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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BODY MOVING

Why do I do this? Every time? Whenever I leave New York (which, when I left, was beautiful, sunny, a stunning 77 degrees (that’s 25, if you’re feeling Celsius) with a warm, fragrant breeze) . . . why do I always think it will be the same when I get to London? Exactly how stupid am I?

(Don’t answer that.)

I don’t think I’ve ever landed in England and it hasn’t been wet and kind of grey. Granted, I tend to land at 6 in the morning, but still. At best, AT BEST, there is always just a bit of moisture in the air, like you are being spit upon from a great distance. At worst, you get a day like today, when it was just pouring so much that Heathrow was actually leaking and even the English though it looked “a bit damp.” (Note to Americans: when the English say things are “a bit damp” it really means you should probably be wearing a lifejacket.)

But I encountered this rain long before I ever hit the ground. I met it up above.

On my flight, we had a Scottish pilot who came on before we took off and said, “Ah . . . hullooo, ladies and gentlemen. Aye’ve got to tell ye that we’re harid from London that there’s quite a bit of a [something, something kind of wind] tonight and we’re probably going tae be in for a wee bit of turbulence and . . .”

He kept giving us these warnings all throughout the flight. Nothing really happened until we were well out over the Atlantic, and most people were trying to sleep. I was halfway through a murder mystery Justine had given me, and something very grisly and horrible was about to happen . . . well all of a sudden everything went DING, DING, DING and the cabin crew startled hustling down the aisles with flashlights hurriedly checking that we were belted in before the mad captain came on and was being all “flight crew please take yer seats at once,” and they started RUNNING because this means “GODZILLA HAS US! HE’S GOT US! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HE IS GOING TO SHAKE THIS PLANE UNTIL WE ARE ALL SMASHED TO SAUCY BITS LIKE WE ARE IN ONE OF THOSE JAMIE OLIVER SALAD DRESSING SHAKERS!”

Now, you might think, from the many, many fears and reservations (waterslides, small carnival rides, the ocean, shallow pools, high jumps) I have that turbulence would bother me. Quite the opposite! I love it! I believe in airline technology and staying in planes, and for some reason, I approve of them shaking and getting tossed around in the wind. This satisfies my sense of logic, and apparently I am okay with fluid dynamics as long as they don’t involve water or apathetic, slightly high people strapping you in, or gloopy things with stingers.

From the way the captain sounded, I knew I was in for something special. (Also, I tend to find when the Scottish sound worried, you are probably facing something worth worrying about. Like, if a Scottish person says, “Ye maight want to have a look at yer troooosers” it probably means your pants are either missing, or on fire, or not pants at all but just a bunch of tarantulas that have clustered on your legs in a pantslike formation.)

I put down the book I was reading and reached for my iPod so that I could enjoy the turbulence to some music. Good thing too, because about a minute after I tucked the book away the plane began shaking so hard that it would have thrown it clear out of my hand. I shoved the iPod into the side of the seat and the lovely music drowned out the screams of my fellow passengers. I didn’t have time to pick out the songs I wanted, so I ended up on shuffle. It was a lucky shuffle, though, and now I know some really excellent new songs to turbulate to.

Oh sure, people were crying and small children were barfing and things started to fall—but the plane was going in so many excellent directions that it all seemed worth it. You didn’t know what was coming next. Sideways, sudden drop, vertical shake, a dip in the front . . . it was absolutely top-notch. I had been awake all night, but by the time we started circling London, I gave in to the soothing vibrations and just gave in and got a half hour of excellent sleep.

I don't want to say it was EXACTLY like this on the plane, but it was KIND OF like this:



Oscar came to get me at Heathrow in The Very Small Car, and we drove down flooded roads to get back to the London Office. We passed a large county fair that was being held despite the weather, and I saw people in boots carrying massive umbrellas trudging toward a field to look at animals in tents.

“Does nothing stop you?” I asked Oscar.

And then when we got home and dried off and put on the kettle, we turned on the news to find that today is the annual Gloucester cheese roll. You might be wondering what that is. Well, here is last year’s:



When I saw this, the following conversation ensued.

ME: Explain cheese rolling to me.

OSCAR: No one ever catches the cheese.

ME: That is an enigmatic statement that does not explain cheese rolling.

OSCAR: Well, the competition is to roll down a hill after a big roll of cheese as quickly as possible, and whoever gets closest, wins the cheese.

ME: Roll down a hill? To get close to cheese? Get close to cheese?

OSCAR: The rolling bit is optional. You should really be running. But it is a very steep hill so it tends to be rolling, and it was very muddy today. It was a bit damp.

