July 16, 2008

National PJ Month SOME MORE

If you are not regularly a comments reader, you SHOULD break open the ones on the entry below this. There is a RAMPANT WEASEL STORY and more entertaining goodness down there…

Today when I came downstairs AFTER A TRIUMPHANT MORNING OF PRODUCTIVE DRAFTING (bells!trumpets!parades!angels!) my son said, “Do you have writing group?”
I said, “No.”
He said, “Date with Dad?”
I said, “No, I just came down to make a sandwich…Why are you asking me this?”
He said, “Well, you put on real pants, so I figured you must be going someplace special…”

I am WARPING my children.

But I am HIP DEEP IN THE BOOK NOW, WHEE. Today I am ESPECIALLY smug because I finished a sex scene, which means I do not have to write another sex scene for quite some time. I will have to revise this one, but no DRAFTING SEX for a good month or two--- I am PRETTY certain no one is going to do it for at least another 5 chapters. “Keep it in yer pants, oh my fictional beloveds,” says I, and if they whine, then I will say, “TOO BAD ON YOU! UP TROU! IMMEDIATELY! All rampant weasel stories *ahem* will be limited to the comments section of the blog. AT least until August.”

HEE now you are RUNNING to read the comments! But no, in the comments, it is a real alive MAMMAL sort of weasel, not a METAPHOR. It’s just when you spend all morning writing a sex scene, everything starts to sound dirty. I do not LIKE writing sex scenes. Makes me feel pervy and like I am watching something I have no business watching.

My friend Vahz asked me, “SO why do you keep writing them then? Can’t you close the door?”
I told him my whole thing about sex and forward movement and character development, and he said, “Well but give yourself a break! Maybe next time you could just end the chapter with, ‘And then they knocked boots!’”
I said, “Well…if they both keep their BOOTS on, that DOES tell me quite a bit about their characters, right there!”

Maybe I will go with that.

Was thinking as I read over my sex scene, this is another book my niece can’t read *sigh* and then I realized she may well be 16 before it comes out. YARG! In the comments you’ve been talking about what age is appropriate for my books, and yeah –with gods in Alamaba especially, I think, “You must be THIS HIGH to ridet his ride.” In fact, I told one teacher that wanted to have a school wide read I wouldn’t come if they did gods in Alabama---asked them to change to BETWEEN (girl wasn’t out yet).

THAT SAID --- if sneak reading is your teen's greatest vice, then dude, you are both lucky and doing a GREAT job with the parenting.

I was a DREADFUL sneak reader. DREADFUL. I read VERY grown up things like JAWS and ROOTS and THE GODFATHER etc etc on the sly in grade school. And I tell you, I do not THINK of books in the same way I think of movies and TV--- Movies and TV and video games show you things that you can not unsee. Ever. Books tell a story in words, and you can only accurately picture/understand the things that you have the life experience to be ABLE to picture/understand.

I remember this part in roots where Kunta Kinte is dreaming of marrying the prettiest maiden in the village, and in the morning, all the women would display the bloody sheets and there would be feasting, and if there WERE no bloody sheets the girl would be sent back to her father in SUCH SHAME!

I remember being SO enraged with that DUMB TRIBE! What a HATEFUL thing to do to a girl! How on earth could any girl be expected to time her wedding so exactly, MONTHS in advance, so that she would get her period the very next day???

Yeah. Well. I was probably ten.

I had NO idea of how sex worked, really, and I came away from Roots with my innocence still perfectly intact. I didn’t really have an INKLING about how to even PICTURE sex in the books I sneaked to read until 1982, when I boght a tiocket to some Kristy McNichol PG fest and turned left instead of right and walked in to see CONAN THE BARBARIAN instead. Conan TOTALLY does it with a witch in a tent. Very totally with the doing it. Shortly afterwards, I clandestinely read Lady Chatterly’s Lover, which was chock full of gasping and passionate fingernails raking across heaving flanks and sweat-slick bosoms, and I blush to admit that in my MINDS eye, the titular lover of Lady C looked a LOT like DER ARNOLD in breeches (and out of breeches) instead in (and out of) a fur loincloth.

HEE!

ALSO – let’s talk WW for a minute…I am having a HARD TIME sticking to it right now. I want to go see HELLBOY 2 and eat MOVIE POPCORN. But my friend Amy snapped this shot of me at a recent signing at MM house and LOOK! I am SLEEVELESS! I don’t think I have been body confident enough to wear sleeveless since 1992, so it MUST be doign me some good...except I realized that a tank top leaves NO PLACE to safely put a nametag.

sleeveless%21.jpeg

Posted by joshilyn at July 16, 2008 4:20 PM
Comments

I, too, am warping my child, see my late comment to the previous entry. I swear my 3 year old equates street clothes with abandonment.

