoke.   And how do people with curly hair survive?  After beignets, we watched a band and a strange balloon man make a giant balloon concoction for Romy.  For dinner, after a long, hot walking and traveling day, we ordered room service.  I had a club sandwich without the bacon.  Which is really a turkey sandwich with extra bread.

Day Two: We stayed at an Embassy Suites, so breakfast was the buffet.  Very handy.  I had oatmeal every day with brown sugar, cinnamon, almond slivers, and raisins.  I cannot for the life of me remember what we had for lunch.  Must not have been very good.  It's driving me a little crazy, not remembering.  Ah well.  For dinner we all met up with my editor, the glorious Liz Szabla, at American Sector, a restaurant inside the World War II Museum.  It was funky, and the food was quite awesome.  I had fish.  For dessert, we ordered four cupcakes and a peppermint patty and split them all.  Then Romy spilled ice water all over her lap, and she did the cutest little water crotch walk to the bathroom.

Day Three: Friday was the day I spoke at the YALSA pre-conference (and I was quite awesome, if I do say so myself.  After I finished, my editor said to me, "We have to get you more public speaking engagements!"  Right on!), and afterwards Liz and I went out for lunch at a place called Luke.  But it had an umlaut over the u.  That part was silly.  The food was not.  Beet salad, people!  And then some chicken and more salad.  So good!  But the best part was getting to hang with Liz.  We haven't spent that much time together in at least three years.  And it completely reminded me of why she is my editor and I am her writer and why it is so easy to work together.  I love you, Liz!  We also stopped by a Pinkberry on the way back to the hotel.  I did something I never do: I ordered a fruit flavor with fruit topping.  I think I was thirsty.  For dinner, we found a pizza and pasta restaurant nearby our hotel.  I had grabbed the takeout menu earlier, so we called an order in and dined on quite tasty pizza and pasta in the hotel room.  Sometimes that's easier with a kid.  And cheaper.  And then we get to watch Spongebob while we eat, something only allowed on vacations.

Day Four: Saturday was conference hall junk for lunch (although the chicken sandwiches weren't bad.  And aside from costing a dollar per strawberry, those were fresh) with our buddy, James Klise.  Romy particularly liked the singing group strolling around the tables.  Later, Ro and I snacked on a cup of the Pinkberry salted caramel with little crunchy chocolate balls (laugh if you must) that they sold from a stand in the convention center.  Late in the afternoon, the whole fam caught a cab to author/illustrator Alex Beard's studio in the French Quarter, where Abrams had a cocktail party.  Romy ate grapes, strawberries, and a cookie while we hung out with Tom Angleberger and blogger Travis Jonker.  Dinner was a slight variation on the pizza takeout from earlier, which was ordered while still in the French Quarter.  I believe we were standing next to a pirate at the time.

Day Five:  Same breakfast, same gross lunch, same Pinkberry.  But dinner?  Awesomesauce.  We walked the five blocks to the St. Charles street car in the sprinkling rain, which is welcome when it's so hot.  But when we got off the street car and had to walk another five blocks, it really started pouring.  Eventually we found an awning.  While we waited it out, we ran into the odd balloon man from our first day at Cafe du Monde!  Dinner was at Juan's Flying Burrito.  SO GOOD.  I had a burrito with potatoes!  And for dessert?  More cupcakes!  And a homemade popsicle! 

Day Six:
Travel day.  Which means really shitty sandwiches at the airport that cost way too much and were made way too slowly. 

I'm so glad we actually got to experience some great meals in New Orleans.  Sometimes we're so busy, or we always take the easy way out and we miss the tasty.  What did everyone else eat?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Different Kind of ALA

I learned a lot this year at ALA.  Not about books, really, but about myself.  (Cue the dramatic music.)  I learned that I pack way too much, and that's okay, but I should mellow out about what I may or may not need.  No one noticed my shoes when I spoke at the pre-conference, so it wasn't that important whether they went with the dress perfectly.  I learned that even though I will continue bringing my daughter on all trips, it it probably time to start bringing my mom along, as well, so that Matt and I can do everything we want as author/illustrators and not worry about how happy and nearby Romy is.  And, once again, I learned that I am, indeed, an author.  [Side note: I just wrote a long, blathering post that I deleted filled with affirmations and junk, but it was ridiculous.]  What I mean by that is instead of walking around as a librarian and collecting ARCs for my library and looking at circ systems and whatnot, I walked around solely as an author.  And it was cool.  I met lots of other authors, and I felt on an equal playing field with them [hilarious sports reference from a book person].  Sure, some of them sold a million billion trillion more books than me, but it was never like, "Julie Who?"  Instead, I got a lot of, "Oh, I know that name."  I liked that.  Plus, the authors I met were awesome people with books I now can't wait to read.  Ready for the name-dropping portion of the blog? (Since, as I asininely figured out yesterday, I didn't take any pictures.)  I hope this isn't obnoxious.  Really, it's all coming from the heart of a book fan who also happens to be an author who is very much wowed by how her place in the book universe is shifting.

