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let it snow

Monday, December 24, 2007


Can you believe it! It’s CHRISTMAS EVE!

I have been looking through your comments today, and I have noticed something distressing. LOOK!

distraught beth said...

*Sigh* Yet another loss. I like all the prizes and contest you have, MJ but it gets quite self-deprecating when you keep losing because you're just not quite clever and/or insane enough.

And this:

jk said...
oh, see i thought that we were supposed ot be finding like the real meaning of it. but i guess this makes more sense cause i goes with teh book and everything. but ahh this is so sad I called him, i talked to teh guy with the tape dispencer, seriously. i google the post office i called it i talked ot the guy. he told me what it meant!

I was understandably dismayed. This had DECREASED YOUR CHEER! Drastic measures were needed! I dropped what I was doing and went right to cheer control and set everything on MAXIMUM CHEER. I made calls, I poked elves.

And I am pleased to tell you two things!

One, the Holiday Signing Workshop Elves, in response to the poking, produced one more box of Suite Scarlett cards. I will keep sending these until the supply dries up! There aren’t many, but there are some! And they can be yours! Act now! Supplies are limited!

Two . . . and then even better news . . .

I managed to obtain two more advance copies Suite Scarlett. This was a bit tricky, as they are rare creatures. The giveaway starts RIGHT NOW, because the time for giving is upon us! And this contest requires NO CLEVERNESS.

This is how you enter to win COPY NUMBER TWO of Suite Scarlett:

1. Leave a comment. That’s it. I don’t care what it is about! It can be about Cheer, or it can be about why you want to read Suite Scarlett, or it can be about how to get rid of J.K. Rowling. Whatever. No research, no cleverness, no wit required! It doesn’t matter where you live—I ship EVERYWHERE!

2. Okay, you do have to put a name on the comment somewhere, even in the comment itself. I can’t enter “anonymous” into the contest. But that’s not that hard.

3. If you want, send your friends or family along to comment, and if they win, take the book from them! Feel free to stack the odds in your favor!

4. If you want to leave a comment but aren’t interested in being entered to win the book, just say so!

I will pick the winner completely at random the day after Christmas, December 26th, around 3pm.

The next Scarlett could be yours!

Speaking of . . .

anonymous said...
im sorry MJ, but i am unmistakably out of Christmas cheer. quesiton: i am having a brain fart and cant remember if you told us when Suite Scarlett is coming out. so, uh, when is it coming out in 2008? 2009 even?

The answer to the question is: MAY 2008. Just a little over four months from now. Basically, when the first little flowers pop their fool heads out of the ground, Scarlett will appear.

From the comments I’ve seen, many of you are suffering deficiencies of CHEER for many reasons. Again, I can’t just sit by and let this happen. So I thought that—since I am now ensconced in the Swiss Family Johnson treehouse, and the SFJT is pretty much the most Cheer-encrusted place I know—I would take you on a little photo tour. The Cheer will seep out of the computer and infect you!

It would be impossible for me to show you all of the holiday decorations around Chez Johnson, because there are simply too many. Quite literally, there is a decoration in every room. This is like one of those White House tours, where you only get to see a tiny, tiny portion of the full workings.

To begin, this is my lawyer, C. Catso Fangola, wearing his Santa hat. Even though he is a member of the Bar Association, C. Catso always takes time out for Cheer.

C. Catso, seen here right after having some delicious wet food.

I have talked little in the past about my mother’s extensive Dickens Village. In fact, I got at least one request for photos of the Village. Ask, and ye shall receive!

I must tell you that the Dickens Christmas Village* is sadly incomplete. There was a furniture change in the room where it is normally set up, so its custom-made table can no longer be used. It is a third of its normal size. It used to be two streets deep with a cathedral and a lake. Most of the houses are packed away in the attic right now, crying quiet little ceramic house tears. If that doesn’t break your heart, then you are made of stone.

Here is an overall shot of the tiny Village:

The Village has two outposts (again, it used to have more). Here is the one that hangs on the wall in a wreath that my mother made for this very purpose. (My mother is really good at making wreaths, and we have a LOT of them. It was for this wreath that we pepper-sprayed ourselves in the infamous squirrel incident.)

The Little Village on the Wall.

The other really important things to note about this photo are the two framed pictures to the left and right of the wreath. Those are needlepoints my mother has made of some of her favorite Dickens Village houses. The small grey lump on the sofa is C. Casto, reading a legal brief as he reclines against a snowman pillow. And that throw on the sofa is an official Dickens Village throw listing the names of popular houses and the years that they were made.

These are what I call the Kreepy Karolers. I dislike the Kreepy Karolers, but my mother insists they bring Cheer. She also says they are highly collectible, which to my mind means that people will collect anything.

This is just one group of Kreepy Karolers. There are others.

Now, let’s move on to the tree, which is really sort of a Cheer antenna. I used my parents’ camera to take some of these next photos, and accidentally downloaded 848 pictures from their trip to Egypt. So since I have them, here is a photo of my mother on a camel. It's kind of like one of those live Nativity scenes!

Watch out. They spit.

In case you didn’t think I was telling the truth before . . . here are the boxes of tinsel my mother had ready and waiting on my arrival. There are TWELVE of them. That is for ONE TREE.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my mother gave to me, twelve boxes of tinsel, eleven Kreepy Karolers, ten Village houses, nine rabid squirrels . . .

Not enough Cheer yet? Let’s keep going! Let’s go to the front room. Here are some of our nutcrackers.

We have others . . . obviously. I mean, this is hardly enough.

