We had an abundance of leftover Easter ham so I spent yesterday morning making quiche.
Good news: Quiche is delicious.
Bad news: Only Eliza and I like quiche.
I have eaten a lot of quiche.
- Current Mood: lethargic
Check out the book trailer for Don't Call Me Baby! by Gwendolyn Heasley (HarperTeen, 2014). From the promotional copy:
All my life, I've been known as the girl on that blog.
Do you know what it's like for everyone to think they know you because of what they read on some stupid website? My mother has been writing an incredibly popular, and incredibly embarrassing, blog about me since before I was born.
The thing is, I'm fifteen now, and she is still blogging about me. In gruesome detail.
You can read my life as my mom tells it on mommyliciousmeg.com. But this story is my actual life and about what happened when my BFF Sage and I decided to tell the real truth about our lives under a virtual microscope. Thanks for reading . . . Just don't call me Babylicious.
- Tue, 22:58: New post: Happy Book Release Day to Rori Shay! http://t.co/CQp2dJENg9
- Wed, 00:13: Holy crap. I just signed up for the Baltimore Marathon. My first full. Breathe, breathe. Holy crap. @baltrunfest #baltimoremarathon
- Wed, 10:29: Still nervous about @baltrunfest but look at this awesome shirt. Had to order it, hon! #baltimoremarathon http://t.co/2yJVPgKJb3
In terms of folks who share my birthday today, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand I got Shakespeare. So . . . y’know. That’s nice. By the same token 4/23 was the reported date of the death of Cervantes. On the other hand, I share my birthday with President James Buchanan. Oog. But then I also got Shirley Temple and Vladimir Nabokov. Now THERE is a pairing for you!
So if we’re going to do this correctly we need to have something properly Shakespearean to celebrate today. I suggest that you head on over to this site and read a version of The Hokey Pokey as written by the man in question. It’s worth it alone for the line “Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.”
But wait! There’s more! Unless I much miss my guess tonight also is World Book Night. What is it, you might ask? Well, according to their website it says:
World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories.
World Book Night is a nonprofit organization. We exist because of the support of thousands of book givers, booksellers, librarians, and financial supporters who believe in our mission. Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night was first celebrated in the U.S. in 2012. Thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
So there you go! If you do nothing else today, just give somebody a book. As the bard might have said, ’tis what it’s all about.
I have been running about doing pre-publication tour stuff for We Were Liars. Here is a fun collection of photos from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which includes loads of your favorite authors and a selfie of me and Rainbow Rowell, with picture book author Tad Hills totally photo-bombing us.
And here is an article I wrote for the LA Times to publish during the festival. It's about howI came to write for young adults from grad school in Victorian literature. And they made a fun sketch of me. It's from an old PR photo though. My hair is shorter now.
Olive was very good on the plane, although bug-eyed even dosed with a "Travel Calm" pill, and managed to chew through her dog-carrier and break the zipper. That's the second carrier she's destroyed, and I think that Kiffen, for the first time, was actually relieved that her back legs are paralyzed because she couldn't jump out and raise down the aisle, although he said from the gleam in her eye, the spirit was still very willing. The good news is though that Olive had a great visit with the small animal physical therapist, Dr. Cindy Grant, yesterday, who thinks she might get a kind of "drunken gait" back in 6-8 months, so to hold off on the cart for now, because the sling is working so well, and she's in such a good such shape after the winter trauma/drama of injury/surgery.
What else? I haven't been writing as much as I would like to these days, so I plan to ease/jump back into it now that classes are done. What a relief, although I had some wonderful students this semester, but it's hard for me to let go of their stories sometimes when I sit down to write my own.
I took hundreds of pictures in Nashville. Why? I don't know. I never took that many pictures when the kids were younger because Kiffen was the one taking pictures - he had the better eye, the same way he can still spot four-leaf clovers in seconds, and I stare and stare, willing them to appear and nothing. Back then, he also had the more complicated camera, and then Lucy graduated to being family photographer and Flannery, the family filmmaker, which is why we have so many pictures and movies of Norah, even though she was the baby of the family. We took plenty of pictures of all three kids, but not nearly enough now, and I regret it. So I just wanted to capture these moments. I even raided some photo albums.
