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Monday, December 17, 2007


Hello, everyone! I have been so caught up in writing, signing holiday cards, and CHEER that I have fallen a bit behind again, but am coming back with a vengeance.

For today, I have made this video, which answers just a few of your many excellent questions. This is part of John and Hank Green’s Project for Awesome—a Youtube-wide invasion to raise money for charity.

The charity I reference here is Citymeals on Wheels. I hope you will pay them a visit!

I will be posting a proper entry within a day. And get your guesses in to win some books!

Also, if you would still like a signed card from me and one of the Suite Scarlett characters . . . there is still time! Barely! The Holiday Signing Workshop is operating at full capacity right now, and will be closing down on Wednesday, or whenever the elves run out of cards! So get your requests in to cheer@maureenjohnsonbooks.com right away!

Until tomorrow!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible that the box contained the "Suite Scarlett" holiday cards? BTW - I got mine last week, thanks! - Jesse

9:46 PM  
Blogger Shrieky said...

I think that the box contained the holiday cards.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Does the box contain a friend for Free Monkey??

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Jas said...

I'm gonna guess that Free Monkey has taken up residence in the box--it looks quite comfortable.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the box will probably contain the future prize. I was going to guess bananas, but it just didn't feel right. After seeing your disaster with the bubble wrap, you are sure to hide it in the nearest container. Bubble wrap!

*~~ Kenina-chan ~~*

12:22 AM  
Blogger Allie Beckaliciousness =) said...


12:32 AM  
Anonymous :::Asia::: said...

Is there a...um...a...an ornament? Or some other holiday-related object? Please?

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Judy said...

The box looks just the right size to fit a zombie head in it!

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Mmm books?

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Could the box possibley have a collection of books by the EXTREMELY SOLAR ABFAB mj?

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

Why do you have Santa in a box?

And thank you for the holiday card! I just got it today after I finished my exams.

Does math terrify you? I took a calculus exam and was quite scared, myself.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Phases of the Moon said...

oh, that is too easy. there's only one possibility.
the box contains a cut-off zombie head. it was obviously decapitated to be sent to scientists as part of the ongoing search for a zombie vaccine.
and oh my god, someone just said that. it is scary how much us internet people think alike.
it could also contain a tiny Holiday Elf who was punished for not being cheery enough. as we speak, the elf is crouched in there, dressed all in black and wearing headphones. i sympathize, elf. i been there.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous KrazyKatie said...

tinsel! Lots and lots of tinsel!
Jk. Maybe it's a dancing cactus that sings "Feliz Navidad!" My friends' spanish teacher has one! It is so hilarious! :)
:D Happy Holidays MJ! Or Feliz Navidad! :D

2:07 AM  
Blogger JessieGirl said...

the box looked light so the answer could be the free monkey cousins. but it could also be suite scarlett cards or holiday cheer.

2:26 AM  
OpenID tehrussian said...

Pink plastic piggy-bank. Or if you don't have one of those in the box, then you should definately get one! And then put it in a box!

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Danica said...

I think the box is full of love. Or that pink seal tazer.

Here's a cheer question for you! My house is being renovated, starting today and going on 'til late January. Consequently, my parents and I are moving in to my Grandma's for Christmas due to lack of bathrooms. Suffice it to say this Christmas will be much different than previous years. What can I do to raise Cheer Levels and just make the day more awesome all 'round?

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Is it the complete first season of House? That's what I want for christmas this year. :)

You are awesome, MJ, and I love getting videos from you. Thanks!

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

It has to be full of christmas cards sent by local businesses in order to earn your business over the holiday period.

I've recieved like 5 of these and they're the only letters/cards i've recieved all month. I don't care, though - I love recieving mail of any kind, and one real estate agent gave me a recipe for rocky road! Yum!

3:20 AM  
Blogger Gia said...

Dear Maureen (Ms. Johnson, or Mrs. Free Monkey):
What is your favorite kind of fruit?
How long did it take you to write something that could actually be a novel?

