Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Photo: Yum

I didn't get a chance to post this over Easter weekend where it belongs, so I'll sneak it in as a Friday Photo. Check out the amazing cupcakes that my sister-in-law made:

SO CUTE! And they were equally delicious. I mean, DELICIOUS! Chocolate peanut butter eggs, homemade vanilla icing, fudgy chocolate "twigs" and rich red velvet cake.

I really need to take up baking. Or just hire her to bake and decorate for me, which would probably work out much better. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jersey Gone Wilde

At some point in every class I teach we end up discussing reality television and what it says about our society. My favorite example is Solitary, which would fit nicely into any dystopian story. The students, of course, always bring up Jersey Shore. It's always entertaining to talk about it, but I’ve still never watched it, and I never had any desire to watch it… until now. 

That’s right. There is something on this earth that could make me want to watch Jersey Shore. And it's not Snooki’s overpriced speaking engagements

I bring you…

Jersey Shore in the style of Oscar Wilde.

And there are 4 more installments!

Really though, don’t you want to watch some of these lines in their original context now? 

Just a little?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hi Guys

Said in my sheepish child dinosaur voice. You’d know it if you heard it.

Just here to point out that I’m not deceased or being held captive by monkeys or following in the steps of other bloggers who are currently stepping back from blogging to work on writing (so much no). 

I’m just in the mad rush that is the end of the semester, and which I promise is almost as crazed and stressful for instructors as it is for students, plus we have several extra days of grading afterwards.

And then my husband pointed out that we should probably both try to finish some version of our manuscripts by the end of the semester so that we can print them out using the printers at school instead of our own be responsible employees who never misuse company resources. I doubt it's possible, but you know how much I love adding items to my already over-packed to-do list.

So hang on with me, everyone in school right now. I’ll be back with some procrastination distractions over the next few days.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Photo: Drop Deux

This is really just a follow-up on the previous entry. I tried the book drop again this afternoon, fitting Neverending Story back into the same statue niche from the night before. Then I set off on a jog around the park in the unbelievably lovely weather. The first few times I passed by again it was still there, but on my last circuit a middle school aged boy surrounded by his skater friends was waving it around overdramatically, almost defensively, as if he expected someone with a hidden camera to emerge from somewhere and tell him he’d been had. Not quite as fitting and poetic as the cute girl on the bike from last night, but I'm just glad someone found it and will hopefully put it to good use or pass it along. 

Happy dropping and reading! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rock the Drop!

On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot. He died the next day.

On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck the iceberg. It sunk the next day.

On April 14, 1984, I was born. And then, well…

(Disclaimer: I make this joke at least once every birthday.)

Imagine my excitement when I discovered that April 14th is not only my birthday and a depressing historical day and the day before taxes are due, but also Support Teen Lit Day


And in celebration, ReaderGirlz is sponsoring a Rock the Drop event in which publishers, authors, and plain old regular folks are encouraged to leave a YA book in a public place for a random reader to find.

Double neat!

Unfortunately I didn’t discover this event until around 7 PM tonight, but I decided I still had to participate. I dashed around my house looking for a book that I was willing to give up and finally remembered that I had bought an extra copy of Neverending Story for just such an occasion. Some people might consider Neverending Story too young to be strictly YA, but whatever, it’s awesome and for everyone and I needed to get going.  

I printed out the explanatory book plate, ran to the local park, and decided to put the book on this statue thing:

I moved it to the other side in view of the path, but I still started to feel silly. Yes, the park was still rather crowded, but it was already pretty dark and there was a good chance that no one would see my book. Just then, an adorable girl of just the right age rode by on her bike. She veered slightly off the path, taking her within feet of the book… 

And she kept on riding. 

Then she turned around, riding back towards the book…

And she still missed it. 

Finally she rode practically straight at the statue…

But she was too distracted by the two ducks that she was chasing to notice anything else. 

I thought about just walking up and handing it to her, but that would have been weird and kind of missed the point. So I headed back for dinner and told myself that she would eventually find it and be totally excited and forget all about the ducks. 

But I'm an overly curious person, so I went back a little while ago when the park was deserted to find my book still sitting unclaimed on the statue.


I took it home with me to protect it from rain and dew, but I plan on dropping it again tomorrow. I'll just consider it Support Middle Grade Lit Day or Rock the Drop a Day Late.

If you missed the official Drop too, you should join me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Writing While Waiting

Every Sunday my husband and I indulge in brunch at an overpriced-except-that-it’s-so-worth-it cafĂ© downtown. I LOVE it. I love the rotating displays of weird local art. I love the fresh fruits and veggies that come from their own farm. I love that one of the waitresses has memorized not only my order, but my obsession with feta cheese, so that the one time I tried something new she brought me a cup of feta on the side just for fun. I even love the fact that it’s staffed entirely by eerily similar dark-haired hipsters who somehow make illogical fashion choices look normal. 

The only thing I do not love is how many other people love it, and yesterday it was even more packed than normal. We were facing a half hour wait and I suddenly realized that I’d forgotten to bring a book. (Yes, I realize that I could have spent the time bonding with my husband. Shhh.) It’s extremely rare for me to not have a book; I was one of those kids who always embarrassed my parents by trying to read at restaurants…family functions…funerals… Okay, so maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

What I did have was a notebook, so I sat down on the stairs outside the door and started jotting down random material for my WIP. During our wait, I made a few plot breakthroughs, wrote several pages of dialogue, and started a new map of the story world. It was kind of awesome.

So even though I’m woefully behind on the Off the Shelves Reading Challenge (like most things in my life) I think I’m going to stop carrying a book around all the time and make sure to tote my writing notebook instead. I’m excited about where the little snippets of time in my days could lead me. 

And as always, I have an excellent role model:

Neil Gaiman stealing some moments to write in a Berlin alleyway between events. From his blog.

 Now I just need Scrivener to finally release the real Windows version so that I can better organize all these bits and pieces.

Do you have a writing notebook on you always, ready to be used at the oddest times and places? Does it seem to work?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Photos: Through the Rain

Who needs photo editing or Impressionist painting skills when you have a rain coated windshield?

 In other news, I need to come up with more regular features so that I remember to blog more often...