My author meetings are divided into two categories: those who I met and talked to as Romy's mom and those who I met and talked to as me.  Romy now has a whole huge stack to add to her bursting bookshelves of autographed books.  She met a few of her favorites, such as Grace Lin, April Pulley Sayre, Erin and Phil Stead, and Bryan Collier (who, to this day, she refers to as "Dave the Potter.).  There are probably many more favorites in the stack, but our giant boxes have yet to arrive (oy, remind me not to tell you about the shipping debacle).  The other group of authors were those I met at events and booths, both through my publisher and the bazillion publishers where my husband Matt has past or upcoming books (seriously, that guy is everywhere).  Sadly, I didn't make it to the Macmillan dessert party (sad for not being able to hang with more authors, but also sad that I didn't get to hang with the desserts).  But during the Coffee Klatch, I was introduced to Lish McBride and Marcus Sedgwick by our Macmillan mommy (that's what Marcus called her when he had to go to the bathroom).  It was crazy fun to share stories about food and weather before the Klatch with them, as well as an entertaining cab ride and an hour of booth autographing time.  I felt a sweet bond with them, as though we were all part of the Macmillan family and that somehow made us connected.  Not best buddies connected, but hopefully they'll remember who I am the next time we see each other at an event.  Because, I don't know if everyone knows this, but the YA book world, probably just like all little worlds out there, is cliquey.  Like, high school cliquey.  But since I never worried about fitting in with those kinds of cliques in high school, I also don't feel the need to fit in with those cliques in the YA author world.  All I want is some nice people to talk to about writing who I can count on being nice again the next time I see them.  I am already comforted by the hilarious Twitter conversation Marcus, Lish and I had the day after we met.  If you don't follow any of us on Twitter, the chat had something to do with octopi, clowns, and mustaches (now don't you wish you followed us?).  I also had a lovely time talking with Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame at an Abrams party.  He was impressed that Romy knew who Darth Vader was after he gave her an origami version (so cool!). And I can't forget my good friend, James Klise, who was at ALA as a librarian and as the recipient of a Stonewall Honor Award for his book, Love Drugged.  We had a couple (gross) lunches together, and he was Romy's sitter during Matt and my double signing.  Not to mention the fact that he picked up a jester's hat at the airport that Romy really wanted.  Yay Jim!  There were many other authors, librarians and bloggers alike who made ALA a spectacular time.

Hope this post wasn't too rambly.  I had many interruptions and now just want to put it up.  Don't forget the Don't Stop Now Blog Tour!  Here are a couple Julie links:
My favorite Movie Soundtracks at Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
A short interview (ug, my first answer is obnoxious) at A Good Addiction
A really thoughtful review at The Rusty Key

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What to Do

I am totally overwhelmed with laundry and brainfarts, and thus can't decide what to blog about ALA first.  I did not take a SINGLE picture with any of the cool authors I met.  WTF, Julie?  Anywho, more on the greatness that was ALA tomorrow.  For now, please enjoy these pictures of hideous footwear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So I don't forget in all of my traveling dazedness, here are the places you can see me if you're coming to ALA Annual in New Orleans:

Friday, June 24
12:30 - 4:30
YALSA Pre-conference
Give Them What They Want: Reaching Reluctant YA Readers
JW Marriott
IIe de France II & III

9:00-11:00 pm
Macmillan Children’s Dessert Party

Sunday, June 26

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
YA Author Coffee Klatch
JW Marriott
lle de France BR

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Macmillan Booth #1115

Hope to see tons of you there!  Even a handful will be awesome!  I won't have internet access in the hotel (because I'm too cheap to pay for it), so I may not blog or tweet until I get home.  Or I may indulge in the free wi-fi at the convention center (which I may or may not have just made up) and attempt something on my iPod touch.  How DO people type on those tiny screens?  My oompa-loompa hands just can't seem to grasp it.