I used to get so excited when the nutcrackers came out. I used to use them to make my own version of this board game called “I Vant to Bite Your Finger.” A more CHEERFUL version, where there was no board, and occasionally, I would bite you with a nutcracker. And by you, I mean me, because I am an only child, and these are the kinds of things only children do. We make friends with boxes and old bits of string, we make games with nutcrackers, and we like it!

Speaking of being an only child . . . look! Christmas stockings! Can you guess which one is mine? Can you?

If you look VERY CAREFULLY you may be able to figure out which one belongs to me!

But Cheer is not limited to the inside of the house. Oh no! Nor is it even limited to OUR house!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this or not, but our next door neighbor—who has lived next to us as long as there has been a me—paved over a lot of his yard about ten years ago and installed 150 cement angels and a ten foot high cross. He constantly rearranges these things. It looks like he has taken down the ten foot high cross (which he used to shine a blue spotlight on—it would cast a huge, cross-shaped shadow that stretched all the way out to the creek that runs behind our houses). There is a smaller one now.

Here is a little peek at what we can see from the window:

There used to be an angel that hung from a bungee cord out of a tree. That was my favorite. But the tree has been taken down to make way for more angels. If it had been there, I could have sung:

Angels we have heard on high
Bungee jumping out of trees
And the cross lights up the sky
I am al-ler-gic to bees

Fa la la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la


If you have come here via Brotherhood2.0 and are waiting for today’s scavenger hunt clue . . . here it is! I have just returned from hiding it. American History Nerdfighters . . . this one is for you.

After I hid the clue, I turned and took this picture—if you can get to where I was standing, you will get today’s clue!

* This Village plays a huge role in my story in “Let in Snow,” the three-story collection I am writing with John Green and Lauren Myracle. If you read it, feel free to come back and look at these pictures to get a visual!

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Blogger Reese said...

I'm typing this from an iphone. AN IPHONE!!!!!!

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my Suite Scarlett card - very CHEERful!! :) Thank you!

My very favorite CHEERful activity this time of year is making paper snowflakes. Not only is it pretty, but the tiny little pieces of left over cut-out paper look like snow. Which is nice, because I live in SC and there's never any snow. No snow makes it harder to be CHEERful, but we persevere and manage anyway.

Also, my managers let me have Christmas Eve off!! What could be more CHEER-inducing than that??!

Have an absolutely wonderous and fun Christmas!

:) from Melissa the Barnes&Noble BookWench

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made me laugh today. Hysterically, in fact. I love your Christmas cheer, Maureen; my house is unfortunately rather less cheerful than yours. However, our artificial pre-lit Christmas tree does rotate on its own, which is rather cheerful. But then the dog thinks of it as a moving buffet, and eats the ornaments off of it.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if you look VERY CAREFULLY you may be able to find which one belongs to me..."
made my day, Maureen

in other news...we have a village too!
it can sometimes be scary...but what creeps me out more is that the people DO NOT MATCH THE SIZES OF THE BUILDINGS. seriously. the little ceramic people are like 2 inches high, whearas the doors for all the churches and miniature bookstores are like half and inch high. the people cannot fit into their houses! Why is this, all-knowing Maureen?


12:00 AM  
Blogger Larisa said...

I would appreciate a Suite Scarlett book because I have never actually read any of your books! I was introduced to you through the Nerdfighter Project, and figured if your books where anywhere as entertaining as your blog you would become one of my favorite writers. But while I wait for my reserved Key To The Golden Firebird to come into my local library, I would love to read Suite Scarlett!

Even if I don't win, thanks for going through so much trouble to increase our dwindling holiday cheer!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Madison said...

I immensely enjoyed The Bermudez Triangle and, if Suite Scarlett is as wonderful, I would love to read it.



I love kitties.


12:06 AM  
Blogger WannabeWriter said...

Hilarious entry, of course.

Oooh, more winning!! Sign me up, please!! Suite Scarlett sounds great.

And, by the way, I know I'm waaaaay too ambitious, but I can't wait for Let It Snow to come out.

<3 Paige

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kreepy Karolers scare me too... eeps. My favourite Christmas decoration of ours has to be the gold angel I made back in - oooh figure about fourth grade? It's part chicken wire, part aluminum foil, and the hair is falling out (making it look rather crazed) but my Dad still insists on putting it on the tree. Every. Year. :) Merry Chrimboli everyone.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaaaand of course I forgot to include my name. :S It's just one of those days, I guess.

Morgan :P

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much CHEER™ to you, Maureen!

I completely hear you on the Kreepy Karolers. My mother has a set and I never turn my back on them. Constant Vigilance!

I do, however, feel considerably more Christmassy than the Average Person: I'm going to be singing at 11.30 tonight in a tiny church eight miles from the village Susan Cooper used as inspiration for Trewissick in The Dark Is Rising sequence. (Should that be "the The Dark Is Rising? Perhaps too clunky. Oh, articles.) It is so cold in the church that you can see your breath in front of you. England, you're very odd sometimes.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Breanna said...

"You don't know me, anonymity insists. Now what?" -Leigh Gilmore

I read this quote in a book I had to read for school, and I actually quite liked it. I suppose this would be very true if I left a witty but anonymous post, and then I wouldn't be able to at all recieve a Suite Scarlett advance copy! So I will leave my name (Breanna) attached to the post, I suppose.

Maureen, I wish you the very best and all that is festive this Christmas, you have made my holiday preparations a lot more cheerful with your lovely posts. I look forward to your blogs every day, and I rejoyce merrily when you have updated you posts!

Merry Christmas to all the other readers as well!

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Ris said...

Thanks for the Cheer-inducing pictures, Maureen! C. Catso looks very handsome in his Santa hat.

