May 27, 2010

So today I went to a Book Blogger cocktail party with Anton Strout and Jennifer Belle and Jeanine Cummins -- the one thing I did at Book Expo tho I am in NYC this week and COULD have done more things -- but oh my goodness. I hate networking! I pictured cocktails and dresses and whores derves and even maybe some DANCING, but sadly it did not involve any of the above, just much peering at nametags and exchanging of business cards and an occasional moment of amore between author and blogger, or mermaids (I met the author of this book, for example), or authoress and marshmallow-topped brownie. I was also very happy to receive a copy of this book, which could possibly save my life. Overall it was not unpleasant, but I suppose that when it comes to yours truly, as much as I love all humankind, not to mention all animalkind, when put in a room and expected to mingle, my wide-open heart begins to falter in its love-in with the world at large. Oh, but I did meet some lovely bloggers who read and reviewed Godmother, even if one of them roodly hated the ending despite it being, like, the perfect ending. I'm just saying. Overall tho, I am not the best mingler in this world, though I might possibly be in the next, since really, you never know.

We did all have a gorgeous dinner afterwards, the four of us, some fancy Cuban food in a place with sparkling tiles and dim lights and flickering chandeliers, and Anton even showed me an ARC of Haunted Legends, which I have a story in.

Speaking of Jennifer, honestly: this might be the best video ever.

The end.

May 25, 2010

So I am at Tink's house in Queens for a few days, visiting Tink and my best friends Aoife, who just turned 3, and Shameless, the Dog without Shame. I spent the weekend upstate with my friend David, his wife Julie, and their four crazy boy children, ages 2 to 11, who almost killed me by making me play baseball and badminton non stop and, in brief moments of respite, reciting the plots of my books to them. We also spent much time traipsing around ponds.


In other news, today I have a guest post up at Random House's sci fi/fantasy blog.

And today Tink and I visited Penguin for her to do bookly things related to the imminent launch of her NEW BOOK, and said visit included some quality time with nerdly author extraordinaire Anton Strout:

The end.

May 18, 2010

I came up to NYC today for the launch of Jennifer Belle's new novel The Seven Year Bitch, which I can't wait to read after hearing her totally hilarious and charming reading tonight.

Here's Jennifer, Tink (whose own book The Outside Boy comes out in two weeks) and me at the party after:

And how gorgeous is this book!

Obviously, you should go buy it immediately.

May 17, 2010

So on Saturday I drove to Philly for the final performance of Curio Theatre's steampunk version of Twelfth Night starring, amongst others, actress extraordinaire Trillian Stars AKA Jennifer Summerfield. Curio Theatre has this amazing space in this old church and the play was staged right up against the old organ pipes, around which steam billowed in a gorgeously atmospheric fashion while actors scuttled up and down stairs and fireman/stripper poles. And so fashionably! Look!

Here are a bunch of photos from the byooteous program photographed by Mr. Kyle Cassidy:

Speaking of which, I caught said photographer extraordinaire, and husband of Ms Trillian Stars, in the act, post-performance:

So romantic! They are really the most romantical couple ever. Like Dietrich and Sternberg! But more nice and less German.

My old friend Sue came as well, and after we all had drinks at an awesome Indian bar with mirrored walls and Christmas lights, and then I stayed over at Sue's lovely lovely tree-and-garden-surrounded house where I was awoken by what I thought was a baby crying but was actually a very boisterous and ill behaved BIRD, and then I met her dashing husband and totally sweet son Duncan and we all had bagels and sat on porches but due to my discombobulation I forgot to take any pictures at all and then I went back to the middle of the state where I visited one Ms Vivienne Coco Lee Witmer, who roodly fell asleep on my lap whilst holding my hand, as if yours truly has nothing better to do in life but act as a BED to lazy children with drag queen names:

Look at her and her mama, I mean really:

Oh, and I had lunch today with my friend Hannah who told me about many wondrous things including The Great Skedaddle which I believe is the best name for anything ever.

The end.

May 14, 2010

So today I went with my friend Jay to visit his friend Chantelle, who works as a "rod wrapper" or "winder" for this man Jim who makes world class fly fishing rods by hand in Coburn, Pennsylvania, which is this totally charming little town right on Penn's Creek, one of these famous famous fishing spots around these parts, about 40 minutes from State College. It is also the town in which yours truly had the misfortune to work as an artist's model for one afternoon last year, in an art studio in a converted church, thinking I could read or otherwise occupy myself but then realizing with growing horror that I in fact had to sit completely still for 50000 hours -- and nearly died in the process. Anyway, so today was just the loveliest day, warm and breezy and verging on storm, and we sat leisurely around Jim's sweeping, bamboo-fishing-rods-in-various-states-of-creation-all-around, cluttered, old-timey workshop talking with him and Chantelle about their craft and fly fishing generally while Chantelle's dog Tater lounged shamelessly at our feet. It was totally lovely. I have only been fishing a handful of times, as a kid with my grandfather in Florida, and I've never been fly fishing, but man, the people who love it are so passionate about it. It's so cool to slip into another way of life, just for a few hours... Jim's workshop is right behind this store, The Feathered Hook, which is also this cool B&B where you can come and stay and learn about fly fishing and be taken around to all the best spots, etc etc. You can also come and take rod making workshops with Jim at his workshop, and spend like a week making a rod of your own. Anyway, I thought it was super cool and I sorta want to build my own rod now (I wonder if Jim would approve of some... glitter?) and stay at The Feathered Hook and step into some highly fashionable waders and pick out some sparkly lures and go catch me and release me some FISH.

