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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Happy Black Friday everyone!

If you are in the United States, perhaps you are reading this from the depths of your couch, where you are thinking about How Much You Ate Yesterday. As for today’s shopping extravaganza . . . I am NOT going out there. I live in New York City, where is it a shopping bloodbath on the best of days. I do not want to be killed by a well-meaning tourist wielding a giant stuffed platypus from F.A.O. Schwartz.

No. I am staying here, blogging to you in safety.

I had a very YA Thanksgiving. Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier came over, as did Australian YA queen Lili Wilkinson. It was also kind of a UK Thanksgiving, as my British friends Oscar Gingersnort and Winchester Grey were there, asking “Wot is this?” a lot, which was fun. When you have four foreigners at your Thanksgiving table, you can make up all kinds of things, and THEY BELIEVE YOU! They don’t know Thanksgiving traditions! You can say, “On Thanksgiving, it is traditional to put on these ski boots and go stand in the hall closet making ghost noises.” AND THEY DO IT!

Or they WOULD have, if I had asked them to. But I was trying to be a good hostess and not burn the turkey or the vegetarian option (for Scott and I).

Before I get to the First Question of the Day, I have an announcement!

I am happy to tell you that the second annual MJ Holiday Signing Workshop is now OPEN! You may remember that last year the workshop produced . While this was fun, I still have glitter in my hair from it. This year, the Workshop Elves have come up with something EVEN COOLER—they are making LIMITED EDITION Suite Scarlett holiday cheer cards.

Wait! It gets better! The cards will be signed both by me and a member of the Martin family—the main characters in Suite Scarlett. Yes! Because the Hopewell Hotel (thhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gife setting of Suite Scarlett) is here in New York, they have agreed to drop by and sign. Either Spencer, Lola, Marlene, or Scarlett herself will add some holiday cheer to your card!

To get a card, send an e-mail to cheer@maureenjohnsonbooks.com (note the special e-mail address!). Include your name, the name of the person the card is for (if it is not for you), your entire mailing address, and any short messages you would like written in the card.

On that note, I should add that from this point on, I will be giving special consideration to Cheer-related questions. I am a complete expert on all things Holiday, and am ready and waiting to answer any questions you have regarding this festive time!

Okay. First question of the day . . .


anonymous said...
Dearest Maureen, i've never read one of your books. I'm not quite sure how I ended up on your site - but where the hell are you now?? You promised to post every single day this week!! I've been checking every day!

Maybe the problem is that I didn’t define “every day” clearly. Maybe you think that “every day” means “every day.” I have always taken “every day” to mean “some days with long stretches of days in between during which nothing happens.” Where I come from, “every day” can mean, like, once a month!

Thinking about it now, I can see where I may have gone wrong.

In any case, anonymous, I am sorry! But I am glad you were here “every day”! I hope you will continue coming “every day,” even if I prove to be a bit challenged. I also hope you get a chance to read one of my books, if you feel like it. They are like the blog, but about 200 times longer!

If you will excuse me for just one moment, I have to send a private note, which I hope you do not read. Just skip down the page, past this private note, without looking at it. Please rejoin the blog right below the photo.


[Note to Future MJ—only to be read by Future MJ and no one else: Listen, stupid, don’t promise to post “every day.” You will never do it. And ESPECIALLY don’t promise to post “every day” when you are flying home from the UK with J.K. Rowling (or even without her), then doing a book signing, then going to jury duty, and then cooking Thanksgiving diner. You WILL NOT DO IT. You will end up disappointing the readers you love. Tell the truth. Tell the world that you spend many days of the week fighting crime with the highly-secret YA Flying Squad. They will understand.]


Thank you for not reading the private note posted above.


marlena said...
So, MJ, if it came down to you, Free Monkey, Scott Westerfeld and John Green being cornered in a room with with a zombie guarding the only door and a tank full of jellyfish blocking the window,would you
a.) smash the tank and make a run for it with the guys
b.)fight off the zombie and once again run
c.)use the shield and glow of Scott and John that you mentioned in your blog about BEA to escape unscathed
d.)have Free Monkey take care of it with his ninja powers

This is a tough scenario, Marlena. Tough, but completely possible. In fact, I’m surprised this hasn’t already happened. I mean, the jellyfish are getting closer every day. Just today, I read that millions of them have been spotted off of the coast of Scotland—AFTER they wiped out Northern Ireland’s only salmon farm. According to the reports, BILLIONS of small jellyfish attacked and killed over 150,000 fish.When the jellyfish are looming off the Scottish coast and invading Ireland, you know things are bad. Thanks for nothing, Global Warming. (For this reason alone, please turn off one unnecessary appliance today!)