My town is looking rather Cheer-less this year because of the recent ice storm. Many people did not put up Christmas lights because of it, and you can't even see the houses that DO have lights because of the enormous piles of tree limbs in everyone's front lawns.

But that's okay, because it's Christmas Eve, it's supposed to snow tomorrow, I've already finished all of my shopping (which I usually put off until today), and I've just made lots of fudge and cookies! ^o^

Merry Christmas and happy Festivus everyone!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Happy Holidays, Maureen!!! I know my cat would definitely flip out if I ever tried to put anything at all on her head, so kudos to C. Catso for being such a good sport! And your neighbor's yard looks insane. Oh man.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Allie Beckaliciousness =) said...

have the best xmas ever!!!
(i really want that book, so don't take me out of the contest!!!!!!!!)

<3 happy holidays/much cheer!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Your mother's cheer clearly knows no bounds :-)

I love advance copies of books. My wonderful librarian wife brings me lots of them. So I would love to get and advance copy of Suite Scarlett. So here is my comment. Merry Christmas!

1:09 AM  
Anonymous PhantomsAngelS2 said...

Dickens Christmas village! Love it! Haha, my best friend has one of those too. Her mom receives a new little house nearly every year, so their entire living room corner is like the New York City of Christmas villages :D

1:14 AM  
Anonymous :::Bella::: said...

Hilarious, of course!!!

I LOVE your books, and REALLY want to win Suite Scarlett!
With a cherry on top?
--Bella K.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

You make days all the brighter Maureen. Seriously.
Way to make this depressed girl smile. :)
Merry Christmas.
- Heather.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

I'm exited because I know that I'm getting one of your books for Christmas!
Plus my Cheer level is high because the Happy Dance Project is finally completed and that is about the best present ever!
Sad to see you weren't in it, but I know how busy you've been :)

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got the card from you. Thanks!

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

I am getting married on the 1st of February so this is my last christmas with just my parents and siblings. Our christmas so far, however, has been kind of woeful. The presents I gave my family were the only ones under the tree.

To add to this sad fact, I live in Australia and Christmas to me means HEAT and SUN and BARBEQUES and BEACH but it is unusually cold and rainy.

I will maintain cheer by thinking that next year I shall be hosting Christmas for both sides of the family and it shall be a wonderful, enormous affair with lots of cake.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Alysson said...

This contest just makes me happier than Cherry flavoured Jello! or Kangaroos on steroids!


2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your picture from "White Christmas" the other day made me want to ask what your favorite Christmas movie is. So, what is it? And since we're on the subject of "White Christmas", what's your favorite song from the movie?

3:03 AM  
Anonymous laurenzo said...

Bah, humbug. I had just typed a perfectly random comment about men in powdered wigs and books about French people sitting around and complaining, and lost it. I've looked everywhere, but it simply does not want to be found. Ah, well.

Merry Christmas anyway! :] My grandmother has Kreepy Karolers like that, only they are much smaller.

3:06 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

Hello to your fangtastic feline lawyer. I have a picture of me and my Siamese cat dressed in matching Rainbow Brite nightgowns in 1985. Oh, yeah. She loved that.

Happy holidays!

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Marie C. said...

Since I'm not sure what to write, I will give you a vocab word:

n. A pretentious attitude of scholarship; superficial knowledgeability.

-The American Heritage Dictionary

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Shona said...

Merry Xmas! Many thanks for all the cheer!

3:53 AM  
Anonymous SabeLady3 said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS Maureen! I hope JK leaves you alone soon... She seems to have an attraction towards you... I Have lots of food at my house, maybe she'll come bother me instead... lol. Hope all is well for the coming new year! Much Love!

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Katie K. said...

Merry Christmas, Maureen! That really is a crazy amount of tinsel!!

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Naru said...

Chocolate cake is yummy but vanilla spongecake is much better.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Book Chic said...

I received the Suite Scarlett card just the other day! I was feeling down and low, bringing in the groceries and everything, when suddenly I spotted a letter FOR ME!

I immediately opened it after setting the grocery bags down, and was instantly ignited with the sense of immense CHEER as I pulled the card from the envelope.

I have been extremely CHEERy ever since. Thank you for your spread of CHEER, Maureen!

Now let's spread more CHEER my way with an ARC of Suite Scarlett. ;) hehe!

Happy holidays, Maureen!

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my Suite Scarlett card today! I opened it, danced around the house, and showed it to my mother. Who asked who you were. And why you were sending me a card. But I was very happy indeed!!!

- Elaine

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom has a St. Nicholas Square village and every year we keep giving her more and more buildings and people and random pieces to go with it. This year we got her a cool skating pond on which the little people actually move!!!

-Stephanie M.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Alyssa A said...

"Basically, when the first little flowers pop their fool heads out of the ground, Scarlett will appear."
The first little flowers appear in March here, if not February. Does that mean I'll get Scarlett earlier than May?!
-Alyssa A.

5:55 AM  
Blogger dodo said...

Please count me in for the contest :)

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Bobina said...

I just got my Suite Scarlett cheer card today. Thank you very much!

i showed my friends it and they are slightly depressed because they didn't know about it, but i told them that if i win the advanced copy of Suite Scarlett i would share it with them :)

Anyways, thanks for the holiday CHEER!
Have a very merry christmas!!


6:02 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

i wonder what it is about mothers and collecting things. my mom is very similar to yours.. and i'm sure many other moms.

she collects a winter/christams village too. although, not the dickens village. i'm not sure what kind it is.
she also collects santas. she has so many that we only put out a few now, although she used to put them ALL out and leave them out all year long. it was kind of funny.

she collects noah's ark things too. but not just any noah's ark, a specific one. she has the three story ark with the MILLIONS of animals that go with it. its on top of our entertainment center. its a little excessive if you ask me.

so i guess its a mom thing.

i would love to win an advance copy of suite scarlett! enter me!