Oh!  And if you're looking for more of me while I'm away, check out the Don't Stop Now Blog Tour!  It's going on all month long, and you can find the schedule here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Panic Packing

I don't know why I freak out so much when I pack for a trip.  I am a seasoned traveler and survived for half a year in Australia with just the contents of my backpack (Okay, it was a really huge backpack.  Like a couch on my back, really, and I did buy and make more clothes once I got there, but still).  Yet, every time I go on a trip, I take several days to complete the packing process.  Maybe I wasn't like this before I had a kid, but I have a feeling I was.  I like to be prepared.  That's  not saying I over pack (although I usually do).  I know, if necessary, I could plan each day's outfit and not bring three pairs of earrings.  But, being that seasoned traveler, I also know that it's not such a big deal to pack extra and or bring options.  This trip has many facets: we're going to New Orleans for the American Library Association Annual Conference, but we're also going as a family trip.  Here are the types of outfits I will need:
  • Something to present in at the YALSA pre-conference on writing for reluctant readers
  • Something to wear to dinner with my editor
  • Something to wear to a "dessert reception"
  • Something to wear to a "cocktail reception"
  • Various museum-going outfits for 90 degree weather
  • A bathing suit for swimming with my daughter
  • Something to wear to the YALSA Coffee Klatch and book signing following
I think that covers all occasions.  I sure hope I don't mix up the swimming outfit and the presenting outfit.  Wouldn't that be weird?  Anywho, we shall see when it comes time to put my clothes into the Spacemaker bag.  I draw the line at one bag per person.  However, that line is pretty wavy and sometimes needs to bring five pairs of shoes.  Just in case.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Comic Report

I had promised to blog about my sadness at not going to this year's San Diego Comic-Con.  Matt and I recently discussed how it probably will be years before we go back, since it's not a great place to bring young kids (too many people, not enough little kid stuff to do).  We took advantage of Romy's portability two summers ago and went, me wearing her in a Moby Wrap the whole time (plug for Moby Wrap: screw Baby Bjorns!  Moby wraps are the best carriers ever!).  Admittedly, the Con has decreased in fun as the crowds have increased.  The first time I went was for my honeymoon eight(!!!) years ago.  It was so much fun, and we pretty much got into every panel we wanted to see (my favorite that year was watching the Futurama cast talk to each other as though they were cartoon characters).  The next time we went was two or three years later, and by then things had gone crazy.  It became standard that huge movie stars would make appearances (thanks for waving, Johnny Depp!), and, according to the Con newspaper, the crowd size increased by something like 50,000.  Last year, the number of attendees was literally double that of the first year we went: 75,000 to 150,000.  It's crap like that that makes me not so sad I won't be there.  But it's crap like this that makes me sad:

Alex Winter and I share stories of our children.  Not really.
Ah, the memories.  Plus, this year OF COURSE the guys from Ghost Adventures are going to be there.  It's probably better I don't meet them because it would be a goober fest on my end, and then I wouldn't like them as much.  Or something like that.  Meeting people you love and watch on a regular basis usually ends in disappointment.  Not always.  Take this moment on the convention hall floor when I ran into Joss Whedon. 

Yes, that's me crying.  See?  Not a disappointment at all.
Moments like that don't only happen at the big Con.  Chicago has a wimpy Con every year (which they seem to be trying to make more Comic-Con-esque.  This year's line-up is oddly impressive), and Matt has refused to go for a while.  I told him we wouldn't make it back to San Diego for a long time, so we might as well enjoy it.  And enjoy we did last year.  Here's the highlight:

Me and Steve Sanders.  I mean Ian Ziering.  Who I referred to as Steve.  He had to correct me.
This year promises Peter Tork, a huge Buffy cast group (that I will watch from afar.  I don't need to ruin that), and, drum roll please, just back from hunting the purple buffalo is Noah Hathaway!  Don't say "who?"  Okay, if you don't know, he was Atreyu in the Neverending Story.  He's the one that got away.  Meaning, he was supposed to be at a con years ago, and while Matt and I were there they announced he wouldn't be.  I was crushed.  But will I have the nerves to go up and meet him this year?  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Winners are...

