Just leave a comment on the blog (or on Facebook, because, why not) before Sunday July 27th at midnight EST to be entered to win.
GRAND PRIZE: A Download Code for the Audiobook version of HOW TO TELL TOLEDO FROM THE NIGHT SKY by Lydia Netzer, read for you and ONLY you by me, because you are my Best Beloved. I put in crooning, tweets, narwhale splash noises and the voice of a man who is half water buffalo. Because I want you to be happy. You also get a free black hole and your OWN PLANET. *true* *see below*
Runners UP: Two folks get a signed first edition hardback, and also all the tools they need to suck their own personal planet into their own personal black hole.
AND YOU WANT THIS WILDLY IMAGINATIVE BOOK, a delightful and engaging Romantic Comedy running on parallel tracks with an equal and opposing Greek Tragedy from the author of the critically acclaimed, best selling, and award winning SHINE SHINE SHINE.
In what has to be the coolest review this side of VENUS, the Times-Dispatch said, “Netzer’s star … flares even more brightly in “How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky.” Watch her work for further illumination, and pity lesser writers who settle for the commonplace light of ordinary days.”
If I were Lydia I would tattoo that one on my left butt cheek. And then moon people. (*rimshot!* That was a little astronomical butt humor. TRY THE VEAL)
JJ: Why did you spend the last year knitting these small balls with magnets inside representing black holes and planets?
LN: I don’t like to be challenged by crafting. I like to craft stupidly, the same thing over and over. If I knit a pair of mittens and successfully complete it, it’s likely I’ll knit forty more pairs of mittens and inflict them on everyone I know, in the middle of summer, because the pattern is in my head.
Remember that skirt thing I fell into, like five years ago? I made ruffle skirts for everyone I knew, and then I went out into the street and began to stop people and insist that I make them a ruffle skirt. I have overflowing bushels of them in my basement.
In spring of 2013 I decided to knit my daughter a basket of Easter eggs. I’ll give you a helpful tutorial on how to make this: First you knit the basket and then you knit enough eggs to fill the basket. Then you knit many more eggs, way more than you need to fill several more baskets. You give a basket of eggs to everyone you know. You knit more eggs. It takes exactly one violin practice to knit an egg, and you can use scraps and bits of many different yarns, and this is so perfect and satisfying that you cannot stop.
Do I remember the ruffle skirts, she asks! Here I am modeling the one she mailed me during that phase, holding one of the egg baskets. Hey, see the sketch behind me? That is THE HUT, my mother’s mini gazebo from my childhood backyard. It was destroyed in a hurricane, but that’s where Scott and I first declared our love. AWWWW.
Of course the thing about eggs is that if they had their heads squashed in, they could be planets, and if they were made of black sparkly yarn, they could be black holes. And if they had magnets inside them, they could be toys that you click together and pull apart, as if the black hole is attempting to compress the black hole into a singularity. I made them have eyes and they were cute.
This idea delighted me because my main character, Irene Sparks, is completely opposed to anthropomorphizing scientific phenomena. She doesn’t like when people say that black holes “sing” — that’s periodic oscillation. She doesn’t say that atoms “want” to share electrons or that asteroids “threaten” or that fire “dies.” So tiny little cute knitted balls with doll eyes called pet black holes would drive her ballistic. And honestly, she needs the personal growth. So I went ahead and knitted about seventy-five sets of these little buggers.
JJ: Where did you get the idea for the title, How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky?
LN: I was flying in an airplane at night, and I was gazing down on the lights of towns and roads, headlights, like you do. I don’t remember what city exactly I was flying over when I realized that the lights of the cities below me, connected by roads, were like the lights of the stars above me, connected in constellations.
It was sort of a weird moment, because I think a lot about Aristotle’s cosmology, the crystal spheres, and the scientifically outdated but still philosophically relevant idea that things in the heavens are perfect by definition and things on earth are messy and damaged. It’s one of the most important elements of the book, and it ended up inspiring a pivotal scene for my main character.
