Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Stunning Popularity Pales Next To Crickets

In the past week, I've (suddenly!) received multiple speaking queries for fall 2007.

Fall 2007!

Multiple queries!

When did I become so popular? Beats me.

Anyway, after a moment O panic, it occured to me that now, today was the time to adopt the SC event organization method.

It's very sophisticated. You staple together every piece of correspondence on each event and then stack them recent to distant, top to bottom, beside your desk. I know, I know, and yet...

I've been doing this five years, and I still needed SC (who granted was, like, Michigan Librarian of the Year before/while she became a famous author) to explain this to me.

Nevertheless, I feel better now.

Also, had dinner yesterday with AB, who now is SO cool/sweet that she gets phone messages from Crickets!

Buffy: The Vampire Sing-A-Long

Last night, GLS and I went out at 9 p.m. and met up with SP (vote for him!) and GB at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown (on Colorado) for the Buffy Sing-A-Long.

Picture an old central Austin theater full of Scoopies, seated behind long tables for food and drink (this is a movie theater with a kitchen, menu, and wait staff), watching "Restless" and then singing along (there are subtitles) to "Once More With Feeling" (see lyrics).

The draft house gave away bubble potion with wands, vampire teeth, and lighters. Wild dancing, underwear throwing ("The Parking Ticket Song"), heckling of Dawn, and singing while holding upheld, swaying hands (as in the entire crowd) were both encouraged and executed.

Actually, I skipped the wild dancing (GLS wouldn't so, you know, marital solidarity, though SP made an impressive effort), underwear throwing, and fire. But all the guys were firey with the flames, and I did do my part in blowing bubbles.

What impressed me most is how strongly the MC emphasized that it was great to be loud and have fun, but nevertheless to show all due respect for the quality of "Buffy," least one be shown the door (this was stated in a somewhat more aggressive fashion than one will find at spookycyn). "A religious experience," he also called it.

Big picture: despite so-so popcorn, highly recommend the Buffy Sing-A-Long. I feel just a little bit spookier than I did yesterday.

Spooky News & Links

Big congrats to GB on his recent admission to VC!

According to my incredible housecalls vet, "[s]ome coat colors are associated with gender in cats; many orange cats are male and most calico cats are female."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

MC Essay In Progress

After a summer of much travel and excitement, I'm back to the thrill of BIC (butt in chair).

Today, I put together a draft of an article to appear in a university press book about multicultural children's literature. It's supposed to be eight to 10 pages, and right now I have eight full.

I plan to show it to GLS and my crit group for feedback, and then go ahead and send early to the editors. Truth is, I'm not entirely sure what they're looking for, but there's plenty O time to adjust. Their deadline isn't until December.

You know, it keeps occuring to me that VC requires its students to write essays like this one, and that it's a valuable skill. I wonder how many of them realize that published authors put together pieces like this all the time. It's part of the greater discourse of the literary community, and it raises awareness of our titles in thoughtful circles.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Gas To Go

Communication with each of my book editors, including a revision request. Very exciting. Will wait to apply comments until I see marked mss.

Talk to GG (about TLA) and TLS (about ABBCBGFAG) on the phone.

Put gas in the car $33; have decided that gas prices are a karma thing against SUV drivers.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

10 Cantaloupes for $1

GLS and I had breakfast at Waterloo Ice House (scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast), grocery shopped at Randall's, and ran out to the Arboretum Mall so he could autograph stock at the B&N and I could buy feeders for the squirrels and birds. I finished my fifth packet for VC, and I'm going to start working on a few articles. One is for a university press and the other two will be submitted in support of T.

Randall's is having a special on cataloupes--10 for $1. How many people can store/eat 10 cataloupes while they're still fresh? Think about it!

In other news, I've noticed that GLS is wearing his red Brooklyn ballcap a lot, despite the fact that he claims to be "not a hat person" and that the Chicagoan in him is vaguely competitive of all things NYC. Perhaps it is because the cap is a gift from the ever effervescent Rebel Angel that is LB. I think it looks cute on him.

Shouting out: Happy Birthday to Grandma Melba!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tilted Kilt and Hello Kitty (More Wholesome Than It Sounds)

Had a somewhat hilarious time post GLS's signing at Tilted Kilt (we ended up there because it was in the same mall as the B&N) with everybody who'd stuck around until four p.m. -- FH, BY, AL, her not-so-shy daughter, and SP. The place is like Epcot gone naughty. Most delightfully mockable, though the food was utterly inedible.