I wasn't online much yesterday.  I decided to take my daughter to the Milwaukee County Zoo, which is a sweet little zoo with a bunch of animals and things to pay extra for around every turn.  We chose to ride the little train and the carousel, which Romy fears yet always wants to ride.  Because of this long day, I didn't get to announce the winners of the Don't Stop Now contest!

As suspected, there were very few entries of people finding Don't Stop Now in the wild.  Um, one actually.  So you win, Nora and Em!  These lovely ladies are from the Love YA Lit blog.  Here's the pic:

So cute!

And the Twitter winner is...
davyjones6!  Or The Teenage Librarian!  She has two names.  I'll send her a tweet that she won.  Oh, the excitement on this rainy morning.  Sorry if I am dull today.  I had a horrid night's sleep last night.  Lots and lots of bad dreams.  I know I should be shiny and bouncy for my winner announcements, but I can't muster either.  Tomorrow hopefully things will be different, and I can tell you about my sadness of not going to the San Diego Comic Con this year and who I'm looking forward to meeting at the Chicago one (not even a close second).  Have a good day?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feeling the Love

This past Saturday was the release party for my novel, Don't Stop Now.  It was my most well-attended release party ever!  Not only were my mom's FOUR sisters in attendance, as well as their hubbies and even a cousin, but a bunch of my old students came.  That really got me.  Like, REALLY.  Like, if I thought about it too much, I might cry.  Because now that I quit my job as a school librarian officially, I won't have any new past students.  The students are always and will always be the best part of working in a school, and I completely miss the hilarity of that.  My husband keeps reminding me that if I feel the need to (and certainly if I need to for financial reasons) go back to work, I can always get a new job at a new school with new students.  In my mind I always think easier said than done!  But, he is right.  Although that still doesn't make me miss being with the kids any less.  What was I saying?  Oh, yes, the release party!
Robert from the Book Stall introducing me.  He was kind enough to set up some road trip worthy snacks!

Reading from the first chapter.  I didn't sweat like I did at Printers Row.

I made a Don't Stop Now BINGO game!  It worked really well.

Each BINGO square was a location visited by the characters in the book .
I was quite worried my BINGO game wouldn't work.  It's really hard to distribute places evenly on a BINGO board and hope that you didn't just give five people the same layout.  But three people won at different times.  I gave out prizes from the Mars Cheese Castle.  It was awesome.  Thank you again to The Book Stall and to everyone who attended the event!

And don't forget: you have until tomorrow NOON (Central time) to enter the contest to win a signed copy of Don't Stop Now.  All of the rules and stuff are here.  Now it is up to you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Like BINGO? Come see me tomorrow!

A final reminder that I'll be reading and signing and playing DON'T STOP NOW BINGO at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL tomorrow afternoon at 2:00.  There will be prizes.  Three of them.  I spent all afternoon making the stinking BINGO game, so some of you better come.  Please?  Did I mention there will be snacks?  You like snacks!  See you there.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Julie Heartburn

Ug.  The heartburn is bad this morning.  I think it's because instead being normal after breakfast, I laid down to watch Blue's Clues (with my daughter, not just for my own pleasure.  Although don't put it past me).  Bad move.  My heartburn has been creepy for months, so now I've started sleeping sitting up.  Or not sleeping.  The usual.  I saw a doctor a while back, but he was icky and quite possibly a perv, so that didn't help.  I may try another one.  It wouldn't behoove me to have a hole in my esophagus.

I find it rather hilarious (in a pathetic, typical way) that my Dear Teen Me post has ZERO comments on it.  It's like being teen me all over again!  If you are so inclined, please stop over there and say something.  So I don't look like a big loser. 

In non loser news, there is an awesome review of Don't Stop Now over at Just Your Typical Book Blog.  Sweet!  To all of the great reviewers out there: if you have a moment, would you please post your reviews on Amazon?  It would be cool to have some stellar reviews going on the Don't Stop Now page.

Last DSN talk: don't forget the contest!  On until next Tuesday!