JJ: Is there anything you’ve always wished a reader would ask you? What is that question—and how would you answer it?
LN: I wish someone would ask me this: Lydia, you wrote a novel about how dreaming is a practice for death, in which a manifestation of death stalks a character around a mortuary, in which star-crossed lovers are plagued by the failings and feudings of their families, and in which both the main characters’ deaths are prophesied. How could you then write such a happy, happy ending?
And I would answer: I didn’t.
JJ: AMEN. Ya’ll leave a comment to win, and if you don’t know what to SAY, you can tell me your favorite constellation. Me: Orion because I can always find it, and also because I had a crush on it when I was nine or so. NOT EVEN KIDDING. I used to pretend Orion was my boyfriend. He really helped me get over my first crush, Mr. Spock. Still not kidding.
Emily Clever is the second winner of the SELS SHARE image contest!
I have this weird sanity blind spot, where I never actually believe I am SICK. Even when I am demonstrably, incontrovertibly infected with microorganisms that are wrecking me on every possible level, like, say, I have a fever of 102.6 and mucus leaks from my wizened eye pits and I tremble when I stand, as if someone absconded with my real legs and then stuck newborn fawn legs into my hip sockets, I do not buy it.
Even when a doctor who went to actual medical school says YOU ARE SICK and then thrusts prescriptions at me, I still always suspect that I am faking it. Just really WELL. Ha Ha stupid doctor, I think as I vomit so forcefully my ab muscles become sore, I FOOLED YOU AND NOW I GET TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES ALL DAY JUST AS SOON AS I STOP PUKING IN THIS TRICKY, CLEVER, DOCTOR FOOLING MANNER.
FLASH OF INSIGHT: One thing that makes me an especially fun sick person is that I TELL PEOPLE I AM SICK. I say, “I do not feel good,” about 4 times a minute in a small, whiny voice. Scott really enjoys that. Because, who wouldn’t? But I just realized that I probably do this because I think he thinks I am faking it. Heck,*I* think I am faking it.DO YOU DO THIS? Seriously, is this just me?
HEY longtime best beloveds? Remember that time like 4 years ago when I ALMOST DIED? Part of the problem was, I was pretty sure I wasn’t ACTUALLY sick. Sure, I couldn’t work out without crying, and the fawn leg thing was happening, and I got dizzy if I turned my head too quickly, and I tended to shuffle along hunched over ETC ETC, but I was pretty sure I was just being dramatic.
This is us being Hoopy Froods. NAME THAT REFERENCE
So I had emergency surgery—-was flayed open on the table for more than 4 hours because of ALL THE THINGS That were deeply deeply wrong in my insides—-and later I found out my Lady Bits Vet (who is an exceptional doctor and also my friend) had stayed in the room while the abdominal guy worked to save my intestines, Because she stayed and worked (since I had to be open anyway) I got to keep my ovaries.
I thanked for that. Thanked her saving my ovaries.
An odd look crossed her face and she came over and patted my arm, “Honey, you are so insane,” she said. “We saved your life. You don’t really get that, do you? YOU WERE DYING. We saved YOUR LIFE.”
I assured her that I totally got that I had been actively dying and promised I would never again BULL THROUGH if I became ill, but instead I would seek medical aid before things got so bad. I was very sincere when I said it. But how can I get help when I am sick if I never, never BELIEVE it? I suspect I am secretly immortal.
Now, with this in mind, ask me if I am managing to stay horizontal and care for myself now that I have what feels like a totally fictional case of mono I fooled my doctor into diagnosing? I am SO amazingly tricky I must have payed my spleen and liver to pretend to be inflamed and to REAlLY sell the diagnosIs, I exchanged my throat glands for what feels like Cadbury Mini Eggs when I was sleeping.
When I realized Lydia was going to be in Greenville JUST TWO HOURS AWAY on Friday, I of COURSE got right into my car and went haring off on a long exhausting day trip.