Because (story time!):
I've been writing tons, and only recently did I start writing something that I plotted out, and made realistic characters out of. But I suppose my characters just aren't fully rounded, even though I thought they were, and after 77 pages of word document (17, 900 words) it seems like they're really having trouble telling me what they want to happen.

And I definitely don't want to dump my story after so much creativity and imagination (not to mention time) went into it.

[Those were just backup things to go with the question above] =]

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

I'll go out on a limb-is nothing in the box?

Also, it seems like you got off lucky, my french book is filled with horrendous '80's/90's outfits and stupid little cartoons.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

a happy meal

4:43 AM  
Blogger Alysa said...

I'll guess that something that was handy went into the box. So... your keys? I was goign to guess a pen, but i can never find a pen when i need one, can you?

4:52 AM  
Blogger Jez said...

I got my card the other day--thank you!!

I'm going to guess that there is nothing in the box. Because perhaps you've also read the uber-cute "The Gift of Nothing" which teaches you that there it's great to get nothing for Christmas

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Kayli said...

Nothing. Nothing is in the box.

I just went up and checked the other comments and someone already said this.

OR, perhaps it is bubble wrap, or those foam peanuts that come in boxes of fragile-type stuff.

Ooh, better idea: it's the meaning of life. The meaning of life is contained within that box.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous laurenzo said...

The box. It sounds so dramatic when you bold it. Heehee. Well, erm, anyway.

I propose that the box contains either a seemingly innocent pink seal stun gun, sequined converse, an extremely irritated Christmas elf, or a Free Monkey hat. :]

(Why? Because I want each one of those for m'self. Except for an irritated elf. The image of Kreacher in a little green hat and pointed shoes with bells on them only makes me want to shudder and giggle uncontrollably.)

5:36 AM  
Anonymous K. said...

Hm. I'm going to say your French textbook is what is in the box.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous balexa said...

Hi Maureen! quick question:When will the worker elves be finished and the cheer cards arriving?I can't wait!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Hannah Rose said...

The movie doesn't work! It says it's no longer availiable. I am so depressed it's not even funny.

But I shall guess anyway and say...Scott Westerfeld is in the box?

Okay, real guess. I think there are copies of Suite Scarlette for everyone! (Please?) Maybe with some pretty Christmas bows. That sounds nice.

Can I guess one more time? It also MIGHT be a Vespa in the box! You have always wanted one. Although I think that they look quite dangerous.

Of course, I am guessing blind since the video did not work so I have no idea how big the box is. Sad.

Merry Christmas, Maureen!


6:04 AM  
Blogger Hannah Rose said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous bibliocat said...

Love the cards!

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Kiersten said...

ok my guesses are:
1) advance readers copies of suite scarlett
2) arc of john green's paper towns
3) something to do with your let it snow book
(ok so i'll probably be disqualified for guessing 4 times but... wait four times? twice, thrice? fourice?)
thats my question for you maureen. what is the correct form for four times?

6:44 AM  
Anonymous jellybean said...

There are totally books in that box. Yes, about nine books.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous GH said...

I want to say lederhosen, but instead I will guess copies of that Golden Compass book you have an essay in?

I studied Spanish and there were apparently a lot of distotechques there too where people would baila often, or eschucha a la musica.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Larisa said...

Hilarious video!

I'm going to guess that there are snow globes in the box.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...after much debate I am going to guess that the lovely post office box contains the glitter/sequin converse that were mentioned in your previous blog. Loved the video!


8:16 AM  
Anonymous Alysson said...

A DISCOTHEQUE in a box! I'm not sure you could gift wrap it... but it would be rare, and you could dance to it.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know someone has already said this but I think it has Free monkey in there. And the Wee Free monkeys!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous Lost Plotter said...