ME: Are you guys so hard up for cheese that you’ll chase it down a hill?

OSCAR: Well, it is a really big cheese.

ME: A really big dirty cheese.

OSCAR: It’s got covering.

ME: I think we are straying from the point, which is really that people seem to be willing to risk life and limb for more cheese than they could possibly eat.

OSCAR: Really, the ones running after the cheese are the sensible ones. It’s the ones at the bottom of the hill who are in danger. They could get hit by the cheese.

ME: I question the entire event, really. 19 people were injured this year. The winner hurt his spine. Can you explain the motivation?

OSCAR: Really big cheese?

You know, just when I think I am starting to understand the English, I encounter something like this. I work so hard to bridge the gap, the hands-across-the-water thing. I’ve even been told I get it kind of right, like in this lovely video by missxrojas, who is an actual English person. And just when I think I’ve made real progress, it’s cheese rolling day.

NOW FOR THE SCIENCE

At the end of my last post, I asked three questions:

1. Would you like long posts less frequently, or shorter posts more often?
2. Do any of you live in or near Guildford, England?
3. Do the various characters in the books remind you of anyone?

I got some surprises in the replies, but the biggest of all was for the first question. There were a lot of write-in answers, like, “longer posts more often” or “hakius every few hours.” I fully expected that most people would say “shorter posts more often.” But when I actually tallied the direct answers . . . it was 7 for shorter posts more often, and 48 for longer posts less often. In fact, many people seem to LIKE the delay.

This runs counter to everything I know about the internet! HOW EXCITING! We are doing SCIENCE here! It seems that many of you like to STORE UP long things to read during very boring periods of work or class or for whenever you’re supposed to be doing homework . . . but you don’t want TOO much. You don’t want to feel pressured. I understand completely.

So long and whenever it is! WHEW!

And NONE of you live in Guildford, though some of you live not too far. A few of you do not believe in Guildford. And your images of the characters were fascinating.

It turns out it is a good idea to ask you things! So since I will be in the UK for the next few weeks, what particular aspects of English life would you like me to study? Is there anything you need to know? If you are English, what would you like to hear about from an American perspective? I am here to serve.

PRIZES O’ THE DAY

Today’s signed book is going to missxrojas, not because she made a nice video, but because she was the actual random winner, which made me click on the link, which is how I saw it in the first place.

May’s not over yet, so I am still giving things out! It’s another book to another random commenter today!


NOTE: Many of you will wonder what I am doing out of the YA Author Mansion. It is up to you whether you believe my story. Maybe I got a pass that let me out for a short time, or perhaps I am lying and made all this up.

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80 Comments:

Blogger courtneylynne said...

I'm glad Rosi won the book, I love her videos! Still waiting to get Suite Scarlet from the library. Other people have it on reserve, so I have to wait =[

4:58 AM  
Anonymous jellybean said...

That Body Movin' video. Was. Awesome. Awe-some. I am going to stop commenting now to go watch it again.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

"from an American perspective?"

You are unlike any American I know, Maureen. It should be "from the perspective of a hilarious and slightly insane writer who happens to be in England".

Never the less, what do you think of tea? Is it dangerous? Is it dangerous to drink tea and watch TV? Is it dangerous to drink tea and watch TV when people that you know sometimes appear on TV?

(I want you to tell the story)

5:02 AM  
OpenID shutupandsmile18 said...

Hahaha very entertaining. Cheese Rolling? Sounds about as pointless as cup stacking (wordsportstackingassociation.org), although maybe a bit more rewarding. I happen to love Cup Stacking, so maybe Cheese Rolling is my sort of sport. I'm not a very active person though . . .

Which reminds me, I could use a free copy of Suite Scarlett! I am in need of something to read (besides the fact that I'm currently reading Macbeth, Harry Potter One [I've read them before, but I'm starting over with a friend who hasn't read ANY *gasp*], and The Other Side of the Story [Marian Keyes-check her out if you haven't]). I need more Maureen Johnson on my bookshelf!!

5:32 AM  
OpenID visualkeipenguin said...

Do the English really over-use words like "rather" and "quite"? They seem to in books and movies... Do the English find American accents half as cool as we find theirs?

Cheese rolling. Wow. A sport even more interesting/weird than midget tossing.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I love cheese rolling! It is possibly the most pointless thing in the universe!

I have to say though you did not ease my worries about the flight that I will be on in 3 short days. I'm not really afraid of flying, but I've never flown over a large body of water such as Atlantic Ocean.

