October 25, 2007

Of All the Things I Mean to Blog About…

Crazy Farm Plan is my favorite. But I never blog it. There Crazy Farm Plan sits, three words that evoke, for me, a beautiful and moderately cow-infested whole world vision, sitting RIGHT AT THE TOP of the screen when I open the word doc named “tellthebeloveds.” And yet I never tell you.

Crazy Farm Plan is my private Pink Socks story, the one that cannot escape the BLOG THIS file even though I MEAN to give CFP a boost over the fence or bake a shovel in a Bundt cake to take on Visit That File Day. Onee day all the relevant links will go dark, and here we will sit, uncrazy and unfarmplanned, me longing for what might have been and you happy and oblivious that things COULD have been different. SO different. With GOATS, even.

In an effort to SAVE Crazy Farm Plan, allow me to say:

I had a farm plan.
It. Was. Crazy.
I AM going to tell you about it.

Now it is your pink sock story, too, and if it never fru-itts to fruition, my head alone will not carry all the weight of that shame.

TODAY however, before it escapes way down the page and I forget…Remember three entries ago we looked at the US cover and the UK cover and they were WILDLY different but, Beloveds, I told you I thought that both are absolutely correct for the book? WELL!


In TGWSS, there are three main characters.

Laurel Gray Hawthorne, my conventional, large-souled, genuinely lovely and like-able wife-and-mother whose rich inner life seeps out of her seemingly seamless façade to infest her art quilts.
David, her husband, a pale and wild-eyed basement-dwelling sort who thinks in ones and zeros.
Thalia Gray, her sister, an actor who lives like Laurel quilts. She is rule-less and sharp and witty and sly.

The UK cover (scroll down 3 entries to see it) is THALIA GRAY’s cover. Absolutely. That’s Thalia’s inner landscape in perfect focus. That font? IS THALIA’S FREAKIN HANDWRITING! If the girl on the cover is a ghost, than she is Thalia’s ghost, suspended over an abyss where hope is only spray of fairy lights and guttering votive candles, but she’s wearing a hot pink mini-dress ANYWAY.

The US cover ghost is Laurel’s. (Some of you said the girl on the U.S. the cover looks unambiguously ALIVE, but I think that’s because it’s a small jpg on a screen. In person, on paper, on a BOOK, that girl is incandescent and unearthly. Maybe more angel than ghost, but definitely not bending the grass when she walks among us.) The colors and worldview are Laurel’s. See how the words in the title deepen and darken and distort as they go LOWER on the page? So the top word, the “THE”, the thing you see first, is clear aqua, but under that…That progression of colors is how Laurel would look if she did wonder-twin powers with her sister and said, FORM OF…. A METAPHOR.

Here’s the thing I wonder that we won’t know for MONTHS: Is the cover you like better a good indicator of what sister you identify with more strongly? I hope I remember to ask when the book is out. I ALSO would really like to see a cover that makes me say “Oh! There’s DAVID’S cover….” I can’t even IMAGINE what such a cover would look like, but maybe, say, Germany, will know?

ALSO, my friend Dana and Cornelia Read BOTH sent me this CARTOON, and it is appropriate for today because this morning as I was trying to grab five more minutes of sleep while Horrible Kitten assiduously BURROWED at my face trying to find an something to nurse on since I had protectively covered up my earlobes…

I Digress to bring you the Inner Dialogue of Horrible Kitten: “Is earlobe up this nostril??? NO?? NO EARLOBE IN NOSTRIL? Hmm. No. AHA! I think earlobe must be under this EYELID, YES???? NO? NO! WHERE IS MY SECRET NURSE PLACE???? I KNOW IT IS HERE ON YOUR FACE AND IF I JUST TOUCH YOU WITH MY WHISKERS ENOUGH IT WILL REVEAL ITSELF! *TOUCH! TOUCH! TOUCH!* ….Hey! Look! I can FLY!”

…anyway this morning during all THAT I realized I have to go BACK to chapter one again in the new book because I started in the wrong place. GAhhhhhh. So, in honor of THAT, I bring this from Savage Chickens…


Man, but I hate that freakin’ pencil.

Posted by joshilyn at October 25, 2007 7:52 AM

Fsscinating theory on the cover art - that we may be drawn to one of the two covers based on which character we most identity with ourselves. I will keep that thought in mind when I FINALLY get to read the book (can't wait!!).

Posted by: Karen at October 25, 2007 8:45 AM

Ooh, interesting theory about which character we'll be drawn to. I don't know what it says about me that in Between I sorta kinda identified with Ona. But mostly because she reminded me of my alcoholic aunt. Yikes!

Love the kitten dialogue!

