Jessica Day George

Thursday, February 28, 2008

This n' That

I'm busy being the least productive person on the planet, so I'll just throw some stuff out there.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier = un-put-down-able.  It's The Twelve Dancing Princesses plus Dracula plus about three other legends/fairy tales I've spotted so far.  Hence the lack of productivity.  I'm tellng you what, if this one guy ( I won't spoil it by naming him) doesn't get a good comeuppance, I'm going to be very upset.  SO EVIL!  I love it!

To address the comments on my previous post: Chatspeak = NOT REAL WORDS.  Emoticons are fine.  They're cute.  When not used to excess.  But LOL, IMHO, just annoy me.  I can't tell you the number of emails I get from people who liked my books (I think), and use so many chat contractions that it takes me an hour to decipher them.  (Also, please include your name in your email!  So many people don't bother to sign their names to their emails.  Don't you want me to remember your name, should we ever met in the real world?)

Multiple comments are fine, Enna.

And a review with me is up at Deliciously Clean Reads.  They came up with some really great questions.  They're also giving away a signed copy of Sun and Moon.

Happy Leap Year, Everybody!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Hello, my cheeky monkeys!

I spent last Thursday to Saturday at Life, the Universe, and Everything, BYU's phenomenal sci fi and fantasy symposium. What's so phenomenal about it? Well, they pile up guests of honor like Orson Scott Card and Gail Carson Levine, and add to that all the local talent they can throw at you. People like Julie Wright, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Willis, and Mette Ivie Harrison. Fun people, funny people, talking about books and movies and Victorian underwear for three days.

And it's free!

Actually, that was me talking about Victorian underwear. Which I'm sure comes as a surprise to no one.  It's a little thing I have: corsets fascinate me, and I used to do research papers on them. So whenever anyone talks about Women of Yesteryear, I start talking about underwear. It's kind of a problem, I know.

But anyway.

Scott Card and Gail Levine are gracious, charming, wonderful people, and I wish I had written down everything they said in their main addresses, so that I could study it over and over. So cool.  Also, they seemed to like me, and not in a: Hey, aren't you weird but you're local so I'll be polite way.  Yay!

And I had a heck of a good time teasing Dashner about the gray in his hair, and giggling like a maniac with Julie Wright over underwear and many other things that seemed HILARIOUS at the time. I also got to eat some pretty gosh darn amazing food. I have not eaten at the Museum of Art Cafe in lo, these many years. I never ate there at all as a student because . . . I was a student! I didn't have money! But I ate there once with mom a few years ago, and thought it was good. Now, however, it has entered the realms of the sublime. They had this sandwich, served on a croissant the size of my head which had turkey, lettuce, apples, and spiced cream cheese on it. Also, I suspect, CRACK! I could eat that every day for the rest of my life!

I did a signing at the BYU Bookstore, where I have spent many hours in line myself, getting books signed by authors I worshipped.  I met the one and only Enna Isilee and her gorgeous mother.  Apparently beauty and intelligence runs in that family.  I got to talk to people who are even now working on their first books, or trying to get them published, and felt that little thrill of : some day they'll be sitting by me on a panel, I just know it!  Bravo to anyone trying to break into this business!

But at last I came home, where laundry needed to be done, and where I could retire to my couch whimpering because there is just something so EXHAUSTING about doing stuff like this. It's fun at the time, but then later you realize, I just spent the last eight hours running from room to room, essentially performing an improvised stand up routine. Wooo!

So I used my last two days well:

Finished True Meaning of Smekday and Alchemyst, both excellent. Read Austenland, which I ADORED, and am almost through with Devilish, by Maureen Johnson, which is a new level of awesome for which there are no words. Maureen: I think I love you.

ps-For those of you who don't know why BYU's thing is called Life, the Universe, and Everything, go right now and read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Go, go, go!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Which book won?

Danny, the Champion of the World won out.  What a great book!  I finally hit a place where I simply couldn't put it down, and finished it later that night.  Now I just have to avoid picking up that copy of Austenland winking at me from the corner of my room, I'll hurry and finish the two books left, Alchemyst and Smekday, which are equally good in different ways.

Enna Isilee, a dedicated Shannon Hale fan, as you can tell, interviewed me for her spanking new blog!  Thanks, Enna!  It was a real treat seeing the great questions she had come up with and thinking about how to answer.  You can read the interview here:

She also reviews some great books, it's a fun blog.

This week, if you will take a gander at the "Meet Jessica" page, I will be at Life, the Universe, and Everything at BYU in Provo, UT.  For those of you who live within easy distance of this, LTUE is a GREAT conference.  I've been going since I was just a wee lass.  I met Robin McKinley there when I was a teen, something that I will always treasure.  Every year they invite wonderful authors to come and talk about their books, about writing, all kinds of things.  This year it's Gail Carson Levine and Orson Scott Card, along with a mix of us locals, including James Dashner and Brandon Sanderson.  It's free, and it runs from Thursday through Saturday.  Join us!  There's full info at:

Now I'd better get to work on that third Creel and the Dragons book!  I'm awfully close to the end, hint hint.  There's going to be a w-- NO!  I won't tell you!  HA HA HA HA HA!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How and Why to Read Three Books at Once

First off, let me just say that last night I got a really good haircut. I'm home alone and there is no one to share in its magnificence by my toddler, who doesn't care, and the dog, who hasn't noticed. I haven't had a real haircut since last APRIL, and that one was just fine. But I usually get two bad haircuts for every good one, so you can see why I wait so long. So I got my hair done last night, in a friend's kitchen. And since it was late and she cut it dry, we didn't really style it or anything. So this morning, after I finally got dressed and did my hair, I looked in the mirror at it . . . and loved it so much I started to do that shampoo commercial thing were you shake your hair around a lot and purse your lips at your reflection. YEAH, BABY!