In more wholesome news, yesterday brought a surprise gift of a plush stuffed kitty and kitty card from HB! Thanks! Kitty is resting comfortably on my bed as I type.

And finally, filing this under wicked happy: I got my check for the remainder of my advance for T!

Spooky Link

Julie Kenner's Scary Boyfriend List from E. Lockhart's blog.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Welcome Home, Greg

GLS was back late yesterday from a business trip to San Francisco! He's been gone since Monday, and I've really missed him.

I have one more VC packet to finish (have already emailed comments back to the rest). It's a full YA novel mss, which requires a bit more head/heart time. But I'll be done by the end of the weekend for sure. No worries.

Today is a busy one. I did an interview with The Marion Star (Marian, Ohio) on multiculturalism in children's/YA literature and then boogied over to lunch at Hyde Park Bar & Grill with the always charming JL and MS, who I was meeting in person for the first time. Lovely! MS is an illustrator whose debut title, Oliver's Must-Do List (Boyds Mills, 2005), was written by STB.

Spooky Link

Twilight Time from The Goddess of YA Literature. (You would've thought I'd have had a chance to read this by now; talk about your crazy summer!).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How Hot Is It?

"Truth is stranger than fiction,
but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities;
"Truth isn't.
-- Mark Twain

It's so hot that I requested a bag of ice to put in the bag with my spicy salmon brown rice sushi so I could walk home from Whole Foods without worrying, and the bag was mostly water by the time I hit the back door. (Sushi was still cold, though).

GLS went to see "Cursed," a werewolf movie, without me. He noted that it, "Had Scott Baio in a minor role, the pompous guy from Dawson's Creek, and the guy who plays Lex on 'Smallville' with hair." For the record, I never thought of Pacey as pompous and I was a devoted "Joanie Loves Chachi" fan, possibly the only one.

Spooky Links

For those of you who like to indulge in pretentious reader-related purchases (but are on a budget), I'd like to point you to the Levenger Outlet (a great source, by the way, for editor/agent gifts). On a related note, Hold Everything is having a 15% off sale on shelves.

On a more esoteric note, this scares me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Emily Undaunted

Finished up my third VC packet yesterday (I'm going to let them all sit until I'm done and then re-read the letters to ensure I'm making some sense), waited an extra hour for my annual doctor's appointment (brought Teach Me by R. A. Nelson (Razorbill, 2005) to read in the waiting room), and then promptly went to Hyde Park with AB to chow down on a turkey burger.

Spent most of the night in bed and online, continuing to read Teach Me. I'm normally a super-speedy reader, but this one has been slowing down to look up the various ED references. I'm now even more vexed by the NBC coverage. So far (pg. 165), this is a very smart, very thoughtful literary trade novel with no trace of gratuitousness or sensationalism.

Clearly, this is another example of Fear News, which seems to be the trend. Why are parents so vulnerable to this kind of thing? Don't they remember being teenagers?

Starting on packet #4 today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

There's a Lizard In My Bathtub!

"Don't say the old lady screamed . . . bring her on and let her scream."
--Mark Twain (on "show, don't tell")

Yesterday a surprise came in the mail: a thank you gift of Southwestern Corn Chowder from WF Royal KGL AKA Victoria, Empress of Germany.

I had another surprise, too. There was a teeny gecko in my bathtub. It looked bigger at first glance. I, um, screamed, which wasn't even slightly manly, then felt really guilty for scaring the wee thing, took it outside in a cup, and finally gave it water and a couple of long grass strands.

I'm hoping it is happily relocated.

For my efforts, though, I got two bug bites. One on my right hand and one on my neck (my neck, vampire insect!). Mother Nature owes me some serious karma.

Beyond that, I was all about reading my VC students' packages. Two down, three to go. Fascinating! And I read Thou Shall Not Dump The Skater Dude (And Other Commandments I Have Broken) by Rosemary Graham (Viking, 2005); more on that to come at cynsations!

Spooky Links

How To Work With Control Freaks by Albert J. Bernstein from

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Spark Sparkles

While bathing, a novel idea I've been nurturing (as in "of which I have a full first draft") sparked brighter, offering up a better plot structure, new kickoff setting, and even some thematic thoughts. I so seldom have thematic thoughts at this stage, but it was one of those built-in kind of things. I could even dive back in now, except that I need to grade my packets (yay!) and do my essays (also yay!) first.

