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November 2006
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January 2007

Year's End Survey

I've done this year-end survey twice before (2004 and 2005) and here it is, once again, for 2006. Happy New Year, all!


1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? I swam with a large number of enormous sting-rays. I visited a nativity garden.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I completely forget what my resolution was. My resolution is to give more money to charity.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. Welcome, baby Lily! and baby Gwyneth!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? The British West Indies. Oh, and I spent a surprising amount of time on Planet Hotel Gaylord.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Spare time, alone.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? None. I have no memory for dates.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I improved my health in a number of ways. I supported my family with my writing. I was actively kind.

9. What was your biggest failure? I have a couple work projects that seem to be failing. There is a person I love that I am trying to reach out to -- and it doesn't seem to be working well.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No injury, only minor illness.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Hm. I am very pleased I bought ingredients for all those Christmas cookies. This was a banner year for baking.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Sarah and Lauren's!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I'll just say this: everyone, wear your panties.

14. Where did most of your money go? To the tax man. Then to medical insurance. Self-employment ain't a peach.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Making the Dramarama iMix. I geeked out on that one.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? London Bridge, by Fergie.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? happier
- richer or poorer? richer
- thinner or fatter? thinner

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? More nothing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? 2000-word days. They were unavoidable, but they make me physically sick.

20. How did you spend the holidays? On a lush Carribbean beach. Really! But I also baked enough cookies for 30 people and made latkes for 18.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Every day.

22. How many one-night stands? Oh, shush.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Entourage.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I am not full of hate, actually.

25. What was the best book you read? I discovered forensic mystery writer Patricia Cornwell. Not for the faint of heart. The best YA books I read were An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty.

26. What was your favorite film of this year? It was an off-year, so I am just gonna recommend one I still love: Truly, Madly, Deeply.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Librarian Amazon.

28 Whom did you miss? My lovely old ladies.

29. Who was the best new person you met? Cecil Castelluci.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006? Let it go.

La Fabuleuse Histoire de La Mouche...

My book, Fly on the Wall, is out in France! I love the cover. You can't see the back, but it has boys in tighty-whities! The French are very daring.

(Cette traduction ci-dessous est faite avec le site Web "Babel Fish", ainsi une partie d'elle ne se comprendra pas. Désolé!)

Bonjour, lecteurs français. Je suis heureuse que LA FABULEUSE HISTOIRE DE LA MOUCHE DANSE LE VESTIARE DES GARCON est disponible en France. Voici au sujet de ce qu'il est :

Comment une fille a vu tout, est au sujet d'une fille appelée Gretchen Kaufman Yee qui va à une école d'art à New York City. Elle est une collectrice de nourriture chinoise en plastique et de figurines impaires, une artiste passionnée de comique-livre, et une fanatique folle de Spider-man. Elle est "freaked" également complètement dehors par le sexe opposé -- en particulier, les rats d'art, un groupe de types dans sa concentration de dessin.

Un jour, elle souhaite qu'elle pourrait être "une mouche sur le mur de la salle du casier des garçons," juste de découvrir de ce que les types d'estacade à claire-voie parlent vraiment. Et la prochaine chose qu'elle sait que... elle est. Une mouche. Sur le mur de la salle de casier.

Holiday fun from Tanya Stone

Me, I am taking off for the Carribean -- no blogging starting Saturday, and no holiday promotions from your humble author.

But: My dear pal Tanya Lee Stone announces a signed bookplate and bookmark holiday promotion for her YA novel A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl. Tanya's debut YA novel has been called has been called "brave and beautiful" by Megan McCafferty, "Sure to be the new Forever" by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and "irresistible" by Libba Bray. School Library Journal gave it a starred review and said the book "will be passed from girl to girl to girl."

So I recommend you ADD IT to that list I wrote of list of what to give a teenager for the holidays, with the mild notification that this is an honest book about people who have sexual feelings and how they deal with them -- so the recipients will be psyched and grateful, but make sure the rental units don't freak before giving.

To get your copy personalized, contact Tanya at [email protected] with your name, snail mail address, and any personalization! Woohoo and happy happy.


Xmas meme

I celebrate Hannukah AND Christmas, due to mixed parentage, but I had a good time filling out this Christmas meme, which I got from Carrie Jones.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I don't like sweet beverages. Too cloying.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
What? They are wrapped, so obviously he wraps them. (Or gets Ms. Claus to do it)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Red and white.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. I find something about enforced kissing repellent.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
This year, early: Dec 2. Usually later.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
That would be latkes, but wrong holiday.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Waking up to find a tiny black kitten running around the house.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think there are many truths about Santa.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Home-made ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it from INDOORS.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes. I had lessons as a child.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I remember some odd gifts. Once I got an orange jumpsuit. Once I got a bag of dried pineapple.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Family togetherness.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
I like baking holiday cookies – lots of varieties. I used to love Buche de Noel, but I have never made it, myself.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Leaving out whiskey for Santa.
Caroling – we have big books of carols with pictures.
Breakfast – chocolate croissants and fresh orange juice.

17. What tops your tree?
An angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I like the whole shebang.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I like how it's in a minor key and talks about Satan.
Santa Baby continues to amuse me, as well.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Oh, yum.

Books of Wonder

The Books of Wonder event was killer. Literally, if you believe Maureen Johnson. Possibly a more accurate description of the evening (with photo) is here, from John Green. And from Coe Booth as well.

