Saturday, October 24, 2009

In which Richard Burton and I appear in Little Rock

I was going to write about my drive to Little Rock, AR, only I had this crazy dream last night. I was rehearsing Taming of the Shrew, and Richard Burton (I know, right?) steps in to play Petruchio, and suddenly I can't remember ANY of my lines. And Richard Burton is looking at me like I'm an idiot and this is keeping him from the bottle of whiskey in his dressing room. Burton (front)

So the prompter is feeding me my lines and suddenly I realize why I don't know any of them, because we're not doing Taming of the Shrew anymore, we're now doing Anne of a Thousand Days, and I'm Anne Boleyn.'Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold

So then I think, "Oh, well, no wonder." And right about the time I figure it out and get on the right page of dialogue, I wake up. Which doesn't seem quite fair, because that play has a great monologue in it.

I used to have dreams all the time about showing up for work and being shoved onstage with no idea what play we were doing. This is the first time there has been a Famous Guest Star, though. Kind of a random one. Also, I'm not sure what it says about my mental state that I was in a play where I get my head chopped off at the end."

On a weird side note, I'm always think that Richard Burton plays Richard in Lion in Winter, but that's completely wrong. That's Anthony Hopkins, another Welshman. Um. Hannibal was hot as a youngster. Just saying.

On another weird side note, I never saw either Cleopatra or the Burton/Taylor Taming of the Shrew, because I never saw ANY Elizabeth Taylor movies until I left home for college. My mother never watched them on TV, because she never forgave Elizabeth Taylor for breaking up Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,fisher.jpg

Anyway. I'm signing books with Melissa Francis, Stacy Jay, Linda Gerbsan, Marley Gibson and Chloe Neil later today at the North Little Rock Books A Million from 5 to 8 PM. It's a whole event called "Books, Blood and Bones" (Spooky!) and there are activities, and the blood bank is going to be there. (For deposits, not withdrawals, you vampire loves.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Dawn (New book!)

Now updated through Breaking Dawn...

A New Dawn: Your Favorite Authors on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series

Which favorite authors, you may ask?
  • Robin Brande
  • Rachel Caine
  • Cassandra Clare
  • Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • Linda Gerber
  • Cara Lockwood
  • Megan McCafferty
  • K. A. Nuzum
  • James Owen
  • Janette Rallison
  • Ellen Steiber
  • Anne Usru
Wait? What? Yes, THIS favorite author. (More on that in a minute.)

Though "completely unauthorized" (sounds so illicit!), the book is full of some really interesting (and some really funny) critical essays about the series. (Updated because, as you can imagine, many of us had much to say about Breaking Dawn.) Seriously, my mother hasn't even read the books, and I caught her laughing hysterically over Rachel Caine's piece.

Linda Gerber explores the real wolf myths, including those of the (real) Quillete Tribe. Megan McCafferty has an interesting essay on the attractions of the bad boy, and whether those are lasting, or passing. Anne Ursu writes a piece that I love about the fantasy of a perfect love. And I write about what Bella Swann has in common with Antigone, Juliet, Ellen Ripley, and Jim Carey. (No. Really.) It's a purely literary analysis, geeky in the extreme. In other words, it's still me.

This is for fans of the Twilight series, but I also recommend it for people who want to talk to fans of the series. (Teachers, librarians, moms.) Many of the authors do an admirable job (seriously) of bringing up good points about the characters and relationships while still being respectful of the author, her work, and her fans.

SO, pick it up, or order it from the links at the Smart Pop website.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In which I ramble and post pretty pictures

I went down to the Hill Country this weekend, and it couldn't have been a more perfect couple of days for the trip. The terrain in this state varies from coastal savanna to desert to mountains to black prairie, but the Hill Country to me is the most iconicly Texas in landscape. You've got ranchland and wineries, and kitschy small towns and old dance halls. Not to mention Luckenbach, Texas. (Willie's place is a little farther over on the interstate.)

