June 30, 2007

Holy Crap

Holy Crap

Hi. I have completely lost it.

Last night, a SERIOUSLY DETERMINED EVIL STORM ignored TWO layers of surge protection and a back-up battery designed to allow me to shut down my computer safely should the power cut out.


Hey! You know THE METAL BOX that once contained my calendar of events (Including book club calls and meetings that are NOT on the online calendar and which are marked in paper calendar by BOOK CLUB CALL so I know to look on my computer calendar for helpful little things like a time, a time ZONE, a contact name and a phone-number) a HOST of beloved old short stories and essays, a TON of unanswered e-mail INCLUDING mails from readers that I NEVER fail to answer, a VERITABLE cornucopia of RESEARCH NOTES from a week spent in San Fran that I mailed myself because I did not take the laptop…AND AND AND (this is where I want to burst into noisy sobs and run for the ocean like a lemming)
My brand spankin’ new novel in progress.
Not yet backed up. AT ALL. ANYWHERE. Thanks!

Yeah. THAT BOX…went BOOM.

It has now become a box with a button the front that makes a dispirited and NOT AT ALL ELECTRICAL click noise when I press it.

It is not entirely worthless. I COULD, for example, use the box to store Cheetos and other transfat laden snacks that I could eat while curled up in the fetal position, weeping. But it is pretty much finished with the "electronic device" phase of its career.

I repeat: BOOM.

(Dear FTK Regulars and Best Beloveds,
Please kill and eat the first person in the comments who reminds me I should SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN, and BACK UP RELIGIOUSLY. Also kill and eat the second. And the third. Kill and eat as many as come. THANKS! LOVE YA! KNOW YA GOT MY BACK.
Yers, Joshilyn)

I am distraught.

Scott says he thinks it is possible to recover these things. He is going to spend today taking all the guts out and attempting to fix my life.

MEANWHILE, I have to go to Winder, Georgia today for a library thing that is MERCIFULLY on my online schedule. So I have the ADDRESS AND TIME.
All OTHER info is stuck in the NEW CLICKY BUTTON SNACK BOX,
For example:

A Contact name

A Contact phone number

The Special Secret directions the Librarian sent me because she says MAPQUEST and possibly GPS systems send you to MARS if you believe them….


This would be a good time to pray for Scott to fix it and for it to be fixable and for me to not end up on Mars. Although, to BRIGHT SIDE IT, my mental illness number is already ON MARS, so if my GPS takes me there, at least we can asphixiate in Mars's thin atmosphere TOGETHER....

Posted by joshilyn at 9:37 AM | Comments (37)

June 28, 2007

Drive by Blogging

HI! I am drafting.

I had a prologue and a first chapter but I have successfully whittled them down to only 2,000 words by throwing out all the bad sentences. *sigh*

I hate drafting.
I hate starting a new book.
I never remember how to WRITE books right at the front and so I usually begin them by calling my friends a lot and weeping that I have lost the knack for it and then I try to get them brainstorm with me about other jobs I might be good at and eventually we work it out that I am essentially useless in ALL OTHER WAYS.

“Unless you want an exciting career in the medical test subject industry,” they say, “You should hang up and go write a book.”

SOON I will have enough CRAPULANT DEVIL WORDS to where I can STOP drafting and revise. On that day, Best Beloveds, I shall be happy. Till then. I need regular infusions of Shiraz and cheese popcorn and kindness and to be left alone at night to watch 3 episodes of ALIAS on DVD in a row.

NOTE: I never watched Alias when it was on because I thought it was some serious actual SPY show full of politics and DEEP THOUGHTS. Um, no. It is essentially XENA, but with gadgets instead of magic. It has kitten-headed pretty boys who are in love with Jennifer Garner, AS WELL THEY SHOULD BE, and even better, it has REALLY a LOT of outfits. I HEART it. It makes all the hamsters on their million tiny wheels inside my brain GO AND SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

Anyway – here’s the drive-by and then I have to go back to staring musingly at this blank page and thinking up optional other careers and what friend I can call next to discuss in depth my potential as a stock trader or cowboy:

I was flipping though my usual Christian Pop stationswhich is almost all I listen to when the kids are in the car. When they are OUT I listen to audio books… It was all COMMERCIALS. So I flipped over to see what was happening on Dave FM.

Talking Heads.

Burning Down the House.

Ahhhhh the living sound of my misspent youth….

Me: Kids! Kids! Listen! This is the Talking Heads. They are THE AWESOME.
*we listen*
*song ends*
Sam: *musingly* I like that song. I wish we listened to Dave FM all the time. It seems like it might be ALL rock-n-roll and no education.

Hehehe. My kid likes his music LEARNING FREE, thanks.

Posted by joshilyn at 2:49 PM | Comments (14)

June 25, 2007

In Which No One Gets What They Want

Here is the chair I want. In fact I want a BUNCHA chairs like that, fun moddy-pod chairs with SPOTS, and maybe a puffy little sofa thing that goes with them and to paint my walls a funky color and have a house that doesn’t look like 12 drunken grad students and 4 goats live there in a communist heap.


This is the chair I have at present:


You see the MAIN problem with the chair I have showing us his eyeless side as he screams in ecstasy and shreds the top. Please note the stuffing coming out the side. Understand in NO uncertain terms that if I got the chair I WANT, the Clawed Devil Pirate would soon make it look EXACTLY like the chair I have, so what is the point? The wisdom of pop music has taught me that if your cat can’t NOT shred the chair you love, honey, let him shred the chair you have.

Under “why I cannot have that chair” see also: Children who are apparently one quarter Scottlike, one quarter me-like and fifty percent monkey. The big one has clambered and huffled around and broken the sofa arm so that it wobbles like a weeble and the smallest one has banged up the coffee table by LEAPING from its top onto the sofa 1 ZILLION times in her Blossom Pink wooden Hanna Andersson clogs. Those clogs make her delicate little mouse feet into DANGEROUS furniture destroying anvils. AND the dog ate holes in the throw pillows.

I learned a LONG time ago I could have a pretty house OR pets and children, and I WILLFULLY picked children and as many animals as I can con Scott into liking, and I think it is a GOOD pick, really, but…I DO love that spotty little chair. Just sayin’.

This is the laptop HE wants. I have to admit I am TEMPTED because LOOK! This particular laptop comes with “Instant fun plus!” The list of Specs SAYS so, right in the category labeled “other features.” INSTANT FUN PLUS!!!!

I think that must mean it comes with SEAMONKEYS. I am all about Sea Monkeys. But Scott says NO, it is sadly NOT free sea monkeys. It DOES come with a 1,500 dollar price tag, and the saggy old 50 pound darling we call LAPPY 2000 is still serviceably allowing us to get our email when we travel…it would pretty much be 1,500 bucks to make out of town GAMING be a leetle more smooth scrolling. That and NO SEA MONKEYS means it’s a no for now.