6:37 AM  
Anonymous Danica said...

What do you do when your friends don't accept your cheer? Friday night I was at a Christmas party and I pulled out a "God bless us, everyone" (it seemed appropriate)...and my friends just raised their eyebrows at me. THEY WOULDN'T ACCEPT MY CHEER! I was baffled. Who doesn't like cheer? MJ, what should I do in these situations?

Also, I never win ANYTHING, so if I won this it would TOTALLY make my Christmas.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous bibliocat said...

I would LOVE an advance copy of Suite Scarlett! Your cheerful card is sitting on my desk at work and I am just really excited to find out what this book is about. I will for sure read it even if I don't get a copy in advance!

Happy Holidays!
Beth G

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be very nice to recieve a copy of Suite Scarlett, because this Christmas I need more cheer than ever. My parents seperated at the beginnning of the year, and now instead of spending Christmas as a family like we have forever, I am going to be spending time with my mom and her new boyfriend and my dad and his new fiancee. Did I mention they've only been sperated since JANUARY? Sheesh they've moved on fast, but I have not. Merry Christmas! From, Keisha

7:33 AM  
Blogger gena said...

I would love a Suite Scarlett.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Your house is much more cheerful than mine is! But mine is pretty, too. And it's all about the cheer coming from the people inside as well, right?

8:31 AM  
Blogger Rachel S. said...

Merry Christmas! Your post did indeed increase the amount of cheer in the world. Or at least my world.

- Rachel S.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Alysa said...

Ooh! I want a Suite Scarlett! And a merry, cheery christmas to you Maureen!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Jacob said...

hey, did this work? last time I commented, I don't know if it did.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Laura B said...

I am full of cheer tonight and I just realized it's 12:01! Officially Christmas!

Anyway, my brother is home for Christmas! He lives in New York and I got to go with my mom to pick him up so I was down in your end of town this past weekend. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the East Village (that is nowhere near where my brother lives) to find out about Jorge Rodriguez; the closest we got was Chelsea. (To jk, I really want to know what the post office had to say about what it really meant. Can you tell us?)

My house is not quite as cheery as yours but we do have our traditions and everything is decked out in fake fruit and ribbons in an attempt to look Victorian because my house is Victorian. It actually kind of worked. It was especially cheery tonight though because we had the family Christmas party at my house. We ate too much food and looked at old family photos from the '80s. I have never seen so many afros in my life.

Is it still ask mj month? Because I have a few more questions.

First, I'm going to Belgium in April and my mom said she would buy me new luggage to take. Since you are a purveyor of travel tips, what's the best kind? Ones with wheels? Ones that are neon pink? Ones that sparkle like Edward Cullen in the forest?

Second, I have what you could call my own little versions of Free Monkey and the Wee Free Monkeys (that sounds like an awesome band name) called Lion Stanley, Sue the Lazy Eyed Elephant, and P-Nat. I take them with me when I travel and take pictures of them at landmark sites and I've always wanted to send them on a world tour. There are a lot of places I want to go and some I may not get to for a long time or may not get to at all so I want to live vicariously through my stuffed animals. If I did, would you let them stay at your house to see a real author at work? Lion Stanley is in fact originally from New York (Columbia University, to be exact). I wanted to host Free Monkey when he was doing his touring thing but I was out of town at the time. If he ever does travel again, I love to have him. I live in a pretty famous place that he might like to visit.

Your blog entries and giveaways always bring me great cheer so thanks! And just so you know, my name is Laura and I really want Suite Scarlett.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Thanks for that cheer-inducing blog MJ! My mom has a similiar version of the Kreepy Karolers, only hers is a slightly-lopsided collection of Santa Clauses who all lean to the left in a mid-jolly jig stance.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous SLI said...

:) Made my Christmas a little happier. (All right, I don't celebrate it, but meh.)

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can very much relate to your plight as an only child. Not only am I a one and only, I'm also my parents' "miracle child". I'll leave my childhood to your imagination. But one day in elementary school I came home to find one of our stockings with "Caitlyn" written on it in gold glitter. It hangs to this day-looking pretty raggedy, might I add.
And sad about your mother's Dickens Village. It reminds me of my friend's grandmother's village. The boxes took up half the living room when she was moving. And that's when only half of them had been moved.
And, as I stated in the stocking anecdote, my name is Caitlyn and I would really like Suite Scarlett!

9:29 AM  
Anonymous ames said...

Thanks to the Doctor Who episode called "Blink", that picture with the angels freaking terrified me.

(I am sure anyone else who has seen it would agree.)

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Kayli said...

So today my brother and I were discussing ridiculous rich people, and I said, "You know, J.K. Rowling owns a dolphin." And then I couldn't remember if that was true or if it was something from your conversations with J.K. (not to imply that those are in any way anything other than the truest truth.)

I am so excited by this spreading of cheer means more opportunities to win Suite Scarlett! Thank you!

9:43 AM  
Blogger TB's rose said...

I am unfairly intimidated by your mom's tinsel... We haven't done tinsel in years after a frantic trip to the vet with a sweet kitty who had more fluff than sense ate a bunch of it. I'm glad to see that C Catso has a bit more sense! I'm celebratin Christmas in my usual fashion, which means sometime in the week before I get something icky and we hope and pray that I'm uncontagious in time for the holiday. This year the disease du jour is strep throat! Normally I go for a cold or an ear infection but I decided to really do it up in style!

