Saturday, June 30, 2007

You can have a lot of fun in a New York minute

So, unless you count the presents that my parents will undoubtedly bring when they come to help me move in this weekend, the time for celebrating my birthday is pretty much over. Unless you count the party I may never throw because I've been too busy to think about what I want to do.

I did receive one present that really meant a lot to me this year, and of course I have to blog about it. Recently I've had the honor of working with author Julie Anne Peters, who I had already begun reading and respecting long before I got my editorial job. When Little, Brown agreed to donate some GLBT-themed/friendly books to Live Out Loud to go into a gift basket at their annual Gala, Julie agreed to sign a set of her books for them. I joked that I wanted to steal them for myself. Julie, who has a great sense of humor and is just as fabulous as you might imagine, asked when my birthday was (as in "well maybe I'll send you a signed set of your own").

I thought she was kidding or that we were just having a silly conversation, but a few days before my birthday I received a package. Inside were 4 books, each with a different colored ribbon tied around them, and autographed. They were accompanied by a card that sang Down on the Farm by Tim McGraw and made the entire office look when I opened it.

It was such a great birthday surprise, since I had forgotten about that conversation. To receive a set of signed books from an author I read and respect made me so happy, and the fact that she remembered my birthday when some people didn't (my best friend included*) meant a lot. I've never been more excited to send a thank you note in my entire life. HAHAHA!

Oh and since we're discussing what a fabulous author Julie is, I should tell everyone to check out her latest project, coming out in September. It's called grl2grl and it is a short story collection about lesbian teens (and one FTM transgender) as they mature and begin to explore their sexuality. It's amazingly written and so true to life. There were moments in these stories, as there have been in her other books, where I have been transported back to my own experiences, coming out and dealing with being a gay teen. She's a great author and as you can see here, she's also incredibly thoughtful and giving.

YAY for turning 26** and YAY for Julie Anne Peters!

*I forgave my best friend, since she was in bed, sick, all day.
**read: survived 25

Friday, June 29, 2007

Do you like my new shirt? It was written by Stephen King.

Packing boxes really makes me realize something that I never realized before...

...I have more books than I do clothes.

Seriously, I never thought about it before but I have two bookshelves and they are both overflowing, not to mention a full half-bookshelf at work that is holding most of my books (I didn't count the shelves that have work-owned books).

Books rule my life! :-D

When do I start vomiting split-pea soup?

Ya know how, on the day before you take a vacation, you end up staying at work so late it almost seems like the vacation wasn't worth it? Yeah---I was at work until 12:30 tonight. AND I came in this morning at 8:00. That's SIXTEEN HOURS. I was at work for 3/4 of the day! (is that correct math?)

Though I gotta say, I feel like I got some good stuff done. Or at least I got to a place where my desk isn't so spaztastically messy and things won't blow up while I'm gone. I feel bad for Jennifer (my boss) though. She's gonna get into work tomorrow and find a huge pile of stuff on her desk, all with little post-its saying "this is this and that is that and this is what to do with that." That's what I do when I know I'm not gonna be around.

I dunno, I'm weird! I am going to enjoy this vacation A LOT but at the same time I hate being away from work and not knowing what is going down. I think I'm a closet control freak and now that I actually have a job that I love and care about, that side of me is rearing its ugly face. What if something needs to get done while I'm gone? What if something comes in that I need to take a look at? What if my head explodes because I'm neurotic? :-)

No, but I'm seriously going to take the time to enjoy this vacation. I'm moving to a new (better) apartment, my mom is visiting with birthday presents and lots of groceries, I get to read adult books without feeling guilty, and I think my best friend Jess is visiting at the end of the week or next weekend. Aside from that, I plan on laying around like a bum. And speaking of which, I'm gonna go lay down so that I can actually function tomorrow morning when I need to do a katrillion move-errands.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

26 feels the same

Well I made it through my 26th birthday just fine. I worked late like a big dork but that's ok. I'll have some fun next week when I'm on vacation, in my new apartment, which I am moving into on Sunday. WHEE!

To those who wished me a happy birthday, I thank you. To those who didn't, boo hiss! And to those who didn't're forgiven. :-D

Ok, gotta get up early tomorrow so I can prepare for a big meeting with all the intimidatingly important and inspiring people at my imprint. A MEETING THAT I HAVE TO RUN! Then I'll probably be working late again, since I'm not in on Friday. But then vaca! I can't wait to sit on my rump all week. And don't forget, there will be updates on the books if I ever get to read them. Also, I do not have Ender's Game yet, so if someone has it and can lend it to me, please let me know soon or else I'll be forced to read one of the many MANY books I already own and have not read. Kthx!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why I love Lily Allen

My posts have been rather boring lately, so here I am with some visual aids. Alvina already posted about the Lily Allen concert in Brooklyn, but here's my go at it.

