Is this the bus to Cartagena?

I don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw Romancing The Stone. The movie was just always there, woven into the fabric of my life and probably every other person alive in the 80s. I never questioned it. Some cultures have myths, religion, gods–I have Kathleen Turner. For anyone who has somehow missed the amazingly sexy/cheesy/classic film, it’s about a mousy romance writer with no life or love, who travels to Colombia on a quest to save her sister from some bad guys, ultimately sheds her mousy exterior and comes into her own hawt romance with the one and only Michael Douglas. Danger and hijinx abound.

The point of this post is that for years my one and only mental image of a writer was embodied by Joan Wilder. And I’m not talking about the sexy, breezy woman who sails off into the sunset with Jack Colton. I’m talking about THIS Joan Wilder:

NOT this one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to be her. The headphone-and-pajamas, weeping-over-her-typewriter, lives alone with her cat, and has post-it notes ALL over her apartment…WRITER. Forget the action and romance in the rest of the movie, I could watch the first fifteen minutes where she finishes her novel and celebrates all by herself over and over. That’s what writing is really like! (well, except maybe for the part where she types out the perfect last sentence and THE END without tearing every last strand of her hair out)

So recently when a client of mine heard about my book being published, he asked me clear out of the blue, “Does this mean you’re going to run off to South America and become Joan Wilder or something?”

And you know what? I might have a MacBook instead of a typewriter, but I realized today that I have the headphones, the pajamas, the post-it notes…and even the cat (my late kitty Thyme was actually the spitting image of Joan Wilder’s cat Romeo). Omg, I have fulfilled the dream of mousy writerdom!

Then today I received one other Joan Wilder accessory that I never thought I’d have:

(haha, it’s a publishing contract, not Jack Colton…I’m set in that department)

I know you are probably thinking: Emily, you have a severely distorted vision of reality, get help! And you wouldn’t be the first person to say that recently! But you know, I think everyone who has ever tried to get published has an image of a WRITER that they see in their heads when they let themselves dream. And I think I could do a lot worse than Kathleen Turner.

 

So when you think writer, or for that matter, any dream you aspire to…
What do you see?

~*~

In which things do not get any less surreal…

Just a brief update and some little exciting things:

THROUGH TO YOU is now up on Goodreads! So many people have added it as “to-read” I feel like hugging and kissing each and every one of you…I mean, unless you’d prefer a big THANK YOU instead. That’s okay too!

:D

I also have an official Facebook Author Page. It seemed a little premature, but since I’ve been getting quite a few new ‘friends’ on Facebook, I thought it might be useful for those people more interested in what’s going on with my books than the cute thing my cat did, or what I had for breakfast. If that sounds like you, feel free to “Like” me there!

I also joined The Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA and MG authors who have written a slew of fantastic books and are just a whole lot of fun! Check the site for interviews and updates on what we’re up to!

While awaiting my first round of edits, I have been been busy trying to figure out Book 2…and playing around with Scrivener for the first time during the process. Since I finally figured out how to use it, I can’t deny it has serious organizational benefits! I might save a whole forest of post-it notes this time around. So now what-could-be-Book 2 is totally organized, the characters have been developed, and if I can just find the button that makes Scrivener WRITE the book for me, I’ll be all set!

The other surreal thing that just seems like a continuation of so much great news is THROUGH TO YOU’s continued sales overseas. Since the initial German deal, Taryn Fagerness has made sales for TTY in Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and just recently my very first South American sale: Brazil! I am totally overwhelmed and amazed that people all over the world will be reading my book. I don’t even know what to say except…I hope you like it!

Finally, I received my very first contract to sign — which happened to be for Italy. And like a geek, I had S take pics. So here I am, signing my very first book deal…with a little foreign contract advice from Dagny the cat:

Katzenflocken

As previously posted, my orange tabby cat, Thyme, had been very old and sick for some time. We lost him on 1-7-09….less than 6 months since our other cat, Abbey died. :(  But instead of talking about how terrible it was to lose Thyme, I’m going to tell the story of how we met…

I arrived at my future in-laws house for the first time back in (cough*cough) 1996,  I’d been told Thyme (who started out a semi-feral barn kitty) never expressed much interest in people, but I’ve never seen a cat act quite the way he did after we met. He followed me everywhere. Even though he wasn’t allowed in the main part of the house, he walked around it outside, following me from room to room through the windows and meowing. When we went outside, he came running. When we walked the dogs down the road, he followed. He talked at me constantly, meowing with a harsh, raspy voice that was startling coming from a cat. I have no idea what struck him about me…maybe he thought I was his ginger mama. ;) Needless to say, my in-laws (who had close to 10 cats total at the time) were more than happy to let Thyme have me. So when we moved into our own place…Thyme retired from the barn. We spent many happy years together, his favorite place being the same as mine – bed. He helped me write my first novel. My lap misses him.

To lighten things up a little…here is a (poor quality) picture of the bereavement card my mother sent me upon Thyme’s death. She was NOT trying to be funny, and I hate to sound cliche by saying my mother has no clue, but…um:

You might need to have met my mom to understand, but I will treasure this forever. LOL.

And finally…S and I lasted abour FOUR days sans cat before we couldn’t stand it anymore and visited a local shelter. I was determined to find SOME cat out there who no one else wanted, or at the very least, who might love Basil, our standard poodle because he ~misses~ Thyme. So among 200 other cats at the shelter, this tiny little eight pound female went out of her way to get our attention. She followed me around and meowed, and batted at my hands to pet her. When I did pet her, she arched her back so high, she almost fell off her perch! Sadly, she was a teenage mother who’d had six kittens and is FIV+. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is much like HIV in humans. It can only be spread to other cats (not dogs or humans) via a deep penetrating bite or scratch wound. But being FIV+ meant she had less of a chance to get adopted because (like HIV) people don’t understand the disease. She can still have a long life and live safely with other friendly cats. And now that we have her home…OMG she ADORES Basil! Yay! :D So without further ado…here is Dagny:

She does look VERY Maine Coon, doesn’t she?

