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the key to the golden firebird
vacations from hell
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008


As you may have noticed, service around here has been patchy at best for about a week or two. This is because I have bounced between New York, London, Italy, THE WEDDING OF DAPHNE UNFEASIBLE, and now I am in Texas for TLA. If YOU are at TLA, you can see me A LOT tomorrow. Your options:

8:30 AM: The Scholastic Literary Breakfast

11:30-12 noon: HarperCollins booth signing, #1800

The "Taste of TAYSHAS" Panel, room C155/156

4-5: Scholastic Booth Signing, #1320

YART Dinner

FIVE TIMES IN ONE DAY! Even I do not want to see myself that often. I will be reading from Scarlett and giving out some AWESOME SWAG.

I sat down to write a full post tonight, but I think I just poisoned myself on some bad pretzels. I quickly IMed John Green and asked him if bad pretzels could take you down, and he said yes. And John Green is practically a doctor.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that pretzels cannot poison you. That's what I thought too! And I am staying in a very nice hotel, where they don't give you poisoned pretzels. But these pretzels have made my mouth go a little numb and they taste faintly of paint, and you know . . . they have this theory that the girls who went crazy and started the Salem Witch Trials through their tales of possession may have been poisoned with ergot, found in tainted grain products.

I have no symptoms yet, aside from an unpleasant taste in my mouth, but the last thing I want to do is end up accusing you of witchcraft and getting you pressed to death under stones. So I will go to bed now, in the hopes that will ward off the worst of it . . . you almighty sinners.



I promise that NORMAL OPERATIONS are about to resume, pretty much after tomorrow . . . because I will be back in the New York Office, instead of going hither and thither like a hobo riding the rails.

I've just done a whole bunch of interviews, so I offer this one up as a placeholder post.

Also . . . I have decided that, to celebrate my return to my house and my desk (when I get there), I am doing another edition of ASK MJ. So if you leave questions, you may get my EXPERT OPINION. Stick them in the comments, right below this awesome picture of ABBA.

Take a chance on me, and leave your questions below.

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Anonymous Danica/Diamond D said...

Poor Giles Corey...

Which is harder, writing a first draft or editing?

Would you rather go to a restaurant or dine at home?

If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?

What book do you wish you wrote?

Have you ever disliked a librarian?

Have you seen the movie Once? Did you like it? What is your opinion of movie-musicals?

Would you ever write a book based on the movie Footloose? Are you looking forward to the remake (with Zac Efron)?

9:53 AM  
Blogger lightforms said...

lol get well soon from your potentially fatal pretzel.

What tastes worse than painted pretzels?

12:46 PM  
OpenID ohholyhorcrux said...

What are your feelings on hummus?

1:02 PM  
Blogger JessieGirl said...

would you please tell us another story from high school? I just haven't had enough nuns or knee socks in my life lately (in my head all catholic girls wear knee socks).

2:18 PM  
Blogger Candy Gourlay said...

i love that you say you're not going to write a full post and then go ahead and do it ... on your deathbed! that's commitment.

btw i might have seen you in bologna but i'm not sure. saw scott westerfeld lurking in a dark alley in front of a book shop with a bunch of women. i only realised later that one of them was holly black. the other woman in the shadows might have been you!

get well soon!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Crypt said...

I have a question:
What should I have for lunch? I don't have any bread, I do have burgers and fishfingers, but my grill doesn't work. I also have chocolate spread, mustard and eggs.
Give me your finest recipe!
Also, did you get the Benders?

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Why do I always do well on Pre-AP American History test where the multiple choice always have ABBA in them?
Wish me luck on the biology ECO's today.. ugh

4:50 PM  
Blogger Namlhots said...

Dipping the pretzels in mustard usually kills the fungus.

What is the difference between schwag and swag?

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a speech last year on the Salem Witch Trials, so I know all about that stuff. Scary.

On recent blog posts you have mentioned that you have wanted to be a dead body on CSI. Wouldn't you rather be a dead body on Pushing Daisies? (an amazing show, which is like Tim Burton and CSI in a blender). On Pushing Daisies, the dead body gets to sit up and talk, rather than just lie there. If you were a dead body, what would you say?

12:11 AM  
Anonymous gadget said...

I am going to London in June. What should I pack? What is a must see?

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Do you ever read your own books after they have been published?

If cows could fly, would you want one?

1:48 AM  
Anonymous blissfullydazed said...

