I’ve been thinking about my last post and about books and reading and how it affects my life. Or can or has or whatever. I remember two years ago, when Harry Potter 7 came out. It was the end of an era, and also the summer I graduated from college (after a measly
million seven years there). There was no way I wasn’t going to read HP7 as soon as it came out–I’d learned my lesson about being slow with HP and hearing spoilers–but I was also really relating to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, venturing out on their own. I’d graduated. I’d lost my Dumbledore, though not through death, and my Hogwarts, and I didn’t really know where to go from there. Maybe that’s why I liked all the camping scenes my friends got bored with, because I felt just as lost. I’d never not been in school, never not had some place to go or thing to do. With my spouse still in school, and with me not even trying to get a job in my field, we weren’t leaving town. I was looking for a job to survive, but I knew what I really wanted to do, and what I’d hoped to be able to do by the time I left college, was write for a living. That obviously hadn’t happened. I was good, I had 7 novels under my belt, and the last one had even been good, but I wasn’t making any money at it.
So I read HP7 not just for the story, but also searching for some kind of guidance. I felt like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and I were kind of in the same boat. Kind of. They were trying to stop Voldemort, though they didn’t necessarily know how. They were without their mentor and their institution, all alone, trying to figure things out. And so was I. I don’t remember what my conclusion was about myself in comparison to the HP kids by the end of the book, but I do remember it helped just relating so much to everything. And I also remember writing Renegade X at the same time as reading HP7. I don’t remember which one I started first, but they were pretty close together. It was probably a coincidence, and it’s not like I’ve never felt lost again between then and now–it took me a long time to find a publisher for Renegade X, so there were plenty of opportunities to agonize over whether or not I’d made mistakes, failed completely, and gone absolutely nowhere. But reading the book when I did certainly meant a lot to me, and I believe it made a difference in my life and how I dealt with things. Sometimes the only one who really understands what you’re going through in the book you’re reading.
After reading only a measly 24 books so far this year–*ducks to avoid tomatoes*–I’m on a reading kick! Okay, it might be too soon to tell since my reading kick just started last night, but I want to just sit here and read all day, and that hasn’t happened in a long time. Reading has become something I’m reluctant to do, even though I know I love it–kind of like exercising. I don’t know when it happened, but I think my brain got lazy. I’ll sit there with a book feeling antsy, like I should be doing something else, even if I really like the book.
Last night I finished Blood Promise, book 4 in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I won’t say anything spoilery, but Oh. My. Freakin’. God. It was amazing. That’s not spoilery because all of Richelle’s books are amazing. Each volume of the series has me gaping for the whole second half of the book. It happens every time, each book even more gape-worthy than the last. Blood Promise did not disappoint, and I’m glad there are two more books in the series. (What will I do when it’s over? It’ll be like not having more HP all over again!) But I sat down and read 200 pages last night, knowing there was no way I could put that book down and go to bed without knowing the ending. It reminded me why I LOVE reading and writing.
Reading is so amazing. It lets you into the mind of another person in a way you can’t get anywhere else. It comforts you about your bad experiences. It helps you process life. It’s like dreaming for the conscious part of your brain–it lets you sort everything out and put it into perspective. It lets you build up a limitless supply of experiences and feelings. And there’s nothing like an awesome story that won’t let you put it down.
After finishing Blood Promise last night, I wanted to pick up another book and start reading. Except it was late and I was still reeling from the awesomeness of BP. This morning though I picked up Shiver from my TBR pile–I never used to have a TBR pile; I thought people were joking when they talked about it–and I’m 30 pages in and have felt goosebumps the entire time. I look forward to reading all day, which is something I haven’t done in a long time.
I made a list of Egmont USA’s books on Amazon. It’s my first ever list I’ve made on there, and I’m particularly pleased with it because I need pretty much ALL the Egmont books on my wishlist, but Amazon doesn’t have a search by publisher feature. That means hunting for each book individually, and I thought why not make it easy and make a list? Now they’re all conveniently in one place. ^__^
FINALLY caught on video, this is my cat Teisel making Teisel noises out my roommate’s window. Teisel talks A LOT and makes some weird loud noises–not that he’s ever not loud and not that he’s ever not weird–but he is notoriously quiet whenever the camera is on, or when visitors are over. He’s kind of like that singing frog on Looney Tunes. (Note: the video gets good about 30 seconds in, and especially good at around second 44.)
I saw an awesome preview at the movie theater last night. You know how sometimes you see, like, a split second of a movie trailer and just KNOW what kids’ book it’s based on, even though you didn’t know they were making a movie of it and haven’t thought about it in years? That’s happened to me a couple times now, and it happened last night with Fantastic Mr. Fox. I adored that book as a kid, and the instant the preview came on, I was thinking, “Fantastic Mr. Fox! I bet this is Fantastic Mr. Fox!” And it was, and it looks VERY FANTASTIC indeed. George Clooney is playing Mr. Fox, which I think is a great choice. He has a good voice for it and I always like him in stuff. I can’t wait until this movie is out!
While I am being tres tres zen and calmly not climbing the walls or biting my nails or refreshing my inbox a million times as I wait for a very important e-mail, I thought I’d introduce you to my fall visitor, Ugly P. Umpkin:
|From Drop Box|
Ugly P. is a PWA–pumpkin with ATTITUDE! Look at that ‘tude! He is so smug and full of himself in that photo. I tried to get a more humble picture of him–I told him it would be better for his rep–but he just can’t tone it down.