I find that water is very condusive to ah-ha moments. (Not that you should have literal sparkage and water together, just metaphorically speaking).

Otherwise, yesterday was kind of all over the place. I spent most of the morning working on my site with LF, then went with GLS for pizza at Mangia (I had the spinach dip, but he had deep dish), and after that, we hit the mall to pick up a couple of shirts and packs of socks for him.

On the "Buffy" front, since when is Spike a Texan? He actually uses the phrase "all hat and no cattle" in "I Only Have Eyes For You." Also Principal Snyder refers to a vegan protester who chains himself to the snack machine. This delighted GLS as one of his two POV characters in Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005) is a vegan. Finished season 2 with all its heartwrenching-ness. Take a break now.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why Would Chiropractors Exhibit at the Home and Garden Show?

GLS and I hit the Home and Garden Show at the convention center yesterday, which was quirky fun. Lots of pool people, deck people, air conditioning people (it is Texas), and the occasional chiropractor offering a free back alignment check. Then we hit The Four Seasons Town Lake for perfect margaritas and a cheese plate. By the way, when will I ever learn to not wear heels to a convention center?

Continued our "Buffy" marathon with "Surprise," "Innocence," "Phases," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Passion," and "Killed by Death." It is with "Innocence" that the mythology arc of the series kicks into much higher gear. "Phases," though, is my all-time fave ep, probably because it's so Willow/Oz driven and because it's the first ep I ever watched on TV, necessitating my having to talk GLS into trying the series. The downside of my entering the timeline then was that I never felt, say, the full-impact of the Angel/Angelus transition. In "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," I was confused about Amy's use of Dianna as the goddess of love, as were apparently the nice people at the Buffyguide (scroll to goofs and gaffes). "Passion" reminded me that I always cry when Willow cries (it's worse when Buffy's mom dies and Willow/Tara breakup).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

To Whom It May Concern

Spent yesterday afternoon writing another VC rec for another WF Royal (which could potentially make five of us there next semester, depending), and then GLS and I went to Olive Garden for dinner. They now have whole wheat linguine with any pasta dish, which is just dishy.

Indulged in a "Buffy" marathon of sorts. "The Dark Age" is all about Giles' Ripper past and features a return of Ethan and a brief, but traumatic break in Giles/Jenny. It's interesting in the whole series that that was Giles' only real relationship, despite the "Band Candy" fling with Joyce and, later, whatever was going on with Olivia (clearly a wonderful actress, but no storylines were ever built around her).

"What's My Line," a two-parter, is Career Day (reminder that Buffy just wants a normal life), the intro of Kendra, the whole second/multi-slayer plotline that would climax at the series finale, and the Spike/Dru power reversal. Have I mentioned lately how much Dru freaks me out?

"Ted" and "Bad Eggs" are stand-alones. On the former, GLS is much critical of Whedonverse's sci fi efforts, but I find the bots intriguing (though perhaps overused). I also thought John Ritter was fabulous as "Ted" and so annoying with the "little lady" business that I really didn't care if Buffy had killed him as a human being (I know, bad Cyn). On the latter, I agree with the BuffyGuide that it's weird Willow and Xander's egg-raising mates never appear. Why even make it a team project, under the circumstances, except to emphasize the Buffy/Joyce single mother parallel?

Spooky News & Links

Ghost on the Stairs from The Clarity of Night blog. Its author is another gothic fantasy/law type.

Summer Weather and Cat Behavior from GLS on our weird kitty Blizzard Bently, named after, well, ya know.

Comic(s) O The Week (3-way tie): Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1; Birds of Prey #85; Batgirl #67

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sales, Celebrations, and Spookiness

Today, I'm off to lunch with KA and AB at Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard. Very exciting.

Yesterday was big fun, too! GLS and I celebrated his 38th b-day at Sullivan's in the Warehouse District.

I also was thrilled to learn yesterday that another 2005 WriteFest Royal's manuscript has sold to a major literary trade house. I'll give you the whole who's, what's, and when's later on. The details are not yet mine to share, but may I just say, "Wahoo, honeys!"

Kept watching "Buffy," season 2. Highlights of "Halloween" were the costume-fantasy element that sets up the Willow-Oz costume joke in a season 4 Halloween episode, "Fear Itself," and the introduction of Giles' "Ripper" past. Highlights of "Lie To Me" are Angel arguing that the wannabes don't even know how vamps dress--until one walks by wearing an outfit identical to his and Willow realizing what that song is really about. By the way, if you aren't clicking the links, rules.