Anyway, here's the shop sign:

And inside were a million lures (and some other things I SUPPOSE) laid out like jewels:

And pretty nets!

And then you step out of the shop and Jim's workshop is in back, across a parking lot and in front of a big farm upon where some nosy horses were hanging out and eying us suspiciously, to the left of what you see here. Horses! But how awesome is this building? Complete with a finger pointing you to the rod shop.

Here is the workshop:

And there were cool things everywhere!

I love tiny boxes jam-packed with colorful things, like in those zipper and button stores in NYC's Garment District and apparently like in fly fishing rod making workshops:

I would post more but that might be EXCESSIVE.

Check out my new best friend Tater tho (not to mention my fashionable footwear, obviously up in front):

AND THEN, afterward, Jay, Chantelle and I walked down to Penn's Creek, and as we gazed reflectively into its waters some young lads obligingly came along and began to fly fish in a most Tom Sawyerly manner:

AND THEN Jay and I drove along the creek a little bit, out to this old train trestle stretching over the water, where the train used to run over it:

We even walked over it tho we could have DIED:

AND THEN we saw, in the distance, a portal into other worlds:

And we got very close to it... getting right up to the entrance, picking across the wet rocks...

... but we knew that if we went inside we would never, ever come back.

So we turned around and went to the Whistle Stop Cafe in Centre Hall and had crab cakes and truffle peanut butter pie instead, dreaming of what might have been, trying to fill the great void in our hearts.


May 13, 2010


So I wanted to post some photos from Philly, too, which I did not get to the other day due to excessive VERBOSITY. BUT I had this lovely weekend in Philly with my sister, staying with my friends Mark and Jen and their beauteous hellion daughter Anna, who fell madly in love with my sister and decided that I am now chopped liver, sigh, even tho I brought her a RAGGEDY ANN DOLL from her favorite place CRACKER BARREL, I mean really, and we did sweet things like play frisbee in parks and have lovely brunches, and then Saturday night we had a big wonderful dinner in Chinatown, all of us plus our friend Rob, and one Ms. Trillian Stars and Mr. Kyle Cassidy, glamorous couple extraordinaire, and one Ms. Lindsay who was visiting Trillian, and my sister's and my old friends Sue and Bob whom we had not seen in many many moons but now are in touch with again due to the wonders of Facebook, and afterward many of us went to see the best show ever in this world, DEVOTCHKA followed by GOGOL BORDELLO at the Electric Factory. Which was amazing. I've seen Devotchka a few times and they're one of my favorite bands, and they were gorgeous as usual, but then Gogol Bordello came out and I have to say sorta blew everything and everyone else out of the water. I believes they come from that circus mentality of throw everything out at you at once, razzle and dazzle and overwhelm you, and they were all leaping about and dancing and practically hurling themselves into the crowd. Awesome.


The end.

May 11, 2010

So when I was in Florida I took a bunch of photos of pictures in my grandmother's old old photo book, including of her own grandfather Ginther whom she totally and utterly adored and speaks of with unending affection. Gus Ginther (1863 - 1955) was a painter -- not only of big beautiful still lifes and so on but of movie posters and circus posters, the old-timey kind that were painted by hand, and I sure so wish I could get my paws on some of those but they is lost to time -- and he lived with his wife OLA and children in a gorgeous sweeping Victorian house in MOBERLY, MISSOURI, a state away from the Illinois town his parents came to from some other town in Saxony, Germany.... and, according to my grandmother, he wore a diamond stick pin in his tie and loved circuses and carnivals and Christmas and would bring home hot tamales from the street vendor outside for his grandkids, much to his wife's disapproval. And I guess he was very involved in the town and a big deal in Moberly and "larger than life" and everyone everyone loved him.

Check out his amazing house:

And look how dapper he was:

And look at this newspaper clipping from the year before he died, in 1954.

Admit that is awesome. Touring the continent at age 91!

And as I was looking through these albums and listening to my grandmother's stories, I turned around to see that I was being SPIED ON by this evil creature the whole time.