Ugly P. Umpkin (the P. stands for Pumpkin–what’s it to ya?) grew up on the wrong side of the p-patch. You have to be tough to survive there. You have to have lots of guts and be willing to put all your seeds on the line whenever things get dicey. True story, Ugly P.’s cousin got nibbed by a deer. Took one bite out of his head for fun and then left the body for dead. O__o
But all that’s in the past. Ugly P.’s outta the p-patch and seeing the world. He hopes to lead a more carefree, genteel life of smugness and badassitude than he did back in the vines.
Self-promo scheme #1:
Acquire a giant pinata and fill it with copies of your book.
Exchange your book-filled pinata for someone’s candy-filled pinata.
When they beat the pinata to death at their party and/or gathering, copies of your book will come flying out! Everyone will gasp in amazement, since free books are better than free candy, and immediately start reading. The host of the party will be upset that their guests are reading instead of partying, but they will be so entranced by your book that they will forget all about being upset and have a good time.
I heard a rumor (well, okay, my agent told me) that I’m going to get to see my COVER, hopefully by tomorrow but for sure by next week. OMG, I may die of excitement and/or OD on refreshing my inbox. (If you refresh your inbox more than 2,000 times a day, you will die. It is a FACT.) I hear my editor is really excited about the cover. I mean, hopefully they wouldn’t send it to me if they weren’t excited about it. But it still feels good to hear that they’re super psyched about everything.
Also I have some other unrelated book stuff I might hear about next week that is a bit more nervewracking, but in a good way. Unless the news is bad, and then not in a good way. Hence the nervewracking part. But it is probably secret news right now, so that’s all I’m gonna say.
In other news I think I’m going to see 9 today. Hopefully I’ll be able to concentrate on stuffing my face with popcorn and won’t be thinking about my inbox.
I’m so impressed with the Wii Fit. I just got it yesterday, used so I can take it back if I hate it (that’s right, I’m using someone else’s sweaty balance board!), but prospects for totally LOVING it are looking good. Even after only one workout last night, this morning I already felt way more flexible/less stiff and my lower back felt about ten times better than it normally does. (That is, normally it’s weak and easily pained.) I even feel like my posture is ever so slightly better, which is pretty much miraculous for me.
The Wii Fit has correctly deduced that I lean to the left a lot and that consequently the left side is stronger than the right. It grades you on balance, and it’s a real eye opener on how unevenly I treat the different sides of my body. Its main goals are to teach you proper balance and posture while strengthening your core and toning your muscles, and, for some of us (*coughcough*me*coughcough*), helping you work towards a good number on the BMI scale.
It’s got four different categories, yoga, balance games, aerobics, and strength training. I’m enjoying all of them, especially yoga, which I honestly thought I would hate. It turns out it’s fun and not useless. And as you put more time into exercising, you unlock more games and exercises to do. And it praises you for exercising two days in a row. ;) Another reason I’m loving it is that it’s indoors and doesn’t take up a lot of space, and there’s no jumping like in DDR. Not that I don’t love DDR, but sometimes it’s just not practical to be stomping up and down for half an hour. Also, Wii Fit has more variety and isn’t just dancing, though it does have a nice rhythm action game in the aerobics section.
So, so far the verdict is that the Wii Fit is an awesome exercise tool that, less than 24 hours into owning it, is already making a big difference in my life.
I have successfully returned from a weekend spent with our friends Jon and Matthew in Seattle. It was good times. I got to meet their Dachsund for the first time–I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turns out Adeline’s a sweetie and I totally loved her. Even with her big plastic head cone to protect her ear stitches. (Some giant woman stepped on her ear and tore a hole through it and didn’t care–talk about hit and run.)
Anyway, we had Bumbershoot tickets for Saturday and didn’t make it without a series of mishaps. First, I set the alarm for 7:30 so we could make the 2 hour drive down from B-town to S-town in a timely manner. But I sort of forgot that our alarm has 2 settings, and I left it on the weekdays only setting. So it didn’t go off on Saturday, the day I needed to get up. Oops. The stupid part is I was lying there for a while going, “It *feels* later than 7:30 and I don’t think I’m going to fall back asleep, but if it’s not 7:30 yet–and I know it’s not, because the alarm hasn’t gone off–then I still need more sleep!” Eventually I got suspicious and looked at the alarm and it was–*gasp*–9:49. Crapzors!
We made a mad dash for Seattle and got a little lost coming over the West Seattle Bridge. But we finally found our friends’ apartment just in time for them to call and say they’d just left for the festival. -__- But we managed to catch up to them.
Bumbershoot was fun. It was kind of hot and muggy out, but it could have been worse. (I remember one Labor Day weekend waiting in line at Kumoricon for hours in some serious heat. They had to pass out water bottles to the crowd so no one keeled over.) We saw Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. They were fun to watch, and they talked about being from Seattle and writing their first songs at the nearby high school. Which was cool for me because I was writing novels in high school, and even if they didn’t turn out to be publishable quality, I’m still a big supporter of teens who want to do art/writing/music/theater.
At some point we waited in line for half an hour to see a band we’d never heard of called Akimbo. (I think. I might have it wrong.) It was at the Sky Church at the EMP–as soon as we walked in, I was like, “WHOA, this is just like the place in the opening of my book!” There were even disco balls. But as the crowd thickened and we were herded to the front to make room for more and more people, and the band started up a couple test notes, I at least started to realize that this was kind of a small venue and that it was going to be LOUD. Maybe too loud for me… Then the band introduced themselves, everybody cheered, and they launched into some serious metal and the whole crowd started headbanging, except for me and Chloe and Matthew, who got this “OMG, I’m in the WRONG place!” look on our faces and found our way to the exit. O__o
Bumbershoot is aptly named, because even though the sun came out for a while during the day, by early evening it was raining and we had to use our bumbershoots. (We don’t do umbrellas in B-ham because of the wind, but luckily our Seattle friends had 2.)