The dog wants an animal friend to play with. I suspect his idea of PLAYING WITH GERBILS is to suck them like lozenges until they smother, so The Ladies are off limits. We did not get The Dog I Liked because the LAPTOP WANTER did not cotton to him. I cottoned plenty. But I want a dog that Scott really LIKES, the way he likes Bagel. And Scott is WERIRD about dogs---- he fell for Bagel (aka Throw Pillow Eater) instantly. So we are waiting for the right second dog…

That leaves the Chair Shredding Pirate Cat. Yeah. The cat is SO the boss of the Bagel, and Bagel is terrified of him, and yet like a hairy island savage who worships an equally hairy volcano, the dog cannot resist circling the cat and begging for his respectful love to be even marginally returned with a slight kindness. Like “Not Removing My Nose” is a boon often asked for, and yet never given. He never learns, never; Poor Bagel asks the cat to play 300 times a day. 300 times a day the cat rebuffs him cruelly.

This CONSTANT loud and bloody courtship has caused me to sing a theme song for the dog that has grown to a good thirty or forty verses… it goes to a tune VERY similar to “Do Your Ears Hang Low,” and all the verses have about the SAME main idea – a sample verse would look like this:

Kitty, do you want to play?
Do you want to be my friend?
Can I run up in your face?
Can I sniff the other end?

Then the refrain is always:
Well, you ask him in the night and you ask him in the day,
but Doggly never does the kitty want to play…

The cat wants the dog to stop courting him. He is not getting it.

The gerbils want more cardboard tubes to shred, but Scoot keeps WILLFULLY buying CHARMIN DOUBLE ROLLS which have 50 miles of TP each, and we can’t pee fast enough to keep up with The Ladies’ tube consumption.

The children want to lie on beanbags in the cool basement eating pounds of delicious transfat and watching television, but I relentlessly run them out of the house and make them bike and swim and play with animal-friendless Poor Bagel.


And yet we are having a happy summer. Oh Yes We Are.

I think this is because we like each other, and are having a fun time together, and the wisdom of pop music has taught us ALL that while we can’t always get what we want, we will surely, OH SURELY, get what we need. Mick said so. Must be true.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:48 AM | Comments (20)

June 22, 2007

Take Your Dog to Work...


Unless he is tootsy...

Posted by joshilyn at 11:14 AM | Comments (5)

Where in the World is Me and My Dog

This Sunday, I will be on a Georgia NPR CALL IN radio show called Cover to Cover. It runs at 8 PM eastern time. The toll-free number to call during the program is 1-866-RADIO GA (1-866-723-4642)

If you are not IN Georgia, you can listen to it live from the site linked above via The Magic of the Internets (!!!) and call in, just the same.

It works a little like a BOOK CLUB – they say what the book for the month early, so if you have not read Between, Georgia yet, then it might be a LITTLE on the spoilery side. They don’t reveal huge twists but they talk pretty freely about characters and whatnot. If you HAVE read Between, then allow me to say:
1) My LORD but you are GORGEOUS today --- that color really brings out the NOBLE PERFECTIONS of your knife-like cheekbones, and
2) if you had a question you wanted to ask me about Between or the Kudzu or writing or whatever, this would be a fun time to call and ask it.

I have been on this program before for gods in Alabama, and if you want to see how it goes, you can listen as they keep it archived here

As an aside, simply because it is up on the cover to cover site, may I just say I do not like my color author photo? I KNOW I have mentioned this before. But it looks a LITTLE like I am getting ready to try and sell you some prime real estate. Just sayin’.

ALSO, in AUGUST, I am going to be at the MISSISSIPPI WRITERS GUILD 2007 Writer’s Conference. Ya’ll come, too.

LASTLY, today, as you may or may not know, is NATIONAL TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY! SO basically this means Bagel – who ate Something Evil last night and has been trying all night and into to the morning to emit it as a gas --- is going to be poisoning the air in my office all day long, as Scott said being shut in the car with the fumes he is putting out might cause blindness.

WOOT.COM has a cheerful little song about it!

Posted by joshilyn at 8:14 AM | Comments (13)

June 21, 2007

I lift the fog that shrouds the mystery that was GERBILGATE! (and 3Q with Megan Crane)

OKAY SO, a week or so ago a woman from Sweden contacted me about a picture of one of my Gerbils---I linked to the thread, but the admins of the forum have now removed it. But it is all clear what was happening now. She was askign about my favorite, the one we call Cosy Mole Mouse whose picture was up on the blog. You can see the picture here. For the record, I know the actual word is spelled COZY. But her name is spelled Cosy. Don’t ask. ANOTHER of the Gerbils is named That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson, so you have to know it is probably too long and weird and steeped in internal family lore to adequately explain, and it is better just to ACCEPT Cosy’s alternative spelling without delving too deeply.

Cosy is a weirdo – probably because she is the product of incest. One of our BROTHER gerbils turned out to be secretly a sister and so….remember Flowers in the Attic? Well, we had Gerbils in the Kitchen, and it had pretty much the same PLOT, if you follow me. The plot resulted in BABY gerbils. 16 in two litters. 11 were black (as were the parents). 4 were white with red eyes.

Cosy was the only GRAY, just one shade darker than the whites (you can see how close they are in the pic, that’s a white beside her) and she did not have red eyes! They were brown, but a slightly lighter brown than the eyes of her black siblings. They are not, in point of fact, QUITE as light as the eyes appear in the pic – the flash lightened them. But they are a medium brown instead of black beads or red orbs.

Anyway, this woman contacted me very excited about Cosy and wanting to know if I had bred her or if she had any like siblings etc. etc. Well, we all have our passions. When I had a spare minute, I shot off the answers to her queries, which resulted in two more detailed lists of questions and requests for pictures and video of Cosy.

Which I thought was….odd.

So I just hit delete, and then yesterday I got two things…
A message from the original woman offering to come BUY Cosy for 100 dollars, Yes, really, and how was that ‘sposed to work? Did she want me to put Cosy in a box with some crackers and MAIL her? I deleted that, and then a small flurry of messages from people who are all members or administrators of the website I linked to yesterday.

They all wanted to know the same thing, but I am going to quote the one who best explained what was going on, although I have redacted his or her name and identifying details as I suspect some sort of mental illness is happening among the fjords and do not wish to SIC anyone less than stable upon her or him:

I am writing you this mail because an argument has started on the Swedish critter-website zoonen.com, over a picture of your gerbil Cosy Mole Mouse. Some one claims to have bred the very gerbil in the picture a few weeks ago here in Sweden and now it has run away. The eye-colour is not known in Sweden and therefore every one was very interested in her litter. Now when it is proven the picture is copied from your website the breeder claims she and you know each other and her family often travel and visit you and bring gerbils from you to Sweden and vice-versa. Cosy Mole Mouse is stated to be identical with the swedish gerbil and that is why she copied the picture. Now she can not take one of her own to prove her story since the gerbil is said to have run away.

When I read your website I noticed that you wrote your gerbils came from a pet shelter and you thought both were males, which would indicate you never had any intentions to breed gerbils, and that they are not from Sweden, unlike what the Swedish breeder states. So, I am asking you to please either confirm or dement the story; that you actually do have contact with a Swedish breeder, and that Cosy Mole Mouse is related to the animals of the Swedish breeder.

…the enviorment of our forum is getting kind of sour because of this and I would like your help to put an end to all the bad-mouthing.