Happy Christmas everyone!

9:54 AM  
Blogger kteachone said...

thank you for the card, maureen! merry christmas!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Maureen,

Ok, first of all I love your Christmas CHEER decorations. Your house is a whole lot more cheerful than ours, though we are one of the few people who still buys a real tree, which my dad insists on throwing in the pool before we can put it up, because it will absorb more mosture and stay fresher longer. (Or at least that's his reasoning) It's great watching him attempt to dish it out of the pool afterwards, especially since we get really large 7 ft. trees. When he tries to dish it out of the middle where it has floated we always have to watch and laugh. We used to put tons of tinsel on our trees, but our cats started trying to eat it, so we don't put it up anymore. It's kind of sad, but we really don't have room for tinsel anymore, because we have like a million ornaments dating back to my parents childhood. Most are falling apart, and our six cats insist on knocking at least ten of them down each night.

I also have a none cheer related question: I have a friend who is moving away at the beginning of January, and I'm having a going away sleepover for her. Do you have any good sleepover activities, and any good ideas for going away gifts?

Well, I guess that's it.

Merry Christmas everyone!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

The neighbor's house shocked me for a second...until I heard about the bungee cord. Then things became hilarious. :)

My lucky bear helped me on finals; let's see if he can help me with this comment!

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Katherine G. said...


I have read several of your books and enjoyed them very much, and would be delighted to receive an advance copy of your Scarlett book. It sounds like so much fun! Much like your blog, which brings joy to this aspiring novelist.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous JK said...

WOW another chance I think I'm going burst with excitement. let me start off by saying that as I sit here and write this is it is in fact Christmas Day. So Happy Holidays everyone even if you don't celebrate Christmas. Maureen in a sort of appreciation for all of the blogging that you do i am going to write a sort of mini blog about my flight getting to where i am now. (in hopes that it is slightly funny as your blog always is. and to increase cheer levels for everyone else who didn't have to go through this.)
Ok so it's Friday Morning and I get up at about eight. it is the day that my mother and I are scheduled to fly up to stay with Family and our flight was at six. But in an attempt to be clever my mother and i decided to leave early and get on the 12 o-clock flight. so we got to the airport and got seats on the flight. Went through security and got the gate which was of course the farthest from just about everything. we sat down around eleven forty five and sat there for two more hours while they "looked at a valve" on the plane or something like that. Only to find out that the flight was now canceled. so the entire plane had to go back out to the ticket counter and get "Alternate Transportation". We get in line and wait for about ten minutes until they announce that we have to go downstairs and get our checked luggage. Of course mother not wanting to lose her place in line sends me down. i wait for twenty minutes finally the thing starts moving i pull all the bags off as it comes around and suddenly I'm stuck with three HUGE bags to lug up the escalator. I'm happy to say that i got them to the check out counter and mom got us booked on a flight later that night. (it was at 8 notice that if we hadn't tried to be early we would have gotten on the 6). So we waited for four hours until finally getting on the plane. The End
so hope you enjoyed reading about our little excursion.
Happy Holidays!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Rik said...

Merry Christmas Maureen! Thanks for my holiday card. I was so excited to come home and see that I got a card that was hand addressed WITH green glitter pen. Yay!


4:29 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...


5:49 PM  
Blogger The Bibliophile said...

The one time I rode a camel I was bitten by the one in the caravan behind me. It left a camel-teeth-shaped bruise on my thigh!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Kiersten said...

I am very full of cheer right now. I have just gotten back from church and opened my presents. I got a HELLO KITTY WAFFLE IRON!!! Waffles? Hello Kitty? Can you say MADE OF AWESOME?!?! (The waffles even look like mini hello kitties and her friend people things) lol. I hope everyone is having a good holiday.

6:18 PM  
Blogger NannaBee said...

merry christmas! Thanks for sharing the pics..beautiful...

betty r.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

My aunt just recently died of cancer and she was always our source of Christmas Cheer. In spite of everything we got together at her house (now just my uncle's) and started decorating. Her entire attic is filled with Christmas decorations so you can imagine how very Cheery it was. In fact, she has a santa claus with a dog head. A shrunken dog head. It is quite creepy but she loved it so we put it up anyway. She also had a Dickens village so of course we had to put that up. The only problem was we had no idea where to put each little house. My job was always to throw the snow so I was absolutely no help. In the end the Dickens Village was assembled, the creepy santa-with-shrunken-dog-head was out and the rest of the house was filled with other Cheer-makers (not to mention a fluffy white Christmas tree covered in sparkles which looked like it was made out of used tissues. I spent a better portion of Christmas Eve daring my brother to touch it and see if they really were used tissues. Sadly, he had to be a spoil sport and not participate in my idea of a Christmas game, so we shall never know...)

Wishing you a Merry, Cheery, Sugar filled Christmas!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...


9:44 PM  
Anonymous Faith said...

So gues whatt?

Apparently, C. Catso Fangola


How cool is that?

10:02 PM  
Anonymous bcanyon said...

Merry Christmas!

10:08 PM  
Anonymous JessicaLynn said...

Merry Christmas everyone! I just got my holiday card, Thanks Maureen and tell Scarlett thanks for signing too :). ~Jess

10:14 PM  
Blogger Reese said...

Yay! Thanks for the card! And thank Scarlet too!

11:51 PM  
Anonymous jas said...

Whoa. You've gotten a lot of comments since you posted this. Makes me think my chances of getting anying aren't so hot
Ah well; c'est la vie. Such is life. The post was a beauty, though.

12:41 AM  
Blogger kitty said...