HEY GUESS WHAT? I spent the weekend FLAT LAID OUT. Tremble-y and puffy and shake-y and sad sad sad. It turns out I MAY HAVE BEEN actually sick, after all, and MAYBE I shoudn’t have traveled to Greenville. Who could have predicted THAT?
Oh, right. Scott, Lydia, Sara, Karen, Alison and MY MOM.
Sara even wrote me a VERY stern note telling me to “ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE MONO’S BITCH” before something ruptures. HA.
I am still pretty wrecked, but, brightside! I got AWESOME PRIZES for you. You can see them later this week when I run Lydia’s 3Q. Also, we asked the SUPER STONED HIPSTER at Starbucks where the waterfall park in downtown Greenville was, and he immediately sent us an hour out into the wilds of SC to find the spooky SWAMP RABBIT TRAIL SLASH BREWERY. So. Onstar got us to the river park eventually, where we did a photo shoot of Lydia’s Melville and Wolf puppets being best friends in front of the waterfalls.
We drove past a stadium in Greenville called THE COURT WELLNESS ARENA, and Lydia posited that this was where people met to try OUT HEALTH each other, at which point the COMPETE-Y WIN MONSTER that lives just under my skin cme roaring to life and I wanted nothing more than to go OUT HEALTH ALL COMERS. Lydia had to remind me that I HAD MONO, and even that did not deter me. Because I never think I am REALLY sick, remember? Heck, I could knock out ANYONE with my single white blood cell tied behind my back. Seriously, does anyone else do this? Is there a NAME for this lunacy? What is the opposite of hypochondria?
I am moderately better today, NOT THAT I WAS SICK, but just in case I was, I am spending the next five days in bed in a luxurious mountain cabin I have been loaned by kind church friends, working on my book and NOT MOVING OFF THIS MATTRESS. Not even to hike beautiful Tallulah Gorge which is VERY close and I am sure that if I just hiked it a LITTLE BIT I wouldn’t rupture my spleen much at ALL.
Kimberly from FTK posted this quote on July 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm. She is winner 1 in the William Morrow quotes contest. Winners 2 and 3 announced in the next two posts!
Mono has grounded me. When I am not working, instead of going about with kids or friends or to yoga or to walk the dogs or to the YMCA or out to eat, I stare morosely into the depths of the internet, entertaining myself as I rest. FACEBOOK is my new leisure activity. The other day, someone posted one of those word puzzles that says, “THE FIRST THREE WORDS YOU SEE DESCRIBE YOU,” you know those? SO I peered into its wordy depths and almost immediately I saw:
I think that stupid puzzle called me wishy-washy! All my words have a Y n the end— so I am nothing definitive. I am not ENERGETIC. I am Energetic-Y. Which is like being energentic-ISH.
Not a LOVER but LOVER-Y. As in, Having some faded loverish qualities, but not worth taking home to mother.
Hearty, I object to on the principle that makes me sound like a giant hairy pirate. I have decided that it must be read in line with the others, as Heart-Y, in which case it means I am a person with a certain amount of heart. But not, you know, tons.
Perhaps it means only that I am wildly attracted to the letter Y. Yes. I have definitely learned that I am a person who tends to see words that end in Y first. Even when the words cannot legally end in Y AND be grammatically correct.
WAIT— if Y IS my favorite letter, then personality-wise, maybe that tells you the same thing? Y is the most wishy-washy of all letters. It is the only letter that is SOMETIMES a vowel. It is vowelish. Consonant-y, if you will.
If you are sick, you can always count on Facebook to entertain you by telling you what ____ you are, but now I have taken 90 in a row. I bet if I checked back with the word search now, the first thing I would see would be Narcissist-y. THANKS, Facebook, for offering me YET ANOTHER WAY to be sucked down to stare deep, deep, deep into the scintillating depths of my angst-ridden navel
Do you do this? Have you been click-enticed to find out what muppet or color or breed of dog or character from Buffy or element you are? If so, is anyone SPIKE? I even saw one that will tell you if you have what it takes to WIN THE HUNGER GAMES. If you take that one, and you DO have what it takes, you should probably go take a “Am I a murderous sociopath?” quiz, and if that one comes up daisies, get help.
