Friday, March 30, 2018

In Which I Chat Freedom and Writing and Representation,Desert Wandering and Other Less Serious Stuff

So much on my mind right now. SO MUCH. The world feels so fragile and angry and toxic and sometimes publishing feels that way, too although not today. Today I began with a great early morning conversation with my dear friend and amazing author, Crystal Allen and I solved a problem for her (maybe) and we railed at the world a bit (and laughed a lot) and then I melted chocolate over a rigged up double boiler and dipped strawberries in it and when they were firmed up, I put them in little silver muffin cups to bring to a friend's house. I emailed with the husband of another friend who is suddenly fighting cancer out of the blue (which is typically what happens and it sucks) and did a bunch of other stuff and in a minute I'm going to write which possibly I should have done first but that's how it goes today.

I am both happy and grumpy today in the way that one gets when there's too much to do and you're afraid of some of it because writing is alway scary and it is easy to second guess yourself. I'm thoughtful because it is Passover and so there is freedom to think about and what it means to no longer be enslaved, and I could talk about that but I'm going to just think about it instead. Feel free to talk about it yourself. Imagine that the Red Sea parted for you and you got to the other side and you were free and no longer had to build pyramids for Pharaoh but then there were 10 plagues and now you're outta Egypt but now what? You're about to wander through the desert for 40 years because the truth is you can't just go right to freedom. There has to be wandering and thinking and did you notice that I'm talking about this and not just thinking. Well yeah. There is a solid gold life metaphor in there. Feel free to dig it out of the sand.

Lots of talk lately in the kid lit - sphere about inclusion on panels. Making sure we're hearing as many voices as possible. Which means not just men or just women. Means noticing if there are no persons of color on a panel. And saying hey, I won't participate unless we change this. And so much more. Let's consider age in that, too. Take a look at the make up of the group picture of any recent book festival. Is almost everyone clearly under 40? (Hint. Yes.) There are many reasons for that, but most of those aren't particularly valid. (And yes I know you can't always tell someone's age. So go with the generality here.) And while you're pondering, let me know if those authors you think might be over 40 are men or women. Because typically they're dudes. Not always, but more than you might think.

And so....

In other matters, I started watching the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country and it about blew my head off. How did I not know this whole cult in Oregon story? Gonna have to consume this one in small bites.

RHONY is almost back and I can hardly wait.

Watched an ep of something about amazing houses (I'm too lazy to google the title) and holy cow this house on a hill in CA with repurposed 747 wings as the roof?! But my brain kept uttering on repeat: Sure you can do this if you are very very rich. I just want to remodel my tiny master bathroom and get rid of the 20 year old carpet.

Seriously just the other day someone tweeted that old saying about how money doesn't make you happy and I was like bs! Money almost always solves my problems. When you're broke or when your health insurance now costs about the same a year than you make in your part time job, money would be fine and dandy.

Just got an ARC of a new Fiona Davis book and this time the building that drives the action is Grand Central Station. Do you know her books? Start with The Dollhouse. Go on from there.

Those chocolate covered strawberries I mentioned above look really lucious. How had I not realized this was a pretty easy task?

Til next time.
If you are celebrating Passover or Easter or nothing at all, please have a lovely weekend.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Five For Friday

Five things I'm obsessed about this week:

1. The sandwiches at Oui Banh Mi. $3.25 for a giant banh mi sandwich on a crusty French roll. I could eat one every day. Yesterday I had the tofu. But the other choices are equally delightful. And did I say it was $3.25?

2. Stacy McAnulty's forthcoming middle grade novel THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL -- about Lucy, who was hit by lightning, which left her brain damaged in this way that both gives her OCD behaviors AND makes her a math genius. She's 12 and after four years of homeschooling, her grandma/guardian decides that instead of college, Lucy first needs to learn to socialize in middle school.  Oh this book. It is delightful and funny and serious and moving and not overly sweet or sentimental. You will love it. Coming in May from Random House.

3. We are FINALLY starting the redo on our master bathroom.  It is going to be wild and crazy around here but once you start looking at new tubs and sinks and tile and paint and fixtures you get this sort of remodeling fever and suddenly it seems worth it to spend buckets of money while having to move all my stuff out of the bathroom and closet and probably the bedroom because if I'm going to demolish the bathroom I might as well rip up the carpet in put in new bedroom flooring, right?

4. I quoted from the Music Man the other day to a customer. Because he had said, "We got trouble," and I had said, "Right here in River City." And then he made a face and said, "Trite. So trite. And not amusing." Which fortunately made me laugh in a generous-spirited way. People. Oh people.

5. This week that thing happened where I'm tantalizingly close to finally finishing this manuscript so over course I thought of a new idea and spent some hours writing a first chapter and brainstorming the characters and shhh.... I think I'm gonna love this one, too. So now I know it's waiting for me when I'm ready to work on it!

BONUS: Last night's Watch What's Happening Live on Bravo when Andy Cohen (I LOVE YOU Andy Cohen) surprised Jennifer Lawrence with a mini dinner party with Countess LouAnn and Bethenny Frankel from RHONY! I am TELLING YOU. This was Bravo TV at its best. The look on Andy Cohen's face as he watched the delight on JLaw's face! The whole thing. If you are not a fan you need to be a fan. I am not kidding. Do it. Do it now. The world in general is a swirling trash heap some days and the state of the publishing industry has not been immune (a topic for another day very soon) but THIS SHOW will make you smile. (Okay maybe not every ep. But enough of them.)