Comic O Last Week: Supergirl #1

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Happy Birthday to Greg!

I'm pleased to report that my very cute husband GLS is 38 years old today! Surf over to his blog and wish him the best. Congrats to him also on the brisk paperback sales of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2005)!

I arrived home yesterday from Kansas City after visting with family and friends and speaking at a meeting of Kansas SCBWI. Highlights included my cousin SC and I taking Grandma D to high tea at the Fairmont, meeting my new cousin Autumn Lynn at Aunt Gail's, and lunching with Aunt Linda and Grandma M at Le Peep while looking at baby pictures of my other new cousin, Kaitlin Rose.

Grandma D, by the way, was the grandma featured in my short story, "The Naked Truth," which appeared in In My Grandmother's House: Award Winning Authors Tell Stories About Their Grandmothers, illustrated and edited by Bonnie Christensen (HarperCollins, 2003). I had the pleasure of visting Bonnie's apartment and meeting her charming daughter when I was in Burlington last month with the lovely TLS.

Anyway, the KC trip was sweet and bittersweet as August 13 also was the first anniversary of my father's death. I went with my mother to see the stone for the first time, and it's beautiful. A turquoise granite, the design includes their wedding date, "loving parents of Cynthia," an Air Force insignia on his side, and her tribal affiliations.

All in all, the trip was a wonderful one, but as always, I'm glad to be home.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Who's Been Relaxing?

Relaxing? Imagine. Must be someone else.

After a couple of days of R&R and low-key socializing, I have the following musings.

1. Relaxing = good. Must indulge more often.

2. Embassy Suites in Overland Park has the advantage of the suite at a bargain, but the service is abysmal. I came down for my grati breakfast at 9:31 a.m. and was scolded--scolded!--that they cut it off at 9:30. Got my two eggs scrambled anyway. But does that say "good morning?"

3. On the upside, the room service spinach dip is pretty good.

4. I'm saddened by the death of Peter Jennings. He looked a bit like my dad, and when news was really bad, it was always his broadcast that I'd watch. He reassured me and never stooped to "fear TV" to drum up ratings.

5. Watched TV in bed. Fabulous. Two chick flicks at $12-ish each. "Monster In Law" is a less charming remake of "My Best Friend's Wedding" with Jane Fonda in the MIL role replacing Julia Roberts as best friend and J. Lo taking over from Camron Diaz as the bride. Along those same lines "The Wedding Date," is a less charming "Pretty Woman" remake. My analysis: Julia Roberts is underrated. It's much harder to pull off these girly fluff roles than people realize.

6. Ripped pg. 116 of "People Magazine" out on the flight. "Fab or Flab?" It's about the Dove campaign, featuring real, "everyday" women, size 6 to 12 (the average American woman is a size 14, according to the article) instead of emaciated supermodels. Apparently, on July 19, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper opined, "If I want to see plump girls baring too much skin, I'll go to Taste of Chicago, okay?" For context, I'd like to remind the world that a size 6-8 generally translates to small and 10-12 generally translates to medium. So, basically, we have a guy with a platform who's so out of whack that he's incapable of recognizing what healthy women's bodies are supposed to look like . (Not at all to say it's bad or unhealthy to be above a 12; that's just the sample relevant in his particular, um, analysis.). Apparently, he has already received more than 1,000 letters explaining to him that he's not only an idiot but that his attitude can have destructive consequences. However, I happen to know that spookycyn readers are well known and appreciated for their writing superpowers, and I'm pretty sure a few hundred more notes wouldn't hurt. My pasting ability is somewhat limited at the hotel computer lab, but I'm sure you can all Google the necessary contact information. Consider this my hint to the universe for today, and by the way, I've always considered the women of Chicago *quite* fetching.

7. Must run now. Am having high tea this afternoon at the Fairmont Hotel on the plaza with Grandma D and my cousin SC. Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

KC Cyn

Remote blogging makes me feel so cosmopolitan. I'm here in the KC area, writing from the hotel computer lab. Plane flights went well; apparently the combo of Drammamine and Sudafed knocked out both potential motion sickness and ear pain.

I took a private taxi car with its own driver to the hotel, which in the end was no more expensive than a shuttle, and I didn't have to stop umpteenth times. All good. I 635 has a monster detour. With my sense of direction, I'd probably be in Oklahoma by now.

