Great Finishes, Oration, and D100D

This should be about THREE blog entries, but by the time I realized that was going to happen, it was too late to write them separately!

Thing that have been going on with me:

I FINISHED MY REWRITE. Gah, that felt good. I had been saving this dark chocolate bunny since Easter on a shelf above my desk, waiting for that beautiful moment when I typed THE END (again) to consume it as a reward for my months and months of work. Unfortunately for me, when I DID type the magic words, I was totally sick with some horrible spring-is-here-but-you’re-coming-down-with-plague cold, and I didn’t even WANT the bunny. Which is so wrong. So now he gets a stay of execution and he’ll have to be revision bunny. But he’s not getting out of this intact. Whahahahaha.

Oh yeah, and bunny…I plan to finish revisions this weekend, FYI.
:D My 17-yo niece Aurora graduated high school last week, and we flew to Ohio to cheer her on! I think people tend to forget how hard high school is – maybe not necessarily the academics all the time (ok, they have their moments – damn you, AP European History), but anyone who spends four years just surviving the social constructs of teendom deserves some CHEERING in my opinion. So we did. :)

I’m sure everyone has been to at least ONE high school graduation (although I did not attend mine). This time around, while listening to different people talk, I couldn’t help thinking AUDIOBOOKS have ~ruined~ public speaking for me. Sure, I was expecting platitude-laden speeches about the “places you’ll go” and how this is the “first day of the rest of our lives” mixed in with metaphors about the sky and the sea…but oh dear. As Neil Gaiman once said of poetry: “It’s all in the delivery.” S finally suggested that the principal was probably a good principal BECAUSE he doesn’t speak well. Which shut me up because it seemed to make sense, and didn’t all at once. But MAN, I just HEART audiobooks. You need to know what you’re doing to record those things, and I salute professional audiobook readers for mastering the craft! And I also ~secretly~ want to record my own book someday.  Um, but back to shooting for publication first!

Aaaaannnd from Ohio we went to Virginia to see my sister and her husband and my 9mo-old niece Audrey who is a ~ways~ from HS graduation, but hey, this Baby Einstein stuff is completely insane, so you never know! Also, I AM SO NOT READY TO HAVE KIDS. Eeep.

Anyway, I took some advice from my Twitter pals and brought along THE DUST OF 100 DOGS by A.S. King  to distract me on the flights – and it was ~FANTASTIC~. I give it FIVE eyeballs rolled in sand (!!!!!). YES!! It is the perfect book to fly with if you’re an anxious flyer in need of distraction. There are all kinds of threads to follow and weave together, tons of pain and sorrow, love lost and found, and – PIRATES! And a freaking GIRL PIRATE!!! How cool is that?

The dogs didn’t play as huge of a role as I anticipated, but I appreciated everywhere they appeared in the book. Since I have gained more than my share of knowledge/experience with dogs through my day job, I read all of the Dog Facts carefully, just waiting for King to slip up…but she was flawless. :D Every dog her voice slipped into was completely in character, not overly anthropomorphized, and just all around spot-on, right down to the pit bull. I’m excited that this book is *out there* as an amazing story, and also because people could really learn a thing or two from it about dogs and behavior!

The other thing I loved about D100D is that it never shied away from being REAL. Yes, there were more than a few moments that turned my stomach or made me wish I didn’t have to be a witness to the scene, but too many books fade to black when things start to get tough, and I don’t think that’s fair to the readers OR the characters. There is a point where things can become gratuitous, but I never even glimpsed that in this book. I don’t want to include any spoilers, but let’s just say that people are only human, A.S. King knows people AND dogs, and she knows how to weave a good yarn. Aye.

Off to pwn my revisions! Squeee!

Quoth the emo maybe-pire… EVERMORE

I’ve completely broken my ban on reading while writing this week because frankly…it was KILLING ME.  As I told my parents, I instituted the ban because the ‘voices in my head’ would get mixed up and I didn’t want what I was reading to impact what I was writing…my parents know enough by now just to say “uh-huh” and ask about the dog.

So I splurged. I went to Barnes and Noble (because my indie, The Tattered Cover, which is located ACROSS THE STREET FROM A HUGE HIGH SCHOOL has the WORST YA SECTION I’VE EVER SEEN). When I left, I was toting EVERMORE by Alyson Noel, FADE by Lisa McMann, BLISS by Lauren Myracle, and a non-black-market copy of CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers to go next to my um…*cough*blackmarket*cough* copy. I would have walked out with DUST OF 100 DOGS by A.S. King, but B&N was OUT – so I shook my fist at them and ordered it, and will have to wait.

So I decided to start with EVERMORE because it is completely new and I’ve never read Ms. Noel before, and I know several other people who have read it/will be reading it and we’re going to Twitter-Book-Club it – which is the ONLY was to book club (140 characters or less), if you ask me. Anyway, I’m about 2/3 through it and…

WHY did I not have this book in high school?? This would have been sooooo up my emo little alley! Srsly, aside from the car-accident-killed-family-leaving-her-with-psychic-abilities thing, I could have been Ever in HS. But I don’t understand something… I totally did the 90′s equivalent of hiding in the hoodie not talking to ANYONE, not looking at ANYONE, and trying my very hardest NOT TO BE NOTICED – just like Ever. If iPods had been invented, I might have stitched a secret pocket into all my hoodies just like Ever …if I could have convinced myself I wouldn’t get in trouble for it, because the biggest thing to me in HS besides trying hard to be noticed not getting noticed was NOT GETTING IN TROUBLE. I never *once* had a late pass. Ever. Though I cut class. A lot. Like Ever.

But for all of my emo-before-emo-existed-hood-wearing don’t-talk-to-me I’m-so-pre-emo-I-must-be-some-undiscovered-level-of-frumpy-sexy antics in high school…NO AMAZINGLY HOT GUY WHO JUST MIGHT BE A VAMPIRE EVER FELL IN LOVE WITH ME DESPITE MY EFFORTS. I still don’t get it. I tried my hardest. I wore jeans that didn’t fit, big flannel shirts, I ~never~ did my hair (not that that’s changed), and my legs haven’t seen the sun since 1992. I sat at the back of the class day in and day out, ate lunch by myself, and sent off such great don’t-talk-to-me vibes that the male half of the “class couple” accused me in European History of being a ‘man-hater’ (he *obviously* was NOT a sexy maybe-vampire).

So I don’t know…maybe it’s better that I didn’t have EVERMORE to obsess over at 16. I might’ve felt all validated, and then been left to question myself. I might’ve tried to be in a car accident to gain psychic powers to attract the maybe-pire, and would probably have just ended up in the special ed room. I guess we’ll never know.

But OMG, in 140 characters or less – I HEART THIS BOOK.