Dearest Maureen,
There is an invisible monster in the box. The invisible monster is wearing a strawhat with a brim as wide as the box (that's why it can't get out even if you open the box - it's stuck underneath the hat!, pants of a suit that are cut off at the knee, a shark fang necklace and flip flops. It has a surf board along. And is yearning to fill your bathtub with water, create waves with a fan and go surfin'. And it wants to get out of the box.

(and i haven't got one of your books yet, hint,hint)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous rah said...

The ginormous Suite Scarlett is in the box!!! (Wow, good effort with that, I know I'm impressed!)

1:51 PM  
OpenID edarra said...

Ooo I bet there's some air in the box!!! You know I'm right...

7:26 PM  
Anonymous xx Hanna xx said...

Um.....paper,bubble wrap or oxygen...or w8 w8 a mixture of the 3! I know, I know- Im a genius:P
Or maybe its one of those gigantic furry puff ball things from Harrods-only like decompressed so that when you open it, itll reinflate and attack you DONT OPEN IT!
Seasons Greetings (o n hi to Free Monkey who i never did get to meet:( )

xx Hanna xx

ps. YaY got the cheer card!

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Bobina said...

i think that there's a fruitcake in that box :)

12:44 AM  
Blogger The Perilous T said...

I am going to guess that the box contains a small quantity of pink gauze wrapped around several pink tasers. Yay!

I am definitely going to get to work on a response video. I'm thinking Christmas karaoke. :P

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the box is EMPTY!!!

12:52 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Does the box contain Suite Scarlett holiday cheer cards?

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Maureen!
If you don't mind, I have a non-holiday related question for you (sorry) it's actually writing- realted and it is: how do you figure out if the plot in a story your writing is a strong plot or not?? And if it's not, what do you do to MAKE it a strong one??


your biggest fan,

1:35 AM  
Blogger Jordyn said...

I want to guess the box contains one of those tins of caramel popcorn.

No idea why, it just seems like the sort of thing that would be in a box.

Also I guess the box is being sent to your mom.
Again, no idea why.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Cei Cei said...

Suite Scarlette, or her cards, or or or oh I DON'T KNOW!!!!


maybe just maybe its the bubble wrap????(or possibly nothing)

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Aislinn Ai said...

Does the box contain Princess Leia's slave costume?

4:15 AM  
Blogger emily said...

ummm. . . .
a christmas hat for all olf your readers?

omg!!!! i know! its all of your books! and that's why we get one of you books as a prize!!!!!!

i think i've been sick too long . . .

4:56 AM  
Blogger Reese said...

The box didn't look particularly heavy. I'm going to guess clothes. Clothes are boring. Nothing that great about clothes, and nothing that great about the box. It was just a box.

Now I need a question.. a questiooooooonnnn...
When you were in school what was your worst last minute rush on a huge project? I ask because my friend had her map stolen. It's been 3 hours and she's nowhere near done. It's due tomorrow and she has no chance. No chance I tell you.

Thanks for answering my question about what to do when you're sick. But really I just slept all weekend.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

I think it is fair enough to guess that it is something colorful and/or shiny. Potentially something Free Monkey related...
Possibly the Wee Free Monkeys? Are you going to send them on a trip????
oooooooh that would be exciting!

(lol i'm glad my word verification is hot sud. because yes, potatoes can be pretty sexy!)

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

ohhh sorry...second question...

How long did it take you to make the Happy Birthday Brother John video?????
Because my friends and I have been paticularly inspired by it and want to create our own--christmas style.

(i lied. third question)

And what editing software did you use?

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a writing question. I love to write, and I have a few story ideas, but I'm not sure how to choose which one to devote a lot of time to. Is it ever difficult for you to decide which story to write first, and if so how do you choose? thanks

5:37 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I have no idea what's in the box. But I think you should invest in a new German textbook. Maybe the nerdfighters can help with that issue.

The German orthography changed since 1977.

I really hope for German editions of your books translated by you in the future. ;-)

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Katie K said...

Hehehe, by what I've seen in this video, the box contains the remains of your last desk!!
( Thanks for your Christmas card, I just got it!)

6:49 AM  

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