I'm taking a couple of down days to push back against the burnout of the busiest summer of my life. Plan for tonight is bathing, a chick flick (if I'm feeling really ambitious), and sleep--the kind you can only get when four cats aren't competing for the right to wake you up first.

The downside: I miss G already.

More Buffy: Oz and Johnathan

Best thing about "Inca Mummy Girl" is the intro of Oz.

Best thing about "Reptile Boy" is the intro of Johnathan. Btw, I think I've been to that frat party.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Errand Girl

Spent all of today on to-dos. Hit Daya for mani-pedi (gold shimmer over brown) and bronzing massage. Feeling sunkissed.

Zoomed back home to meet with the kitty vet. Leo will be having eyedrops. Poor Leo!

On to the mall for new undies at VS (love their hi-cut briefs) and choco-covered strawberry from Godiva ($4).

Picked up two boxes of paper for G at Office Max (sale--2 for $40; shop today!); required assistance loading them into my cart and then my car. Not my most glowing feminist moment.

Continued onto drug store for travel-sized whatnots. Observation: anything in miniature is cute. Even Scope.

Must continue packing, checking in with VC students, figuring out which book to bring. Maybe Libba's Rebel Angels (Delacorte, 2005).

KC tomorrrow!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Time Special Report: "Being 13"

"I don't know what the hell men think.
"I've given up trying to figure it out."
--Lauren Bacall

The YA affectionado in me was quick to snatch up the August 8, 2005 issue of Time magazine with its special report on "Being 13: inside that mystifying age when kids are shaped by the push to achieve and the pull of pop culture."

Not to be narcissistic, but the first thing I thought was: "Well, I'm 37 and still feeling the push to achieve and the pull of pop culture." You think?

That said, it's an interesting issue, well worth checking out, especially for those of us with a particular affection for teens and 'tweens. I have a myriad of related thoughts.

According to the lead, Little Red Riding Hood was a seduction story, which I've heard before, but also her cape was "a symbol of menstruation." News to me. Speaking of which, though, the average age for first periods has dropped about one month per decade. (It's still about 12). Experts are freaked because this shows no sign of stopping. One wonders aloud if it will hit the floor at nine. As in--gasp!--nine! Since we're on the subject, I first started my period at age nine, which was a drag but probably did not trigger the apocalypse. (I feel free to be candid about such things as I'm already published on the subject).

And since everybody seems to be talking about Rainbow Party (Simon & Schuster, 2005)(regardless of your opinion of the novel itself, we all must say "bravo!" to S&S marketing), a recent People/NBC poll found that "12% of 13-and-14-year-olds said they'd had oral sex, but three times that many admitted they didn't know what oral sex was."

The tie-in article "You Wanna Take This Online?" focuses on "cyberbullies," a phenomenon that allegedly "peaks at about age 13" and is all about girls--something like 21 percent of eighth graders reporting themselves as victims.

"The Push To Perfect" zeroes in on cheerleaders, but I disagree with its assessment that "cheerleading has changed a lot." Or, at least, I'd like to ask, since when? Like so much media coverage, what's new seems to be from a boomer perspective, totally skipping over GenX. There were girls with a decade plus of competitive dance and gymnastics on cheer squads in the mid 1980s. I'm not saying it's not worth talking about, but it's not new.

Other articles touch on keeping secrets and faith, which is apparently "in" in a big way.

Much to muse on, I say. And that's enough for me. Must pack!

Kansas City Bound

Today is all about getting ready to go to Kansas City. The 13th is the first anniversary of my father's death, so I expect that it will be an emotionally loaded trip. Among other things, I'll see his tombstone for the first time. I'm actually quite fond of cemeteries and tombstones, though, which should help.

Dad's marker is a custom job with a nod to his service in the U.S. Air Force. But it is not the marker that he was entitled by virtue of his veteran's benefits. After almost a year of filing the appropriate paperwork, last month, I finally got the verification document (dated July 19th) that would've allowed my mother to get a marker through the military. That is, if we'd been willing to let the grave go unmarked for a year while the paperwork was processed. We were not.

Anyway, trip highlights will include my cousin SC and I taking Grandma D (dad's mom) to high tea at the Fairmont Hotel. It's pretty schmoozy for us, but I wanted to create a really positive distraction from the memories of last year. I love the Fairmont. G and I got married there back when it was the Ritz-Carlton (but of course, being a native Kansas Citian, I still tend to think of it as the Alameda Plaza). I'll also get to meet my cousin LM's new baby girl.