It made me laugh when you were talking about turbulence though. My dad always says "We are now experiencing some Godzilla related turbulence."

6:06 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Oh how I wish I was in England instead of miserable and boring Phoenix! I'm an English girl at heart. Why did my great-grandparents move to America?! Can you explain their stupidity, Maureen?

So today was the cheese rolling! I laugh at that every year!

6:10 AM  
Anonymous chelseyjane said...

yay rosi! she's one of my favorites, after you of course.

:D

i was actually watching a video of hers as i read this, which made it awesome when i read her name.

anyway, the point of this comment: england is awesome. i was there last week. i think you should go undercover as a brit for a day.
and this post made me laugh out loud, literally, twice.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

ZOMG YOUR PLANE BLEW UP?!?!

6:55 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

This post is a perfect example of why longer posts, less often are better. I snort-laughed my way through it and totally put off crunching for my Spanish final.
I have a question about the cheese rolling thing that I hope you can answer (because if I look it up, I will never start studying): Is it illegal to wear a helmet or ride a trash can lid down? I didn't see anyone doing anything sensible in order to, um, not practically kill themselves.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anna C. said...

Communication is key! :)
I think you made up the mansion, but I want you to continue writing about it. It's really entertaining!
My question about the English life is... When it's tea time, is it usually crowded in restaurants? Are there specific restaurants for tea time only? Or is there a certain part of England that closes for tea time?
I would love to win the copy of Suite Scarlett! Hopefully I'll get lucky this time! *crosses fingers*

7:42 AM  
Blogger A Literate Musician said...

Cheese rolling.
Wow.
I've heard of it before, but I've never actually seen it.
That looked like it hurt.
A lot.
The YA Masion isn't real?
There is a real Santa.
I don't believe it.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Sabrina Banes said...

To the naysayers: The YA Mansion is totally real.

To MoJo: Cory Doctorow visited today, but we all missed you. Even I, lowly scullery maid that I am, could feel a palpable emptiness in the rec room today, without you lounging around in your Star Trek outfit you like to wear on Mondays.

The cheese rolling convo is hilarious. But ... I still don't get it. Really. Why? And more importantly, are there practice hills? I mean, do you start out rolling down a smaller hill? What sort of training do people do before the Gloucester Cheese Roll (which, by the way, should be renamed, because it sounds so much like a kind of sandwich)?

If you get a chance to ask Oscar these questions, I'd really love to hear his responses.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Allyb said...

What exactly is the point of tumbling down a hill to get cheese? And where is the cheese in that video? Shouldn't the rhyme be Jack and Jill rolled down a hill to chase a ball of cheddar? Have we have the rhyme wrong the whole time??

8:32 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Cheese rolling sounds...interesting? I mean I love cheese, but not enough to roll down a hill after it.

I also really dig turbulence. It is kind of like being in a roller coaster that you can't easily fall out of if it flips upside down and your cheap harness isn't fastened just right.

As for the aspect of English life that I'd think you should study? Well the thing that I find most interesting is English food, but that is because I doubt I would eat a lot of "traditional" English food. Blood pudding? Yeah, I think I will pass.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Crypt said...

For those of you who don't quite get the cheese rolling thing- suffice it to say that I, rock climber, mountain biker that I am, probably wouldn't do it. It doesn't carry a risk of injury so much as it carries a slim chance of escaping injury.
And Maureen, our English seas are free of jellyfish, so I think you should head out for some paddling. I am not sure which bit of coast is nearest to Guildford though.
-Rob

10:33 AM  
Blogger limeywesty said...

Cheese rolling, despite the death risks, looks like fun.
It really does.
I watched the video several times, actually, I lie, I watched it twice... because all i could see were strange people rolling down a hill... and no cheese.
Then, I glimpsed the mighty cheese!!
I'm just impressed about some of the technique used. It must take a very talented person to roll down a hill, doing somersaults and landing back on your feet so you can continue running until you trip again, do some rolly thing and end back up on your feet no troubles!
they're some very coordinated cheese rollers.
*round of applause*

11:06 AM  
Blogger lightforms said...

I just realized last week that I like many types of stinky cheeses. My best friend does not. I will now point out this blog to her and show her that many, many people like cheese. Next time I eat stinky cheese, I will be thankful I did not have to do this to get it.

Oh, and your turbulence story beat out her story about the tornado and thunderstorm, almost.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE the inanity of the cheese rolling!

My question for your stay: what's the London office like? Is it suspiciously like a residential apt that you by chance live in when you're not in NYC? or an outpost of your publisher's office? A phone booth?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Tobias said...