Did you do the word puzzle one? Were any of your three words definitive or TRUE —- or insulting?
ALSO! did you enter this yet? This is a REALLY cool give away from my pub house, for your whole book club or neighborhood or pack of read-y friends. (Read that like HEART-Y. Not HEARTY. Heart-Y. Not READY to GO, like Read-ish. Reader-y. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.) You can win
10 paperback editions of Someone Else’s Love Story (and if schedules allow I will Skype into your book club)
A $100 gift card to your local bookstore
1 copy of each book in that New Voices in Fiction sampler
I curated. That’s 11 debut novels!
Five runner up peeps get 5 copies of SELS.
You can enter HERE.
SO here was my plan for beach week, which is the same was my plan for every other beach week I have ever attended: Paddleboard and snorkel all day, then gorge myself on wine and buttered prawns all night while hanging with my favorite people in the world. Lather, rinse, repeat with extra butter.
What I actually did was work on my book, nap, and toddle feebly down the sand on short walks. No wine allowed (mono inflames the liver) and I had no appetite for prawns. I went to bed right after dinner and missed all the games and family chats.
I am SO bored of being sick, and I am doing ALL THIS to MYSELF! Unconciously, so I don’t know how to stop… It is all stress related illnesses. I have crashed my immune system via angsting about mortality. Meanwhile, Mortality gives not a fig for all my angst, and goes right on existing without any stress at all. Mortality is practically BLITHE.
On Thursday, A BIG STORM came around 5 and cleared the beaches. Just after it was over, Scott and I went on a sunset walk, and only a few other people were out. Sitting on the sand, we saw a BIG OL’ BIRD. Bigger than a duck, but with a very sharp beak. He looked like this, if this was lying tipped on its side with one leg jutting out at an odd, uncomfortable angle:
The bird had apparently been battered down to earth in the storm. He looked agitated as we got close, but couldn’t seem to stand or fly. We backed away until he was calm – about 8 feet from him – and sat down in the sand to rest and consider how to help him.
Me: Oh no. He is SO hurt!
Scott: What is he?
Me: I do not know. I want to say LOON but I don’t really know what a loon likes like. All I really know about them is they lived On Golden Pond and this is the ocean. SO maybe not.
Possible Loon: *lays head down on sand and regards us with sorrowful, dying eyes.*
Passing man: Oh man, that bird is a goner.
Me: WE CANNOT LEAVE IT HERE SUFFERING! WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! WE HAVE TO HELP THE POSSIBLE LOON!
Scott gets out his phone and starts looking for wildlife rescue groups in the area. We find a couple and call, but they have all JUST closed. I leave messages on the machines of ones who promise to call back. The possible loon lays there tipped sideways onto one wing, pale belly showing, his breathing shallow and sad, his head flopped onto the sand, his poor jutting leg all jutted.
Scott: Let me see what the rescue website says to do *pokes at phone*
Me: *I am now weepy and maudlin* OH HE IS DYING! EVERYTHING DIES! ALL THIS INEVITABLE EXHAUSTING DEATH, AND NOW IT IS HIS TURN, AND HERE HE SITS WAITING FOR IT IN SUFFERING. It IS TOO AWFUL! I WISH I HAD A HOE SO I COULD POP HIS HEAD OF WITH IT! POP! AT LEAST THAT WOULD BE QUICK!!!
Scott: You not going to pop the head off a possible loon with a hoe. You wouldn’t be able to do that even if you had a hoe.
Possible Loon: *flops a little, languishing in obvious agony*
Me: I KNOW! I COULD NEVER! I WOULD FLINCH AND ONLY HALF POP THE HEAD OFF AND HE WOULD SUFFER MORE AND BE TERRORIZED! I CANNOT EUTHANIZE HIM BUT OH I WISH I COULD! LOOK AT THE SUFFERING!!! LOOK AT THE SUFFERING! IT IS A METAPHOR FOR ALL THE SUFFERING OF EARTH. WE SHOULD ALL HAVE OUR HEADS POPPED OFF WITH HOES IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE DEATH ALWAYS WINSSSSS! WAHHHHHH
Scott: *peering into phone* Uh huh. Okay, on this rescue website, it says to put him in a box some place warm and quiet. If he is alive in the morning, we can take him to the rescue.