Xmas Redux

My dad is completely sadistic. Here is his idea of Christmas fun:

 

I have a ~slight~ case of arachnephobia…all it really does is cause me to SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS AND FLEE THE PREMISES any time I encounter a spider…of any size. And the truly evil/just part of it is that I can’t even bring myself to kill them anymore. I feel ~BAD~ about it…who am I to end a spider’s life just for inhabiting my bathroom? I don’t NEED to brush my teeth after all (why are you leaning AHWAY FROHM MEH AHS AH SPEAHHHK?). Anyway, this is Rosie the remote-control TARANTULA. If Rosie were real in this pic, I would already be dead and twitching on the floor (yes, of COURSE I would twitch AFTER dying of fright). I wanted to leave Rosie in her packaging, but I had to humor my dad – who last year gave me a leg lamp like the one in A CHRISTMAS STORY. So I had S put the batteries in for me (I couldn’t do it!) and we had a little fun trying to scare the poodle…but mostly freaking. me. out. Did I mention ROSIE’S EYES GLOW RED??? And that white thing by my feet is her remote control…. SADISTICALLY SHAPED LIKE A GROSS SPIDER EGG. Ewwwwwwwww. Post-pic-posterity, Rosie is now banned to the basement – where I am sure to forget her existence and DIE OF FRIGHT when I come across her in a few months…followed by twitching.

Really, can ANYONE top my Christmas?

Those of you who tweet know that S ~*dazzled*~ me Edward-style by giving me a new purple ipod (big enough to hold my audiobooks!) with a very literary-geek quote on the back:

“You can stroke people with words.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

He then confessed how almost-incredibly-impossible it was to find an FSF quote that would FIT on the back of an ipod. LOL. Awwwwww. Even though I’ve been over my Fitzgerald-swoon for years, he went out of his way to do that because I used a (probably completely unknown and somewhat racy) FSF quote under my senior HS pic in the yearbook back in 199_. Which makes S pretty much MORE awesome than I already knew he was. Does everyone have their ~*sparkle-barf*~ bags?? ONE MORE TIME: Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

BUT WAIT! There’s MORE: Did I mention the beautiful custom art nouveau bookplates he had made WITH MY NAME ON THEM? Ok, I’ll stop now…just consider this entry dedicated to my husband S and ROSIE THE SPIDER.

I am making up for lost blogging with this one (you were warned)!

Every Christmas we resurrect the Super Nintendo and despite the machine being kicked and losing our game TWICE (and S falling down lots of holes) I am now DUKING IT OUT WITH BOWSER in LEVEL 7 of Super Mario World, and am totally about to PWN the game AGAIN. If only writing a novel were this easy!

S got DOCTOR WHO SEASON 3 on DVD for his birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes…writing. I’m doing some of that. I finally kick-started my re-re-revision. Yeah. That’s all I’m going to say for fear of TWITCHING. But it’s excited AND fearful twitching! (o_0) And I got a rejection today from November 4th and I just laughed MANIACALLY out loud! *Yesssssssssssob*.

On a sadder note…my kitty Thyme is not doing well. He’s about ~16 years old and we’re pretty sure he has cancer. :( He’s lost a lot of weight and is now having a LOT of trouble eating. I’d ask for well-wishes, but I think we’re past that. :( I just don’t want this to be prolonged or horrible for him. We can’t believe he stayed for Christmas…and made it to S’s birthday too. It’s so sad to see a living, healthy personality that you love become thin and wasted, and not really recognize you. :( :( We just lost our other cat Abbey this fall…I have NEVER been without a cat, and both of mine were such strong characters…I still feel Abbey NOT THERE. Thyme is in some ways already not here the way he was…but ugh, this doesn’t ever get easier does it? I find comfort thinking I will give a loving home to another kitty that needs one when the time comes. And then I think of Thyme taming himself from feral barn cat because we fell in love with each other at first head-bump. Life is just damn cruel and unfair sometimes and that’s all.

Pfftthht.

 Many things have kept me from LJ this past week…

I am waiting for readers to finish reading. Then I’ll be looking for more readers… 

I am pounding away at a query letter that sounds amazing and brilliant some moments, and robbed of soul and creativity the next… 

My kitty is in the hospital :-( She is 14 and stopped eating/drinking and got all dehydrated and she gets an ultrasound tomorrow. We’re pretty sure she has a mass on her kidney, but don’t know what it’s all about yet. I have had this cat half my life. I got her out of a cardboard box at an Upstate New York street fair. I carried her home inside my shirt because it was raining and she was too young to be away from her mother. She approved of my husband. She is the kind of cat who comes to you for love, but only takes what she wants, and then leaves. You don’t follow. She used to bite quite ferociously when she was younger. Every ounce of her love is earned.

I am reading ~*Breaking Dawn*~ incredibly slowly and don’t want to come across something that spoils it. All I have to say so far is: O_O Happy.

Pro-CAT-stination

On days/nights when I don’t get anything done, this* may be why…

Or sometimes this… 

*To give proper credit, that’s Evil Bean (aka Abbey) in gray – getting my chair dirty on purpose, and the ginger cat is Thyme. They are serious about making us pay for going to work all day. Oh, and they hate each other, but clearly work in harmony toward this end.