On to what you really want to hear about: Am I watching So You Think You Can Dance?  (Really the worst name for a television show ever.)  I don't know what to do.  I just don't feel like committing to two hours of a program two nights per week.  Unless it's Ghost Adventures.  I'm more in a ghost hunting mood than a dancing mood.  But when I watch, I love.  So what to do?  If only all of life's great mysteries were this inane.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Dear Teen Me. And Thirty-Something Me

Yesterday being the release day of Don't Stop Now reminded me of how up and down being an author can be (all in one day!).  All of the love from my friends and family on the internet was astounding, and I have to thank all of the bloggers again who are supporting me by writing thoughtful reviews and giving fun interviews.  I stopped by my local Borders (there is still one in my town, and there isn't an indie store within twenty miles.  Fear not!  My book release party is this Saturday at an indie), and of course they don't carry the book (they did have my first two in paperback, which is at least something).  So I emailed my agent to ask if Barnes and Noble picked it up (inspired by the great post on Kristen Hubbard's blog about her own similar experience with book release woes), and they did not.  I know from the past that this doesn't mean the end for the book.  There are other avenues of purchase, including all of the indies (I  hope!), online, and, of course, libraries.  I just want it to get in the hands of the teens for whom I wrote it!  (Not that I'm ungrateful for all of the adults reading it, but you have to know what I mean.  I am a YA writer.)  And the book just came out.  There could be another great review or a review published somewhere where it really gets some notice or a film option or any number of things from all of the appearances I'm doing within the next year.  But that's the sort of anticlimax of a book's release day; the book is out there, but now comes the waiting.  I'm not complaining, just pointing out the non-glamor of being a non-famous author.

Want to read a letter to myself from my high school years?  Head on over to Dear Teen Me.  What a great website.  You can spend hours there.  Please do.  I don't mean on my letter.  It shouldn't take more than a few minutes to read.

And don't forget about the contests to win your very own copy of Don't Stop Now!  Actually, the first piece of it, the picture in the book store, really is like a scavenger hunt now.  I wonder if anyone will enter that one.  And there's still the Twitter part.  If I can figure out how to work that.  Fear not!  There will be a winner!  Or two!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

It's DON'T STOP NOW's release day! Plus TWO Contests!

Good morning!  I am hopped up on Kashi cereal [aside to note that I would not choose this cereal except that my doctor says I am possibly borderline diabetic due to my taste for the sweets, and this was one of my delightful compromises] because today is DON'T STOP NOW's release day!  Wooooo!!!!  Or W0000000t!  Although, I always think w00t sounds like a toot.  See what this Kashi is doing to me?

Normally, release days, for me at least, are somewhat tame and anti-climactic, besides the fact that I have a new book out.  But today a whole bunch of great bloggers have posted delicious [way more so than my cereal] reviews!  Here is a tasting [you see my theme here]:

My official blog tour started yesterday at A Good Addiction.  Look, they even made a fancy graphic!

The always awesome Book Chic posted a review on his blog.  He also read aloud from Don't Stop Now on Friday!  So sweet!

Adventures in Children's Publishing posted an interview with me about my adventure in children's publishing.

A smashing review of Don't Stop Now from the lovely ladies at Love YA Lit.

The Book Muncher [maybe I should try that instead of my woodsy cereal] posted another great review!

If I have forgotten or missed any posts, please send me an email.  I feel so happy and lucky that so many people are taking the time to read and promote my books.  Thank you!!!  Kisses and Krispy Kremes for all!

Now a contest!  I think I've tried this before with little success, but I'm going to try again.  Because it has the travel and seek qualities that I think jibe with Don't Stop Now.  See if you can follow along:
  • Go to a book store.
  • Find a copy of Don't Stop Now.
  • Face it out on the shelf and take a picture.
  • You can tweet it to me @julie_halpern [um, can you tweet me pictures?]
  • Or email it to me at
  • For every dozen entries I receive (because a dozen reminds me of baked goods), I will offer up an additional copy of my book (although I may have to cap it if I get a ton of entries.  Doubtful I will hit that mark, though).
  • You have until next Tuesday, June 14 at Noon Central time.
  • My apologies, but I can only ship within the U.S.  I rarely make it to the post office during actual business hours.
I will also offer a SECOND contest.  For anyone who tweets about THIS contest, I'll enter you into a separate drawing for a copy of Don't Stop Now.  Is this confusing?   I'm confusing myself.  Especially since I'm tweetly-challenged.  Remember to include @julie_halpern, so I know you tweeted it.  Is that how I'll know?  Oy.  Someone let me know how I'll know if someone tweets about this.  The first person to help me gets an extra entry into the contest.