In other news, my bronze Egyptian Mau kitty, Leo Galilei, appears to have a cold. His housecalls vet is coming over tomorrow afternoon to check him out. I'm hitting Daya tomorrow morning myself for a manicure, pedicure, and massage (cheaper than therapy).

On a much lighter note, I just registered for the Emerald's drawing for a $50 gift certificate. I highly recommend this to Austin area shoppers. Emerald's is my fave local boutique, and I've already won the drawing once. I suspect not a lot of the clientele bothers to enter.

Still watching "Buffy"...

Regarding "Prophecy Girl," I can't figure out why Buffy didn't just stake Colin AKA "The Annoited One" when she first encounters him. She says she knows who he is, and then she allows him to lead her into the Hellmouth. But the prophecy makes it clear that Colin's role is a key component, so...why not just cut it (and/or his head) off then and there? Also, why did Buffy feel stronger after Xander brought her back? As I recall, at the time, a lot of Scoobies theorized that she'd been turned, but apparently not. And it was never explained.

Regarding "School Hard," which is the first appearance of Dru (Miss Edith, anybody?) and Spike, as if they weren't intrinsically creepy fun enough, William's killing of The Annointed/Annoying One was enough to endear him all by itself. For an infinitely more intriguing child bloodsucker, see Kristin Dunst's Claudia in "Interview With The Vampire."

Speaking of which, per Spike's reference, "People still fall for that Anne Rice routine?"

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Baby Cousins!

Today, shopping for back-to-school (which basically is anything clothes) is tax free in Texas. I indulged in shoes. A pair of uber goddess-y gold-and-bronze beaded thong sandles from Emeralds (the best boutique for shoe shopping in Austin) and some black slip-on wedges from Coldwater Creek.

More significantly, I'd like to send out congratulations to my cousin Laura on the birth of her daughter, Autumn Lynn, and to my cousin Melissa on the birth of her daughter, Kaitlin Rose. Congratulations also to the grandmas, my aunts Gail and Linda, and the great-grandma Melba. It's been an exciting week for my mama's side of the family!

Spotted Black Lizards

Yesterday afternoon, my chat with Absynthe Muse was canceled and rescheduled (for September 10) due to tech problems with their chat room.

G took me out to dinner at Houston's (Chicago-style spinach dip with roasted chicken and black beans and brown rice; have no clue why serving tortilla chips with spinach dip would make it "Chicago-style"). Does anyone know if Houston's was first launched in the city of Houston or if it was named after the original owner (as in "Sam Houston")? The architecture and menu have something of a midwest feel (plus fish).

Anyway, later, we watched more "Buffy" episodes. We're up to "Out of Mind, Out of Sight." It's interesting that we never again see the federal recruitment program for the invisibles, though once Riley (yawn) hits the scene, we do realize that the feds aren't as in denial about monsters as most adults in Whedonverse.

By the by, have I mentioned the giant lizards in my back yard? They're either six inches or a foot long (I'm not good at proportional relationships)--black with spots and huge heads. I tried to sneak up on one for a better look, and rather than run away, it puffed up at me and its belly turned a bright blue! Perhaps it is related to the yellow-spotted lizards from LS's Holes!

Spooky News & Links

Any pals of SA out there? Or SA herself? I have a dim VC memory of her needing books for her school library, and I have books to send (but I need contact info; can't find e addy on LJ).

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Steele A Fan

I slept much of rainy yesterday, highlighted nevertheless by shrimp night at the UT Club with AB and a new episode of "Monk." Finished reading Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by DL (Dutton, 2005), which I'm ga-ga over and will soon blog up on cynsations. Also heard from D S-B, author of The History of Counting (Morrow, 1999), for the first time in a long time and hope to get together with her next month.

Today's highlights included breakfast at Katz's, a shopping expedition to Lowe's (we may someday replace the dripping master bathtub faucet), the Aboretum, the antique mall on Burnett (I have my eye on this rotating barrister bookshelf, but it's $2,500--ouch!), and the DVD store (where I bought season one of "Remington Steele").