I was a big sneak reader, too. I read Fear of Flying when I was about 11-- I was clueless.
But really, back then, once a girl had finished everything Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume had to offer, there was no choice but to move on to Mom's book shelves. In my mom's defense, she was forever trying to get me to read books like Watership Down, but Fear of Flying had a cover with boobs on it. Purient interests prevailing, I picked boobs over bunnies. Of course my mom did not know at the time I was sneaking those sorts of books off of her shelves.

Posted by: Jill W. at July 16, 2008 5:17 PM

that is a fabulous pic of you. and I must say you look very much the same as when I met you at the MMH for the launch of TGWSS. yes, you looked fab then too.
I had read a bunch of SK eons ago and have all but forgotten most of it. (purged for more important information, like calculus while in college - which has been purged for hmm, what was that again?) now I really want to go back and read Misery again.

Posted by: elizabeth at July 16, 2008 7:19 PM

Wow. With that B&W effect and the teensiest bit of blurriness, that photo is of a 1940's starlet, complete with swanky cigarettes in holders (on the table in front of you) and a glass of gin on the rocks. Tres sophisticate!

But how come you got posed with someone else's book??? Oh, wait, I know, all yours sold - duh!

Posted by: Lulu at July 16, 2008 8:38 PM

You look darling. Carefree and far too happy to be contained in sleeves.

I, on the other hand, spent the evening doing a discussion with middle schoolers. When I asked my mother (who just retired from 30-plus years of teaching seventh graders) for her advice on such an appearance, this was it: "Oh, honey. You gotta look GOOD."

I tried. It didn't matter. When I asked who was into Judy Blume, they all looked at me like I had on a headgear.

Posted by: Elizabeth Emerson Hancock at July 16, 2008 8:46 PM

Oooh. Mahvelous Picture.

You can do Movie theater popcorn. Eat lots of fruit that morning and the next day, drink your water, etc.etc. You just can't do Hellboy every night. (Now who's getting skeevy in their comments...)

The book, rather the scene, I wish I'd unread was a scene in "The Rose." I didn't even get to read it in the context of the whole book. Someone just handed me the book and said "Read This!" and I did. I got what happened, and it ruined the song for me. (I was 13ish). Eh. I got over it. But yes, I'm blessed to have a reader. :)

Posted by: JulieB at July 16, 2008 9:08 PM

Wow, you look so great. What's this constant battle with the scale when you look that good?

Posted by: nik at July 17, 2008 4:11 AM

I love the retro look of that picture, 40s starlet indeed!

I read "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" when I was 12 or 13, and my world view was never the same again. Though reading the horror of H.P. Lovecraft at 9 or 10 might have been even MORE mind-warping. And I didn't even have to sneak, my mom totally never even asked what I was reading (I think she was just glad I wasn't running off with BOYS).

Posted by: Brigitte at July 17, 2008 5:54 AM

That's too funny about the pants. My kids also know that when Mom actually puts clothes on instead of pj's it means either she is going somewhere or everyone is going too. Pitiful really!

Eat your popcorn and enjoy. Just figure out how many points it is before you go and eat accordingly the rest of the day. That's the joy of WW. You CAN eat movie popcorn or whatever else you want. Just count it! :) Keep up the great work. You look lovely!

Posted by: Melissa Black at July 17, 2008 7:13 AM

Wow. That WAS a great weasel story. Obviously you really have no need for actual human contact when people can leave you comments that great!

My parents worried about me when I started reading Barbara Cartland in sixth grade. THE SEX, they worried about, obviously never having READ any BC because while there was nothing explicit or remotely informative, there WAS a lot of ethereal wafting through heavenly clouds together.

Cosmo, on the other hand, was a whoooooole 'nother story...hehehe.

Posted by: Elena at July 17, 2008 8:50 AM

My parents were unusually cool about my reading habits as a child. As a result, my 6th grade teacher had to call home to verify that I was, in fact, allowed to be reading The Shining. And The Stand. (I was a big Stephen King fan, ok?) However, this open reading policy may have backfired when I found both a Nancy Friday book and that 70's staple, The Joy of Sex. Those were eye-openers, to say the least. Stephen King ain't got nothing on that!

