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Friday, May 11, 2007

DRAGON TRAIN STRIKE FORCE

Happy Friday, friends!

You know, I figured you guys might be getting sick of reading about the book ban in every single post. So I thought that today, I would write about something else.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not on the situation! I am! I am communicating with my Bartlesville team even as I write this. I know an AMAZING amount of inside gossip on a town I’ve never even been to! Some of the stuff I’m hearing about some of the people involved in this is VERY close to home. Literally. Close to their homes. I could be talking over the fence. I think I love Bartlesville. Maybe I will move there.

I am still asking people who are from Bartlesville or from anywhere else to sign my anti-banning petitions, which I will send to the superintendent.

My next post will undoubtedly return to the subject. I just thought it would be good to catch up with some of the logjam of other things that I had to tell you.

Here are two great things that have nothing to do with the Bartlesville Book Ban. The first is about a great charity and how to get a copy of Girl At Sea! The second is . . . well . . . better just read and see.

THING #1: CHARITY THING WITH A PRIZE

Since traffic on this site has gone way up since this whole debacle began, I thought it would be good to turn something that sucks into something that is made of awesome (in the parlance of my secret, fake brothers, Hank and John).

City Harvest is one of the best, ground-up charities out there. The concept is brilliant. It’s a food rescue organization.

What does that mean? I’ll tell you!

Think about all the bakery items like the fresh breads and muffins that you see at Whole Foods or Starbucks. At the end of the day, the baked goods are still good, but they have to be eaten right away. Or at the end of the day at the Green Market, when there are piles of produce left over that the farmers would have to drive back to the farms, and which may just go bad. Or at fancy restaurants around the city, where more food is ordered than can be used in one evening’s service. Or a big wedding, where caterers prepare many large dishes of food, of which only a percentage may be eaten.

Enter the City Harvest trucks. The fleet goes around New York, stopping at the fancy restaurants, the Starbucks, the big hotels, the Whole Foodses . . . and they—very carefully and to the highest safety standards—package the food up. It goes right to the places where it’s needed, like soup kitchens, community pantries, and more than 600 local organizations.

The result is that people who are hungry are getting great, high-quality food, like fresh produce, meat, and bread. And the food is not wasted. EVERYONE WINS!

I don’t have enough good things to say about City Harvest. It is entirely devoted to decreasing World Suck.

Wednesday, May 16th is Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger Day. The idea is that you donate the amount of money you would normally spend on lunch. I’ve signed up as a team captain. Most people are team captains within their companies, and they take the materials to work. Since I don’t have a company per se, I have decided to call my team the YA NERDFIGHTERS HUNGER STRIKE FORCE.

Everywhere I go for the next few days, I will be carrying Skip Lunch Fight Hunger paper lunch bags somewhere on my person. (And no, it’s not a contest to figure out where.) This means I’ll be taking my bags to the Nebula Awards, and to some cocktail events (where the event will be “Skip a Drink, Fight Hunger”).

If you won’t see me personally, but you like the sound of this and can send a check for your part of the lunch, contact me. I especially encourage my new friends from the last day or so who have graciously taken the time to write to me to tell me all about their personal interpretations of the Bible and the condition of my soul. Nice to meet you! Everyone is welcome here. Won’t you support the fight against hunger?

Make sure to write the fact that you are with the YA NERDFIGHTERS HUNGER STRIKE FORCE on the memo of any checks!

I’ll send whoever sends the biggest check an autographed, spanking new copy of GIRL AT SEA! I can assure you that it is a DIRTY BOOK. This is because it has archeology in it, which is inherently a filthy undertaking. Copies of Girl At Sea are currently quite rare. I only have three. One is for me. One is for my mama. One is for ONE OF YOU.

(Don’t worry, though, if you can’t send money for this. I realize that this is not possible for many of you! I will be giving away more free copies later, when I get the proper shipment.)

THING #2: DRAGON TRAIN, MY NEW OUTFIT

So, I was sitting on Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier’s apartment floor maybe a month or two ago. Holly Black and Cassandra Claire were there. They all started telling me about an event called Dragoncon, which they all went to the year before to sign books.