It was all very suspicious.
So I am back in State College, Pennsylvania, after a week in Florida, a weekend in Philly, and another week in NYC, and I am very very excited for a few reasons but ONE reason is that after a few false starts and much going back and forth with my agent I have finally, finally figured out book #4, which I believes will have something to do with one SNOW WHITE. Snow White being, in my opinione, the coolest and weirdest fairy tale of all time. I mean really, beautiful dead girls lying in glittering glass coffins in the middle of the spooky woods (and there are some extremely weird corpse-lovin variations on this already weird theme in some of the old-time variants of this story, one involving a dead girl locked in a series of crystal coffins, one inside another, and locked in the furthest room of the house) and stepmamas (or mamas) eating, or thinking they're eating, the hearts or lungs of said dead girls, cooking them up with salt... Little mermaid is weird enough, what with tongues being cut out and legs that feel like they're being run through with knives... and of course all of this is balanced out by sheer, utter gorgeousness... BUT I shall stop now, in mid-thought, and with no transition at all sum up the following wondrous events:

1. Ok so in Florida I finally got to go to WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS, the live mermaid city old-time roadside attraction in Weeki Wachee, Florida. I love these amazing, cheesy old places that were once so popular and so glamorous and are now sort of half glamorous and half weird. I mean once upon a time, girls came from all over the world to audition to be a Weeki Wachee mermaid, and those girls were treated like royalty... like old circus stars were, like Lillian Leitzel the old trapeze star that Tessa from Rain Village is semi inspired by was... Weeki Wachee is a pretty small old park with underwater mermaid shows in this little theater where a curtain lifts and mermaids are swimming about behind glass, two different shows, one about the history of the springs and one a take on the little mermaid... and there's a boat ride... and some animal shows, and some random mermaids sitting around...  and it's all extremely awesome, in my gorgeous opinion.

What made it especially awesome was that one Miss JULIE KOMENDA happened to write to me a few weeks before, and happens to be the ARTIST IN RESIDENCE at Weeki Wachee. She does these lovely batik kinda shimmery mermaid paintings (click on the link to see) and lives right there in Weeki Wachee. When I told her I'd be coming there, along with my grandmother, uncle, mother and sister (and, as it happened, due to the wonders of Facebook, our old friend Michelle who now lives in St Pete and joined us for the afternoon), and invited her to lunch with us, she offered to show us around and take us behind the scenes. And so we drove 2.5 hours from my grandmother's house, and Julie, who was totally charming and felt like one of the family immediately, met us at the gate, and we all had lunch and then went to see us some mermaids, as you do. Look!

This may or may not have been part of the Lee-Greenwood-playing-in-the-background mermaid tribute to the US of A:

The little mermaid loving her some human things:

This is how the mermaids get in the water:

Mermaid fins:

Me and Julie:

My sister, Michelle, and me:

Me just casually hanging out:

And my grandma doing same:

2. I also, whilst in Florida, spent a very cool day with my uncle, who took me up to LAKELAND, which is the "city of swans" and has a number of swan statues scattered all over the place as well as a big lake with about 5000000 swans strutting around it right in the middle of town. Actually I don't know if that lake is in the middle of town but it is a very cool lake nonetheless, and the town itself is quite pretty and I was enamored not only by the swans but by that same old-time Florida glamor, like of the POLK THEATRE, one of those old-time movie theaters I love love love, this one being famous for having hosted my boyfriend ELVIS (a Weeki Wachee claim to fame as well). Anyway, I spent much time observing said swans, in part because my children's book coming out next year shall involve a SWAN MAIDEN. But more on that later.

Look at this poser:

At one point these ladies gave me some bread and I said "thank you!" and then looked up to see 5000000 swans HEADED STRAIGHT FOR ME and so I glamorously threw them the bread and ran away. But not before screaming in a lady like fashion and snapping this photo to use as evidence. Just look at the gleam in that one no-good swan's eyeballs!

And look at the sheer laziness of this one, no doubt reflecting on its latest crimes:

Said crimes no doubt including but not limited to the snatching of bonneted babies:


3. My uncle also took me to see the Lakeland's Florida Southern College campus, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who had a deep love of shiny colored glass, which appeared over and over again, embedded alluringly in the buildings, winking at me and licking its lips:

!!!!  Really, I think all buildings -- and things -- should be so adorned.

4. So ALSO, during our Florida visit my sister and I stayed with my grandmother's friend GLENNA, who is awesome and loves Jack Daniels and poker. Every evening we'd go back to Glenna's and get to work:

Sadly, she cleaned us out, and drank yours truly under the table. She also introduced us to the pleasures of DEAL OR NO DEAL, which was very emotionally taxing. As a thank you, my sister and I sent her the above photo placed on the back of a set of playing cards, with the words "GLAMOROUS.... YET DEADLY" written along the bottom. We are very classy that way.