Maureen, it's not so much the delay we like, but the longer posts. But I guess we can't have both.

I really really think you should watch the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent. They are being aired every day this week on ITV1 (and if you want more Britain's Got Talent, you should switch to ITV2 afterwards). I'm no Brit, but I love that show. Too bad you missed the auditions, some were hilarious.

The cheese-rolling didn't seem to weird to me. But then again, I come from a village where there is a clog-race every year and once every few years we have the Agricultural Games...

1:16 PM  
Blogger TadMack said...

Oh, I'm so glad that there's someone else who loves turbulence! I know it's weird, but it's kind of a buzz. Given that I have many of the same fears as you do -- heights, water, bees, and the whole jellyfish thing just freaks me RIGHT out -- it does seem odd to like it, but it's ...fun.

Hmm.

And I also agree with you on the Scottish thing. I'm living in Glasgow at the moment, and when they're actually worried that it's cold or wet -- it's the second coming of the Ice Age.

Short, long, frequent or infrequent, your posts make me laugh every time, and you're on the feed, so whenever you get a quiet moment on the keyboard at the YA mansion is good for me.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Lynn Barnes said...

It is indeed a bit damp in England today. It is also a bit damp in my room, because there was a bit of a leak, and yesterday was a bank holiday, and obviously, nobody is going to be overly concerned about a bit of water on a bank holiday. It's almost like having a bit of a swimming pool, really.

Regarding the YA Author Mansion- I'm surprised you weren't kidnapped the second you landed and taken to the UK version, the YA Author Castle. They're not great about fixing leaks, but I otherwise have few complaints.

Loved the post- the bit about Scottish people had me laughing out loud. Thanks for the distraction from the grey skies!

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Pizuzu said...

Hey Maureen! We were just wondering why so many zombie movies take place in New York City and the UK. Are they just obsessed with zombies or something? What's the deal?

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

question: have you had any tea related trauma while in the UK?
unrelated question about YA author mansion: do you have intense Scrabble games with the other authors? I'd like to imagine that you provide Scrabble-y entertainment for your taco parties...

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Suvi said...

You must answer this: Do they remove all the rocks from the hill before people start rolling down? I was watching the video and laughing a little, and then I came to think about that, and now I'm horrified. Please tell me those are fake hills made of the finest, carefully hand filtered sand!

I love your stories about English people and their calmness. :D

7:45 PM  
Anonymous teapot said...

I think you've made progress in understanding the English, Maureen, you began your blog entry talking about the weather and an English person's favourite thing to do is talk about the weather!

I agree with chelseyjane that you should go undercover as a Brit for the day. I also think you should film it and post it for everyone to see.

And as an English person I like hearing about anything from an American perspective. Oh, and my brother actually went to watch the cheese-rolling yesterday - though didn't take part in it.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Amha said...

Haha, my dad told me about cheese rolling, and I was like: "What? Why do they do that?" But I must say that I find cheese rolling much more useful than some other sports like for example football (sorry, soccer). In cheese rolling do you at least get a cheese.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous JK said...

When I went to England it didn't rain once. Then again I was only there for about five days.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Well, I'm American, but I've never been further north than Colorado, so I know nothing about everywhere.

U.S. question: I was wondering--is it true that people are meaner up north? Every now and then, someone will say something about "southern hospitality," whatever that is. I don't notice anyone being particularly hospitable down here. A lot of people are courteous, and some are even downright nice, but I thought most anyone would do that much.

U.K. Question: Can you tell us about some of the slang they use over there? Like the really really weird stuff?

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

Gasp! Mj make up the YA author mansion? How upsetting. I wanted to visit... somehow.

(Ironically, I'm reading this in my school library instead of having basketballs shot at my head during gym class. Luckily one of the gym teachers likes me, and gave us a pass here... This is one of the few things they haven't blocked yet, on these computers.)

11:54 PM  
Blogger Gia said...

I hope this isn't too much of a favor to ask, but when you go to England could you please look closely into the mouths of as many Englishpeople as you possibly can.
I know they say "Never look a gift horse in the mouth", but I think it's quite different... maybe?

The reason for this is that I've heard rumors about Englishpeople having not-so-great-teeth. I immediately shot down this unreasonable bit of information, but it never hurts to find an actual source...

Yeah, that's about it...
PlzKThnxBye!
<3

12:16 AM  
Blogger Tiff said...

I finally got really into Suite Scarlett this week (not that I wasn't before, it was just...you know, time and other stuff), and last night I started reading it at 11pm and I finished at 4am. Now I'm very tired. I blame your wonderful writing for this.