Okay, sorry, I'm done now. But for those of you who know me personally, next time you see me check out the hair!

All right, back to the books.

Yes, I'm reading three books today. Not in a row (finishing one and then starting another) but actually rotating from one book to the next.

It's not a sickness.

What happened was that yesterday I finished Sorcery and the Single Girl by Mindy Klasky (for older readers, please note), and started The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. This pleases me. Both books are good. But Sorcery is a vastly different style of book from Alchemyst, and it was a little hard to change channels if you will.

But The Alchemyst is good, and it became Book #1.

So last night I was noodling around my bookshelves, and found Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl. Now, I have read every book and short story Dahl ever wrote, except this one. For some reason, and I don't know why, it's just escaped me until now. And I actually bought it at a library sale years ago, and promptly lost it among the 9,000 other books I have. So I finally picked it up and read the first page.

And Danny, the Champion of the World became Book #2.

And this morning while I was exercising, I happened to be near the bookcase where I stack books checked out from the library, and caught sight of The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I started to read it in between yoga poses, which is why it takes me hours to exercise every day.

True Meaning of Smekday, Book #3.

So I have the books in different parts of the house. Making lunch: Book #2. Getting dressed: #3. Wandering around tidying house: #1.

It's easy and fun! You just keep rotating the books, keep rotating the books. Read a chapter of one, go in the other room to grab some socks, read a chapter of that book. Decide you're ready for that exciting part in #1, go read it. Then you're up for some poaching in #2, pick that one up.

And that's how you read 3 books at once, my friends.

Although technically I'm reading four books right now. Shortly before Christmas I picked up a big ol' chunky fantasy book, something I haven't done in a while, and I just got too bogged down and had to set it aside. Soon I shall return to conquer its prophecies and endless scenes of people in cloaks traveling around. Soon.

But why, you may ask, would I WANT to read three books at once? Well, all three books are interesting to me RIGHT NOW. This very minute I am in the mood for all of them. I am a capricious reader. I will buy something because I am SO excited about it that day, and then I will force myself to finish the book I am currently reading. This means that the current book is getting short shrift, because I'm trying to get through it fast, and the new and exciting book might not look as shiny and new in a week. Also in that time someone might have spoiled the book for me, by telling me the ending or saying that they hated it.

It's better to strike while iron is hot, and the book is the most exciting book you've ever read!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My 13th Reality, or Livin' Large

So, I believe that I mentioned before I was reading an advance copy of James Dashner's The 13th Reality, the first book in the Journal of Curious Letters series. And now I've finished it. . . .


So for March, kiddies, look out for this book. It's a fun ride, full of riddles and some very exciting derring-do, including my personal dream: hoverbikes!

Why I call this post "my" 13th Reality, though, is because I have now joined the ranks of people I have always stared at, sometimes envied, but never truly understood.

People who have to leave home to find peace and quiet to write.

So, back before the Boy was born, obviously, silence was not a hot commodity at our house. I would work in the mornings, come home, and have hours to toodle around before my husband came home. I'd write, watch girlie movies and knit, whatever I wanted.

Then the Boy came.

I started having to wait until he napped to write, which sometimes didn't happen because he is not a good sleeper, even at the age of three. But eventually he does sleep, and we are lucky in that, at the age of three, he will still take a nap 4-5 times a week. Which is when I write, except when a) people call and I rush to answer because I didn't turn off the ringer, and then I end up chatting away my writing time, or b)I get distracted by something on the internet, or a book I'm reading, or I'm in the middle of cooking something or organizing something and by the time I'm done Boy is awake.

Lately this has been happening more and more, and I've been writing less and less. And I suddenly started to understand people like James Dashner, and Amy Finnegan, and other writer friends who go to libraries, or Barnes n Noble, or cabins, or hotels, to do some writing. What? I would scoff at them. Are you that fragile that you can't occasionally do a page or two while a toddler screamed and chased the dog in the background? (I have, in fact, often written when Boy was awake, simply tuning out the chatter and noise.)

But, without warning, I have become one of those people. As Boy's naps get shorter, I also find myself able to write less when he's awake, until I realized that we were reaching a point where one day I wouldn't be able to write at all.

I freaked.

So my husband sent me to Barnes n Noble.

And last Saturday, i sat in their cafe. And wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote, and listened to music that wasn't from the Curious George soundtrack and didn't teach me the alphabet.

It was amazing.

This week I went to the library, which was, amazingly, noisier and more distracting. But still I wrote and wrote.

And thus it has been decided that every Saturday I will go somewhere, and write. Saving my sanity and finishing my projects, one weekend at a time.

(ps-I call this "livin' large" because this strangely feels like the "big time." And also because last night when I got back from writing at the library I got a package in the mail containing three copies of Dragon Slippers, in LARGE PRINT. )