Me: *sniffling* Since we don’t have a hoe and I lack the fortitude to wield it decisively ANYWAY, I guess it is best he die warm and quiet in a box.
Scott goes off to get a box and a towel to catch The Possible Loon.
As I sit there, one of the Rescues calls me back and asks me to describe him. I do so.
Rescue Lady: Oh, that’s a loon. He is not hurt. He just had a big lunch.
Me: Um, but he has his head lying in the sand and his eyes keep slow-blinking in a dying manner.
Her: Yeah that sounds right. Sometimes loons eat too much and they get all exhausted and bloated. They have to go sit on the sand and digest.
Me: But he is tipped over and I see his belly! I see his jutty leg all jutted!
Her: Wow, He must have eaten a LOT. Loons can’t walk or take off from land, and he sounds like he impacted himself pretty good.. He just washed himself up to rest and recover from his food bloat. When the tide comes in, he will let himself wash back out.
Identified Loon: *burp*
SO I sit there, watching him, and sure enough, as the tide creeps close, He hunches himself onto his belly proper and worm wriggles with his legs going like paddles. His legs went just like the arms of the last three wind-up toys:
Scott returns with the loon-catchers in time to see him as he hunches and shoves with his revolving cartoon feet, until at last he heaves himself into the surf, where he instantly becomes this lovely, graceful TOTALLY unharmed and NON-DYING perfect loon, swimming about.
Me: Apparently he was only dying of lunch. He had food bloat.
Scott: *wisely* SO life won this round. Isn’t it cool when that happens? SEE HOW LIFE CAN WIN?
Me: *darkly* Life can win the battles. Death always wins the war.
Scott: *in a fake, hearty tone* I’m sure glad no one popped his head off with a hoe!
You know what? I AM TOO. I am GLAD no one popped his gluttonous head off. I am GLAD life won this round. It’s lovely to see life win, even when its only opponent turns out to be a double meat burrito, or whatever it was he gorged himself upon.
I’m also glad we didn’t engage in battle with a completely healthy, huge, pointy beaked loon, trying to shove his gassy, food-impacted body into a box and keep him someplace dark and quiet all night. Can you imagine?
This is why it is very important to talk to someone who knows wildlife before you go all commando-rescue on them. *nodnodnod* Thank God for smart phones.
SO what did YOU do on your summer vacation? Pop anything’s head off? Eat anything good with butter? Discover a way to manage angst about mortality? Languishing mono infested people need to know.
ALSO check back this week as William Morrow will announce winners in the IMAGE contest, there will be another sweepstakes, and Lydia Netzer will be stopping by with something awesome to help you while away the brief hours you have left. *sweet smile*
A bright-bright brighter brightest best beloved pointed out that the comments were already closed on the contest entry.
You can enter on this entry. *sigh* Just leave your favorite line from SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY in the comments below this entry and you are entered. ALl the people on the old entry, also are still good. Everyone on Facebook—still good. In fact you can also still enter on Facebook if you prefer.
There are prizes—just scroll down to the original entry to see all the info.
I don’t know how to re-open comments on the original contest blog and the Word Press interface has all changed and I am on the computer we call the Craptop-o-saurus for reasons having to do with POKEY SLOWFULNESS.
Also the wireless con at this beach house has equal and accomplice-y pokey slowfulness, which, working in tandem with Craptop-o-saurus makes anything internetty an exercise in flash-rage. I cannot bear to sit here grinding my teeth to powder waiting for slow-loading pages that may or may not explain to me how to reopen closed comments to slow load. I swear it’s like the internet from 1998 on dial up. Renmeber that noise? The sound of dial up connecting? Screeee-bwoooo-scrawwwwww.
