Monday, September 20, 2010

My Blog Has Two Lives

Hello, my dear readers!

You might have noticed that a ton of posts have either changed or disappeared overnight. Well, there's a reason for that. I've divided my lives, developed a new pen name, created a new blog, and relocated lots of content to the new (web)site.

Don't worry. I plan to blog a lot to make up for it.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy DUFF day!!!

I can't deny it. I love books.

But it's very very rare that I read a book where I think, OMG, I SO wish I could travel back in time and give this to my teenage self.

That's exactly how I feel about Kody Keplinger's The DUFF. I feel lucky that I got a chance to read it at age 24. But I feel like I needed to read it circa age 15 - back when I completely hated my body.

In your middle teens, you're absolutely sure that your friends are at least ten times as hot as your plumpish/pimply/frizzy-haired self. But what if the hot guy at your school tells you that you're the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to your face? What if you - for instance - respond by throwing Cherry Coke in his face? What if - maybe a couple weeks later - you start hooking up with him? And then - gasp! - FALLING FOR HIM?

Well, that's exactly what happens to The DUFF's main character, Bianca Piper.

(I know. Kody Keplinger had me at the hook, too. But it's so much more than that.)

What makes this novel shine is Bianca's voice.

Bianca's the kind of character that invades your head and never leaves - when you think about her later, you kind of forget that she's not actually a real person. I would've LOVED to have her as a best friend. She tells her story with the kind of brutal honesty and hidden vulnerability that defined my teen years.

It was the kind of book that when you had to put it down - to go run to the next gate in the airport, to go pick up your two-year-old cousin from daycare like I did - your mind circles back to it again and again. You want to find out what Bianca is going to say/do next, and if Wesley (the jerk) can get any hotter, and if she's really going to pick drippy Toby (the crush) over Wesley.

And the scene where Bianca talks to Vikki in the bathroom and realizes a few things about DUFFdom - Well, that made me want to run to the phone, call up my bffs from high school, and read them all of Chapter 26.

Then when you finish, you want MORE, and are very very sad it's a debut novel and you have to wait a whole year for the next Kody Keplinger novel. Sigh.

So, people - go out, find The Duff, and meet Bianca.

Her story won't let you go any time soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Agent + Friend + Me + Sugar High = Awesome Like Whoa

So it's Labor Day night, and my (editor) friend Maria and I just waved Jo - my lovely agent extraordinaire - off as she drove away towards Long Island.

Every time we hang out, I realize that she's even MORE awesome than I thought before. (And I always thought she was SUPER awesome.)

The sugar crash has just kicked in like whoa, but here are a few highlights:
  • She brought me a galley!!!!! So excited to start reading it!

  • We had an awesome conversation about survival strategies for the apocalypse and thriller movies.

  • Dinner was manicotti with garlic bread....and then apple pie. This was where the sugar high kicked in. (Very important to the evening's adventures.)

  • After talking about monkey bars during dinner, we all took a walk in the park in Maria's backyard - with the sole intention of finding monkey bars and seeing if we still had our old playground skills.

  • We didn't. But we blame the new monkey bars. They weren't like this, which is what we grew up with:
    But more like this, except curved:

  • But Jo was determined anyway. She was so determined to not cheat by using her legs that she did a major faceplant into the weird cushy stuff below the bars. Then she GOT UP and didn't stop trying until she managed it. (I must add that I never managed it without cheating and using my legs.)

  • We found the pull up bar and did pull ups. So, maybe they were assisted pull ups, and maybe the dudes working out looked at us like we were totally lame, but we did them.

  • Back at the apartment, we found karaoke clips online and sang Lady Gaga and Queen - at the top of our lungs.

  • Then we had a spontaneous dance party, where she taught me an awesome new dance move called Psycho. Two people: one in the shower and one with the (imaginary) knife. It took me and Maria a few times to master the steps, but it was totally worth it.
(There were a couple more highlights, but I was sworn to secrecy. Shhhh.)

Maria and I can be insanely silly together, so I thought we would be frightening in our ridiculousness.

But no, Jo joined in, which made for a night of epic awesome.

Thank you, Jo, for letting me cook for you and for being so fun to hang out with. :-D!!