I generally don’t go to things that end in con. No particular reason. But I am a person who likes to see the wonders of this world. I listened in awe as they told me about the 24 hour a day costume parade and the security guards dressed as storm troopers. I was amazed.



Dragoncon.


“I never get to go to things like that,” I said sadly.

“You could now,” Justine said. “Devilish is scifi/fantasy. You’re up for a Norton!”

“Yeah, I guess,” I said. But I said it glumly, because I didn’t believe it.

“You could,” Scott said. And Cassie and Holly nodded.

“If you can get me into Dragoncon,” I said, “I will go dressed as Princess Leia in that outfit she wears . . . with the gold stuff . . . in that one movie. The Empire Strikes Back.”

I don’t know why I said this. Maybe because it was the only scifi/fantasy costume I know. Or sort of know. I remember seeing it on Friends at the gym once.

“Return of the Jedi,” Scott kindly corrected me. “And you’re on.”

“And what we should do,” Justine continued, “is all go on the train. We’ll get sleepers and we’ll all ride down together.”

“Dragon Train,” Holly said.

“Dragon Train,” Cassie repeated.

I said uh-huh and nodded. I was busy eating something and picking crumbs off my shirt and not really paying attention, because I didn’t believe Scott would set it up.

Yeah. Don’t make assumptions like that with Scott. The Dragon Train is being booked right now, and it looks like I am now in the market for one of those gold bikini outfits. I have three months to find one. And yes, I will be signing copies of Devilish while wearing it.

Yes, I’ll bring the video camera for Brotherhood2.0.

If anyone has any advice on this, please let me know, because I think I’m going to be kind of cold in it. Does it have some kind of wrap that goes with it? Like a cape or something? I could be wrong, but I think the people at this event might be stickers for detail, and on this matter, detail is something I just don’t have. Yet.



Do you have one of these?


My inferior knowledge of things scifi and fantasy will put me at a disadvantage at the Nebula Awards tomorrow. I’m thrilled to death to be nominated, but my general plan for the night is to keep drinking and shoving food in my mouth so I don’t have to talk, which is the plan I use for many events, really.

In the meantime, here are some aliens I do know, and know well! And they show how books are useful!

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25 Comments:

Blogger Ian said...

Yep. Yep. Yepyep yepyepyep BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIINGGGG!!!!!

10:37 PM  
Blogger cecil castellucci said...

I am going to the 4 day Star Wars Celebration event here in LA in two weeks. I'm sure there will be a store called "SLAVE LEIA OUTFITS 'R US" and I will get you an order form.

I'm not even kidding.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. "Maureen, I've got your (princess leia) back."

xo cecil

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that dressing authors in gold bikinis for book signings is a terrific idea! Especially at SF/F events. Just imagine Stephen King in a gold bikini! Curdles the very blood...

11:41 PM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

yip yip yip yip yip cowwwww. mooooooooooo. i remeber watching endless seseme street when my broter was little. what were those alien things called? didt they a name? i dont remeber and now its bugging me. and i hopoe you find that bikini for your costume.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Cassandra Mortmain said...

I have never wanted to go to dragoncon more in my entire life. This isn't saying a *huge* amount, because I'd never heard of dragoncon until this post, but still. Oh, and if you get a Slave Leia costume and went to LA you could take part in this:

http://www.starwars.com/community/event/celebration/news20070509.html

1:08 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

With the inclusion of the honkers -I double-checked and yes, that is what Sesame Street calls them - you have just earned more points with me. You have a LOT of points. If we were at Chuck E. Cheese's, you would be able to get a really cool stuffed animal as big as a small child (which is the same size as me) plus one of those full-sized Frisbees - not just the tiny ones, though Holly loved catching those in mid-air.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5zaIR1otyg

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great cause about the food harvest, Maureen--let me know where to send money and I'll post it on my blog too.

We're all about decreasing world suckage. my husband's the mental health director at a residencial homeless shelter in ca--so we know all about it.

*heidi
seaheidi.livejournal.com
(because i can't click your contact maureen button and have anything happen.)

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Note About Oklahoma Conflict:

So, coincidence or not, tonight was opening night of our play, which just happens to be Oklahoma!.

