Monday, October 31, 2005

Whole Foods Horrors

Swung by the Whole Foods headquarters store for some spicy salmon brown rice sushi (it is, after all, a holiday)!

Spotted a mid-life woman in a Seuss hat near the chocolate fountain, an angel in cosmetics, a baby devil at the pizza service, a witch at checkout, and a (human) baby Dalmation and toddler princess (in pink!) in the parking garage.

Also stopped by my P.O. Box to discover that AD had sent me a Wonder Woman Pez dispenser (oh, happy day!), which will go on permanent display in my office next to my WW lunch box, and an American Greetings card that asks: Where do vampires learn to suck blood? Answer: Law school. (Class of '94 here!) Brilliant! Thanks, AD!

One of my characters--Marie Headbird from Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001)(Listening Library, 2001) was a Pez collector--and thus Pez is especially dear to my heart. As for my love of WW and all thing vampire, well, y'all already knew about that.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sixth Street Scares

Spotted a light and dark angel last night on Congress, pirates on Brazos, a devil and vampire in the SUV of the parking garage. Heard a group of crossdressing "Girl Scouts" seranade a fellow guest in the bar of the Driskill Hotel. And those were just the highlights. Sixth street was of course closed off, and Halloween revelers flowed through downtown. Of course some of them dress that way normally, but hey, it's Central Austin.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wicked Weekend

Fun day!

I (a) wrote a couple of pages on my new novel mss, (b) continued my "featured author" week on a writing teacher list serv, (c) corresponded with a few authors and illustrators about their new books and, in some cases, doing a related interview on cynsations, (d) received a poster of myself that will appear in federal offices across the U.S. in conjunction with Native Heritage Month (feeling honored and mildly famous)...

Also, it's Halloween weekend! It's Texas Book Festival weekend!


Spooky Link

DFW-HWA: the North Texas Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.


After much techno-angst, GLS and I will try again to hook my computer to high-speed, wireless next spring when less is going on. I could go into detail, but suffice it to say, I appear tech cursed. I await Halloween with some trepidation as it wouldn't surprise me if the computer begins to howl.

On the upside, I did manage to sneak away for some TLC at Daya and GLS took me to dinner at Eastside (I recommend the brie/chutney).

Spooky Links

Annette Curtis Klause from Authors Among Us.

Fear Factor: Werewolves by Adam Lipkin from Bookslut.

Halloween: Creepy Contacts from Shopping.

Stranger than Fiction by Amy Leigh Morgan from MS Encarta. Test your knowledge of the natural world.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dian Curtis Regan: Why "Desperate Housewives" is a Fairy Tale

This post by children's/YA author Dian Curtis Regan about "Desperate Housewives" is shared from a private message board with express permission:

1. Susan is a children's book author/illustrator, yet we never see her actually writing or illustrating or even talking about her work--other than to say it's what she does for a living.

2. She lives in a gorgeous house, presumably off of her writing income.

3. Last night's episode showed her at the book launch for her first picture book. Reason it's a fairy tale? People actually showed up.

4. Her agent needs her to sign with him so he can stay in business. (After publishing one picture book? Hahahahaha.)

5. Why does her agent live nearby? Where exactly IS Wisteria Lane?

6. She works at home, yet dresses in fashionable, cleavage-baring outfits, with hair and make-up beautifully done. (Okay, I do that, too. Hahahahahaha.)

7. And that cute plumber, Mike, across the street who never seems to be working, yet is around to look hunky and gaze at her endearingly......?

8. Last night, she said she was 'behind in her work.' Where is her messy home office? We never see it.

Note: Dian does however admit that her plumber's name is "Mike."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Great Pumpkin Grows Up

Spotted: a vampire in a fedora walking down Blanco; a werewolf in checkout at Fresh Plus.

Watching "Smallville" season one on DVD. The Clark/Lex people are really onto something.

Spooky Links

The Great Pumpkin Grows Up: Extreme gardening can be an ultra-competitive field by By David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post.