Merry Christmas! Enter me please!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hiiii. i would love a copy of your book, wouldn't it be awesome i was one of the only two to own it?!! it would incredible. i've never really won anything, like ever. but i guess i can't top iphone girl. anyway i hope you're having a very happy christmas!! :]

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Katherine C said...

I was wondering what your views on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy were. I read and enjoyed them several years ago, and am looking forward to seeing the movie. However, last night when my mom and I mentioned the movie to my sister and her 2 kids we were met by a chorus of "THOSE BOOKS ARE ANTI-GOD!" and "those books tell you how to kill God". Apparently they've been getting literature on this from churches in their area. I think this is silly, seeing as neither they nor many of the people at the churches have actually read these books. To me, the religion of the author shouldn't impact whether or not you read their books. Saying these books tell you how to kill God is like saying Harry Potter teaches magic. I've tried Lumos! and it has never worked for me, and as far as I know you can't 'kill' God. This is a great pet peeve of mine, so my irritation plus the wine my grandparents keep giving me (I dont know why...I'm underage) led me to a slightly heated outburst toward my sister, complete with eye rolling and exclamations of "it's a FANTASY STORY". Needless to say, this did not go over well...

Anyway, what is your standpoint on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials books? Dangerous atheist God-killing manual, or children's fantasy tale?

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Marlena said...

I got a laptop for Christmas!

*does Happy Dance*

ahem, so more copies of Suite Scarlet, eh? Niiiice. Especially since I spent a while cooking up my story of Jorge Rodriguez. Hope I win this time!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Hannah Rose said...

Hey Maureen. MERRY CHRISTMAS! My mum is being silly and rapping on the walls with her knuckles and saying "Listen Hannah! I hear reindeer!" Which is cute, but I *AM* 19 going on 20 afterall. So most of all it's loud. She has quite the knuckle rapping habit.

Anyway, I would LOVE to win a copy of Suite Scarlette, it sounds like another Maureen extrodinaire. I have NEVER been to a big city, well, except to go to the hospital once in Chicago, but I only could see the tiny top of the Sears tower through my window. Anyway, I think living in a hotel would be kinda cool. But I don't travel much.

Anyway, I love your books and I hope that I get to read it before all those months go by! Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you had a GREAT one. I bought a copy of Devilish for a friend of mine, she called me yesterday and said she already finished it and LOVED it and wanted to know if you had written other books. I think I got you a new fan!

I have a question, right? Ask Maureen doesn't end till the first? So here's my question:

So I'm an aspiring writer. If I ever got published and somehow managed to get out to New York, do you think I could hang out with all you folk, like Scott, John Green, e. Lockhart, and the gang? (Not to mention the ever hungry JK and the Free Monkey gang!) Is there ever such a chance, do you think?

Merry Christmas again!


Hannah-- She who REALLY wants a copy of Suite Scarlette.

2:27 AM  
Blogger tigress said...

I feel that I am perfect to recieve this second book.

Why you ask?

Because I was born on Dec 26th at 3:42 pm!

This would be the best b-day gift EvAr!

My mom got me another sewing machine this year, I dunno why I need 2, I think she wants me to open a sweat shop...

I would love to own one of your treasures. I finished all of your published novels in two days because they were so good I could not put them down!

-tasha kitty

2:31 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Are we allowed to comment twice? Or do we get disqualified? Because if we do, THIS DOESN'T COUNT!!! I'M SORRY!!

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Book Chic said...

"I opened it, danced around the house, and showed it to my mother. Who asked who you were. And why you were sending me a card."

Elaine- My mom did the exact same thing. lol

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would LOVE a copy of Suite Scarlett. LOVE. ONE.
But knowing my luck, I won't get it. Oh well, I'll wait until May if that's the case. (But I'm still crossing my fingers, just in case I'm a lucky person today)


3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why, thank you for answering my quesiton on Suite Scralett. And, nonetheless, extremely CHEERful after reading your post. You should really go into a full-blown CHEER business of some sort. Which one,i have yet to figure out, but i shall inform you when i think of one-if i do.

my mother had those Kreepy Karolers. I never really liked them to be honest, their faces always being stuck in that shape was, well, creepy. although i DO like the pretty old-fashioned dresses.

wow, your neighbor has an awfully big backyard for a NYC house. i dont think i've ever seen one that big.

i htink your stocking might be the third from left? am i right?

well, hope your Christmas was great and that the elves kept you company!! i can't believe how much i wrote.


my quesiton: what is your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Maureen. My family is far away and all my friends are back home. It's my first Christmas ever away from them and it's been really hard. Your post made me smile and put some holiday cheer in my day. Merry Christmas!

Jessica Barber

5:35 AM  
Anonymous JB said...

christmas cheer, christmas cheer

5:48 AM  
Blogger Flinn said...

You know, I think a copy of the book would instill just the right amount of Christmas Cheer in me.


5:51 AM  
Anonymous Raelyn said...

*Wee!* It's Christmas! Merry Christmas from Bow Island! :)

5:54 AM  
Anonymous emily said...

omg!!!!!!!!!! i need need need need NEED a copy of suite scarlett!!!! i cannot wait till may at all!!!

and also, it's christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * yay* i was watching elf, and it sooooo made me CHEERY! yay yay yay yay yay! merry christmas to you, o master of all cheer!!!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I WANT SUITE SCARLETT! Pick me, pick me!!!! :D

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

So...I love your books...and um...Suite Scarlett sounds good...so... you know you secretly want to send me a copy.

Please forgive the lack of witty comments. Spending some quality family time on Christmas does take a toll on my ability to be entertaining.That or lack of sleep...


6:07 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah Ruth, the fully cheerful on this Merry Christmas morning said...