We took the non-interstate route. (The main disadvantage of state highways is the sparsity of (approved) rest stop opportunities. In other words... plan ahead.) We had pie at the Koffee Kup in Hico on the way down. (Voted "best desert" by Ride Magazine, and word had clearly gotten around. Very popular with the hobby cyclists, who were out in herds this weekend, enjoying the weather, too.) There's also this amazing chocolate place. So chi-chi chic in... Hico. Went by Dublin, where they make Dublin Dr. Pepper. (If you like DP, which I don't. I'm sure this is state sacrilege.)

Went right by Enchanted Rock. (Which I did not stop and climb.) Then on to Fredericksburg, which is the sort of Town Square Texas place that trades on kitschy antique shops and boutiques. Everyone seemed to be having festivals--which of course you would, since October is when the whether is (usually) really pretty. (It's been freakishly rainy this year.) Also, Oktoberfest is big in those parts. Big contingent of German settlers. That's why you have towns named Boerne right next to Blanco.

So I trekked out to Guadalupe River State Park. The terrain was perfect for getting 'in character' though as I huffed and puffed up one of the hills, I realized the benefit of getting boots on the ground, so to speak.

Here are river pictures:

I'm not sure what it says about me that I was more worried about the person leading their small dog over a tangle of exposed roots where he might fall and strangle himself on his lead, than the poeple letting their barefoot children wade through the same branches underwater. Hello water moccasin, sharp rocks and branches. Also, water moccasin.

For proof that Texas really isn't for the faint of heart, I offer the following picture. The shade is sort of dappling it so I'm not sure the full impact is there. But this is an ant mound. It's like Linengen and the Ants.

ANyway. Here's some gentler fauna I met on my hike. You have to look close under the trees.

She was so pretty! We stood and stared at each other for a ridiulous amount of time. We were actually much closer than this fuzzy picture implies. (I was trying to get it before she took off, and predictably she did right after.)

Then I had to run and get Mom, and we started the drive home. No pie on the way up, unfortunately.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I get around (or so they say)

Much like David Letterman, I must confess that I have strayed. I've been cheating on this blog. I've had several guest appearances on the internet, and have been neglecting to post on my own page. I'm heartily ashamed for these my misdeeds, and promise to do better... until the next time I get overwhelmingly busy. (I know you'll forgive me, because I'm busy writing new books.)

But, you can still benefit if you hurry over to Jeri Smith-Ready's page--which you should do anyway, because she's having guests every day in October, with fantastic prizes! You have two more days to post in the comments of MY POST for a chance to win a signed copy of The Splendor Falls.

You'll also find my October Fresh Fiction column is up. In Fresh Takes From the Teen Shelves, I highlight a few of the month's upcoming releases, especially ones that I'm particularly excited about or I think will have appeal to people who haven't really discovered (or still dismiss) the teen and YA shelves. October has some of my favorite things, including fairy tale retellings, alternate histories, fallen angels, Austen-esque romances, and historical fiction. So go check it out.

I also have a TON of upcoming in person events, starting THIS SATURDAY:

Saturday October 10th -- Arlington, Texas
1 - 3 ish at the Barnes and Noble at the Parks Mall
(It's Educator appreciation week, so teachers and librarians get a discount. Perfect day for shopping and stopping by to say "hi.")

Sunday October 11th -- Richardson, Texas
Buns 'n Roses Literacy Tea
This event raises money for literacy, and it's a ton of fun. Romance authors from all over come and host tables, where you can sit and chat with the author, and there are prizes and raffles and a general good time. Julia Quinn is the guest of honor and Candace Havens is the Emcee. You can still buy tickets on the website.

Saturday October 24th -- Little Rock, AR
5 pm at the North Little Rock Books A Million
Big multi-author event, blood-drive, fun stuff. My first visit to Arkansas!

So I'll see you around! 'Cause that's where I'll be!