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Friday, February 23, 2007


What you’re about to read was actually written on Wednesday. At this exact moment, it is Friday. I am in J. Green’s apartment, working at a table and watching J. Green play golf on his Wii while talking on the phone.

Actually, mostly what I am doing is sneezing. For someone who claimed she never gets sick, I am kind of . . . well, sick. Or at least sneezy. This is no good. Tonight I am going to see my friend Broadway Joey in the lead role in The Drowsy Chaperone. And while he is singing his heart out, I’m going to be THAT person. The one making all the noise and grossing out everyone around them with her non-stop sneezing and sniffling. And I am smack in the middle, right in front of the stage—so the WHOLE CAST is probably going to think I am going to contaminate them, which I probably am. I might get them all sick, and then this beloved show will have to close for like A WEEK. There will be headlines in the New York Times and the Post: Drowsy Chaperone Sleeps, or something like that.

I apologize in advance.

I think J. Green has caught on to the fact that I am reporting that he is playing golf on his Wii, and has sat down with his computer to work on today’s installment of Brotherhood 2.0. I am especially excited about this, as I am on this one.

But let us go back a day or two, to a table full of writers.

Wednesday, February 21

Today in WHAT WRITERS DO ALL DAY, I am sitting here with normal writing partner John Green. E. Lockhart has left for the day. However, we have been joined by some new members to our little group. Across from me is Holly Black, next to me is Cecil Castellucci. And at the end of the table, Cassandra Clare is carefully balancing her computer on the edge of the table. AND, we have just been joined by Libba Bray.

I know what you are thinking. That is a lot of writers. And what writers. I’m jealous of myself.

I’m writing this FROM THE TABLE. This reporting is fresh. I’m an embedded reporter.

The day started with just me and E. E. is working on a new book that sounds very exciting. We were working away, until J. Green showed up. We decided to move to a new location, because our table was too small. (J. Green needs room. He’s a boy.)

E. told us about a castle cake she is making for a 5 year old’s princess-themed birthday party. It is going to be blue, with ice cream cone towers and coconut snow and gummy penguins. This makes me want to have a princess birthday party. I did not think of it in time. Also, I did not know about the gummy penguins. That’s something to keep in the mental files.

1:15 PM. Cecil C. appears. Cecil is here for Comicon, where she is promoting her new DC comic, The Plain Janes. She has given up pants for Lent, and is wearing a very nice skirt. Cecil broke her wrist playing hockey, and it is very hard for her to type. J. Green, who has obviously never broken his wrist, smacks her cast a few times asking, “Does this hurt? Does this? How about here?”

1:18 PM:
I explain that I have broken my right wrist twice, the first time while singing the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn into the tube of a canister vacuum. Cecil does not know who Tony Orlando is, so I show her a picture.

Tony Orlando and Dawn

1:37: E. has to leave to go home and make a piñata shaped like a dragon for the princess party. My jealousy increases.

2:17 PM: Holly and Cassie arrive. They are in extremely good form. Holly has been to see the sets of the Spiderwick Chronicles movie, and Cassie is gearing up for the release of her first book, City of Bones.

2:36 PM: Everyone settles in to work.

Working away at the Writers’ Table.

2:54 PM: Continuing the debate from Justine Larabalestier’s blog, a conversation on the relative merits of zombies vs. unicorns breaks out. This is a surprisingly heated discussion. I, of course, am for zombies. (See here for details.) Overall, the group seems to favor unicorns, mostly because they are harmless. J. Green refused to give any opinion at all, which makes me think he is hiding something.

3:01 PM: I notice that we all use Macs. We are a walking advertisement. Or a sitting one. Also, there are a bunch of cameras. J. Green filmed us for Brotherhood 2.0, and Cecil filmed us for her own YA writer film. So there is a lot of proof of what I am saying.

