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Posts by Carol
Bubble World is still a couple of months away from making its way out into the big, bad world, but Kirkus Reviews (which has a reputation for being kind of, um, mean) has some nice things to say. I mean — “nifty” and “spunky”? It doesn’t get much better than that.
From Kirkus Reviews:
Freesia lives on a seemingly magical island where every whim is answered in this nifty sci-fi comedy.
On her island world, Freesia needs only to place an order in her portable bubble device to get her perpetually smiling mother to serve her breakfast, to choose from the hundreds of outfits she owns, or to communicate with friends and watch her enemies. She orders her teachers around, never bothering to study any subject. Foreign-language classes focus on food instead of the language, which is never taught. Everyone on the island, including Freesia, looks beautiful and goes to parties every night. Yet glitches occur as the program generating this virtual world begins to crash, sending Freesia back to reality, where her parents and sister appear to see her only as annoying. Thrown into her local high school, Freesia does no work and can’t connect with her former best friend. Finally, she tries to return to the virtual world, but this time, she knows it’s only a computer program. With constantly clever comic writing, Snow disguises her serious examination of the dangers involved in immersion in fantasy and living by whim. Freesia uses an aggressively vapid, too-hip vocabulary, in which something really good is “de-vicious” and a kiss is a “face link,” to heighten the fun.
Freesia’s plenty spunky, and so is this hilarious book.
Hey! Did I mention that I have a new book coming out? Because I do. And you know what that means? I am going to have to put in my contact lenses, comb my hair, and leave my house. I’m fine with that, though my cat is getting anxious.
Here’s what’s on the calendar so far.
UPCOMING EVENTS (2013)
Sunday, May 19, 2-5 p.m., Local Authors Day, Fullerton Public Library
Tuesday, July 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Teen Workshop, Yorba Linda Public Library
Sunday, August 18, 2:00 p.m., Bubble World Book Launch party, Fullerton Public Library
Hope to see some of you there! Because I’m all about my readers! And also because there is nothing — okay, maybe a few things — sadder than an author event where no one shows up.
Ha! Kidding. Obviously, it is.
Until this week, I’d only been to New Orleans once, for a family wedding. Our hotel was on Bourbon Street, which was kind of like a never-ending frat party, only with way more neon. Also more transvestites. My daughter was six. We went to the aquarium. On the way to the rehearsal dinner, an extremely tall transvestite-mime presented my little girl with Mardi Gras beads. The next day we went to the wedding, and then we went home. I sensed I had not properly experienced the city.
Kidding again. But I DID spend hours taking pictures of the spectacular architecture, which I then dutifully edited and posted on Instagram (not to brag, but I’m up to 18 followers). And I got a pina colada out of one of those frozen drink machines and walked around with it — on the street! (It’s legal, assuming you are over 21. You can assume I am over 21.) Okay, I split the drink (size small) with my husband. But the night was young. (And we are not.)
The French Quarter is a place of joyous sensory overload. Music is everywhere. There’s jazz in plenty of clubs, of course, but I most enjoyed the street musicians. Two young ukelele-strumming women sang “Hit Me Baby One More Time” on an otherwise quiet street, while on another corner, a young man played an electric African bass harp. (I know because he had a sign that said, “What is it? It’s an African bass harp.” I’m clever that way.)
There’s so much to see. Like: leftover Mardi Gras decorations (we showed up on the second day of Lent), Eighteenth century buildings painted in bright hues, art galleries, tarot card readers, creepy Easter bunnies, coats of armor, vampire stores . . .
I’d been to the waterfront before (see aquarium reference, above), but not in the evening, when the tourist riverboats pipe haunting music into the air. If the French Quarter attracts creatives — artists, musicians, and oddballs of every stripe (though maybe not writers since sensory overload tends to mess with our productivity) — the waterfront attracts teens and young adults even closer to the edge. Which is another way of saying that it looks like a casting call for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” But not in a bad way.
Food. Wow. We wandered into a restaurant called Sylvain because it looked suitably interesting and sophisticated but not stuffy. My husband’s fried pork shoulder was one of the best things either of us has ever tasted. If Sylvain were in L.A. they would call the fried pork shoulder something like, like — oh, I don’t know even. Something so pretentious that you’d have to ask the waiter, “Um, what is this exactly?” And the waiter — who was this close to getting a part on a new series on the WB — would go out of his way to describe the dish without ever using the words “fried” or “shoulder.” Or “pork,” for that matter.
We also ate beignets, a.k.a. “French donuts.” I am not a big donut eater, but if you go to New Orleans, you need to eat these things. They’re that good. And besides, if you’re in New Orleans, you can’t think too much about calories.
Last time I came to the French Quarter was pre-Katrina. Coming back, it was impossible not to think of all that was lost. But there is such a spirit to the place and the people. It’s not like they don’t know think bad things can happen — they do. So you might as well grab a pina colada, listen to music, and enjoy the beauty of the moment.
Why, yes, I am recycling my blog posts. Thanks for noticing.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Don’t you love Valentine’s Day? That’s okay — no one else does, either. But it’s wrong to let a holiday pass without notice, so here’s a way to celebrate without being too, you know, celebratory. This recipe originally came from Cooking Light. However, the heart-shaped bit is my own special twist. (My friends tell me I’m very creative.)
- 3/4 cup ketchup, divided
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup minced fresh onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 pounds ground round
- Cooking spray
Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, oats, onion, parsley, brown sugar, salt, pepper and egg whites in a large bowl. Add meat; stir just until blended. Shape meat mixture into a heart on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush 1/4 cup ketchup over meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
THE YA FOR NJ AUCTION IS NOW LIVE! TO SEE A LIST OF ALL AVAILABLE BOOKS, GO HERE.
Here in Southern California, it was seventy degrees yesterday, and my daughter was complaining about being cold. So, I know how easy it is for those of us outside the New York area to forget about the devastation that Sandy left behind. (I also know how wimpy California kids can be about weather.) But I’ve also heard so many stories of heartbreak from families and friends in my native New Jersey that I’m honored to be a part of Kieran Scott‘s fundraising effort, YA for NJ.
On November 30, personally signed books from over 200 young adult and middle grade authors will be up for auction on eBay. All proceeds will go to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The auction will run till December 6.
So, if you’re a fan of young adult or middle grade fiction … or if you know a fan of young adult or middle grade fiction … or if you’re looking for a holiday gift for ANYONE between the ages of, say, eight and sixteen (no, thirty) — please consider bidding!