Awesome interview! Loved your "getting into high school" story. I get scared inside Catholic churches too.


3:11 AM  
Anonymous Alysson said...

Here is my question.

So me and my boyfriend were debating the zombie apocalypse last night... and he maintained the only way to kill zombies was to bomb the stuffing out of them..
However, I pointed out that one could be more creative in zombie killing.. such as a more non-violent approach as Salt.. or wearing 8 inch heels and stepping on zombie head with them, thus remaining fabulous while killing the un-dead. He maintains that those are ridiculous ideas.. and that I will be one of the first ones to go in the apocalypse. He said he would try to save me.. but he makes no promises.

What is your opinion. Can one be more creative in when it comes to killing zombies.. or must only conventional weaponry be used?

3:43 AM  
OpenID kuki-skoldpadda said...

How have things been on the JKR front?... has she stolen any more of your food?... Are you thinking of trying the essence of paint pretzels to try and get her of your back?..

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Aella Siofra said...

Do you think Abba actually chose their own outfits? or were they merely the victims of a horrible conspiracy?

Are you a casual reader of bloggery?

Have you ever suffered at the hands of any other devious food product?

If you were placed in the Infinite Improbability Drive from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy do you believe you would come out as a levitating whale, a sofa, or a confused pot of flowers?


4:28 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

This is a very general question, but I was wondering who writes the blurbs for books?

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Bree said...

Hi MJ! Ok, I have a question... How do you keep people from think you are completly insane (Not that I think you are) Beacause, between my Alan Rickman/Snape and my James Norrington/Jack Davenport obsessions, and my running around with a big sign saying 'Free Alan Ricman' at lunchtime while I shout at everyone telling them to free Alna Rickman, people have started to ask me if I am on crack, or if I am insane. What should I do? Have a good day,


4:40 AM  
OpenID trudeau1031 said...

Really I was thinking how cool it is that you can just im John Green. I mean how awesome. I wish I could just im John.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, horrible stuff. The thought that people were CRUSHED TO DEATH makes me...get the hibbajeebies. Right?

Anyways my question is: Are you planning on writing the sequel to 13 little blue envelopes?

And another, just for fun...Would you ever try sky-diving? What do you think about that?

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, my question is:
Are you actually gonna answer ALL of these questions above?

5:36 AM  
Anonymous a person :) a happy person :) said...

Firstly whats a scarlett? really... &&
If I happen to accidentally accuse someone of witchcraft will they really be pressed to death under stones or will they be hanged? If so, then will I be accused of murder by the someones (the someone I accused of witchcraft)friend (who is another witch)? and then will all the witches in the world come up will a devious and evil plan to get rid of me?
(I would very much appreciate your answer)
Thanks frommmm...
a person :) a happy person :)

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're reading the Crucible in English class this week ( I'm Abby, i don't care that she is the bad girl, she fights for her man and that makes her cool in my book) so I got the whole pressed with stones thing.
Ally I always want to do that! If i don't know the answers on tests i want to write out ABBA or initals of people. Makes the tests more fun. And it works! I get good grades!
Jessiegirl, I go to Catholic school, most of us do wear knee socks, and we all hate. The only time any of us don't if when we wear stockings cause it is freezing out (and than we tend to put socks on over them).

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Also what would you say is your favorite ABBA song, at this moment at least? Cause I can never decide which one I like the best, and since you are an expert on all things ABBA I was hoping you might help me decide.

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY MJ QUESTION: i have this book from my friend called The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. I know how much of an activist you are against the zombie population, so i was wondering if you could check it out. my friend and i can't decide if the author is being serious or not.

PLUS SIDE: I GOT SUITE SCARLETT!!! and, omg, i love it so far! i think it's your best book, laong with The Key to the Golden Firebird.


2:38 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

What's your favorite sport to watch or play?

Where is your favorite place to write at?

What is your favorite TV show?

Who was your role model i high school?


4:02 AM  
Anonymous Hillary! said...

I have an MJ Question!
When did your fascination with zombies begin?

4:26 AM  
OpenID kelly-kathleen said...

Hi Maureen! I'm almost done with Suite Scarlett and I LOVE IT!! It's great! It's my favorite book of yours, and possibly one of my favorite books ever!!

Ask MJ question:
Which one of your books would you most like to become a movie?

7:18 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

I can see it now:


Spencer Martin as John Proctor
Abigail Breslin as Abigail
Alan Rickman as Giles Corey

.. .. .. or not.

3:50 AM  

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