SO. Yeah.

SO BASICALLY she said it was her gerbil, then some Swedish GOOGLE MASTER found the same pic here on Kudzu and called her on it, and she told a few whoppers about the long standing gerbil swapping friendship we have shared and she tried to buy Cosy so she could present her as the REFOUND lost mythical Swedish brown eyed blonde Gerbil. OR SOMETHING? The upshot is, those of you who voted WTF were RIGHT on the money.

My friend Sara says I should put up a guard around the aquarium lest Swedish Gerbil Ninjas come and spirit Cosy away…

I got to meet Megan Crane
at the big “GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING is no longer called Warner Books” party in NYC, and she is just as funny and charming in person as she is in print. I THOUGH|T I had a picture of us somewhere but I cannot find it on my sloppy hard drive. Very frustrating. ANYWAY...

Her latest release from GCC’s 5 Spot is FRENEMIES, the story of Gus Curtis, who is on the far side of 29 and finally feeling like she has it all: a strong career, great friends, and a wonderful boyfriend. But all of this comes crashing down when Gus discovers Nate, her "Mr. Right," hooking up behind her back with her so-called "friend" Helen. Soon it seems like the life Gus has worked to make so adult looks a lot like the one she already had as a teenager, and Gus is left with more questions than answers: Can she win Nate back before she turns 30 alone? (And if so, does she really want him?) Is Helen really as devious and manipulative as she seems, or, worse, is Gus more like her frenemy than she ever imagined? And is she ever going to grow up? With the clock ticking down to her birthday, Gus discovers that sometimes the best thing about best-laid plans is trashing them altogether.

Marian Keyes Says, “"FRENEMIES is a hugely enjoyable novel with brilliant, convincing characters and dialogue. It's romantic, funny, intelligent, believable and gripping. I couldn't put it down and am now very sorry it's finished!"
(This blurb impresses me – I’m a big fan…)

JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover you imagined when you were writing the book?

MC: I am wildly, madly in love with this cover. When I first saw it, I literally squealed like a small child at Disneyland. Isn't it just so pretty? With the blue and that arm and the paperdolls?? I adore it. I would love to tell you that I compose covers in my brain as I write, but I do not. I am really not at all artistic in that way. But this cover certainly exceeded my expectations, and I loved my previous covers, too...

JJ: I actually get all kinds of cover ideas, and then I see the actual, brilliant cover Anne Twomey comes up with and I say, “Oh. Nevermind. Wow!” So apparently I am not artistic in that way either, but unlike you, I need to go by Target and pick up some “sense enough to KNOW it…” Who did you dedicate this book to and why?

MC: I dedicated this book to my friends because, frankly, they put up with a lot and deserve it. Also, the book is about evil friends who betray you, and I thought it was important to celebrate the non-evil friends who would never do such a thing.

JJ: Ooooh. Tell us about the REAL LIFE evil ones.

MC: I seem to be able to walk into any room and find the craziest person in it, who will then want to be my friend. As I am easily flattered, I think this is a great idea, and then am shocked (SHOCKED) when my new friend talks atrociously about me behind my back to my actual friends, hits on the guy I like, tries to do a social end run around me, calls me their best friend and then gets married without telling me, turns out to be a pathological liar who steals my writing and pretends someone else did, or claims that I might be their only true friend moments before I am to discover that they systematically destroyed my job prospects. These are all true stories. My conclusion? Stop being friends with cheap, flattering floozies. But I bet everyone has a few of these stories tucked away in there, don't they?

JJ: HA! I have that gift, too. Crazy Magnet. Hrm we did kinda hit it off in NYC…I wonder which of us is the crazy? *evil cackle* *drools a little bit* *plots world domination*

Hey Megan? Did you know I am in the middle of an international rodent incident? Yeah?

Me neither.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:16 AM | Comments (24)

June 20, 2007

Blah Blah Blah

There is apparently some furfural in Europe about my gerbil, Cozy Mole Mouse…If you can read SWEDISH (I think Swedish???) Please take a moment and go here and tell me WTH is GOING ON??? Tell us ALL in comments. Inquiring rodent owners want to know.


Please note the POLL...Does WTF in SWEDISH meanwhat it means in English? Because it is winning. I may vote for it myself.

ALSO! I keep getting concerned e-mails from people who think I am in danger of buying some toe bells and spending my days chanting at crystals so I can be a little more all-seeing. Actually, I am learning tarot because I THINK I am going to have a rather important character who reads the cards. I think she is sincere and good at it, and I think this bugs the crap out of my devoutly Catholic narrator. It’s an interesting tension that may or may not end up mattering in the final draft, plus I always like games/cards and suchlike in books, both as a reader and a writer. BUT.

I did not spend a week in Cali and return believing even remotely that I have so much as a SPECK of psychic ability. I WISHED I did in middle school – wanted desperately to be KNOWINGLIKE and MYSERIOUS. So my friends and I spent a weeks on the bus home leaning over the seats to take that CARD TEST with the squiggles that Venkman gives to hapless volunteers hooked up to electrodes in Ghostbusters. Our results showed over and over that the entire pack of us combined were less psychic than a box of rocks.

While I DO emphatically believe there are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamed of in MY philosophy, Oh Beloved Horatios, I approach people who claim to have psychic ability with a healthy dollop of skepticism, and that skepticism rises along with the amount they wish to charge me. In this PARTICULAR case, Jill is correct about “next steps” in the comments:

My NEXT STEP was to go get a feminine cleansing. Even though it was free, I skipped it and went to lunch instead as it sounded slightly more gynecological than I was strictly comfortable with. Then I was purportedly needing to go to the same RAWTHER expensive workshop Jill’s aura indicated she was ‘sposed to attend. A small amount of loitering about aimlessly allowed me to overhear two more ladies get the exact same NEXT STEP. Let’s just say that my opinion of these events is currently filed under, “Things that make you go hmm.”

My experience (and interest level, quite frankly) in Tarot is limited. It’s research. I mucked about in much the same way with Ouija for a scene in THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, and once I got the scene right, my interest dissipated. BUT! As you know if you are a reg, I am a devout Christian, so I will get serious for a moment if you will indulge me, and tell you, at this aura reading, I recognized the VIBE in a QUITE personal way, and became so uncomfortable that I cut the reading short by claiming I had to go to the bathroom.

I have smelled these same AGENDA vapors emitting before -- I whiffed them first in a church. A friend invited me to go to her services – this was years ago –and at that time they had a preacher so slick he seemed OILED. He claimed to have the gift of healing and many other spiritual gifts, and the service was very much ABOUT him and his gifts, if you follow me. BAD JUJU, thought I to myself, and so I took a little wander around the building.

The guy was using a GEL LIGHTBOARD more sophisticated than the one at the theatre where I was employed, and if you have studied lighting design at all, you know how deeply it can change mood. OH, but he was working that crowd! He was charismatic and the lights and music were carefully choreographed to boost his appeal. HOW the money flowed in. I never went back, and not 18 months later that church collapsed when it was learned this guy was both systematically looting the collection dish and sleeping with a great many of the more nubile female parishioners.