Lucy In Disguise

GLS and I joined AB, SP, SM, A (AKA "TCG") for brunch at Katz's (turkey on whole wheat with a side order of scrambled eggs). I was sporting my burnt orange T-shirt that reads "Spooky" from Target. It worked both for Halloween and game day.

Then GLS and I hit Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds on South Congress, which was the inspiration for All The World's A Stage, the costume shop in "A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mate" from Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today, edited by Lori Marie Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005). (Incidentally, the fictional store is also mentioned in passing in T).

We picked out two amazing costumes and took them home early as part of the Halloween special. Austinites: rent early! It's already a zoo!

Nope, I'm not telling what we'll be yet. It's a surprise.

Spent most of Friday and part of today working on an article on Native lit that will be featured in an upcoming university press book. I'm hopeful to get some feedback on it from the editors and make any necessary adjustments. Likewise on the T essay. I tried it as a Q&A, just to see what would happen. Better, I think. I still need to address the link between the S and the O.

Also am firmly back to work on F&M!

Spooky Links

Best Burgers 2005 from Austin City Guide. (I don't eat mammals because of FM-K, but the best turkey burger is at Hyde Park Bar & Grill).

Comic of the Week: Batgirl #69 (Mrs. Freeze defrosted; who thought I'd live to see the day?)

Friday, October 21, 2005

I Want A Wonder Woman T-Shirt

I have been most unsuccessful in my attempts to order a Wonder Woman T-shirt and am greatly vexed as a result.

According to DL, DC doesn't license anyone to make them. But you can get a Poison Ivy shirt, a Harley Quinn shirt.... It's just wrong.

I know I could get a Linda Carter TV series T, but I want a comic version.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Paggi House Revisited

Remember how we went earlier this week to Paggi House (official site)? Well, we returned tonight for the tapas bar, which is supposed to be the big thing. Evening menu: gazpacho good, duck quesadillas (I'm told) good, large tempura roll fabu. Highly recommended to couples, redemptive folk in a relationship (looking for brownie points), and anyone longing to gossip about others in children's/YA lit. Not that that would be us. No. Of course not.

Some Days You Just Want to Pack It All Up and Move to Ecuador

Those of you who read cynsations already now that (along with R W-G) I'm joining the VC faculty. On KA's recommendation, I've so far bought Uggs boots, a thermal blanket, and Cuddlebuns undies from JCPenney. All very exciting, but I'm suddenly recalling Michigan winters...

Beyond that, I'm completely swamped in to-dos. Gracious TLS and TB are looking at an article I'm stuck on, though, so I'm pretty much worshipping them today.

Spooky Links

Ecuador is a haven for retirees by Kathleen Peddicord from MSN Money.

Scary Baby Names: Halloween-Inspired Names by Melanie Monroe Rosen from MSN Lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Paggi House

Lunch today with GLS and CH, former director of the TBF turned publicist/book doc. We ate at Paggi House (off South Lamar), which is a low, key, comfy historic house restaurant/bar. I had the hummus for lunch but am most jazzed at the prospect of returning to the tapas bar for dinner.

Also, chilled and thrilled by spooky yard displays in Pemberton on Niles Road (I personally lust after that house at 2 Niles Road--wowza).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How To See A Ghost

My CW editor called my idea/draft of the reader's guide--AKA Q&A, whatever it will be--for T "fabulous" and "fabulously welcome." Yay!

Dinner tonight with AB! Looking forward to seeing her newly remodeled home.

My ghost has been completely well-behaved and low key lately. Perhaps she is happy because JL bought her a gift (antique purse), which is prominently displayed in her room.

Spooky Link

How to See a Ghost by

Tornado Cyn

Am swept up in a storm of busy-ness. Enjoyed our dinner party Saturday with GB and his honey. Finishing up VC packets, running errands, reading Confessions of a Boyfriend Stealer: A Blog by Robynn Clairday (Delacorte, 2005)(entertaining chicklit). More sweet thank you notes from CB and CS for the Austin SCBWI party.

