So. I am in a hotel in Indiana where I am working for a few days. (Yesterday John Green and I read at Kids Ink bookstore and then ate cupcakes. The Nerdfighters who came out to see us were awesome. Yes, they were, as far as I could tell, ALL Nerdfighters. Dressed in T-shirts with like, pictures of John's dog, pictures of John with mustache, stuff like that, and carrying books that John had signed already and having him sign them again...)
I have the day off today and I am writing writing writing but a person needs to take a break sometimes and the outside of my hotel has this landscape:
See that tan building way over there on the left?
And see how there's nothing else?
There's nothing else.
So I was bored and kinda lonely and I put up on Twitter and Facebook that I was going to Walmart for the first time and I got all kinds of advice and responses! Because, you know, I live in NYC, which is as far as I can tell a Walmart-free zone. And I am not possessed of a large pantry, a swimming pool, a lawn, or any of the other things that would compel me to seek out the products of large super stores, really.
I mean, I've been to Target now and then. I'm not a complete hermit. But anyway.
There was enough interest in my virgin Walmart experience that I thought it worth a blog post.
I walked there. In the rain. There were no sidewalks and a lady slowed her car to find out what I was doing on foot, it is apparently such a weirdo thing to walk.
A few observations:
Many, many children were sobbing. I think the materialism overwhelmed them. Or maybe riding in the carts.
There was no music. It was eerily silent sometimes.
The obesity problem in America is serious. I was the smallest size for much of the clothing (esp bras!) and I am a medium healthy weight, neither thin nor fat.
We really do need Jamie Oliver's food revolution. Aisles and aisles of just soda. And processed food. It kind of gave me the chills, all that shelf-ready food, sitting there for months.
But Walmart is also fun! There are books! It was a pretty interesting selection actually -- lots of thrillers and romances, but also a teen/middle grade section that contained (and I am telling you EVERYTHING THAT WAS THERE, EVERY SINGLE BOOK):
that other vampire series that I forget the name of that sells really well
one other vampire series I wasn't familiar with
That's it! But for adults it was a very wide range, including these:
I bought a Lee Child thriller (The Enemy) to read tonight when I'm done with my work. My other purchases were: 2 pairs kids' shoes ($10 each, couldn't resist, seriously cute), some ladies' undergarments and two boxes of cookies (double choc Milanos and Pim's orange) to sustain me in the hotel (which has no room service).
Then I went to Subway (Call me ignorant but I didn't know there would be restaurants INSIDE the Walmart!) and ate a veggie sub and read Jack Reacher.
Not a bad way to spend my break. I do feel a little dirty, though.
Remember my blog about the Whimsical Bakehouse and the shark cupcake and Karin Slaughter? Well, Karin (or Slaughter, as I prefer to call her when she's not standing in front of me) and the Bakehouse women teamed up to make THE COOLEST CUPCAKE CONTEST EVER because it is the cupcake contest of incredible bloody grossness. It includes instructions on how to make things like the CUPCAKE OF SKELETAL REMAINS.
As you all know (or you do if you've read The Treasure Map of Boys), adorable baked goods are a major part of Ruby Oliver's continuing adventures. And if you haven't read the story of the boob cupcakes, I think you should do that right now and then come back.
(Warning: there are cupcakes that look like boobs in this story! If you are not ready to read about that, stay away from the link!)
Are you done?
Okay good. Now you know the secret backstory to The Treasure Map of Boys that no one except the rest of the people on the internet knows.
So you see, I can't ask the Bakehouse women to make me themed cupcakes BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE CUPCAKES WITH BOOBS ON THEM and they are not that kind of a Bakehouse. However, you can win a load of Slaughter's books and amuse yourself no end by entering this contest.
Other news. My pal Lauren Myracle's book, Thirteen Plus One, is out now! She is, you know, the #1 most banned author in America this year, but she is also deeply hilarious and a very, very honest writer and I think you will like her stuff if you don't know it.
But you are all just saying "duh" to me right now because she is like, so popular, of course you know all about her.
Also new: In my pursuit of novel beauty experiences (see face vacuuming from earlier post), I have gotten the gel manicure. It is supposed to last weeks and weeks. They like, baked the polish on. It was very serious. My nails are red! They are never red, because I chip my polish in a day -- so if I ever do get polish, I just get beige so the chips don't show. But now my nails are va va va voom.
And another thing. Under my other name (can you spot me?) I am in the Horn Book's list of vegetarian authors, which includes Lauren, Scott Westerfeld, Carolyn Mackler, Jackie Woodson, Coe Booth, David Levithan -- the list goes on. The list is attached to a very smart essay by Jennifer Armstrong -- a must-read, I think.
This is a very linktastic post. I am sure you are fatigued. I certainly am.
In final news, I have finished my death-defying revision (Hi, Donna!) and am feeling perky! Have a good week.