With the exception of "Monk" and (cough) "Desperate Housewives," I'm temporarily giving up on television because there is so little good writing.* Yes, I have heard about the wonder that is "Veronica Mars," but at this point, I've missed so much that I'd rather wait for the DVDs and enjoy the whole, unfettered experience much like I have with "Six Feet Under."

*this is not a slam on TV writers; it's a slam on "reality" TV.

Spooky News & Links

Thanks to G, for adding links to the sidebars of my cynsations and spookycyn blogs. G's latest book, Tofu and T. rex was released in July 2005 along with the paperback of his debut novel, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Back To "Buffy"

It occured to me this week that since T is a wrap (at least until the copyediting), for a while, I can dive back into other creators' verses like the rabid fangirl I am. G and I decided to go through all our "Buffy" eps sequentially.

We just finished "Never Kill A Boy on the First Date." I woke up thinking about "The Witch," which preceeds it and highlights how trying out for cheerleading can be as dangerous on the Hellmouth as it is in Texas (also first ep featuring Amy). Definitely a fave, though it just occured to me to wonder why the Sunnydale High Razorbacks would be playing basketball so early in the school year.

The Buffy Episode Guide addresses this under "Goofs and Gaffes."

Comic O the Week: Aquaman #33

Comic O last Week: Wonder Woman #219 (and Diana was completely justified, regardless of whether Superman agrees, and by the way, it's really easy for him to judge now that she saved his sanity).

Spooky Link

Sexy Texas Cheerleader Plan Clears First Hurdle from ABCsport Online.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Inner Wolf

I found the photograph that is framed in my office online at Coldwater Creek. It was my model for K's inner Wolf in T. I also drew inspiration from the Donald Vann painting, which for some reason I can't find on his Web site.

In other news, I picked up the latest issue of Gothic Beauty magazine at DL yesterday, along with comics, and received a surprise gift of biscotti via Two Smart Ladies from JJ. What a sweetie!

Also, I heard that uber-hip and sassy APL YA librarian MG is North Carolina bound. We will most certainly miss her.

Slept through the night with no coughing!

Spooky Links

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray/The Secrets of Spence Sweepstakes is an online scavenger hunt in which you will be asked to search for and gather clues on outside web sites. With each clue you uncover you will be entered for chances to win awesome prizes - like Alloy gift certificates and free books! Plus, clues will grant access to exclusive Rebel Angels features. And once you've gathered all the secrets from the scavenger hunt you'll get a chance to listen-in with Gemma as she overhears midnight whispers in the ill-fated burned wing of Spence Academy. YA fans, definitely check this out, and then surf by Libba's LJ and tell her how infinitely goddess-like she is. I'm cross-posting this link to both blogs because it should be of interest to both spooky and cynsational types.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Feeling Better; Catching Up

Last night, G took me to Musashino for dinner (I highly recommend the asparagus roll) and then went on to the lobby lounge at the Four Seasons to watch the bats fly and listen to the pianist sing. It felt perhaps a bit ambitious, health-wise, but I can now swallow with only minimal discomfort. I'm also significantly less cranky.

Lots of glamorous writer to-dos are now to-done: My autographed copy of Supergirl by NFM is now on my shelf. My laundry from VC is sorted into piles. I just packaged up and sent a copy of Rain Is Not My Indian Name (Listening Library, 2001) on audio to a Native radio station in Toronto that has requested permission to air it. I also sent an email inviting Austin area friends to G's signing of Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005) at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 at B&N Round Rock. And I wrote a rec letter for a first-rate writer. Must get comics, folders to organize my students, and check the P.O. Box.

Spooky Link

Maker of Atkins diets files for bankruptcy from MSN Money. Just desserts, says Cyn.

Monday, August 01, 2005

JELLO, movies, and bedrest

Still under the weather, though pink eye appears to be clearing. Went back into the doc at 1:45 p.m. for another look at the ears and they're all better, too. I'm currently bonding with the JELLO that G made me yesterday. A much underappreciated delicacy, JELLO.

Watched two movies yesterday, "Eulogy," and "To Wong Foo. Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." On the first, it was lovely to see Debra Winger in a film, and fans of "Six Feet Under" would enjoy "Eulogy." I of course was most appreciative of the teen love subplot. I'd seen "To Wong Foo..." before and mostly rewatched it because it was on TV and because I'm something of a Stockard Channing fan (who by the way was age 34 when she played Rizzo in "Grease.").

Currently reading The World According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney (Putnam, 2004).

Thanks to KA for filling in for me at Houston SCBWI tonight.