October 20, 2005

1) Look! 2) Lizard! And 3) What Those Holes Are For

1) LOOK!

Okay, You know I have been dorkily excited ever since foreign rights started selling on gods because I wanted to see all the different covers? Yeah. Well. Double dern the eyes of Anne Twomey, but her cover design was SO good, every other country has been USING it because...how can you beat it? You can't. Look, here it is in SPAIN:


And you saw the UK one, which looks VERY like the Warner edition because British is a VERY similar language to American. Why, you can hardly tell those two editions apart.

Thank God for De Boekerij bv in Amsterdam! PEEP THIS:


They may not USE this cover on the finished book (The book is not out yet. That's just an image in the catalog, and that Anne Twomey cover is just. so. sexy. that they may use IT.) I like this one, and small wonder. My editor AND her assistant AND my husband took one look at this cover and said to me, "I bet you wish you owned those boots." And you know what? I am a little bit in passionate love with them. I would also like that skirt to go with them, and I have nothing against the moss green cardigan, either, while I am shopping off my cover. The title translates as THE THREE PROMISES OF ARLENE because I am not sure "What's new in Alabama" is a hot topic in the Netherlands.

In fact, the first time my editor at De Boekerij brought the book up at a staff meeting, the publisher said, "Alabama? Hrm. Do they still have that over there in America? Hrm, I think, NO." So she couldn't buy it. BUT! She brought it up the next month. And the next. And the next. And the NEXT, until it was clear that she was really passionate about it, and then they changed the title and now here's my book, all dressed up in a new cover with orange boots on. That's what a good editor does -- fights for your book in the house. I was so blessed and lucky that my book made its way to Xena-Warrior-Editors at Warner and Hodder in the UK, and now look, here is another one. I seriously want to mail her some chocolate or one of my children.

AND this edition has-never-before-seen blurbs! Martha O'Connor, author of The Bitch Posse, apparently said THIS: "Koop DE DRIE BELOFTES OF ARLENE! Je zult er green spijt van krijgen."

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS! Heck, I am not sure MARTHA knows what it means. But I sure like looking at it.


Here on the home front, I am awaiting a special delivery of "pieces of lizard." I am not enthused.

What happened was, yesterday Sam said, MOM! LOOK! A HUMONGOUS LIZARD!

So I ran into the den just in time to see a TRULY HUMONGOUS garden lizard run under the sofa. This lizard was 4 or 4.5 inches long JUST IN HIS BODY with another 2+ inches of tail. When he stood up tall on his legs, he was a good two inches high. HUMONGOUS.

Now look. I LIKE lizards. Actively. I find them charming. I LIKE reptiles and amphibians of ALL sorts really. ANIMALS get a BIG TIME pass on my "Nature bores me" soul-deadness. I LOVE habitats and little alive things that creep about. Heck, my house is full of NEWTS. On PURPOSE. I can't tell you how often I have to stop here in our wooded, stream-filled neighborhood and get out of the car and carry some stupid turtle or another the rest of the way across the street before a less reptophilic driver mows it down. And we've had MANY snakes, both great and small, show up in the back garden, and my response has been to say OH! EDUCATIONAL! LET'S GO IDENTIFY IT! Except the one time it was a copperhead, and then I calmly separated the head part from the body part with a shovel. The end. So. Reptiles don't freak me out. A WHOLE lizard in the house, even a humungous one, sounds like a fun opportunity to play lizard rodeo and release him somewhere more appropriate.

I told Sam to watch him and went and got a broom (to chase him out from under the sofa) and a bowl (to catch him in) and prepped for Operation Rescue Humongous Lizard. Maisy followed me with worried eyebrows:

Maisy: That lizard is big.
Me: Yes. Humongous.
Maisy: Mommy, you catch him. Catch that big lizard, and put him in the trashcan.
Me: Lizards are nice! We don't put lizards in the trashcan.
Maisy: Okay. ... Mommy? Can you put him far from me?

So maybe reptiles aren't HER bag. But Sam and I, we like 'em FINE. Sam got so excited that he left his post to see what was keeping me. And when we got back with the Lizard Round-Up Equipage....there was no lizard. I have No idea how something so MASSIVE could vanish that fast. But it did.

And so now I am expecting "parts of lizard" to show up. Probably in my bed. Because my cat, Schubert, LOVES me, and he likes to bring me things. Or parts of things, anyway. His opportunities for gifting me so are limited as he is an indoor cat. But he has every now and again managed to escape to the great outdoors and play woodsman to my evil queen, bringing me back his version of Snow White's heart in a box. Except it usually the whole chest cavity, and he forgoes the box and places it directly on my pillow.

With a lizard this big, all I can think about is how MANY pieces it could be divvied up into for multiple gifting fun. A lizard that size could be vivisected into up to TEN large-enough-to-be-recognizable pieces. Maybe TWELVE. That's enough to ruin my pillow and a sheet set and the comforter and all my dern shams and mayube even the DUST RUFFLE if he works it right. I am, frankly, horrified. I am trying to keep the cat in the same room with me and monitor him until the lizard resurfaces. Wish me luck.