You see this subversion wherever people seek meaning, because the search itself is powerful and has influence. There are always those who are waiting for a chance to USE that influence. I suspect that people who attempt to use the faith of others for their own material gain are going to the special hell. Just saying. Oddly enough, I resent the psychic “guiding” me toward a pricey workshop LESS than I resented that preacher, because the psychic wasn’t tapping into my faith. I was pretty much immune.

Pragmatic as I am, I DO think there is more to the universe than what I can see and smell and taste and touch and hear. Faith is a force in my life. It changes my behavior. I believe, for example, that prayer is powerful. I pray for people. I appreciate it when people pray for me. I appreciate it less, however, if they want to charge me five bucks a prayer and are set up to take VISA.

At the same time, I tithe faithfully and give to Christian charities that do things like run an AIDS hospice, operate a halfway house for the mentally disabled, and give homeless families in our community shelter and food til they can get back on their feet. I think these are good things to do, but I know there are charities out there that spend 80% of the money get on “operations” and 20% on the actual work, so I never give money spontaneously, or over the phone, or to a charity I have not researched. I try to give without getting taken. It’s a fine line. We all have to draw it for ourselves.

Living by faith makes tons of these fine lines, and some days I feel they are spread in a web all around me so that I can't take a baby step without breaking my mother’s back. I try to respect other belief systems and yet remain faithful to my own. I try to live by faith and at the same time not let savvy, manipulative, dishonest people use it as a tool to control my actions. I try to be a good person, but I fail, and let pettiness rule my minutes and sour my hours, and I am never as kind or open minded or openhearted as I want to be. I tend to be gullible and yet am often so cynical I make myself angry. I navigate these lines every hour, but they are not things I talk about much here.

I break that habit now to say, please don’t think that because in this blog I speak lightly about, well, everything on earth, that I am insensate to the larger issues. I am not, but this is not the place for them. This place is MEANT to be off the cuff and fun to write, fun to read. I am not interested in discussing The Meaning of Life here, unless you mean the Monty Python movie. If I experience spiritual growth or despair, I probably won’t yarp about it here. I talk about it with Scott and God, and of course it ends up infesting my fiction.

I am endlessly interested in grace, in the imperfect human modeling of unconditional love, identity, the effects of violence, in poverty and privilege, how sex works in and out of marriage, what it means to be a parent, and of course I like blowing stuff up. There’s ROOM for that and a big scoop of plot, too, in a novel. Not here.

I think of KUDZU as a playground. SO! If I, for example, have a spiritual crisis and find myself unable to remember how to forgive, I write THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, and if I DO talk about it here, it is a single entry that comes in the guise of owls, hidden between naughty pet stories. BUT! If I get told my relationship rose kicks SCOTT’s rose’s buttocks, I ABSOLUTELY have to immediately blog it. AND call everyone I ever met and say so. I MEAN COME ON. You would, too.

INTERESTING AND COMPLETELY UNRELATED AND TOTALLY KUDZU APPROPRIATE FACTOID: Before I left for San Fran, I had plans to go see a TAROT READING CHICK here but um – I drove by and it was on this STRIP CLUB INFESTED street. And not shiny yuppie lets do a naked boobie chicken wing good ol' perverted boys club lunch upscale strip club either – more like the one in THE SOPRANOS. I could absolutely imagine a person getting beaten to death in the back room. So I kept driving. Later I learned that here in Atlanta (and maybe elsewhere, I cannot say) a great many “tarot card readers” with the electric palm signs up in their windows are ACKSHULLY hookers. (!!!!) Glad I chose to ix-nay THAT an-play.

To answer another question in the comments – Heather wanted to know why an indoor technophile such as myself who routinely says things like, “I do not like nature. Nature is where they keep the roaches…” should have a relationship ROSE. It seems more likely that I would have, say, a relationship SPARK PLUG.

I dunno. Maybe this is common lingo. You would have to ask someone more prone to AURA SEEING than me, which would be, um – just about anyone ever born. Box of rocks, remember? Apparently this particular aura-see-er saw I had a relationship rose lurking amid my aura’s barbed wire and cigarette butts... I think we need to focus on what REALLY matters here, which is NOT that I had a rose, but that it is WAY TALLER than Scott's. LA LA LA.

Really though. I think my aura is a big fat liar.. Anyone who has been in a ROOM with the two of us greets the revelation that Scott has a long way to go to reach my dizzying spiritual heights by laughing until they choke on their own tongues.

Scott is very centered and balanced and steadily progresses via reading C S Lewis for FUNSIES while I thrash around and shriek and fuss and argue with God and myself and take ten baby steps forward toward grace and then I holler OH MOTHER MAY I? And back I go in two giant steps. I am venal and vain and dreadful and my path toward goodness is marked by willingness and weakness in such equal measures that it makes loop-de-loops.

If I do indeed have a relationship rose? I betcha it has aphids.

Posted by joshilyn at 1:56 PM | Comments (23)

June 19, 2007

The Cleansiest Aura of All!

While I was in Berkley getting a psychic to pick the nits out of my aura until it was Rainbow Brite ultra-spankin’ clean (Yes. Really.), back at the ranch, my son accepted a Mission from God to drive his sister bat crap crazy. He is still ON That mission, even though he has accomplished it five or nine times at LEAST since I have been home.

He needles and picks and slyly insinuates and contradicts and out-talks her until she begins to make this HORRIBLE and UNENDING shriek like “A Screaming Banshee” from those Hallmark E-cards. (For the record, My Faves = A Screaming Banshee Goes on a Date and Same Does Taxes…)

While I was in Berkley, getting my aura read (and according to my aural reader? MY relationship rose is MUCH taller than SCOTT’S relationship rose! Also BRIGHTER! And ROSIER! And spiritually? He is maybe just NOT IN THE SAME TALL BRIGHT ROSY PLACE AS ME. Just saying! Scott would like to point at that perhaps his relationship rose only LOOKED shorter and dimmer because he was all the way back in GEORGIA and really the thing is so MASSIVE and Glows with such NUCLEAR FERVOR that my psychic reader could see it all the way from Cali. Meanwhile MY blighted and pitiful posy looked tall to her because she was sitting right next to it…I think that’s crap. She was pretty CLEAR. My relationship rose > yours, babe. And if I wasn’t so spiritually mature and bright, I MIGHT be tempted to add, IN YER FACE.) my son tried this RAWTHER California ploy in the quest to make his sister make that NOISE.

Maisy: Sam! Want to play Pokeman?
Sam: No, Maisy. I can’t play SOME GAME with you. I need to go sit in the backyard and meditate.
Maisy: Can I come, too?
Sam: *looking down nose* No. A person has to be alone to meditate. Do NOT follow me.
Maisy: What’s “meditate”?
Sam: It is where you go someplace quiet without your sister and you think about a peaceful thing.
Maisy: Like what?
Sam: Like a sunset. Or a waterfall going down a mountain. Or some vegetarians eating up their tofu.

Yes. He really said that.
Yes, he was being sincere.
NO, I DID NOT take him to California with me, so HOW did he get the word MEDITATE into his vocab, much LESS tofu?