Go forth!  Share the love of Don't Stop Now!  And eat some Cookie Crisp and a donut for me, will ya?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Weekend Recap

It was quite a weekend!  First, Matt and I went to the new Red Robin restaurant in town (fancy,  I know) and then out to our favorite local ice cream place, Dairy Dream.  I had a butterscotch sundae.  Saturday, we went out to breakfast with my cousin who was in town and his mom (my aunt, who is already in town.  Is this TMI?).  After that, we went to a fabulous kite festival.  The best part was when the announcer made everyone drop their kites and did a countdown to launch.  As all of the kites went up, they played, "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins!  It was so sweet.  Even more sweet?  My two and a half year old's multiple attempts at flying a kite by herself.  We eventually found one that worked at their kite store.  And check out this monster:
The octopus was over forty feet long!  We watched as they launched it, and it was pretty amazing.  Another mega kite was a dragonfly.  Or something like that:
And a seahorse!

None matched the meganess of the octopus, though.

Sunday was Printers Row Book Fest.  I was on a panel with James Klise and Debra Moffitt.  I had no idea what it would be like, since I haven't been to Printers Row in years.  I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout:
Yes, a handful were my friends and relatives, but a bunch weren't!  I hilariously choked a few times when it came time to remember the questions the moderator asked us (they were really long questions!), but it was all good.  The audience had questions, which is always appreciated, and my fellow panelists were tres awesome.
We were very lucky that the weather was so nice and in the upper 70s.  The previous day it was hot and humid, much more typical of Chicago summer weather.  The weird thing was that I started sweating profusely when I had to read a piece from my book (I chose a random one from Don't Stop Now).  Other than that, I wasn't really sweating.  So what was it about reading from my own book that did that to my body?  Not only that, but my eye started twitching a little while after the event, and it hasn't stopped (and it is now the following morning).  This isn't good, considering I have another event this weekend (The Don't Stop Now book release party at The Book Stall is Saturday, June 11 at 2:00!).  And after that, a few appearances at ALA in New Orleans.  What if my body is in complete stress shutdown mode?  What's next?  A limp?  Or a lisp?  Stay tuned.  Let's hope I can still type.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Printers Row Today!

I hope to see many of you at Printers Row Lit Fest today in Chicago.  I'll be on the Mash Stage at 2:15 with fellow YA authors James Klise and Debra Moffitt.  Don't Stop Now, which won't officially be out until Tuesday, will be available for sale!  And I'll be wearing this charming ensemble:

I can always count on the Sunday paper for forward-thinking fashion.  You'll just have to come to the Fest to discover which sassy dress/shoe combo I choose.  If that doesn't motivate you to get out of the house today, I don't know what will.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Shanty Row

Here's the newest ad from The Shanty:

How can I not try this restaurant?  Although, how can it not disappoint?  Unless everyone in there is dressed in period garb and the tables are wooden with benches and, let's face it, looks a little like the Three Broomsticks inside, then I will not be satisfied.

Speaking of satisfaction, I guarantee some if you come see me at Chicago's Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend!  (And by that I mean literary satisfaction.  Perv.)  I'll be on a panel with my friend, James Klise, and author Debra Moffitt speaking about YA books.  You can find us Sunday at 2:15 on the Mash Stage.  I hope to see some of you there!  My newest book, Don't Stop Now, which doesn't officially release until Tuesday, June 7, will be on sale at the Fest!  And I had new postcards made!  How can you resist?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Shanty

We receive a local newspaper that, while very slim on real news, shares things like where and when there will be a farmers market and who won the nearby high school track meet.  There is also a delightful police blotter section, although I make sure NOT to read the opinions section where the only people who voice their opinions are very politically off.  That's my opinion, of course.  My favorite new piece of the paper, or at least new to me (we only started getting this paper after giving money to a student for her college fund.  It's some deal where she gets the money and we get the newspapers), is the ad campaign for a local restaurant called "The Shanty."  First of all, great name, right?  I have no idea what their food tastes like, but I'm assuming it's greasy and fish-related.  I don't know if I'll ever eat there, but I admire their chutzpah.  Behold:

Those are the entirety of the ads.  No address, no menu, no guff.  Just some really old pictures and a little info, along with their jaunty name.  I like how in the last ad it just said, "Shanty."  Who is the creative genius behind these ads?  Does anyone else look at the paper and think these are somehow too artistically excellent to be placed next to the busyness of coupon and text heavy other local business ads?  And the biggest question of all: are those the guys who will be playing live music on Friday and Saturday nights?  If so, how can I not pay a visit to The Shanty?  Now where did I put my bonnet?