Posted by: ellbee at July 17, 2008 11:28 AM

This is my first visit to your site...scrolling down and reading bits of the print, I saw the beach and pier...and said THAT LOOKS LIKE NAVARRE BEACH!!! IT IS !!! DO YOU GO THERE TOO? I have a condo at Navarre Towers; have been going there since 1970's...in fact my daugher was about 2yrs old so that would have to be 1974??? I am pleased and amazed. No wonder I love your books. I read God's In Alabama right there on that beach two weeks ago...Oh My Goodness! Well, my friend, I have some ideas for you to develop into a book. I am not a writer; all the details, like sex scenes, and conversations I don't think I could ever do...but YOU do it so well. I will gladly offer them to you and you can develop the rest of the story...and have the credit. Your books are so exciting, I feel the presence of the characters, they are real...like in a soap opera, I can't wait to see what happens next. I can't wait to read another one....Please send me a complete list. Are there more than Gods; Kudzu; Between, Georgia??? I want more-more-more !!! I can't put the books down..and when I finish I am sad...I want to know the rest of the story - so go ahead and write a follow-up to the Between Ga. girl....I loved her.
If you will allow me to write to you, send an address, I want to give you a story that will work right into the drama of "Queens in Ga." (or Al.) I grew up in rural Al. and now live in Ga..." pretty close to Between." My hat is off to you. You are a huge success. I am happy to have found your website...It is as crazy, funny, and addictive as the books you write. When are you going back to Navarre? That is wild...Just a Little Piece of Paradise!!!! Would love to talk to you there....Unbelievable coincidence...!
Ann in Columbus, Ga.
(NT 606)

Posted by: ANN BOLES at July 17, 2008 12:45 PM

This is my first visit to your site...scrolling down and reading bits of the print, I saw the beach and pier...and said THAT LOOKS LIKE NAVARRE BEACH!!! IT IS !!! DO YOU GO THERE TOO? I have a condo at Navarre Towers; have been going there since 1970's...in fact my daugher was about 2yrs old so that would have to be 1974??? I am pleased and amazed. No wonder I love your books. I read God's In Alabama right there on that beach two weeks ago...Oh My Goodness! Well, my friend, I have some ideas for you to develop into a book. I am not a writer; all the details, like sex scenes, and conversations I don't think I could ever do...but YOU do it so well. I will gladly offer them to you and you can develop the rest of the story...and have the credit. Your books are so exciting, I feel the presence of the characters, they are real...like in a soap opera, I can't wait to see what happens next. I can't wait to read another one....Please send me a complete list. Are there more than Gods; Kudzu; Between, Georgia??? I want more-more-more !!! I can't put the books down..and when I finish I am sad...I want to know the rest of the story - so go ahead and write a follow-up to the Between Ga. girl....I loved her.
If you will allow me to write to you, send an address, I want to give you a story that will work right into the drama of "Queens in Ga." (or Al.) I grew up in rural Al. and now live in Ga..." pretty close to Between." My hat is off to you. You are a huge success. I am happy to have found your website...It is as crazy, funny, and addictive as the books you write. When are you going back to Navarre? That is wild...Just a Little Piece of Paradise!!!! Would love to talk to you there....Unbelievable coincidence...!
Ann in Columbus, Ga.
(NT 606)

Posted by: ANN BOLES at July 17, 2008 12:46 PM

You are *so* completely lovely.

And it *figures* that your sneek peek at smut would be Classic! Literature! Smut!

Me? I sat on the bathroom toilet (as opposed to, say, the living room toilet) and read the Joanna Lindsey book I swiped from my sister.

I was very disturbed.

And went direclty back to the Trixie Beldon.

Posted by: Angela at July 17, 2008 12:48 PM

fie on the weight obsession Joss. you're a hottie so work it.

my dad had a briefcase of porn that my older brother found and, as the typical older brother, decided to smuggle me books that were straight up (but not always straight) porn. the details are a little fuzzy but i do recall having a fondness for Horny Aunt Fanny. and i did have enough sense to feign shock at the copy of Wifey that was passed around in junior high. okay, it was my copy, but i pretended to have learned something new.

yep, you can NEVER unread some things.

Posted by: debra at July 17, 2008 1:34 PM

I have been Away (OK, not far, just in Chicago, but at a Pampered Chef conference), so I missed my opportunity to tell a mammal in the bedroom story when it would have fit in the conversation, but will burst in with it untimely here.

Lying in bed (in my old place), I heard a NOISE. Noises in the bedroom sound different from noises in the attic, and noises made by Creatures of Size are different from random noises and buzzing bug noises, etc. Scritch, drag. Scrabble.

Got up. Turned on the light. No critter visible. No noise while the light was on. Turned off light. Went back to bed - no longer ready to sleep. Noises began again. There may have been some repetition of this sequence, but, eventually, when I got up and turned on the light - a BAT swooped at me. There may have been screaming.

I closed doors. I fetched broom. I opened the OUT door. Eventually, after a number of false starts (it's up THERE, over the cupboards, but I can't see it!)I managed to herd the rodent out. Apparently, bats can't launch from the ground, so it was climbing up something to find a place to jump off from. I have no idea from whence it came, but I did not get rabies or even rabies shots, which, yes, I also believe to have become much less awful than formerly. But still.