No clue.

I do use a lot of SOY protein here --- my kids LURVE the Faux-Chicken nuggets, mostly because ….let’s just say say, “Dogs don’t know it’s not bacon.” Wink wink, nudge nudge. And I may sometimes make NATURES OWN GRAIN SOY BURGER things. But I have never perpetrated tofu upon them. I would if I COULD, but I can’t make it taste like the tofu masters at Thai Fusion Restaurant. I used to try to make TOFU dishes, but….hrm. Maybe NOT. My tofu never tasted like hot, crisp-edged deliciousness PERMEATED with saucy goodness. It always tastes like a blubbery wad of tofu trying to up the snot factor in an otherwise nice stir fry.

ANYWAY, he continues on with she could not come and she wouldn’t be able to meditate anyway because she is too little and dumb and whatnot, and THANK GOD I hadn’t told HIM the relationship rose thing or I am sure he would have yoinked hers out of the spiritual plain by the roots and MEASURED it and found it wanting, and eventually he achieved his goal and that HORRID SOUND came out of her in an unending tearful GRINDING way.

I’ve only been home 48 hours and already I can feel my aura RESNARLING itself into pea green tangles and bug nests. My theme sentence for this summer: WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING TO MAKE THAT NOISE COME OUT OF YOUR SISTER, STOP DOING IT.

Second to lastly – How can I learn to READ TAROT other than reading a book about it? I am going down that road now and….yarg. I have a hard time learning via text alone – I do much better hands on. If you live in Atlanta, do you know any one day BEGINNER’S tarot workshop type thing that does not cost the EARTH?

Very lastly of all, my friend Susan sent me a link to a live journal entry about a Very Naughty Dog and some sweet potatoes. If you have or like dogs and do not mind a bit of strong language, you MUST go read this.
I DIED of laugh and charm.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:09 AM | Comments (20)

June 15, 2007

Cafe Yummitude

SO we went to the GRAIN HOUSE of Vegan Love -- yes Virginia, it WAS Cafe Gratitude. I was worried because all the shoes I have with me are leather.

Me: WIll they kick me out when they see I have on leather shoes?
Jill: How will they know? Maybe they will assume it is a man-made leather subsitute?
Me: They LOOK leather...
Jill: Well, if anyone gives you any flack, tell them it is RECYCLED leather. Say, "It used to be on a cow....but I recycled it!"

At which point I laughed so hard my spleen came out my nose.

I would love to mock cafe Gratitude, and REALLY it would be SO SO SO EASY, because to order HUMMUS you say "I am Happy" and to order Ceasar salad you say "I am Dazzling." You have to say it like you mean it. When the waitress brings your lunch she sets down the salad, say, and she looks you in your eyeballs and she says "YOU ARE DAZZLING."

Dude, she MEANS it.

And then later the Waitress asks you the question of the day which in our case was "Can you please share with me one thing you really celebrate about yourself?"

Cornelia and Jill and i all agreed that it would not be hard to mock them. But oh best beloveds....we could not mock them. Two reasons.

1) THE FOOD. OMG, there is a REASON they name the hummus I AM HAPPY. I ate it YESTERDAY. I am STILL happy. If I could make vegan food taste like this all the time I would totally be vegan.I thought about buying their cookbook, but a quick perusal of the ingredient list in the hummus alone cowed me. I can't get these things at the Whole Foods in ATLANTA much less at my hometown Kroger.

2) The SINCERITY. I am helpless to mock in the face of such true earnest goodwill. True Believers win me over every dern time. Our waitress was adorable. ADORABLE. And SO sincere in her hopes that our meals would help be all abundant and fulfillign and whatnot. She was a peach. Everyone who worked there was peachlike and not DRIPPY. No one drifted about with their toe-bells jingling. They were PEPPY and ENERGETIC and CHEERFUL and DEAR.

All in all, if I lived close, I woudl eat there every freakin Friday. And I cannot mock it. BUT...
I can mock the mirror in the bathroom with its VERY AFFIRMING post potty message.


Actually, even THAT is too easy. BYOM, please.

Posted by joshilyn at 11:41 AM | Comments (14)

June 13, 2007

IT LIVES! And Eats Tiny Plates of Lamb with Figs!

I am not the best one at HORN TOOTING and I mean to tell you when things that happen that are good, but then I get HINKY. I get bored with author blogs that are just a series of press releases, you know? TODAY THIS SUPER GREAT THING HAPPENED! SO GO BUY MY LATEST BOOK! But, sometimes, every now and again, a super great thing or two DOES happen and I want to tell you, and then I get all diffident and toe scrubby and decide not to say or put it off until I find I have about 10 things I'd like to tell you but STILL do not as I do not want to be TRUMPETTY and go all LOOKA ME! LOOKA ME!

I wish I had an ALTER EGO. Like a made up CO-BLOGGER named LOUISE who could tell you the good things so I don't feel like Ego McBraggerson. Louise would have a better hair cut than me and wear The High Shoes and march all over New York in them without then getting such AWFUL blisters that she had to go back to the hotel and soak her feet in the ice still melting away in last night's wine bucket. This happened to me last week when I walked from Central Park to the Algonquin in 4 inch peep toe sling backs COMPLETELY unable to get a cab...Louise can ALWAYS get a cab.

I feel like Louise is a red head. But her purse is maybe a LITTLE too matchy matchy with her shoes--like she tried just a SPECK too hard with it and I do think she should have taken off one piece of jewelry before she left the house. If Loiuse was here, she would push her Kate Spade glasses up and say...

"Joshilyn and her editor have been sending out copies of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING (fondly know to us here as Togwiss) to ask for blurbs, always a nerve wracking thing, especially since Joshilyn is such a FANGRRRL STALKER TYPE. You know she has a hard time speaking to writers she truly admires, and three authors whose books have ALL blown Joshilyn out of the water agreed to read it in PAPER form, not even bound, which is SO beyond generous, really, and then THEY LIKED IT -- enought to say so publicly in glowing prose.

At Chez Jackson, there may have been an indecorous amount of ecstatic screaming followed by a victory-dance-like...flopping motion that I am sad to repoort was not particularly flattering to the dancer, although Mr. Husband reports being amused right up until the dancer stumbled sideways into the big wooden chest in the keeping room and gavce herself a HUGE bat shaped bruise on her leg, and I hope she has learned a valuable lesson about being repulsive and perpetrating victory dances.

Still, if you wanted to go read the blurbs or say something cheerful or encouraging in the comments, I think Ms. Jackson would be flushed with pleasure, although, if there is a merciful God in the heavens (and Beloveds, I DO believe there is) she won't be SO pleased that she feels any sort of AWKWARD SOFT SHOE is warranted. The blurbs may be found on this page if you scroll down."

I kinda hate Louise, now that I've invented her. And on what planet does SHE get to call you guys HER beloveds??? Let's OFF her, shall we? Please? In a creative and painful way? AND BY THE WAY, MANY people have said that I am a very FINE dancer. *cough*

So I am in San Francisco, staying at my friend Jill's house and doing research and this is why I am so quiet. Research so far means eating WAY TOO MUCH South African Tapas and doing a stock signing so I could go hang out with a bookseller I adore from Books. Inc.