Posted by: Madame Queen at October 25, 2007 8:47 AM

Hhhmmm....Now I want to know which sister I'd identify more with too. Based on the descriptions, I'd have guessed Laurel, but I liked the Thalia cover a shade more, so again I say Hhhmmmm.....

Cartoon: Perfect!

Posted by: DebR at October 25, 2007 9:34 AM

Hmm, interesting about the covers. I've read the book (and am Ms. Read's supplier), and I'd say I identify more with Laurel in the book. Funnily enough, I'm a Laurel and my sister is, without a doubt, a Thalia. Neither of us quilts though...

Anyway, fond though I am of the American cover - and I really think it will sell the book well - I personally like the U.K. cover more. But, gotta say, the U.K. cover evokes chick lit, at least to my American eye, so I'm glad we'll be seeing the "Laurel" cover instead!

Posted by: Lily at October 25, 2007 10:06 AM

You are very funny. Did you know that? I hope so--cuz ya are.

I loved the Wonder Twins nod--"form of. . .a metaphor." Wouldn't it have been cool if they'd actually done that on Saturday mornings?

Posted by: Roxanne at October 25, 2007 11:54 AM

And I love your explanation of the U.S. cover. . .I went back for a gander since I'd not noticed the font color change. . .and then I realized that you can see the green fence THROUGH HER MIDDLE. I KNEW you could see through the lower part of her skirt. . .but I thought she just wasn't wearing a slip--besides, it's summer and hot, and she could be wearing a swimsuit cover for all I know. . .but a slip won't help ya if someone can see through your abdomen.

I feel as though I now have my finger on the pulse.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 25, 2007 11:57 AM

Awesome Cartoon!

Posted by: Gwen at October 25, 2007 1:01 PM

sweet baby jeebus I am laughing so hard at Kitten's Inner Monologue!!!!!

Posted by: ScottsdaleGirl at October 25, 2007 1:59 PM

Okay then, for the record I like the Thalia cover better.

Meanwhile, back at the Germany, try to get the guy who did the covers for the German Harry Potter books. I think he would do a great David cover.

Posted by: alala at October 25, 2007 6:45 PM

Crazy Farm Plan reminds me of what my foster sister Lucia said when she graduated from Mt. Holyoke and I asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up.

She said, "I want to live in a house with dirt floors and sheep."

Now she is an opera teacher in Seattle. I am more Thalia than a lot of people, but she is WAAAAAAAAAAAY more Thalia than me on even my most Thalia-esque day. But mostly I feel like Bet, I think. At least as far as fashion sense.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at October 25, 2007 9:42 PM

I was right?


I'm so often not-right (which is not the same as being wrong, exactly; it's more like being on a different plane of existance) that I'm a bit startled.

Still. Cool!

I am a Thalia-wanna-be. I'd love to LIVE life right up to the edge like she does. But more and more I'm becoming Laurel-esque, without the good housekeeping skills or quilting.

Love the kitten dialogue! When you write children's books that have an overlay of snark for the parents, that voice is going to be right up front!

Now, about the Crazy Farm Plan? *nudge nudge*

Posted by: Fran at October 25, 2007 11:06 PM

I love the UK cover so I will be interested in seeing which sister I identify with more.

Chickens and goats...it must be a Joss day :)

Posted by: Cele at October 26, 2007 12:25 AM

My crazy-farm-plan only works if I'm rich enough to make someone ELSE do all the actual farm work. Powerball jackpot, where art thee?

Posted by: Brigitte at October 26, 2007 5:36 AM

important that you have that "plan" attached to crazy farm, cuz round here crazy farm is where they send folks who are a bit touched in the head, as we say in the South. ("bless their hearts....")

Posted by: dramamama at October 26, 2007 10:44 AM

Does the Crazy Farm Plan involve moving away from civilization? Because if so, I would like to volunteer as slave labor. Just pleeeease, take me with you!

I feel like Thalia trapped inside Laurel. Naturally, I like both covers. But I like Thalia's more.

Posted by: Amy-Go at October 26, 2007 11:29 AM

The best part of volunteering at an indie bookstore is the stack of ARCs we can peruse in the back room. I almost had heart failure when I saw TGWSS.

I agree with Fran. I'm more of a Laurel and not at all a Thalia so that's probably why I like the US cover better. What DebR said-- the UK cover looks like something from a dark ritual. With all the paranormal fiction out now, I'd assume a vampire was involved. The US cover says "something is Not Right in suburbia."

Any book with the name Joshilyn Jackson on the cover is an autobuy for me. Now I can't wait for Book 4!!

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 26, 2007 1:55 PM

The "had" in "I had a crazy farm plan" gives me hope for a brighter tomorrow. A tomorrow where you still have a phone.

Posted by: Lydia at October 28, 2007 6:13 PM