Ah well go ahead and enter the contest in these comments. It is open until FRIDAY at Midnight EST. My Facebook page—just hit this link and scroll down to find the place to enter.
HENNA TAT FEST continues. Here are my brother’s newly henna’d knuckles. He asked Maisy Jane to give him two four letter words — a dangerous proposition when your henna artist is a12 year old. Thank goodness she is female or I have NO doubt Bobby would have ended up with POOP / FART across his knuckles.
But this? Is awesome. It reminds me that old movie where De Niro is the excon who gets obsessed with Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, and fetal Juliette Lewis and wants revenge so deeply he clings to the bottom of the truck as they drive to escape him? What was the movie called?
Oh, right. Cake Fear.*rimshot*
What tattoo would you like? Maisy has the Henna good to go. Remember it is only for two weeks, so you don’t have to COMMIT or pick a thing you think will be relevant your whole life.
Tell me in the comments, and WHILE YOU ARE THERE, don’t forget tell me your favorite line from SELS!
THIS CONTEST—where you can win a brand new signed fresh PB of SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY hot off the presses plus another of my backlist PLUS your entry will be used by William Morrow to make COOL IMAGES—- ENDS FRIDAY.
You should please enter because reading the entries—especially when you choose a line that I forgot or was secretly proud of and spent a lot of time making—- is really making me feel warm and good and I need A LOT OF HELP to feel good.
This MONO….SUCKS. I wake up every morning feeling like some mean, hot-breathed, fetid animal ate me, threw me up, re-ate me, and pooped me out. By noon I feel like it has now come back to stamp on me.
Insult to injury—I can’t drink alcohol or work out, two of my most FAVORITE things, and I also can’t stay awake for more than 5 hours at a stretch which is making things like finishing this novel I am writing and/or having a personal life a little bit challenging. Heh.
This is stress related, by the by, not from kissing. I had mono when I was a teenager— Much MORE convenient THEN, before you are legal and before you get the 40+ metabolic SLOWS. Why, back then I never exercised or drank alcohol so I hardly noticed, except for the glands like boulders and the being exhausted every second.
My doc says I am under so much stress that my immune system has thoroughly crashed and every dormant virus in my body, all the ones I conquered years ago, have reactivated to make another good run at killing me while my white cells recline on a fainting couch, plying at being a herd of Belles With The Vapours.
I am eating a lot of fish oil pills and supplements and eating weird Gwyneth Paltrow-y antioxident soaked nutritives in an attempt to bolster my stupid body.
I know I have jumped the food shark. I KNOW. Because I found myself at a bar enthusiastically ordering a Funk Weiss grapefruit beer (this was pre-mono, but post my initial immune system crash) and a beet and kale salad with parmesan cream, which WHAT? And yet, it was good. I now make a version at home.
When I was a kid, every Sunday night my mom made Spam and biscuits with creamed corn. SO it hurts me to admit I genuinely like to eat this.
HOW DID I BECOME THIS PERSON WHO BLITHELY EATS PRETENTIOUS SUPERFOODS?
Here is the version I make, if you want to continue to have an immune system. WHICH I STRONGLY RECOMMEND.
Thinly slice these Trader Joe’s baby steamed beets.
Throw them into this bag of ORGANIC TUSCAN Kale. Which, I feel so GOOP just saying ORGANIC and TUSCAN in front of the word Kale that I want to walk into an artisanal sea like a virgin-oil-braised lemming, but THAT IS WHAT IT SAYS ON THE BAG.
Toss them with a creamy parmesan dressing like this one.
If you are dying of mono and have zero energy to whisk things, you can use any good creamy Caesar from a jar or even a homemade one if you are a magic person who understands anchovies. I like the simpler, homemade parm one best.
Since you are eating steamed peeled baby beets and kale that vacations in TUSCANY, I say you might as well SPLURGE on the cheese. Don’t defile tiny pink baby beets with some powdery beige dust in a plastic can. Get a triangle shaped wedge of real cheese and grate it into your dressing and then put more on TOP. It makes a huge difference in the amount of kale you will be willing to put in yourself.