(Coe promised me a picture later, which I'll post)

It was awesome in that we had a great house and we read an amazing mash-up of our books that David Levithan created -- like a medly. There were at least 40 people there (I count people when I'm nervous) -- but I was sad NOT ONE SINGLE TEENAGER. Booksellers, you have got to partner up with schools for this stuff, I think! Get librarians and teachers and parents to bring kids in groups. There are FANTASTIC cupcakes at Books of Wonder. There is no reason teenagers would not love being there at 5pm on a school night.

So the audience was full of librarians, YA book people, publishing people, friends and one illustrator. Thank you so much to everyone who came out, and to Books of Wonder for having us.

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant where cute chelsea boys make guacamole on a movable cart right next to your table.

I mean, it was like a cart piled with avocados and cilantro, and a cute boy (like 22 yrs old) was making me guac! With warm tortillas!

That is my idea of what will be happening in heaven on a regular basis, when I get there.

The Imix playlist

A reader called Olivia posted in the comments that the iTunes iMix is somehow not available in Canada -- and would I please post the Dramarama playlist here?

For those of you just tuning in, Dramarama is coming out in May 07 and I made an iMix so that people could hear the music that goes with the book (it's all about musical theater summer camp); click on that Dramarama link just there and that post takes you to the mix.

Here's the playlist for those of you who can't access it easily. I'd like to add the caveat that I chose only from what's available on iTunes -- which means my preferred Guys and Dolls cast recording (the British one with Bob Hoskins) isn't on here, and I switched song-by-song between the versions that I could choose from, giving you the one I like best each time. Also, I sometimes had to work from a greatest hits album rather than an original cast recording.

"All About Ruprecht" is gross-out racy. Not safe for work, the ears of the very young or the parentally conservative. Big Spender may raise an eyebrow as well.

All that said, these are some awesome musical theater songs -- and if you listen to them you'll get not only a decent musical theater education, you'll dance around your living room AND you'll be all set to understand every nuance when Dramarama comes out.



•It's a Fine Life Alice Playten & Georgia Brown Oliver! (Original Broadway Cast)
•Sherry Jersey Boys Jersey Boys (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
•Seasons of Love (From the Motion Picture RENT) Cast Of Rent
•Popular Kristen Chenoweth Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
•Manchester England Hair (Original Broadway Cast)
•Singin' In the Rain (From "Singin' In the Rain") Gene Kelly Hollywood's Best: The 50's Soundtrack
•Hot Lunch Jam Irene Cara Fame (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
•Big Spender Original Broadway Cast, Fosse (this song is originally from Sweet Charity)
•Ol' Man River Paul Robeson Paul Robeson Sings "Ol' Man River" & Other Favorites (this song is originally from Showboat)
•Take Back Your Mink Guys and Dolls Guys and Dolls (50th Anniversary Cast Recording)
•All About Ruprecht David Yazbek, John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz & Sara Gettelfinger Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
•All That Jazz Bebe Neuwirth , Chicago
•Tomorrow Andrea McArdle Broadway - The American Musical (Box Set) (this song is originally from Annie)
•Cabaret Liza Minnelli The Best of Liza Minnelli Pop (this song, obviously, is originally from Cabaret)
•Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee Stockard Channing Grease - 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) Soundtrack (I like this version better than the Broadway cast recording -- so sue me).
•A Bushel and a Peck Guys and Dolls Guys and Dolls (50th Anniversary Cast Recording)
•I'll Know Guys and Dolls Guys and Dolls (50th Anniversary Cast Recording)
•Fugue for the Tinhorns Eduard Strauss & New Broadway Cast Recording Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway Revival)
•Hymn for a Sunday Evening Johnny Borden, Marijane Maricle, Paul Lynde & Susan Watson Bye Bye Birdie! - Original Broadway Cast
•Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat Eduard Strauss & New Broadway Cast Recording Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway Revival)
•Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews Mary Poppins (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
•One A Chorus Line (Original Broadway Cast )
•The Telephone Hour Sweet Apple Kids Bye Bye Birdie (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
•Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer Cats (Selections)
•Sue Me Eduard Strauss & New Broadway Cast Recording Guys and Dolls (1992 Broadway Revival)
•Anything You Can Do Ethel Merman Annie Get Your Gun (Original Cast Album)
•Honestly Sincere Marty Wilde Bye Bye Birdie (Original Broadway Cast Recording)8
•Somewhere That's Green Ellen Green Little Shop of Horrors (Broadway Cast Recording)

Books of Wonder, on the 5th

A re-post, reminder:

So if you missed the NYPL events
if you want to get all your holiday shopping for people under the age of 18 done in a single early swoop,
please come out to Books of Wonder
December 5th -- New York City
I am reading with some of my favorite teen authors!

5 PM - 7 PM
Books of Wonder on 18th between 5th and 6th

COE BOOTH for Tyrell, a story of a homeless African-American teenager struggling to avoid following in his father's footsteps and ending up in jail;
JOHN GREEN for An Abundance of Katherines, about a washed-up child prodigy who's been dumped by 19 girls named Katherine and this time is determined to get it right;
MAUREEN JOHNSON for Devilish, about a Catholic highschooler who makes a deal with the devil and the friend who risks everything to save her;
E. LOCKHART for The Boy Book, sequel to The Boyfriend List, where Ruby discovers there is life after a boyfriend breakup and the loss of all her best friends for not following The Rules for Dating; and
DAVID LEVITHAN for Wide Awake, a story of two gay teenagers campaigning to keep the first gay Jewish President-elect from being cheated out of his election results.