On our visits, we always bring Kiffen's mother, Mama Frances, yellow roses, her favorite flower, but I'd forgotten how her husband, Jim, who died when Kiffen was sixteen, wrote her a song called "Yellow Roses." We will all gather back in Tennessee in July for the memorial of his brother, Jimmy, the first of the thirteen children to pass away last year, not long after his favorite holiday, 4th of July. I remember one 4th of July years ago when Frances yelled over the phone, "Gotta hang up. Jimmy's shooting the shot gun off the porch," (a tradition he liked to do to Jimi Hendrix's rendition of "Star Spangled Banner" playing on the record player.) The family planted a pignut tree in his honor at Warner Park Nature Center, and all 12 siblings and families will be there with Mama Frances too. (I'm hoping for a breezy, cool, springlike July in Nashville but I know better.)
So here are pictures from the weekend...and so much more to say, but I'm anxious to get back to HOP THE POND, ARE YOU THERE VULCAN, and LAURIE ANDERSON IN THE RICE FIELDS. One is adult novel, the other a novel for kids, and the last, a memoir of China, parenting, and whatever else I figure out what to throw in there...My ancient novel of yore, OFFSIDES, is coming out with FOREVERLAND PRESS in May, and I like the new cover very much. The back jacket has a picture of our family in the Pitt Stadium, and I'm going into the 7th grade, although I look 30, and had just received my first purse - a jean purse of course.
My new novel for kids, FIFTH GRADE, WEREWOLVES, HAMLET & ME, is still out with three editors, cut/honed/trimmed to a neat 176 pages after a fat/globby/expositional 250 pages in an earlier round, and so I wait and gaze at trees and ponder pseudonyms like Myrtle Mae Puckett or better yet, a guy's name like maybe Gabe Sullivan or Sam Glutz (my dad's favorite pseudonym that he used whenever someone shook hands with him and had a limp fish handshake - Sam Glutz, a guy my dad invented, had never learned how to shake hands with any strength of character or backbone, so Dad taught us how NOT to shake hands like Sam Glutz). Or maybe I could try even initials like P.L. Shaughnessy.
We leave for Manchester, England a week from Thursday, Norah's first trip to England, and my third. I lived there for a year during the "24-Hour Party People" reign only I was in a cold flat in Rushholme reading MIDDLEMARCH much to my son's despair, quite oblivious and just happy to be living in England instead of Knoxville, which is the new/old novel setting, both Manchester and East Tennessee.
HOP THE POND
And here come the pictures from the last few days and decades...
Frannie and Olive
Olive and Norah and Jane Eyre
Sister Tomi and Mama Frances (Sister Beanie slipped out before I could catch her.)
Easter plates from the window
I don't want to think about the number of jellybeans I ate from this dish that kept getting magically refilled
Daddy and Frannie (Steve came in from the road to celebrate Easter)
And let's slip in a little John Prine from a conversation at the Country Western Museum on Saturday where he told incredibly beautiful stories and sang this wrenching song.
Brad and sweet cousin Emma :)
Silas, Warren, Kiffen, and Olive with Silas giving me great OFFSIDES' advice
Frannie the fairy and playing amidst the red oak trees and mountain laurel and trillium
Tomi and Warren playing football at dusk
Brother Silas, the chef :)
Four leaf clover heaven
Kiffen taking care of first things first and little Frannie at the kid's table - just one kid at an old fashioned school desk with an inkwell too.
Rebecca O'Brien told us to gather so she could take this picture, and I'm very glad she did...a long time ago in a bed Kiffen built.
Olive meeting Dr. Cindy Grant in Homewood and getting some therapy tips.
Sweet little Lucy and Kiffen
Flannery in the sixth grade when he wrote an essay about Mama Frances and won, and we flew to Sacramento together.
This picture is Jim and Frances with the first five of the thirteen children. They were twenty-four or thereabouts. :)
I love graveyards the same way I love sunsets. They both remind me that nothing lasts forever.
This shot was taken in Boston ....but it is now part of Sadima's story.
A Seventh Serving of Tasty Tales
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