Let me first say that Lily is freaking amazing! The songs are fun, the lyrics are meaningful and relatable, and her personality is absolutely incredible. She's so in your face and sassy and hysterical and I loooooove her! I met up with Alvina and a few of her friends (including author
Meghan McCarthy), as well as my cube-neighbor and fellow editorial asst. Connie (who works with Alvina) and her boyfriend Matt. It was a blast!

So in the spirit of not being boring, here are some videos from the actual concert we were at:

Singing LDN

You can't see much but this is a great intro to the song Not Big

And this isn't from the concert, but this is probably one of my favorite songs that I've heard Lily's not on her CD but she sang it at the concert. For some reason I thought she was saying "I wish my life was a little red CD" but the line is "I wish my life was a little less seedy." LMAO!

The song is called Cheryl Tweedy

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Why am I still awake?

I am on the brink of forming a writer's group. A few of my friends (who also happen to be agents) also write fantasy, sometimes dark and/or urban, and we all want that extra motivation to actually sit down and write. I think I especially need that extra push, since I'm always giving myself excuses (I'm too tired, I'll do it tomorrow when I have more time, I don't feel inspired right now, etc. etc.) They're all lame so I am going to attempt to crack the whip and start writing.

I've decided to go with my dark urban fantasy novel/series idea because I've been working it over in my head, evolving and adapting it, and getting to know the characters since I was in college. Since then the MC has changed (for the better). She originally started out as a love interest for the former MC, but she was so interesting and powerful in my head that she immediately took over. Since then she's grown so much in my brain and her personality has shifted like the tides. I need to write her story. It's aching to come out.

My biggest problem is that I'm great at beginnings, iffy on middles and not so great with endings. The creative vision just doesn't extend that far. I need to just start writing and let it come to me but for some reason the open-endedness has always turned me off. But like I said, cracking the whip, so maybe this story will finally become reality. Words of encouragement and motivation are welcome and encouraged. :-D

Storytime with Grandpa T.S.

Kids, grandpa broke his hip! Seriously, I know I'm only 26 (or will be next week -- WOOHOO) but I feel OLD! I am in severe pain.

Yesterday (Thursday) our company had an all-staff outing in Central Park where I participated in double-dutch (yes, I still remember how to do it from the 4th grade) and kickball (I still don't know how to kick anything but pop-ups, after all these years). Despite the energizing desserts from the bake-off and the ridiculous amount of tequila that was pumped into my system from the margarita-happy hour afterward, you'd think I'd be feeling A-OK, but no. Every muscle I can think of is in pain. I even managed to twist my ankle during double-dutch so I've been hobbling a bit.

Then today, after staying a bit late on half-day Friday, I meandered down to Brooklyn Heights for a rooftop karaoke party at the apartment of one of our art directors. I had a total blast but walking there from the subway, standing most of the time (with dancing) and then walking back caused me to add the soles of my feet to the injured list.

Tomorrow I am being picked up by Melissa from Long Island and we are driving to Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx where there will be a BBQ thrown by a bunch of people who are related in some way to our friend Jacinda. Jacinda was a grad student when Melissa and I were undergrads and now she's stupid and lives in Boston. Booray! So we're taking the opportunity to see her while we can, even though we're both wiped out. I think I may die before the end of the weekend.

Somebody call a medic!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The ants go marching

**Don't read this post if you aren't comfortable reading about insects 'n' stuff.**

A few weekends ago, walking home from dinner with an out-of-town friend, I saw five HUGE cockroaches walking around on the sidewalk like it was the normal thing to do. The weirdest thing is, they were all in different areas on my way home, not close to each other at all, and most of them were in spots were I've never seen roaches before. It was strange and gross but I just shrugged it off. But then...

...last night I decided to walk home from my friend (and future roommate) Maranda's apartment (soon to be known as my new apartment) instead of taking the subway, and I noticed SIX swarms of ants coming from cracks in the sidewalk. And once again, they were all on different blocks, far enough away from each other where they wouldn't be connected. There was no food on the ground for them to be going after, and they didn't even seem to be moving in any type of logical pattern.

These weren't just gross occurrences. They freaked me out. What's with these strange insect activities lately? I don't know if it is the weather or what, but I'm having flashbacks to all of those insect swarm horror movies I was subjected to as a child. Now, I know it's ridiculous warm this summer but its definitely not as hot as it was last summer and we've had some cold spells too. Why are the insects acting weird? Make them stop!