Spoke tonight at the bond hearing in favor of building a new central library. My quotes included: "We won't get a second chance for this generation."

Eh. I felt a little like Miss America finalist, but I was trying.

Spooky Links for fun, light books likely to have pink covers. (Don't believe me? Look at the featured cover art).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I Love Mail

I received a lovely thank you card from LL for last weekend's Austin SCBWI party. Fascinating woman. I'll never forget her reading of "Madonna is Stalking Me" at the Texas Book Festival. Just thinking about it makes me misty.

My author copy of MT came in today's mail. It's really a beautifully produced book. I hope it reaches teen readers.

Dinner party tonight!

Spooky Links

The Gift of ADHD (in relationship to creativity) from MSN Health and Fitness.

Sending a wave to PR from me and James Dean!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Me, royalty?

Am still aglow after my best-ever royalty statement, in part so good because of the sale of reader rights for JD to SF. Oh, how do I love subrights?

Along those same lines, I'm printing multiple copies of T to send to my agent--one for audio, one for foreign, one for film.

Think happy money thoughts for me! I'm trying to afford dining room chairs. (I have the table so the absence is, um, somewhat noticeable).

By the way, it takes forever to print a 49,079 word mss four times (I need one for myself, too--you know, to cuddle on dark, rainy nights).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Neurotic But Happy Author

I sent off my copyedits with an email saying they're incoming. Then, after talking to GLS last night about LB style, I sent another note clarifying that "STET" meant "no change" and "OK" meant "change accepted." I'm sure she thinks I'm a lunatic, but apparently for LB, "OK as is" means "no change," which is the exact opposite.

You see what I mean: I am a lunatic.

In any case, I sent the package via FedEx with a "If you've got it, haunt it" card, which features a vampy chick on the front and was released by Hallmark last year (I stocked up).

Then GLS took me to Threadgill's (the original, not the touristy south one) for dinner (bronzed catfish, broccoli cheese casserole, and green bean casserole)--you have to love a place where so many of the listed "vegetables" have meat in them and others are listed under a non-dairy subgroup.

Then we hit The Driskill for drinks--no ghost incidents in the ladies room this time (though it's now $10 a glass for wine that sells for $15 a bottle). That said, the pianist was divine!

Must run errands today as copyedits went yesterday and VC packets arrive tomorrow!

Spooky Link

Australian scientists spark controversy with a discovery of small bones suggesting the existence of a prehistoric 'hobbit'-like species from Time magazine.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Burned Orange?

Just finished pouring through copyedits on T. Overall, a splendid job! The mss is much improved for the effort on all fronts. I only hope the CW editors can decipher my own notes.

On the regional front, I STETed a handful of tightening efforts for "economy of language" that cut against the southwestern voice and my use of "burnt" rather than "burned" orange for the U.T. color.

Spooky Links

In case you missed it, be sure to catch Arthur Slade on Monsterology (Tundra, 2005) from cynsations. His site also features a new audio interview with Count Dracula.

Gator-guzzling Python Comes to Messy End from [Ew.]

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Party Prep

We're hosting the Austin SCBWI pre-conference party for speakers and volunteers here at the house, so we're in big-time polish and decorate mode.

Spooky Link

An Interview with Matt Madden by Daniel Nester from Bookslut. "There’s a feeling, especially among underground and alternative cartoonists, that comics should remain lowly so that it remains under the cultural radar..."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Just received copyedits on T--very jazzed! Plan to start on them tomorrow.

Also GLS made the most divine shrimp Creole for dinner last night.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cross-Eyed Cyn

Am meticulously combing through the redesign of the Web site (which will hopefully launch in the near future). Eyes are watering, back aches, tendon may go into repetitive motion disorder at any moment. Whine. Sob.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Spooky T-shirts

Target is selling orange ladies' Ts with "Spooky" written in gothic lettering.

I bought two!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rudolph RIP

Air force payout cures Santa woes: The Danish air force has admitted causing the death of Rudolph the reindeer and has paid compensation to Father Christmas. From BBC News.