Jill and I also met fellow GPC author Cornelia Read yesterday, and she is awesome. I already loved her writing but now I love her, too. Remember the NYC pizza thing? Cornelia said, OKAY COME WITH ME ---NOW IS THE TIME ON SPROCKETS WHEN YOU TASTE REAL YANKEE NEW YORK FOLDABLE STREET PIZZA. She took me to a little wooden SHED where you buy pizza and raspberry lemonade through a hole cut in the wall, and the VERY sweaty shed guy was an east coast transplant...Conrelia calls him part of the PIZZAFARIAN DIASPORA, which is so clever on so many levels Jill and I had a hard time not lurching across the table and kissing her. The pizza was indeed foldable. And slick with grease and dotted with hunks of pale garlic. And SUPER GREAT. I now see what Karen means, but I find it ironic that I had to fly 5 hours west across 3 time zones to actually taste really for true "Yankee" pizza.


And I STILL like Mellow Mushroom, SO THERE.

We were talking about what to do in San Fran and I I have this older lady---an Alabama Expat who tries a LITTLE too hard to go native---and I asked Cornelia if they have support groups for Anger Management now---I wanted one with a good LOCATION though, like an interesting place to meet.

Her: I dunno about anger management, but one time I went with a friend to an AA meeting on a barge.

Me: Did you say in a BAR? UM ... who has AA meetings in a BAR???

Her: *very drily* No no a BARGE. It was LOVELY. But honestly I'd rather have gone to one in a bar. Could NOT get a decent Mojito on that boat.

She's like THAT. You would LIKE her.

Then I went to dinner with my friend Jill's writing group, and we talked JUST enough industry stuff to make the whole thing feel sincerely tax deductable. Tra la.

San Francisco is relentlessly beautiful. Look.


Jill says I need to quit sitting here blogging and come with her to eat Vegan something at this GRAIN HOUSE place -- you will not BELIEVE the menu. I will try to scan it for you. Every sandwich comes with a blessing. NO! REALLY! I am SO happy about this that I cannot express it.

Posted by joshilyn at 1:09 PM | Comments (26)

June 9, 2007

A Choose Your Own Adventure Dog Story (HELP!)

I get depressed if I don’t have a little animal or two clotting up the house. Seriously, actually, physically depressed---and I am generally the least Mopey person on the planet. But once, when I was pregnant with Maisy, I somehow had only one pet. Odd situation for me. He was Walley-Cat, an irascible old varmint with a black, shriveled heart like a raisin. He hated EVERYONE on the planet but meand looked at people with cruel LASER EYES, hopeful his blightful gaze would cause them to char and fall into a heap ash.

But his disdain for people was a lemony yellow emotion, gentle and cheery, compared to his black-hole colored world-sucking hatred for all OTHER ANIMALS. He LOATHED them, from worms in the deepest dirt to the highest soaring eagle and all mammals in between. He quite liked fish, as long as they were dead and being fed to him in cream sauce.

Since he was old and evil and had a heart condition, after our dear and ancient Tobey Dog went to "live on a farm," we let Walley have the house to himself. But after he “went to live on a farm, too,” (in the rather spectacular and perfectly WALLEY-esque manner described here) I slipped into a FUNK. No one wants to adjust to a new cat and a new baby at the same time, but even LESS do they want a clinically depressed pregnant lady unable to drag her enormous carcass from the bed.

After two sniffly, limp weeks, Scott said FOR THE LOVE OF PETE and dragged me out of the house to a no kill cat shelter where I found the most medically troubled animal I could – a clinically obese Main Coon with one eye already shot out --- and fell in love with him in SPITE of the fact that they had named him, GOD HELP ME THIS IS TRUE, Socks. SOCKS! We rechristened him Franz Schubert and, five years later, he is licking the milk dregs out my cereal bowl as I type this.

We also have four gerbils named Snickers, That Cross-Dressing Poet Tennyson, Alice and Cozy Mole Mouse. At one point, we had 18 gerbils due a slight error in which Pet Smart failed to notice that ONLY ONE of the BROTHER GERBILS they sold us had ENORMOUS DRAGGING TESTICLES. If you have ever bothered to FLIP a gerbil over and LOOK, it’s not like it is HARD to tell who is a what...*sigh* PetSmart did not flip and look, and alas, I trusted them and did not flip and look either.

After litter #2 weaned, we gave everyone we had met a pair of VERY carefully flipped and looked at gerbils.Due to our ability to notice ENORMOUS DRAGGING TESTICLES (we were really quite fantastic at it!) zero of our gerbil-taking friends ended up with MORE inbred gerbils, and in this manner we retained only our four favorite gerbils AND in a bonus retention, we also retained our friends. A litter of 6 or 8 indred rodents can be a sore point for YEARS, but luckily all our friends escaped that fate!

I like to pretend I kept our Mouse-Quad-Squad for the kids, but the truth is, I like the little blighters myself and am the one who plays with them and feeds them and such most often. I’ve hand fed them treat seeds until they run TO a hand that comes down into their aquarium instead of away, and I have every relation who is sucker enough to help out collecting all their cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls for them to chew up.

A few months ago we found Bagel, a beagle-bassett cross and he joined the house. He spends most of his time inside eating my shoes or outside eating the siding off the back deck. GAH!Puppies! And yet he is the light of my life. S we have 6 animals, and I feel this is quite a REASONABLE number of pets. Even LOW, perhaps, since the entire collection of gerbils don’t weigh as much as one of Schubert’s LEGS.

I have long cherished the belief that two dogs is better than one, as detailed below in Wednesday;s blog, and on Thursday my internet crush beagle came out to visit. Bagel and he took to each other and are a good size for each other, though I will say there was a bit more HUMPING that I strictly want to see taking place in a backyard, but whatever, dogs is dogs. I was ready to sign the papoers and make him mine forever.


Scott is WILDLY unenthused about this dog. WILDLY.

I made a grave error -- I had the dog come HERE to meet us so of course he was a TOTAL spaz and never even LOOKED at the people. I was thinking of the BEAGLE’s family and I thought they should come out here so they could see we were not secretly a LAB that wants to get the dog and put lye in his eyes to make sure that shampoo with the same basic formula that my MOTHER used is still safe for AMERICA.

Scott could not get his attention. No one could. He rocketed around in a complete foaming lather. Well, he had a strange cat knocking his block off (Schubert is SO mighty) and a new dog butt to sniff and our house was a wonderland...so we didn't really get any kind of SENSE of him. He MOSTLY belongs to the oldest boy, and when the two of them interacted I could see flashes of this dog, and he has a GOOD heart I really DO think. ALSO, If you say BANG BANG he falls down dead with his feet up. SQUEE!

But Scott is unconvinced.

So we have made no decision and are at an impasse. I can’t decide what to do. Part of me says, JOSHILYN! You must RE-ENGINEER a meet and greet at THE DOG’s house so he will be himself. I caught flashes of this dog, I swear, and he seemed QUITE DELIGHTFUL and good hearted. But another part says, Scott is a still water, and he runs deep.
And there is this: Before we got Bagel, I found a coupla other internet crush dogs I was SURE were my dog.

