Friday, November 21, 2008

7 Random Things About Me And Books

I've been tagged by the marvelous Kelly Marstad for this meme on writing.

1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond became my first comfort book when I was in the fourth grade. I'd read it whenever I wanted to escape from real life. When my elementary school closed (the one where I spent fourth grade, anyway) I discovered they were having a book sale and managed to snag my beloved copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond for ten cents.

2. The first book that ever made me cry like a lunatic was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. As soon as I finished it, I turned around and re-read it and sobbed my heart out all over again. Apparently I've always been a glutton for punishment.

3. In high school, together with my dear friend Margaret and some other friends, we created a student written and produced journal of poetry and prose...and got in trouble by the administration for it. Yes indeed...creativity and freedom of expression were frowned upon by that fine institution.

4. I've written twelve books - three of which will likely never see the light of day.

5. I'd always intended to write Young Adult and Children's books, but I got distracted by Erotic Romance...go fig.

6. I carry a book (or two) with me at all times - right now I have Changling by Delia Sherman in my purse. Really, really need to get one of those e-readers.

7. No one ever wants to help me move because I have too many books.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please Come Visit Me

Hi Everyone,

I'm over at Hitting the Hotspot with a virtual tour of my office. I'd love it if you'd come visit me. I'm lonely...sniff...sniff. ;)

In other news, I had a wonderful time last night with Brynn Paulin, Carol Lynne, Dakota Rebel and Cindy Spencer Pape. We went to an Irish pub near Cindy's and had my new favorite food - Irish nachos. Think kettle chips, cheddar cheese, blue cheese crumbles, bacon green onions with sour cream and/or horseraddish ranch sauce. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmy.

Also, Brits in Time releases on Monday from Total-e-bound! Yay!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Five Things I'm Doing On Friday...

It's Friday...finally.

I don't know what it was about this week, but I swear it's lasted a year. But it's Friday and today, five things I'm doing are...

Hanging out with Brynn Paulin and Carol Lynne.

Laughing at...with...Brynn's husband.

Prepping my faery story for submission to an agent.

Making some kind of cream cheese mints with Brynn and Carol this afternoon. Yum.

Tonight we're going to visit Dakota Rebel and Cindy Spencer Pape and go out to dinner with them.

So...what are you doing today?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Books and Babies Everywhere

There must be something in the water. A lot of women I know are either pregnant or just had babies. (Happily, I remain immune.) Most recently, the fabulous Jennifer Armintrout gave birth, and in her and her baby's honor, I'm blogging about childrens books. Girly books, in particular.

When I was a kid, books with strong female protagonists weren't as plentiful as they are today. I loved fairy tales, but I was always disappointed because the princesses never seemed to do much to change their unfortunate situations, they mostly waited around for someone to do it for them. Of course, these were the watered down versions they gave kids in the 70s - as I got older, I discovered that the orginal versions were much more to my liking, but I digress.

One year, my Great-Grandma Green sent me a collection of fairy tales from Wales. At the time, I remember thinking that I was getting a bit old for a picture book, but I sat down and read it anyway and I was thrilled. In the collection was a tale I'd never heard and it was my first introduction to a heroine who was strong and willing to fight and sacrifice for what she wanted. The character's name was Gerda and the story is The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.

My scanner is misbehaving, so I can't show you the actual book, but I can show you a newer version illustrated by one of my favorite artists.

Another great book featuring a butt kicking female character is Wild Robin by Susan Jeffers. this fairy tale is loose combination of my three all time favorite tales, Tam Lin, The Snow Queen and The Wild Swans. Robin was a wild boy and much to the annoyance of his older sister, Janet, he refused to do his share of the chores at their family farm. He runs away and falls in with the Queen of the Fairies and it's up to Janet to save him.

The Paper Bag Princess is on my top ten list of favorite books of all time. Elizabeth is a typical princess in love with a prince named Ronald - unfortunately a dragon smashes her castle and carries off Prince Ronald leaving Elizabeth with nothing more than a paper bag. She puts on the paper bag and goes after the dragon to get Ronald back...only Ronald isn't quite who she thought he was.

When my sister Cait was in preschool, I was her "special person" and got to hang out with her in class. At the end of the day, I read some books to the class. Cait insisted that I absolutely had to read Gypsy Girl's Best Shoes and The Paper Bag Princess, so of course, I did. I remember at the end of the story, the majority of the kids sat there looking at me with puzzled expressions on their sweet little faces while Cait was crowing, "Doya get it? Doya get it? They didn't get married after all!" while Cait's teacher just stood there quietly shaking her head.

The Wild Swans is another hans Christian Andersen tale that I adore. It's the story of a young princess and her eleven brothers who are cursed by their evil (of course) step mother. The boys are trapped in the bodies of swans by day returning to their human form at night. Their sister discovers the only way she can free them is to silently knit them all swears from stinging nettles. If she speaks, the spell will be fixed and they'll be forever trapped as swans. Unfortunately, she gets tried as a witch and will not speak in her defense in order to protect her brothers.

Ah...Princess Smartypants. Princess Smartypants has no intention of getting married. Despite her dedication to remaining single, her mother lines up one prince after another, but Smartypants outwits them all in this delightful story.

Noble-Hearted Kate is another book in my top ten. It's based on the fairy tale, Tam Lin. Kate and her beloved stepsister, Meghan, (gotta love a book where the step families aren't trying to curse one another) wake up one morning to find that Meghan has been enchanted by a wicked fairy and now has the head of a ram. Meghan is understandably distraught and Kate comes to her rescue, bravely battling and outwitting the fairy queen to free Meghan and also a prince that comes to be Kate's true love.

Some of these books may be out of print, but well worth the search, if you're so inclined. So, what were your favorite books when you were a kid? Are there any books you'd add to this list of stories with strong heroines? I'm always in the market for a new book. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So I'm waiting in line to vote today, and behind me are my neighbors - a mom, dad and three of their adult children all voting together and planning on making popcorn and watching the election results together tonight. I thought that was pretty freaking cool.

Then there was the asshat in front of me who announced loudly that he wasn't voting because one of the candidates was a republican and the other was a (racial slur that I can't bring myself to say.) Then the asshat looked around proudly as if he expected others to agree with him. I honestly just about fell over.

The little old ladies running the polls shut him down pretty quickly, threatening to make him leave if he didn't shut up, but the whole thing was absolutely unfreakingbelievable.

Anyway, I hope those of you in the US who are voting today remain blissfully asshat free.