A very merry/happy/jovial/cheer-filled/book-wonderfull/fully suite Christmas to you, Miss Maureen!
Huzzah for Christmas and pictures and gifts and way too much decoration every which where!
And free giveaways (ooh! ooh! pick me!)

6:27 AM  
Blogger The Perilous T said...

I just wanted to say thanks for the holiday card (I plan on framing it, by the way, and sticking it on the wall along with all my other book-related memorabilia), and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I received 13 Little Blue Envelopes for Christmas today, and let me say, I LOVED IT! I tuned out my family for a few hours and read it. :D I also got Girl at Sea and The Bermudez Triangle, plus a dizzying array of other books. I know what I'm going to be doing for the rest of winter break! :P

And it just so happens that I LOVE free giveaways, so I wouldn't really mind getting a copy of Suite Scarlett. Especially since Scarlett has been staring me down from the bookshelf where my holiday card is sitting, making me crazy because I want to know her story. But that doesn't really matter, since I'm pretty close to crazy already. *maniacal laughter*


6:56 AM  
Anonymous xo-amoonzi-xo said...

I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!! and ELVES! and of course all of your books!! and chocolate (chocolate includes chocolate bunnies, eggs, bars, icecream, chocolate shaped vegetables and many more) HAPPY HOLIDAYS xoxo- aMOONzi

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Dory said...

Happy, joyous, jolly Christmas to you Maureen! I found myself quite interested in all those decoration pictures you posted. The Kreepy Karolers definitely decreased my cheer level. They are very scary. (If only I had a copy of Suite Scarlett- thought I'd sneak that contest part in for you) And the Dickens village is quite awesome, although it does remind me of school. We just read A Christmas Carol in class. And, C. Casto is awesome, even though he is not a decoration. I wonder what it would look like if you stuck him in between the Kreepy Karolers in place of the raccoon.(?) Maybe their creepiness levels would decrease. and if their creepiness decreased, maybe my cheer level wouldn't decrease.

8:31 AM  
Blogger travisd2 said...

I was just wondering if anyone uses tinsel on their trees anymore. I haven't seen it on a tree in years. Oddly I miss it.

I hope you have had a very merry...


(Suite Scarlett contest entry as well)

8:59 AM  
Anonymous danielle said...

Hey Maureen, merry Christmas! I loved this blog entry. It made me laugh at points, and then cough. (I don't recommend reading funny blogs when you're sick, like me. Laughing results in a coughing fit. I just had to be sick on Christmas. Not very cheery.) But what was cheery was the fact that I got a copy of Girl at Sea today, completing my collection of Maureen Johnson books! Now all I need is Suite Scarlett. (*wink*)

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Merry Christmas, Maureen!! I hope you've had a wonderful day!!

YAY for Suite Scarlett!

9:22 AM  
Blogger Katayoun said...

i got my card!!!! (ok the !!!! are because i'm in tehran :) and so well one is not always sure if everything gets from there to here :)) it's perfect and thanks so much. also do you have a snail (mail?) address that i can send a card right back at you?

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...

This is Stephanie!!! Now stay calm and put your hands up. And hand me that book with the second set of arms your hiding under your shirt.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous JK said...

Maureen is JK enough of a name? Ok well if not my name is julia ok wow sorry my other comment is way up there.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Tobias said...

I almost forgot to reply!

One question (still in the spirit of the Ask-MJ-month): what are your new year's resolutions?

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recieved a card from you in the mail on Saturday and I wanted to thank you for sending it. My husband sent you the email requesting it because I always call you "my friend Maureen Johnson" when talking about what you have most recently mentioned in your blog. He laughs at me because he doesn't think that we're as close friends as we are. (He doesn't realize that we have a long history together doing the same things in different locations without ever having met.) Anyway, thank you also for posting the picture of the camel. My college mascot was a camel, so as usual, your blog strikes a familiar chord with me. You never disappoint! Take care and have a great New Year!
- Amy Bean
PS - I'll be in NYC for a new years party - want to come?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Katie... said...

hmmm....there were many things I wish to put in this comment. but i'll keep it brief.
first, because your letter was adressed to me, i opened it. which made me sad, because it was supposed to be a suprise for christmas morning, and very unCHEERful...but i'm sure a copy of suite scarlett would make me very happy and very full of CHEER once again
secondly, do you have any ideas how to convince my parents to let me go on a high-school trip to cambodia and/or raise the 7 thousand something dollars I need???? please help

sadly missing enough CHEER,

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Spreading of cheer? (Did I spell spreading right or does it have 2 ee's? Spreeding? Maybe not, that doesn't look right.) I'm VERY full of cheer. I get to go to a bookstore to spend the giftards I got for Christmas and my birthday, and guess what books I'm getting?
-The Key To The Golden Firebird
-Princess Diaries 9 (Which I am well aware is not actually by you, but Meg's books spread cheer just as much as your's do.)
So I'm full of cheer on this lovely December morning (actually it's raining buckets here, but nobody notices because we are all so full of cheer!) and I hope everyone who reads your blog is full of cheer, and if they're not, they should be. Because your blog is so...full of cheer! (I lost my thesaurus, okay?)
I hope I spread enough cheer (I have seriously got to find that thesaurus. If I have to type the c-word one more time..)around here! I wish every body the Merriest Christmas, Happiest Holidays, and Greatest New Year you've ever experienced!

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Katie H. said...

I forgot to tell you, just for future references, I am a different Katie from the one posting above me whose asking about raising 7 thousand dollars. (Poor you. You could use some cheer!) I am the Katie who told you about all of the fantabulous books I get to buy today. I put an H after my name so I won't seem like a wacko who posts three times in a row. I'll seem like a wacko who posts two times in a row. Ha ha.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous lily said...