Scott was wildly unenthused.

Finally, the third crush, I marched him to the adoption day to meet ---remember FOSTER I LOVED that dog on paper, and in person I found him to be soothing and delightful. Scott’s enthusiasm level remained subterranean. “He seems fine,” Scott said, shrugging. “You can get him if you want him.” And then he wandered off, completely not interested in interacting with Foster anymore.

I found him at the adoption people’s other crates, staring in at a long chubby noodle of a stinkin’ dog. Scott said, in a CASUAL voice, “Maybe we should ask to meet this dog. He looks nice.” And they got him out, and he was Bagel. We walked all around with him and hung out inside and out with him for an hour, and then Scott ----who had said about EVERY OTHER DOG, “Oh he seems fine. Get him if you want him” *shrug*” ---- said “This is a good dog. I like this dog.” That, for my low key master of understatement husband is the difference between “Honey, I will tolerate this as I tolerate all your other mental spasms and illnesses because I love you” and “BOOYAH! YES! YES! WE WIN DOG! WE GOT THE GOOD ONE YAY US GO GO DOG GO.” So we brought Bagel home and he fit right into the chaos that is Chez My House, and I love him. We all do.

Of course, while I was writing the above “BAGEL ROCKS MASH NOTE,” the dog in question crept slyly into the den and ATE Maisy’s pink feather princess crown into CHUNKS, and I just had to hide it in the bottom of the trash so she won’t find out. HEH. So I am not saying Bagel is perfect. In fact, I may go murder him in a sec. BUT. He is OUR dog and I freakin’ LOVE him and I like how Scott—an understated sort, not a baby talker or a crooner --- will sometimes stop and say to Bagel, WHO IS A GOOD DOG? WHO WHO? And really mean it. He just…LIKES Bagel. I want him to just LIKE the new dog, too.

SO – Advice is VERY welcome.

I see three paths. Which path would you pick and/or do you see a fourth???

1) Let it go. This dog is just not our dog and our auxiliary dog will come one day and we will just know. We saw three dogs that looked EXCELLENT on paper but none of them swayed Scott like Bagel. Chemistry? Fate? Weird husband? I dunno. But I love the man and want him to be fulfilled as a dog-owner.

2) Re-engineer a meet on the dog’s home turf so Scott can REALLY see him as he is and see if Scott’s tune changes. Of course, I am nervous about this because I feel I have already put the dog’s current family out by making them drag all the way over here possibly for NO REASON. I am leery because if Scott REMAINS unmoved we would have been REALLY huge buttpains to them and they are lovely, lovely nice people trying to get ready for a move out of the country and find the right place for their old family friend.

3) GET the dog and assume the good heart I saw in flashes will win my husband over.

Posted by joshilyn at 10:37 AM | Comments (26)

June 6, 2007

The New + 1 in my Ongoing Algebraic Pet Logic

Mr. Husband has a theory that my ideal number of pets is X +1, where X is the number of pets we have NOW, and one is a pet I have a crush on. I think that’s crap. I am perfectly happy with X where X is Bagel-the-dog, Schubert-the-cat, and the Gerbil Quad of Tennyson, Alice, Snickers and Cosy Mole Mouse. *I* do not want any more pets. At All.


I REALLY do think, REALLY, in theory and out of no personal desires of my OWN or anything, that dogs are pack animals and it is SAD to have one dog. Sad for the DOG. Not ME. Think of THE DOG!

ALSO, Bagel is a BIG DOG for Maisy. She can’t walk him even though, after his classes, he has 95% impeccable leash manners. He is STILL a puppy, really, and he outweighs her by a good 15 pounds, and sometimes RABBITSES happen in our neighborhood and on the trail where we hike. Bagel cannot be expected to not pull her over and drag her and kill her if RABBITSES happen, now can he? So we need a second dog for MAISY. NOT ME. MAISY!!!

Also, Bagel is YARDY. He likes the house and all, but he asks to go out quite a bit because we have a big fenced yard with dogs on either side, and he goes out and talks on the bark-phone with them and races around peering into the woods and eating the siding off the wall. HEH. Also, he LOVES to sack out for his afternoon nap on the bright sunny deck until he has that GOOD warm-furred COOKED DOG smell.

I think he would stay in more if he had a dog friend inside, and I LIKE a dog in the house. I work from home, and I like little heartbeats filling the airspace and making me cheerful----wait. That made it sound like *I* want a second dog when REALLY! NO! it is about …um…Oh RIGHT! WHAT IS GOOD FOR BAGEL! AND MAISY! AND AMERICA! And also LOOK AT THIS FACE!

I think he is perfectly charming. I showed him to Maisy but she was not QUITE convinced.

Me: Do you like him?
Maisy: *suspicious* Is he a girl?
Me: No.
Her: *even more suspicious* Is he at least a poodle?
Me: Well… he isn’t exactly a poodle.
Her: But I wanted a teeny girl poodle who is pink.
Me: Bunny, I’m not sure poodles COME in pink, but this dog is as JUST as teeny as a medium-ish poodle, and BOYS are nice, too. Your friend COLBY is a boy, and you like Colby.
Her: Can we COLOR him pink?
Me: Um. No.
Her: Well, then I will have to FINK about him.

I am finking about him too. He is coming over for a meet and greet with Bagel (not me) and Maisy (CERTAINLY NOT ME) on Thursday. Because this is what is GOOD FOR AMERICA!

Once he has moved in, it will be time to say, OH NO! WHY DID WE GET THIS DOG! NOW WE ARE CRAMPED! WE NEEDMORE ROOM FOR ALL THESE ANIMALS! Then I can tricksily move my family to a HUGE goat farm in Fairhope, Alabama and one by one add 9 miniature goats. And an African hedgehog that I will name Pigling Bland. And then a Cunning Little Pony! AND THEN SOME PEACOCKS!!!!

Did I say that out loud?

Posted by joshilyn at 12:04 PM | Comments (28)

June 5, 2007

Awards in Georgia, Pizza in New York

I came home to the delightful news that I had won – or rather, Between, Georgia won - the Georgia Author of the Year Award for fiction. I am very pleased and honored!

One goal for this New York trip was to go all AMERIGO and intrepid and discover the here-to-fore uncharted-by-me high caloric wonderland known as Real Yankee Pizza. Karen and I tried to get some first by asking the concierge, and that little prat sent us to this touristy nightmare of a place where everyone wore NO SLICES t-shirts and the thing we ordered tasted like what would happen if you put a little Ragu and some cheese on white pita bread and toasted it. Not just plain old regular blah. This pizza was SO ULTRA-blah it could have made the Boring Food Olympics team and handily beaten China’s Plain White Rice and ALL of England’s Pub Food in the first heat.

Karen is from Philly, and she thinks Mello Mushroom sucks. Now, I think the Shroom is located just left of heaven, so that is a BOLD statement. REAL pizza, Karen says, is flat and foldable and dripping with orange grease and the cheese stretches when you bite off the succulent tip. Humbug, says me. She says I only humbug it because I have never experienced it, and so I was not ALLOWED to leave NYC without giving her chance to convert me to the One True Pizza. After the Toasted Ragu incident, I was more skeptical than EVER, but I agreed to give Real Yankee Pizza a second go.

