You know, one of the perks of Southern living is supposed to be an early spring. I'm just saying.
So why does it continue to snow outside and be 12 degrees? Unacceptable.
A "doomsday" seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters opened Tuesday deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
"The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is our insurance policy," Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told delegates at the opening ceremony. "It is the Noah's Ark for securing biological diversity for future generations."
Someone needs to do some more watching of post-apocalyptic horror movies.
*I kid. Of course, it's a good idea. I mean, I personally have always wanted to be ruled by a WHEAT-BASED ROBOT OVERLORD.
I am behind on everything -- if I owe you a letter, a read, something interview-related, etcetera, etcetera, it will come but slowly. I'm in revisionland, both for the novel and the critical thesis, and knee-deep in the final throes of Tiptree reading. And the cold keeps resurging. All this adds up to one pushing-everything-that's-not-on-fire-aside type of girl.
Last night we had lovely sushi at Tomo (Lexington has great sushi), which did a fairly recent remodel to--among other things--install fancy Japanese toilets with heated seats and a bunch of other features. That, of course, has nothing to do with the food (good as always), but was a memorable change.
I finished reading Wit's End over dinner, stopping to read particularly delightful sections (Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit!) aloud to Christopher. It's a book that makes me very, very happy.
Can I tell you how much I love the new car? Lots.
We decided to name it using a strategy based on Pullman's daemons. I'd give it the name Christopher has to use, a girl's name; Christopher would do the same for me, giving it a boy's name that I use.
This year the part of the Oscars I was most looking forward to: Today. The Fug.
(Not that I don't love the Oscars, and actually I'm really pleased with the winners, it's just some years it's hard to care. I look at it as leaving room for the years when you need to drink champers, wear a tiara, and make a fuss. Perhaps I'm just sad that the fabulousness of the first ... Oscar Party, oh lo many years ago now, will never be equaled.)
(What was Daniel Day-Lewis'
wife/girlfriendRebecca Miller wearing? WOW. Just, WOW.)
Update: Fug on the dress. (I hadn't seen the shoes!)
At least this means I can stay home on the couch and finish Karen's new book. In addition to using up all the tissues on the planet.
(Sorry, Coll -- couldn't resist.)
p.s. Vegan strawberry hobbit cake from the co-op is pretty much a cure-all. Yum. (Yep, it's an enormous cupcake with hunks of strawberry in it and I'm eating the whole thing. Puck is totally trying to convince me he's a hobbit. I don't think any food smell has ever made him this crazy.)
I heart the semicolon:
Americans, in particular, prefer shorter sentences without, as style books advise, that distinct division between statements that are closely related but require a separation more prolonged than a conjunction and more emphatic than a comma.
“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life,” Kurt Vonnegut once said. “Old age is more like a semicolon.”
Used judiciously, of course; the semicolon's one of the few advantages of academic writing.
The 2007 Cybils winners (Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards) have been announced.
I was a judge in the science fiction and fantasy category. There were so many great books recommended that the panel reading all the nominees decided to split it into five finalists for elementary/middle grade and five for YA for us lucky judges to decide on. All ten books were well worth reading, and it was a tough decision. We ultimately settled on Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days for the YA division and Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday for elementary/middle grade. Two very deserving winners, and I'll be talking about all the books as soon as I come up for air.
(And, yep, Justine's right about Skin Hunger. It's amazing.)
Until this critical thesis draft is done, things'll be sparse around these parts (it's due Monday morning, so not that long). Today we bought a shiny new car*, which we pick up tomorrow. That isn't nearly as big as the news that Colleen Lindsay is henceforth an agent with FinePrint Literary Management (congratulate before querying!). Oh, and go over to Micol's and follow her instructions on helping save Teen Central by dropping a line to the NYPL.
That is all.
No Operation: Loverboy alleycat race for us today -- not with the appointed hour showing "feels like 9 degrees" and winds 25-35 MPH. Eek.
(Updated) Well, not totally, as it turns out. We did fully half the checkpoints. And the feeling has returned to my toes. Almost.
Pics to follow. And here they are.
Today was all about assembling the "It's time to write that critical thesis draft" workstation:
Taunting me, or perhaps motivating me, I have this:
Pretty good motivation. Unrelatedly: I love the Sporn no-pull mesh harnesses; they make dog walkers very happy. We also bought a double leash, but haven't tried it out yet. I'm sure much excitement will ensue. Oh, and we loved, loved, loved The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, complete with Atari flashbacks.
To my mind, perhaps the most unusual example of a well-known genre author crossing over into YA turf is a long out-of-print relic called “Nick and the Glimmung,” written by none other than Philip K. Dick. Published in 1988, six years after his death, and never released in the United States, “Nick and the Glimmung” has the gentle pacing and simplified vocabulary of a young-adult novel, but its sensibility and subject matter are unmistakably Dickian.
Gentle pacing? Simplified vocabulary? Huh? (Hat tip to Carrie!)
At least, if he has even one nonzombie-devoured brain cell left, I'm guessing he's a little embarrassed by the general consensus about that infamous review. Some notable reactions, which give me the joy of seeing people stick up for YA and children's literature in general:
Someone in the household who is not me is working on a paper and is trying to remember the term John Clute (or possibly Roz Kaveney) included in the Encyclopedia of Fantasy that is identical to the term used in Holland for when dikes are constructed and water is pumped out that describes the land that's left behind. Help!
Nevermind -- found it: Polder!
It's hard to get real sleep when Emma the Dog is enduring tornado-warning conditions. We're fine and I think even our trees made it (must get that one trimmed this spring!), but I'm taking the day off from the blogger blog to yawn and finish up my Cybils jury reading. In the meantime, here's a weather story with meteorologists disagreeing, pretty much my favorite bloodsport.
As someone whose subway rides tend to resemble scenes from an “Evil Dead” movie, in which I am Bruce Campbell dodging zombies who have had all traces of their humanity sucked out of them by a sinister book — not the “Necronomicon,” but “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” — I sometimes wonder how any self-respecting author of speculative fiction can find fulfillment in writing novels for young readers. I suppose J. K. Rowling could give me 1.12 billion reasons in favor of it: get your formula just right and you can enjoy worldwide sales, film and television options, vibrating-toy-broom licensing fees, Chinese-language bootlegs of your work, a kind of limited immortality (L. Frank Baum who?) and — finally — genuine grown-up readers. But where’s the artistic satisfaction? Where’s the dignity?
Trust me when I say that many of us think that zombies of the brain-sucking variety have long since shown up on your subway ride.
I realize that he's probably just trying to be cute here. Sadly, the only real counterargument offered in the review itself is basically that you can put all kinds of crazy stuff in books for kids. I'm also pretty curious as to whether he's read enough YA to declare something "one of the most imaginative young adult novels of the post-Potter era."
Though, in this case, I actually agree and am glad to see Un Lun Dun getting some love.