I also don’t like the sound of these sea anemones that walk along the sea floor. I don’t like ANY of this sea-related news I’m reading today. It’s like all the Sea Scientists got together and said, “What do we have that will completely freak mj out?” What is next? Sponges who blog? Lobsters with little tiny cars? Stingrays playing the piano?


Where did that tank of jellyfish come from? Did someone put it by the window, or did They install it there?

I’m sorry. I am getting too freaked out to answer the question.


Gia said...
Do you agree with the people that say Dumbledore can't be gay because it wasn't in the books?

The thing is . . . it’s not, not in the books, either. J.K. doesn’t say much about the romantic lives of many of the teachers—they aren’t usually relevant to the story. So we don’t really know either way. I don’t think you can assume someone is straight until you are explicitly told otherwise. And Grindelwald, Dumbledore’s true love, does appear in the books. Whatever happens between J.K. and me on a personal basis . . . I stand by her on this one.

[Note to J.K., if she is reading this: This is not an invitation to climb up my fire escape and break into my apartment in your never-ending quest for snacks.]

Okay . . . Free Monkey is putting on his Santa hat and laying out the pens. We have to get this Workshop open! I hope to hear from all you cheer-seekers out there, either in card requests or questions!

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Anonymous jas said...

This isn't a cheer-related question, but I will ask one once the asking of this one is done... ummm, yeah.
First, do you have any idea when you'll answer all the zombie-related questions?
Second (the cheery one!), what is your favorite movie for getting into the holiday spirit? Do you prefer the perennial favorite Die Hard? Or is It's a Wonderful Life more to your taste?

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Shloopy said...

What is your preferred spelleing of Channukah/Hannukah/Hanuka/Chanukkah etc...?
The plethora of spellings are almost endless. Choose wisely.

1:01 AM  
Blogger K.C. said...

I have a question for you, MJ...

are you ever coming to Georgia to do a book signing? Preferably somewhere around Atlanta?

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Danica said...

mj, do you still want a pink stun gun after the tazering incident in Vancouver?
(I realize you'd only ever use your stun gun for good, but I'd still like to know.)

3:14 AM  
Anonymous puppylove said...

Hey MJ

I have a question.Not sure if its cheery. Why do people roast chestnuts and who started this tradition? What did the poor chestnuts ever do to anyone?!

P.S. First time writing,long time fan!

3:36 AM  
Anonymous scott neumyer said...

LOL. Cheery? Hmmm.... If you Save the Cheerleader, can you really Save the World?

3:44 AM  
Blogger Allie Beckaliciousness =) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Allie Beckaliciousness =) said...

what kind of holiday do you celebrate (i.e. xmas, hannukah, etc.)??? and what are you getting everyone for the holidays?!?!?!? (UH OH.)

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Faith said...

Do you, like Hank Green, believe that we are an absurdly consumerist society and therefore shouldn't be giving people even more stuff, but should rather be giving them our time and love?

ALSO: Are you a Rudolph fan or a Rudolph hater?

8:59 AM  
Anonymous aLLY said...

Oh! Can we give you our friends address and name and you mail it to them so it will be a suprise?

And also, what is your more favorite movie; the one with Rudolph and the Missfit Toys (it looks like its made out of clay) or the Frosty the Snowman movie. Surley you have to know which ones I'm talking about.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Marlena said...



Okay, fangirl moment over!

Thanks for answering my question, even though you didn't, really. =P

I'm very worried, however, that you disregarded the threat of the zombie, and focused on the jellyfish. Never forget the terrifying zombie in the corner as you stare at the evil jellyfish.

I think that might be a lesson for life.

Anyways, Happy Card Signing!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Tiff said...

Cannot wait to get my card! I'm such a geeky, overgrown fangirl...

I have a question: MJ, if we find you on Facebook, or meet you on the street in New York (perhaps around 34th and Park, where I used to live), can you add us to your ever-growing friend list?

Also...the whole canon thing is getting out of hand with Ms. Rowling. That said, do you believe that what she said about Harry's future (and Ron, and Hermione's, and everyone else) counts as canon? AKA do you believe her when she says Ginny Weasley (the BEST character ever!) went off to play Quidditch for awhile with the Holyhead Harpies and then ended up being a Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet? Don't you think this is total bollocks, and that a talented, awesome witch like Ginny should be doing something awesome in the Department of Mysteries, or at least hanging out with Harry and Ron in the Auror department? Gah!
(I do like that Hermione ends up in Magical Law. Perfect).

