Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm just giddy with joy, and guess why? Amazon.com, those fine online purveyors of entertainment, have picked DRAGON SLIPPERS as one of their Best Books of the Year So Far! Huzzah! Huzzah! It's in the category for Children's/YA books, right next to things like the darling NOT A BOX, and wonderful novels like THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET and THE ALCHEMYST! Isn't that the most fabulous thing you've ever heard? Let's all do a little dance! Also, Deseret Book (a Utah-based chain bookstore, for you outsiders) has picked up DRAGON SLIPPERS, which is a big deal for me, as a local author. (They are very choosy about what they carry, it has to be good, but also selling well before they'll commit.) Let's all have a bite of chocolate!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I'm very angry at Paramount right now. It seems that they took a large amount of money from Bill Gates in exchange for not releasing any more Blu-Ray DVDs. Now, I am a big fan of Blu-Ray. It's a high definition DVD system, basically, which means that you can watch your movies bigger, louder, brighter and clearer. For instance: we have discovered that Gwyneth Paltrow has freckles. The picture is that good. I'm particularly upset because the BEST MOVIE I HAVE SEEN ALL YEAR is a Paramount film. It's STARDUST, and it's fabulous. I love it madly, and cannot wait to see it again. That's why the title of this post is "Jessica Recommends." I know that I should be shouting for everyone to boycott Paramount, but I just can't let Stardust do poorly at the box office. GO SEE IT, IT'S AMAZING!!!! Curse you, Paramount! All I wanted for Christmas was Stardust on Blu-Ray! I would also like to recommend Markus Zusak. He's an author, a brilliant author. I would hate him and be jealous, but the truth is that he is so far above me, talent-wise, that it's like the garbage can being jealous of how everyone likes to sit on the couch. I loved "The Book Thief", his Printz honoree book, and I just read "Getting the Girl" which was amazing. Now, here's the disclaimer: "The Book Thief has a little harsh language in it, and I would say is rated PG-13, but "Getting the Girl" has some very harsh language, also violence and a bit of hanky panky. So it's for our older readers for sure. But nothing in the book is done strictly for shock value. It's the story of a working class family in Sydney, told from the point of view of one of the teenage boys. He and his brother call each other names, his brother dates a lot of girls, it's all very realistic. AND I LOVED IT WITH ALL CAPS, as you can see. So go see Stardust, and go read something by Markus Zusak (keeping in mind that he can be a bit adult).
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I have a dream of conquering the world of housewifely arts through literature! Everyone is now scratching their heads, but fear not! I shall explain. In Dragon Slippers, our heroine is a seamstress. In Sun and Moon, our heroine also sews (though not well or happily), but there is some key shirt laundering in that story. In Black Wool Chain (coming in 2009, I hope) our hero (yes, a guy) is a knitter. My editor has teased me about this, but I remain firm. I love to knit. I wish I could sew better. And the shirt laundering scene is a key part of the original East o' the Sun fairy tale. But if I may paraphrase Debbie Stoller, staunch feminist author and editor, what's wrong with that?! In the introduction of her wonderful knitting book, "Stitch n' Bitch", she makes that point that everyone applauds a woman when she takes karate or auto repair, but say you've been learning to knit and people sneer. They call you old-fashioned. Knitting is a skill. It's an art form. You can do freakin' cool things with knitting, and some patterns are more complex than repairing a transmission. So why not a heroine that knits? (Allow me to point out that my beloved editor has nothing against knitting, sewing, or clean shirts, but simply finds the trend in my books amusing.) And now, after years of talking about it, I have finally bitten the bullet and enrolled in a cake decorating class. I love cake. I love to make cake. I love frosting. My cakes taste wonderful, but are frequently lopsided, or frosting looks odd. I made an Ernie and Bert cake for my older brother Jason's birthday in June (family joke), and it was recognizably Ernie and Bert, and yet it wasn't quite as professional as I would have hoped. And so I enrolled in the class, coercing my sister into taking it with me. Five minutes into that first session last night, and I was totally hooked. This is going to be fun, and I am finally going to be able to make great-looking cakes. I'm so excited that I'm starting to think: how could I incorporate cake decorating into a book? I've got five works in progress right now, and sadly none of them have room for baking. But some day, I'm sure. Perhaps as I'm making my first frosting rose (session 3), I'll be inspired. We can only hope. We can also only hope that, after some diligent dieting has finally brought me close to my pre-pregnancy weight (Boy is 2 and a half, oh dear), all this cake and frosting won't ruin me.