On Sunday, our last day in NYC, Karen and I woke up so tired and wired that we were on the edge of hysteria before we’d even hit Starbucks to caffeinate. By noon, we were punch-drunk and giddy. On the way back out of our hotel room, repeatedly pressing the button that allegedly called the elevator, we were talking all MANNER of exhausted nonsense.

As the elevator did not arrive and did not arrive, I hypothesized that Karen had been too ROUGH with the elevator’s button and harmed her in the feelings, and now she would not deign to pick us up.

Karen denied it, but even after the elevator had at last lumbered up and grudgingly cracked its doors to allow us access, I maintained the belief that she had made the elevator feel shoved and unappreciated. She countered then, suggesting, as the doors closed, that I may have been GENTLER, but that I had been impatient and punched the button many many times to make the elevator arrive sooner (this completely works, btw) and how this sort of brusque demanding treatment made the elevator feel like I was not really her friend, but only using her to change floors.

The elevator ground to a halt unnoticed by your punch drunk heroines, and as we argued, a woman joined us. As the doors closed behind her, I said, “We could be reading this wrong. Maybe the elevator is a boy.”

The woman’s head cocked to the side like the head of a quizzical dog and she said, in a hesitant voice. “I’m sorry…but..um…did you just say maybe the elevator is a boy?”

I have no idea what came over me. I gave her best deadpan face, then cocked an eyebrow and said, very earnestly, as if slightly worried about her, “No! That would be…crazy.”

She flushed and we stared at each other for five endless seconds. I WISH I COULD HAVE PULLED IT OFF. But I could not. I ABSOLUTELY broke and fell out laughing. She started laughing, too, and she said, “YOU DID! YOU DID TOO SAY IT WAS A BOY!” By then Karen had broken down and was cackling and saying, “Well it might be. How can you tell? I wouldn’t even know where to LOOK on an elevator.” We all stood there giggling like loons for the rest of the ride down. I suspect the woman had been in town for 5 days too and was JUST as punchy as we were.

The second try at pizza, by the way, was better but…meh. Karen says we still didn’t find the mythical IT, the ONE TRUE PIZZA, and is now badgering me to come to Philly to eat something called tomato pie that has no tomatoes in it and isn’t actually like pie in any way. “It’s COLD!” she says, like this is a selling point. I will NEVER fully understand Yankees.

IN OTHER NEWS, here I am, CLEARLY so excited that I appear to be demented, and here is Stephen Colbert looking insouciant and relaxed and gorgeous. My publicist sent it because he is AN EXCELLENT HUMAN BEING with a BIG RED BEATING HEART CHOCK FULL OF VIGOROUS KINDNESS, and MAYBE because he wanted you guys to stop badgering me to get a decent camera. *grin*


Posted by joshilyn at 7:44 AM | Comments (30)

June 3, 2007

BEA Part Uno

HI I MISSED YOU! I have not been able to get a decent internet con here --- could not upload so finally today I am going to write this and then trot over to a Starbucks and glom onto their WiFi. I have kept notes and will tell you about the NYC trip over the next few days as soon as I get home to CABLE, which, after the hotel’s fritzy slow impossible internet con is beginning to look DOWNRIGHT SEXY to me. Yes I DID just say something nice about Comcast. I think that’s one of the nine signs of the apocalypse.

The Grand Central Party was the COMPLETE bomb. I got there early because the place held 300 or so and they had like 550 RSVP yes. The fire marshalls were rumored to be prowling, prepping to shut it down.

When we walked into Grand Central Station, a projector was bouncing the new GCP logo off the gorgeous wall, and then they had put light up names – all the authors who came. Lookit! I wish I had gotten the logo, too, but the WAY BACK picture with all the names and logo turned out was too blurry


Here’s the thing about Grand Central --- I’m not one of their biggest names *cough* to say the LEAST *cough* and BEA is really a FALL list thing and my new book will be on the winter list, and so I was just kinda THERE to be there…but everyone—EVERYONE, including editors who are not my editor and publicists who are not my publicist and all the various other folks who may or may not have anything to do with my particular books, I mean EVERY! ONE! went out of their way to make me feel important and special. YES I SAID THEY MADE ME FEEL SPECIAL. Gah. I just used special and not in an ironic-making-fun-of-sitcoms-where-someone-turns-out-to-be-secretly-illiterate way. Another sign of the planet's impending doom, I believe.

Still, it turns out Special-with-no-irony is a neat feeling. Had I bought any of my own press at this thing I would need an ENORMOUS whole foods grocery bag to carry my swollen ego-head home …

ALSO at this thing I ran into a TON of my favorite sales reps and booksellers. The booksellers were SO out of context that I would have to look at them and blink twice and think, OH OOPS WHAT??? WHO??? AM I IN ALABAMA??? And then they would juxtapose with the background properly and my brain would accept that they and I were both in NYC hoovering up pink drinks at Grand Central Station. Why not.

Also present BRAD MELTZER, which was a big deal to me, and I got to meet him too, but not really to TALK… And Amy Sedaris was there, and Charles Gronin, and quite a few other luminaries, including the hysterical and ‘scrutiating attractive Stephen Colbert.

He was being a lovely human being. Everyone wanted to meet him and take a picture with him and express their big love, and he was charming and gracious and asking them things about THEM, and I really secretly wanted to meet him but was too shy.

The publicist who did such a phenomenal job launching gods was there, and she said OH DO NOT BE DUMB and boldly marched me over, and now he is my BFF! By “BFF” I mean I was introduced to him and he chatted with me for a minute or two in a lovely and gracious way. “Hello,” for example, was one of the things he said. Also, he said “Nice to meet you.” BUT HE MEANT IT.

Superfantastic Bookseller Cody (not his real name---well maybe the CODY part is real) was there with his sister, Holiday – and didn’t SHE win the name lotto? ANYWAY, I gave Holiday my phone and begged her assistance, and she snapped a pic of me with Mr. Colbert.

I ran away cackling to try to mail it to everyone I ever met, including myself, because I can’t SAVE pictures on my phone. I mean, I am sure there is a way to DO it, but it is beyond my ken. SO! In the process of trying to simultaneously cackle and mail it to Karen, I cleverly erased it instead. GAH. Yes You heard me rigjt. ERASED. GAHGAH.

Then I went to the bar and banged my head and screeched like a hoot owl. Then I banged my head more. Yeah.

BUT as he was on the way out, my editor stopped him and said, “See the girl banging her head on the bar? She erased the pic of the two of you. SO he came over and we TRIED AGAIN – LOOK!!!!


His is me with Stephen Colbert. Or perhaps it is a pink dirigible. Or the Eiffel tower. THE PHONE is a bad camera, and I am sure you now see what I mean about the blurry, but *I* know it’s me and Stephen Colbert. So!

Happy now. Bring on the apocalypse!

Posted by joshilyn at 9:51 AM | Comments (21)