Good cheese = REALLY A LOT OF KALE GETS PUT INTO YOU, and with genuine lip smacking and delight.
Powdery bland canned crap = dutifully choking down a pile of gritty, fat-slimed kale because you might die of no immune system if you don’t.
Please do not forget to ENTER THE CONTEST plox? If you need me, I’ll be on the fainting sofa with my antibodies. Or perhaps learning how to temporarily tattoo myself with Henna, which at this point feels like an aerobic workout.
Me and Lydia in our roaring twenties.
HAPPY FOURTH. I am off for a week at the beach feeling like a PHLEMGY POO PILE. Hurrah!
I blogged a different place BUT BEFORE YOU GO, Do not forget the contest going here until the 11th. You could win one of the very first PB copies of Someone Else’s Love Story and another of my titles. Please play. I am loving seeing the entries. It soothes my savage wildebeast heart as I languish on my bed of whining.
Why am I flopping and sweating on a whine-bed? You ask warily. Well. GUESS WHAT I have.
Yes, Mono. So not only am I in middle school, but I am apparently an indiscriminate kisser.
Instead of blogging here, my virus infested corpse flopped and weaseled over to USA today, and I wrote about how I met the greatly esteemed and universally beloved Lydia Netzer.
You can read that story HERE
But first, please go enter the contest. It soothes my fevered brow when you enter. And, you know, Best Beloveds, I don’t want to have to threaten you. BUT I WILL…
ENTER, DERNIT! Or I will kiss you.
SO—the paperback of SELS launches in a month. LOOK at this easter-y cover. I kinda love it.
In Pre-Celbratory Celebration, I have a contest, open to US peeps only please. SORRY, CANADA! I LOVE you Canada, but you are expensive and form-filling-out-y to mail things at. SORRY REST OF EARTH. I love you, too, Rest of Earth, but I can’t mail to you. I can barely make soup. YAY!
(The mental illness number is…stratospheric. The coping skills are set to maximum. LA LA LA.)
HERE IS THE CONTEST THOUGH! What is your favorite line from Someone Else’s Love Story? Post them in the comments here OR on my facebook page, and my Publisher will pick three on 7/11 to make into designed images I’ll share ALL OVER the tweeterverse and here and on the facebook, too.
Also, I will mail those SAME three that WILLIAM MORROW picks a brand new daisy-fresh ultra-purple Easterish copy of the SELS trade paperback PLUS another backlist title. Signed and whanot, yo. BOOYAH.
Hint: not RING DING DINGITTY BLARG BLARG LAR or whatever it is.
Self-improvement is not a slow, sustainable climb to glory for me. It comes in fits and starts and surges, with a lot of backsliding and re-victories and unvictories and periods of despair and sudden reversals and emergent mourning and losing interest and writhing in hopeless agony and regrouping and fussing and rare instances of stomping madly about yelling YAY ME I PROVE VICTORIOUS! along the way.
What can I say, it keeps me out of bars. Except no, nothing keeps me out of bars. But it keeps me from being BORED.
SOMETIMES a great heaping WALL of self-improvement comes at me in an unstoppable tsunami. It consumes me and leaves me devastated and blinking and barely alive in the wake. Sometimes, later, I look back at the crazy person who MOVED SO FAST and I marvel at her manic foamy lathery WILFULNESS. I am, at times, the infested host avatar of GIT ‘ER DONE.
I cannot make the wave come – OH I WISH I COULD. I cannot stop it and tell it to stand down when it is HERE – OH I WISH I COULD. It comes when it comes, it does what it does, and I try to hang on and GOGOGO and not be smashed on my own rocks while it lasts.
These last few weeks the NOVEL has been GOGOGO, but today, it has paused to breathe, so I have paused to…self improve.
I blame Julie of A Little Pregnant. who is my friend on a food and exercise tracking ap called My Fitness Pal—generally called MFP, except at my house where it is called MMFFP, and I will let you work out the meaning of the extra letters yourself as soon as you remove any little children from the room.