Hi Maureen! Merry day after Christmas! I received my Scarlett card in the mail yesterday. It is awesome. It is sitting on my dresser where it will not be damaged. Scarlett taunts me now though. She says, 'You won't get to read me until May. That's more than 5 months from now. You should try to win a advanced copy from Maureen. Then I will stop talking. NA NA NA NA NA!' Does she always do this? Why does she taunt me so? And why does she have bags under her eyes? Or is it just purple makeup? If they are bags, why is she tired? Does she get enough sleep?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous xxHannaxx said...

O nooo i think i'm too late for the competition...which is a really big shame because i just spent my quartly book allowance on school books and not fun german books either- really really long books about the history of art by Grombrich- i bet he never had cheer!
o well, back to sad looking toddlers in nappies....

Seasonal Greetings!

xx Hanna xx

9:07 PM  
Anonymous xxHannaxx said...

O its Gombrich

9:08 PM  
Blogger Bria said...

how do you get rid of JK? One word Afghanistan. I think you know what i mean

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I really want to read "Suitte Scarlett" because I think living in a hotel (even if it is "rundown") is kind of cool. I like those kind of dilapidated but very charming housings. I also love New York City and "The Theatre." In fact, when I graduate I want to go to a college in NYC to be able to be an actress. If I had my pick of college, I would choose NYU or Vassar, but who knows where fate will take me! So, I'm looking forward to reading "Suitte Scarlett" and getting to know the colorful acting characters that I love so much!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had to tell you Merry (belated) Christmas! Unfortunately, I could not tell you on time because at home my internet connection is about as fast as a snail sleepwalking, but Merry Christmas anyway!
Nikki R.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hellow! Phew! Just in time! Hope I'm not too late.

Sadly, I have lost track of the Scavenger Hunt. It is too complicated and with all this Christmas Cheer I haven't had time to do so. Maybe I should go catch up.

Yeah, I'll go do that.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

D'you know what I was yesterday?
I'm sick today, too. It's pretty crap.
Which is such a gross way of describing it, right, I know, but completely and totally true in the truest sense, so I will not take it back.

On a happier subject, while the Sickness was overcoming me I also watched Eastern Promises yesterday.
Have you seen Eastern Promises yet?
IF NOT, well.
Well. You should.
Because it has Viggo Mortensen and he is NAKED and FIGHTING and TATTOOED and RUSSIAN.
And if you are not into that, well.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Jessica L. said...

This post comes in, let me think... three parts!

Part One: Both my friend and I got your cheer cards! Just in time for Christmas! They increased our cheer a significant amount, so thank you.

Part Two: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will have an almost-as-good New Year's (because the poor thing just really can't compete).


Jessica L.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I suppose it's too late to enter (2:03 PM the 26th *my time*) but I wanted to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and I can't wait to read Suite Scarlett!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Ally hehe birthdaygirl said...

I want to be the last comment instead of the first!
Oh and Happy Birthday to me!!! 15 whoo!

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oohh damn i missed the contest! i should have stopped in the midst of the Christmas Cheer sometime on monday or tuesday to stop by your blog. i was distracted by all the cheerful and spingi-ful christmas festivities. i hope you had a fabulous holiday!
and i hope there will be more chances to win copies of your books!

ps- spingi (in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't) is a sicilian desert that is heaven on earth, trust me. we sicilians love our junk food.

pps- i hope this didn't post twice b/c my internect sucks.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Jez said...

Happy Christmas Maureen! Thanks for filling my holiday season with such cheer! This is the best Christmas I've ever had: your cheer posts, my parents not fighting, & for once I was smart enough to realize the green & white m&ms were mint and I didn't eat them. This is good because I'm allergic to mint.

I've got a plan for you. Okay, buy JK some snacks, say they're for Christmas. Hide them somewhere far away from your house and send her on a Nerdfightery scavenger hunt. Draw it out with as many clues as you can and you won't see her for awhile!


6:51 AM  
Blogger Bugsy said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kreepy Karolers! My Grandmother has the same ones and as a child I would run and hide in fear whenever she brought them out. They are NOT cheer inducing.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

OMG...the neighbors house...OMG! That is unbelievable...crazy like that just makes my day! Seriously, have you ever asked, "why???" Toooo funny! Your Mom is one dedicated woman...all those decorations...makes my head spin...and then to have to put it all away too....UGH! Thanks for the mental and visual images Maureen!



8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contest is over now, right? It's safe to post? ... Cool! Congratulations on another successful and entertaining year. The effort you put into your creating and decorating your posts is appreciated.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous krazykatie said...

hey, um, if contest is still going on, just wanted to say that your books are really funny and great. I'd love to have a copy of suite scarlett because I love to read and you, as one of my favorite authors, inspire me to write stories, so thanx. :D
if contest is over, just wanted to say that wow, I've never seen so many comments in my life.......
*jaw dropping*
anyway, I hope you had a good holiday maureen. <3

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Halle said...

Yay! Suite Scarlett looks awesome. I haven't received the card, yet. But hopefully I will! I entered kinda late, but..hopefully I can get one!:)


11:54 PM  
Anonymous Sasha said...

You seem to have a very Cheery house!!! I would expect no less from the Cheer Queen herself.


12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment is probably too late for the contest because I was in a car all day, traveling and getting carsick. But, I am now finally home with internet access and duct tape. (And if I did get Suite Scarlett I would read it, give it to my sisters and then mail it to other people to spread the New Year cheer) From, Kenina-chan.

12:54 AM  

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