Our microphones either decided to stop working at various points in the performances, or wouldn't come on at all. And don't get me started on the feedback that caused a deafening-ear-bleedifying noise.

Irony?

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I can't wait to see pictures from Dragoncon!

Secondly, I read I especially encourage my new friends from the last day or so who have graciously taken the time to write to me to tell me all about their personal interpretations of the Bible and the condition of my soul. Nice to meet you! Everyone is welcome here. Won’t you support the fight against hunger?

and couldn't help think about David Levithan's Wide Awake, which I finished reading today. There's a very important scene where one of the characters in the book decides to give some food to the children of people who are protesting the election of the first gay Jewish president. (Our characters, of course, are Stein supporters and are protesting attempts to overturn the election.) These good, God-fearing, Bible-loving people turn on the girl (who is, by the way, both straight and a Christian) and attack her. Yup. Attack her. For attempting to feed their own hungry children. Which party was practicing what the Bible teaches? Frankly, I much prefer Levithan's take on what a true Christian believes, which is basically that Jesus is all about love and that the only person (Being) who has the right to judge is God. I'd suggest that some of your communicants read the book, but then the ::koff:: would really hit the fan.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

I don't know if you were aware of this vlog, (and I know you were trying to not talk about the Bartlesville conflict for this entry) but I'm glad we get to see another insider! She's from Bartlesville and is on the school's newspaper. I just thought I'd let you know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZoYi3_w64

9:03 AM  
Blogger Jez said...

Seasame Street aliens! I love those guys! :)

Good luck getting that costume and keeping warm. Maybe you could wear skin colored clothing under it? I'm not sure how well that'd work though

9:22 AM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

little willow: thanks for telling me they were called honkers. (the aliens on seseme street) that was really bothering me. i wanted to say tweetle bugs but those were the cute little bug things.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Jordyn said...

Those are the honkers?
I thought the honkers were the big monsters with big noses.

Hmm... to think I've had it wrong for nearly two decades!

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Those little guys are yip-yips. (Click the still to see the title on the YouTube site.) Wiki also has a great guide to all Sesame Street characters (it describes both with pictures).

Gosh, Maureen, you're good at starting some decent debates.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

Thank you. I was talking about the yip-yips and the honkers and how they were my favorite of the random alien-type muppets, and somehow only half of that went from my brain to my typing fingers. :)

8:43 AM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

wait so what are the honkers? the alien guys are the yip-yips, right? so the honkers are...what? and also, is free monkey a guy or a girl? dont know why its important i just was wondering.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

i got the bermudez triangle yesterday! i've been wanting to read it for a while but i was waiting for it to go out in paperback then they didnt have it till pretty much yesterday. (in paperback or hardback.)

5:38 PM  
Anonymous kiersten said...

ok last post. i promise. but look at this website! according to this free monkey made an appearance on the show The Office! http://www.answers.com/topic/digital-monkey

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

baha i love those little alein things..OH!! okay we were in downtown Little Rock for a fieldtrip and i saw a cafe a called a "Starving Artist Cafe" and that made me think of 13 Litlle Blue Envelopes..oh i bought all your books and im taking them to school and i have like a list of people that want to read them (our school is retarded and doesn't have ANY of your books) so now they all come to me for books

once again, YOU ROCK!!

9:26 PM  
Anonymous darcy said...

13 little blue envelopes was awsome! I saw it in the book store and had to buy it. i couldn't stop talking about it. so my friend bought the book so we could read it together! haha but it was soo good!
i love dit so much i wrote a literary review on it for english!

1:09 AM  
Blogger Tobias said...

I love the yip-yips!!! although as a kid I was more a fan of Bert and Ernie (I still love them).

the book-banning saga gets more interesting by the day it seems. I wonder how long it will go on.

and it is good to see that FREE MONKEY's family is doing so well.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Tobias is back!! I always liked Elmo and Dorthy haha
I need to pre-order Girl At Sea
(random, I know)

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Burmudez Triangle and loved them, so my friend pointed me here. And I read that you're thinking of coming to D*Con. This is so cool!!
:D

1:36 AM  
Anonymous cep program said...

thank you nice sharing

3:48 PM  

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