ANYWAY Julie is trying to get into her aspirational octopus dress, which requires that there be ten pounds less of her. I MYSELF have an Aspirational Giraffe Dress, which is 5 pounds away from zipping and ten away from zipping and hanging in a flattering manner.
If you stop using MMFFP, it EARNS its extra letters by TATTLING ON YOU to your friends list, and asking them to ENCOURAGE you. This is MMFFP’s own terminology. “Joshilyn hasn’t logged on in four days. She might need some ENCOURAGEMENT.”
The word ENCOURAGE has begun to give me the shudders. I now use it as a pejorative verb, as in, The mugger ENCOURAGED the lady to hand over her purse, or The Doctor ENCOURAGED the prostate to be examined.
But my MMFFP friend’s aspirational octopus dress today enquired about the health and well-being of my aspirational Giraffe dress, which I have APSIRATIONED at for ALMOST A YEAR now without ever once getting it to zip all the way. *sigh*
I wrote back: Tell your mouthy-ass octopus to shut it — giraffes are elegant things that hardly talk at all. HARDLY AT ALL.
Look, an Aspirational Giraffe!
THIS IS A TRUE SCIENCE FACT! Once past puberty, male giraffe noises are limited to a polite and hopeful coughing meant to remind females that it is time to make more giraffes. Females whistle and hum at their babies. Whistle for “Get that out of your mouth” and hum for “Stop poking your sister.”
Dresses who have the giraffe as their spirit animal are as quiet as the animal they depict and revere. They mostly hang at the back of the closet—classy and refined—silently judging people for being too bloody fat to get into them.
BUT GOOD FOR YOUR OCTOPUS DRESS. I regret to admit that I got bored of caring and wandered off to eat transgressive foods. BUT! LOOK! The encouragement was a success. I feel very encouraged. I will log today, lest you come back and encourage me some more.
To all of you, I wish it to be known that I generally prefer my encouragements to be green and foldy.
(Not FROGS. Don’t fold frogs. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.)
But now that I have been so effectively and rigorously ENCOURAGED, I want to ask….HOW DO YOU LIKE TO BE ENCOURAGED? What can I encourage you to do today?
ALSO! AGES ago I asked for MMFFP friends here and NEVER followed up or friended any of the dozen ADORABLE KIND SOULS WHO OFFERED because…SEE ALL OF THE ABOVE. But my name on there is PeauxPeaux (Which is the French word for Police. Obsvi.) So IF YOUR FOOD DIARY IS OPEN TO FRIENDS (Mine is, and you cannot look at MY food unless I can look at yours), please friend me and feel free to encourage the living CRAP out of me.
Hey, remember when I said I was going to blog more?
I meant COOK MORE.
I meant COOK MORE and also WRITE THE HELL OUT OF MY NOVEL.
I have been getting up at 4 am, 6 days a week, and writing for 8 – 10 hours, and then I can’t look at screens anymore. I read books on paper. I make out with my cat. I go to Ren Fairs. Most of all I COOK THINGS because I decided I like to cook things. (Lie) (I hate to cook things) (I deeply like to EAT THINGS, though, so I am learning to cook all the things I like at restaurants)
AND THEN I WRITE. Because THE NOVEL? It is GOING. It is going like a fast and naughty pony. And when that pony goes, you have to ride it, Oh my Best Beloveds, And kick it and holler and spur it on and extend bad metaphors in blog posts beyond all neighing reason. BECAUSE. I know from long experience that any second this pony will stop dead and I will be hurled over his head to smash face first into the loamy earth, and I shall bite the earth, weep, froth, kick, and declare that I do not remember how to write a novel. It will be a bad few weeks of terrible mental illness and frustration.
But NOW right now THIS NOW HAPPENING NOW, oh my best beloveds? THE PONY IS GO.
Here is the only screen related thing I am doing when not writing:
Posting things to my pinterest board about cooking, called ATE IT WITH MY MOUTH.
Posting things to my pinterest board about the novel, called NOBODY’S NOTHING.