Speaking of random school memories, I remember once in 9th grade science class the teacher was telling us about how in olden days people thought the world was made of the four elements, air, water, earth, and fire. But nowadays we know that’s not true. (Implication that people in the past were a bit stupid and definitely very wrong.) Now that we have science and are smart, we know that’s dumb and that the world is made of gas, liquids, solids, and plasma. O__o

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Also last night I dreamt I was hanging out with the kids from My So-Called Life (this is what I get for trying it out and watching two episodes–I still can’t decide if I love it or hate it; I kind of like the story but can’t stand any of the characters), and I kept getting mad at them and trying to get across to them that I’m TWENTY-SEVEN and know way more than them. Also someone in the dream accused me of having a minimum wage job, and I was like, “I’M TWENTY-SEVEN I MAKE MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE!!!” Thankfully it ended after that. Never realized I was so proud of my grown-up-ness.

Random School Memory

I remember some time in elementary school our school got a button machine. We were each allowed to design our own button, and then that button got us special privileges. I don’t remember what the privileges were. Nothing *too* special, just, like, getting to use it as a hall pass to go to the bathroom when we wanted or an extra minute of recess or something. The catch was that if we got in trouble or talked in class or did something wrong, we got our button and the privileges that came with it taken away for a while. At first, everybody had their buttons, but after a while they started dropping like flies. I think the buttons were only taken away for a day or a week or something, but there was never a time when everybody had their buttons except the first day or so. Eventually nobody cared about trying to keep their buttons because it was so random who had theirs anyway.

I WAS THE ONLY KID WHO NEVER LOST THEIR BUTTON. Seriously. I had my button and my “special privileges” that I can’t even remember what are anymore the whole freakin’ time. I never did anything worthy of losing my button. And it’s not like I was trying or anything–I guess I was just natural born button material.

Note: this did not make me popular, but it didn’t make me any more unpopular than I already was, so there you go.

Random Musings

So you know that song that goes like, “If I was invincible, I’d just watch you in your room?” Or something like that. Anyway, up until today, I’d always heard it as “If I was INVISIBLE.” This greatly changes my feelings towards this song.

Also, I am beginning to wonder if my book cover actually exists. I feel like the emperor in the emperor’s new clothes. When I finally get to see it, it’s going to be blank and everyone at the publishing house will be all smiling and like, “Isn’t is beautiful? We worked so long and hard to make this perfect cover for you.” And I’ll be like, “Uh… I don’t see anything…” And then they’ll scowl and be all, “What, are you a FOOL? Only fools can’t see this gorgeous book cover!” And I’ll be all, “HA HA. J/k, guys–totally awesome,” but secretly I will be thinking this: O__o

More about books

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.

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.

My cat makes loud noises

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 almost forgot…

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!

Mr. Umpkin

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-promotion made easy

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.