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

question for the marvelous MJ:

what is this about special holiday cards from the book suite scarlet? i am very confused (although a little excited about the use of the word "glitter" in there)about this and the aforementioned book signing?? could you please elaborate?

it sounds like you had a very interesting Tahnksgiving..haha, ski boots in the closet...BUT! my family is so weird, we all kept calling the turkey chicken. CHICKEN!!
"hey aunt joan, pass the chick-i mean turkey." "alison, could you pass me the gravy for my stuffing and chicken?' 'You mean turkey.' 'Right, thats what i said.'"

it was one of those moments where you look back and say 'wow' to yourself inside your head.

anyway, i am happy to report i restrained myself from reading the private note...i mean it...okay, i only read the first couple of lines...and the whole note. i have to get better with my self-dicipline. know what i mean?


11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, this is a question for everyone: Have you seen the Movie Elf? It is the best freakin' movie ever! And the word "ginormous" is now officially in the dictionary. :D

11:19 PM  
Anonymous reid said...

I just finished reading Girl at Sea, and I thought it would be a great movie.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Just a bit of cheer for you - have a great "rest of november"

and a question, have you seen "The Ref", my all-time fav Christmas movie, Denis Leary takes a dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve. I love writers that can make characters seem so real, twist things around and end up happily (though the police video-tape erasing scene was a bit far-fetched), anyway - have a happy one and keep blogging! don't worry about writing "every day", I keep promising to bath "every day" too.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Okay, first off a comment. I sent a question to you a while ago asking for help with my parents seperation, and I can't thank you enough for responding. It made me realize how much you care about your fans, and it made me feel pretty loved. So thanks. (And by the way, I'm handling all right. Thanksgiving was awkward and Christmas will be worse, but I'm managing.)

So, my question is NOT holiday related. But here I go:

You talk often about zombies. You wrote, Devilish, which was a mix of modern and Sci-fi/fantasy. I adored it. (Though Girl At Sea is possibly my favorite.) So I was wondering if you ever planned on writing a book with any other super-natural elements? Fantasy, Scifi, or other? I would LOVE to read a fantasy book from you!

Okay, I'll try to think of some Holiday realated questions. I remember last year you kindly explained to me what [i]exactly[/i] a fruit cake was.

Update soon, my dear time confused friend!


1:59 AM  
Anonymous shaylaluna said...

hi ummmm i have
a question

Here goes:

If you were dragged outside by a group of zombies and forced to reveal the personal secrets of jk rowling(wich you know in this scenario). what would you do?

3:56 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

It says on imdb.com that Key to the Golden Firebird is going to be a movie!! Is it?? Was that the secret you were working on?

4:28 PM  
Anonymous The Littlest Elf said...

Today we analyzed the symbolism in the song American Pie. One of the lines in the song eventually led me to: The Rolling Stones in Cheerleading Costumes. . . . what do you think about this topic

3:39 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

Hallo ik heet Simone en kom uit Nederland je zult mij vas niet verstaan als ik tegen je sprak en je zult mijn tekst zeker niet kunne ontcijveren.

ik heb jou geweldige boek 13 little blue envelopes gelezen ik vind het echt een leuk boek .. maar zou er nog een ver volg op kunne geschreven worden ?! :D bijvoorbeel .. dat ginny weer thuis is en ze iedereen die ze ontmoet had erig mist maar dat ze besluit om weer is naar londen te gaan en dan keithe weer op zoekt ofzo. want in jou boek kan jeniet lezen wat er nog gebeurt met hun en dat zou ik wel leuk vinden om te weten :D Nou al vast bedankt en tot Ziens ( BYE !!!!)

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Shausto-la said...



that is probably the best christmas present ever.

2:58 AM  
Blogger B.A. said...

MJ: I'm writing this on my Dad's laptop in the hospital. I'm really scared about my surgery tomorrow (even though I'll be asleep - darn that 'awake' commercial!) but I was just wondering have you ever had any medical 'experiences?' I just need something to take my mind off of tomorrow -eek!

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Bobina said...

Reply to shausto-la's comment:
I work at a small toy store and we sell those. They are very very very amusing :) Have you seen the flying piggies too?

12:35 AM  

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