I'm off to google the phrase "strange ant behavior." Maybe they're signalling some sort of natural phenomenon that we should know about. Maybe I'm paranoid. And itchy...yes, thinking about ants definitely makes me itchy. Sorry if this post did the same to any of you.

Oh yeah...

I absolutely forgot that Kelley Armstrong's next Women of the Otherworld book, No Humans Allowed, is now out. That is definitely going to be one of the three books I read while I'm on vacation. I picked up a copy while I was out book shopping on Friday (I hit more than just Book-Off).

So we have Speak, Women of the No Humans Allowed and possibly Ender's Game. I've been told I should read it by...4 or 5 people now (on and offline) so I think it's the winner by a landslide. By the way, I may need to borrow someone's copy, since I don't seem to have the copy that was living on my desk for the past year or so.


The other day I found myself in Book-Off, the Japanese bookstore right near the NYPL. They have a great American used-books section and I managed to score some really great finds for only $1 each. My finds included the Fear Street Cheerleaders trilogy by RL Stine. This was a very exciting find for me because these were the books that got me hooked on Fear Street when I was in middle school. Love them!

I also found a few classics that I still haven't read that are on my list:

*From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
*The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
*The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

And I picked up The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis-Klaus for only $3 too. I figured I should pick it up, since I loved Blood and Chocolate (also written by her).

Book-Off is great! I'm not sure how I feel about sharing my place. I love it when a place feels like it is your little secret. But hey, I'm sure everyone already knows about it anyway cuz it's so great, and the more people who bring their used books, the more there are for me to find. :-D

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ohmuhgod, I'm opening the floodgates!

Before I end ye old lunch break (must mention that I am on lunch break -- don't want to get in trouble for blogging at work) I must post this.

I am taking a week off in early July, right after I move into a new apartment. In the time when I am not finishing my unpacking and reorganizing (not to mention feeding the Netflix addiction), I plan on doing some non-work related reading. I think I can probably get through 1-3 books in a week's time, if I don't get distracted and if I really get into the stories. I also think one of those books is going to be Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I know---I can't believe I haven't read it yet either. It's one of the books on my Children's, YA and (all-age groups) Fantasy/Sci-Fi must-read list.

Any suggestions for the other two? I'm thinking I'll probably want to read at least one adult book...probably something dark fantasy-ish. The third one can be a random. But I'd like to open the floor up to suggestions and then, because we're all booknerds here, I'll post my thoughts on each book when I'm done. Doesn't that sound like fun? Well we'll see.

So...any ideas?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Day Watch

Guys, I'm really excited. I just found out that Day Watch is finally out in the states. Day Watch is the sequel to the Russian blockbuster Night Watch. They are based on books in a dark urban fantasy trilogy written by Sergey Lukyanenko. The first one was really amazing and I absolutely cannot wait to see this one. Check out the link above to see a trailer and anyone in NYC is interested in seeing it with me, let me know.


I bite my nails. I bite them BAD. So ever since I've had teeth, I've had NO nails. Nubs if you will. I've tried to stop numerous times over the years but it hasn't happened. I always end up declawed. Well I'm trying a new tactic this time around. I'm going at this one finger at a time. Starting with the pinkies (aka Most Likely To Be Overlooked), I'm going to stop biting. I'm going to let myself get used to having a fingernail on each finger until there are no nubs left. This way, I get to keep biting while I break the habit. It's a weaning process. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 01, 2007


I missed KidLit drinks again tonight. That ticks me off something fierce, at myself and circumstances in general. I had planned to nap for a bit after work, since I was exhausted, and wake up in time to go---but when I got back to Queens, I was feeling way too awake. So what does a booknerd do when they have some time to kill...I decided to read. The next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's almost 6:45, I'm dizzy and I have a killer neckache. What I call a "nap-headache." I managed to recover enough to text message Alvina and let her know why I wasn't going to make it and fell back into a half-sleep.

I'm mostly-recovered now, thanks to 2 Tylenol Extra Strength Gel Caps and some sustenance. Hopefully I'll still be able to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, despite my recent coma, because I am meeting my boss and one of our authors tomorrow to go to BEA. Gotta stay fresh for all the books 'n' stuff.

Anyway, sorry to everyone I was going to see tonight. I WILL make it to one of these things soon. And if you're going to BEA, give me a call (if you have the #) or if you see me (and know what I look like) flag me down and say hey.