Sorry - sometimes I Must Tell the Story.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at July 17, 2008 1:37 PM

I am such a dork! My sneak reading centered only on staying up past my bedtime, reading instead of cleaning my room, etc -- not reading illicit/age inappropriate books! Oh, the worlds I missed. My mother ought to be sending me weekly thank you notes.

I'm off to the library to see if they've got a copy of Lady Chatterly for me...

Posted by: Daily Tragedies at July 17, 2008 5:41 PM

I sneak-read Stephen King. And I still do. And I'm not sorry.

You called me Amy, not Amy-Go! The world is coming to an end. AND I know why it's not your book in front of you in the pic. Nice job removing the Smarm. *snort*

Posted by: Amy-Go at July 17, 2008 7:32 PM

OK! We can never have enough bursting Mammal stories. But, I have two bat stories and I'm going to pionk socks them until tomorrow. Ha!

For today, I shall confess that I had a huge crush on Bobby Sherman when I was 6 years old. So much so that my parents decided to stage an intervention. "You know," my mom cautioned, "He probably has a wife hidden away somewhere already." I would not be disuadded an played Julie Julie Juulie do you love me enough times on the record player that I'll probably have caused the early dementia of my parents.

This tragic crush was between the Glenn Campbell crush and preceeded the Mark Spitz crush.

@ Diane: I think I know you!... (Cue the Partridge Family...)

Posted by: JulieB at July 17, 2008 8:27 PM

Although I don't have any wee minds to warp around my household, I have been known to change from my pj's just moments before my husband comes home from work.

Don't want to warp him, as he's the main breadwinner. And I can always make up stories about what I did that day. . .

At 10, The Exorcist cured me from sneaking grown-up books, at least for about a year. I'm still obsessed with fear of demon possession.

Eat the popcorn! As Erma Bombeck said, "No one ever lay on their death bed wishing they had ate more cottage cheese". I, too, play the neurotic scale game (although I haven't actually named my scale), and I've found that 2:30 PM is my "light time". I now only weigh myself then, after stripping off my pj's, of course.

Just found your site, and admit I haven't read your books, but will look for them today at my lending library. However, I'm in China (that's who's reading your archives in Beijing, mystery solved. . .) and the assortment of books is a bit eclectic.

But I will keep reading here! Thanks!

Posted by: flatbacker at July 18, 2008 1:05 AM

Ha, ha, Debra, I forgot about the very "educational" naughty magazines (usually slightly rained-on) that we'd find at the older kids' fort in the woods!

Posted by: Brigitte at July 18, 2008 5:35 AM

OK. I am also a Trixie Belden fan. I even know Moms's given name. :)


My husband and I had friends who bought an old house about the same time we bough out old house. As we were all very poor at the time, both couples bought fixer-uppers. Our houses had issues such as cracked plaster walls and rooms that hadn't seen fresh paint since before the Carter era, which we tackled a little bit at a time, eventually managing to get it cleaned up enough to have our first child.

The other couple was about a year behind us, so the summer after our daughter was born, they were finishing up some work on one of their upstairs rooms, happily expecting their first child. The husband was working in one of the closets which had wallpaper he was going to rip out. As he started he noticed a bulge in the wallpaper. Figuing he'd start there and look at the rotten plaster behind it, he took his Swiss Army knife and slit through it, and a Bat head popped through it and started screaming at him. True story.

Posted by: JulieB at July 18, 2008 11:40 AM

I LOVED TRIXIE BELDEN, TOO!!!!!!

Posted by: Kim at July 19, 2008 12:06 AM

Another mammal story... my brother just bought a new house and decided to do some work in the kitchen. I'm not sure exactly what he was fixing, but he needed to cut a hole in the ceiling just over the stove. He was greeted with an odd smell. Then he made his lovely new bride climb up there and retrieve the petrified squirrel he found!

I don't recall doing too much "naughty" on the sly reading. I did read a lot of my mom's Stephen King in High School.

Posted by: Laura L at July 19, 2008 10:04 AM

I think our cherry tomatos are going to stay orange. We are going to have rain for a solid week here, as well as heat, so if they don't change colors by Wednesday night, I'm going to pick them as is. I'm planning on taking the kids out of town to The Lake. Not the Great Lake, Michigan, but a little lake in central Illinois with warm, mossy-colored water and lots of cousins nearby.

It is in that region my next story lies. When I was in junior high, my cousins and I were out at that lake in the late '70s -- Peter Frampton was the only musician on the radio that summer. (we might have listened to an 8-track of Breakfast in America too ...) My older cousin was waist-deep in the water along side the dock. He had a hoe and was raking out seaweed from the area so we would have a place to swim when a long black snake writhed out of the weeds and headed right for my cousin. He jumped out of the water and up onto the dock in one move -- a column of water following him.

The snake shot away, never to be seen again.

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