3) GAH! SO out of time. I will tell you WHAT THOSE HOLES ARE FOR tomorrow.

Posted by joshilyn at October 20, 2005 9:34 AM

Martha sounds so much more refined in... ummm... Netherlandian? Dutch?

I was so hoping you'd found the lizard this morning. Eeep.

Posted by: Mir at October 20, 2005 10:04 AM

Oh, the poor lizard! Don't let Waffles get him! Or Maisy, either, it sounds like. I think he would make a FINE addition to the newt tank. You could name him Lester. Yes. I am rooting for this lizard, because - lizard parts! On pillows! EEEEK!

I covet those fabulous-enough-to-be-on-a-book-cover BOOTS! Yum.

Posted by: Amy-GO at October 20, 2005 11:35 AM

I want those boots too. If you find them, buy two pair and i will pay you back. LOL! 7 1/2. ;)

Haydn loves the "wizards" that stay in our carport. He always wants me to catch them.

Posted by: Heather at October 20, 2005 12:20 PM

Congratulations on getting two fabulous covers for one novel! Did the photographer know about your shoe obsession ahead of time?

I do hope "what those holes are for" don't wind up in the pink sock abyss.....

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 20, 2005 12:21 PM

I think "Koop DE DRIE BELOFTES OF ARLENE! Je zult er green spijt van krijgen." means "Keep The Three Promises of Arlene! Or we will spit upon your green cardigan."

Posted by: DebR at October 20, 2005 12:27 PM

Wow...beautiful covers!

Posted by: Dorothy at October 20, 2005 12:47 PM

LOL Okay, now you have to change the title to "Arlene Promises Not To Spit On Her Green Cardigan Three Times While Wearing Fabulous Boots."

Posted by: Jilly at October 20, 2005 1:51 PM

Oohhh, lizards make me quease (verb). Better you than me. I'd never sit on that sofa again, and I probably wouldn't sleep knowing that pieces might be floating around the house.

Posted by: Andi at October 20, 2005 2:38 PM

According to Babelfish.com "Koop DE DRIE BELOFTES OF ARLENE! Je zult er green spijt van krijgen" translates to:
Buy the THREE PROMISES OR ARLENE! You green will regret there of to get.

Babelfish sounds like he's been swimming in the tequila again.

But since Babelfish is not so great at direct translations I am thinking that second sentence is probably something like, "You will not regret it."

Posted by: FoFuSa at October 20, 2005 3:47 PM

And when you're telling us what the holes are for tomorrow, you can also finish the pink sock story. We haven't forgotten that you went roller blading with electric pink socks, as much as you wish we had!

Absolutely love both covers -- don't forget, in case they're European boots (and why wouldn't they be on a Dutch book cover?) that an American 7 1/2 translates to size 38. ;-)

We had a blast driving through the Netherlands, reading the road signs and anything else outloud. Or, in all honesty, reading what they looked like outloud. Dutch looks like Welsh, but when spoken, it sounds very similar to German. But boy does it make fun signs!

Posted by: Beth at October 20, 2005 5:01 PM

The review of the book says in Dutch: Buy The Three Promises of Arlene! You won't regret it. Or more awkwardly- You won't have any regrets for having bought it. If you need the tagline too- A strong mix of humor, murder and family irritation. Congradulations honey, I am so please Gods is going over so well, both you and the book deserve all the love and attention.

Posted by: Nic at October 20, 2005 8:43 PM


Posted by: Jilly at October 20, 2005 8:57 PM

Beautiful new cover! I'm trying to remember where I said "Buy the THREE PROMISES OR ARLENE! You green will regret there of to get." Well... it's true. Congratulations!

Posted by: Martha O'Connor at October 20, 2005 9:48 PM

1) How did De Boekerij bv get a picture of Lake Allatoona at 'winter pool' (i.e. no water).
2) I am also a member of Turtle Rescue.
3) Last night, when I arrived for dinner, KJ pointed out to me HALF A MOUSE - STUCK TO MY HOOD - LEFT BY MY CAT!!!! (I had to scrape it off with a stick. ew ) Why do they leave us these gifts?

Posted by: Dana W at October 20, 2005 9:52 PM

Definitely hot boots. I will be getting my heinie down to the Discount Shoe Warehouse tomorrow with a bad print out of this page.

Lizards are cool too. Although I grew up in Georgia, and I don't remember ever seeing a humongous lizard. Do you think it could be someone's escaped pet?

Posted by: Edgy Mama at October 20, 2005 10:33 PM

My friend lives in Belgium and speaks fluent Dutch. She says...


it's very odd

it says "Buy the three promises of arlene. You won't be sorry."

the odd thing is that in dutch it should be "beloftes VAN Arlene" instead of OF
and it should be GEEN spijt, not GREEN spijt

So it could also says "Buy the three promises OR arlene. You won't be sorry."

so or: you have to choose between promises and arlene, or the promises are of arlene


LOL. :)

Posted by: Heather at October 21, 2005 3:48 PM