3:08: So much filming. I ask if someone will help me make an audition tape to be a dead body for Law and Order. Cecil, who is a trained performer and who lives in California, tells me that I should sign up with an extra service. They constantly cast dead bodies. This is a dilema for me. I want to be a dead body, but I don’t want to start throwing myself at extra casting agents, because that is something an actor might do, and like I said, I’m not an actor. I want the magic of the internets to work for me.

3:15 PM:
Cecil and Holly leave to make phone calls. Cassie, J. Green, and I get back to work . . . on writing. My job.

3:18 PM I look up casting agencies for dead bodies on Law and Order.

3:21 PM: Do you guys think I could use my author photo as a headshot? I look kind of dead in it, right?

3:22 PM: I could also play a zombie. But now I am thinking like an actress. I should be thinking like a writer! I am surrounded by my own!

3:37 PM: J. Green says he thinks it could be a headshot. I would ask Cassie, but she is getting a drink.

3:56 PM: Seriously. We’re working.

4:01 PM: Agent Daphne Unfeasible writes me to ask if I am working, and I tell her I totally, totaly am. Daphne does not believe me. I can feel it. It is no good having an agent who knows you this well.

Sometimes I do things that do not look like work. But I am working. It's all part of my process.

4:16 PM: Holly and Cecil return, and they are joyful. Cecil tells us about what she will be doing at Comicon.

4:32 PM: Dr. Betty Vox calls me. She needs my help! All stops for Betty Vox.

5:23 PM: Libba Bray arrives, straight from working on Great and Terrible Beauty/Rebel Angels III. Libba has been writing for many, many hours straight and barely has the power of speech. Right now, Libba could play a mean dead body, if she wanted to. J. Green gives the order to wrap things up, as we all have to go off to our secret YA author club. (Yes. There is one.)

Beyond this point, I cannot say, as it is secret. On Monday, we are being joined by Scott Westerfeld, but I never talk about him, ever. Except maybe once.

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Blogger welcome to crazytown said...

I am completely jealous.
Do you know who's in my writers' group?

A bunch of old ladies. And one old man. I am not joking you. I am a teenager and seriously out of place. So, yeah, I'm incredibly jealous. Probably the most jealous I've ever been (except for that one girl who was dating the guy I liked, but... never mind).
Hope you had fun. Sounds like you did.

Oh, and I love the Harvey picture (love that movie!)

Gah! So jealous!

Anyways, I reviewed 13 Little Blue Envelopes on my blog. You should check it out.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

Instead of singing, "I don't wanna show off no more," try, "I don't wanna cough cough no more!"

Feel better.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

So, basically, the next time I want to book one of the top authors in the ya world, I just need to contact you and I'll have a plethora to choose from?

Do you all know Pete Hautman too? Because that would make my world complete.

7:23 PM  
Blogger cecil castellucci said...

it was john who didn't know who Tony Orlando was!

I knew! I knew!

xoxoxoxoxo and congrats on norton nod!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you BECOME a writer anyway? You've already talked about what they do.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

You know. Everyone thinks that unicorns are all harmless and innocent. It's because they're white, but I'm telling you, they've got deadly swords atop their heads! They are totally lethal! Not to mention devious. Haven't you watched Charlie the Unicorn on YouTube?

(BTW - just read Girl at Sea, you should totally think about writing a historical novel - that opening scene was marvelous. Very evocative. Kudos.)

10:15 AM  
Anonymous E. Lockhart said...

no, it was ME who did not know Tony Orlando.
I even thought Dawn was one person.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Hahaha! Is it really bad that I'm immensely jealous of the princess party as well? That cake sounds amazing and I'd love to see the finished product.
I seriously hope that you feel better since it'd be shame if you got the entire cast sick.
I hope you continue to have fun with your working and good luck being a dead body, I heard they're pretty fun to play.

Ciao - Stephanie

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Chelsea said...

Ooh, being a dead body on Law and Order sounds like fun. SVU is my favorite TV show. I wish Casey Novak was still on it, though. She was my favorite character.

7:55 AM  

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