But it was worth it. Oh, was it ever worth it! Really, one of your best books yet, MJ! I loved all the characters, and I adored Scarlett and Eric...will they make it through him going to college? Should they? What about Spencer and Stephanie? Lola and Chip? Marlene and her ego? I have so many questions! When is SS2 coming out?

As for what they look like...Lola, to me, looks like a less anorexic Kate Moss. Spencer is like an older, goofier Zac Efron. Scarlett looks like the cover. Mrs. Amberson looks like a hippy Jamie Lee Curtis. I can't picture Eric.

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Elaine Weatherfield said...

Cheese rolling....

:D

Is it sad that I'm still refusing to buy a book in hopes that I would be that lucky random commenter?

1:21 AM  
Anonymous bluejay said...

Actually there is Guildford city which is the county town (the county being Surrey) and the villages near Guildford have Guildford in their address so perhaps more of us live 'in' Guildford than we think. Guildford is technically a city because it has a cathedral so would by definition be more than a couple of high streets with overpriced poncy shops...it has surrounding villages with green and pleasant bits between...cue the sweeping sounds of Elgar...making up the what is known as Guildford.

Kat: you should know beforehand that traditional English food should only be attempted after a lifetime of practice. It can involve some intense digestive effort and can be dangerous if attempted by the novice or casual and unsuspecting visitor.

1:27 AM  
Blogger katesutton90 said...

I just got my seelp mask! MJ thank you! I love it!
~gasps~ who says the YA mansion is fake? Who? Of course its not!
~bigger gasp~ if it is fake what mansion did I break into?
xoxoxo

2:27 AM  
Blogger Heather♥ said...

*I* think that since you blew the secret, you were under restriction and not allowed out for your monthly alotted time (of two-four days), but JOHN GREEN was allowed to go out. And thus, you dressed up like John Green on the day of your leave, and John Green dressed up as you (he would make a perfect Maureen, wouldn't he?) and the guards of the Mansion let you by, because they *knew* that you were in your room, eating tacos. They *knew* that you were John. Thus, the trip to England.

So while you go gallavanting around with Oscar, no longer wearing your John costume as you are out of the country and not subject to the restrictions of the YA Author Mansion, John Green sits around, looking like Maureen and being force-fed tacos because you like them so much and therefore would not turn them down if it was, in fact, you sitting there.

It's a shame for John that he has to be dressed up as a woman (maybe he enjoys it, who knows?) and eat tacos that much (Hank knows, too much of a good food can make you sick. Hello, corndogs!). It's gotta be better than Peeps, though.

So good luck John and Maureen in your clever ruse. (is that really how that word is spelled. I looked it up and it is. But it doesn't seem right. Maybe the word ruse is a ruse...hmmm)

Heather, The Vespator

3:05 AM  
Blogger Heather♥ said...

wow, long comment on my part

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Raelyn said...

lol, your perspective on turbulence is quite inspiring maureen... I should show this to my sister ;) I will think of you the next time I have to put up with turbulence on a plane :D

3:10 AM  
Blogger Hillary said...

OMG those videos were cool! I don't like cheese, I so wouldn't chase it and risk being hurt.

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love long blogs,

keep going, and going, and going!

3:50 AM  
Anonymous nosidam said...

Perhaps the ya authors' mansion has special portals that connect to different places? Maybe that's how everyone lives there in the first place. Like in clue how you can be in the kitchen and then go through a door to the study or something except that you'd be enjoying your muffin in New York, open the cupboard for some jam and then woosh you're in London. I don't know. Just a hypothesis.

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Miranda K said...

Cheese rolling? I think whether chasing after a roll of cheese is worth it or not depends on the type of cheese. What kind of cheese is it?

american?

swiss?

provolone?

goat?

anyway, i still haven't read suite scarlett, so i'd love a copy!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Kimber Alice said...

I'm of the opinion that you should make some sort of video demonstrating English slang for all of us here in America.

Or, you could tell us about other bizzarre English customs and holidays that are not celebrated here. Either way.

The Body Moving video was quite possibly the most fantastic thing that I have seen all day.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous SAMantha said...

darn, i wished i lived in england.

it must have been really funny and scary to be on that plane! was it like in that movie airplane? lol

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Kayli said...

Do you have any amusing stories about a time when you thought someone was saying something totally different than what they were actually saying because they had a British accent? Or any type of accent for that matter?

6:31 AM  
Blogger JessieGirl said...

i would like to know what the biggest differences are between england and here. I mean obviously there is the slang and nowi know the truth about the hilarious sport of cheese rolling but maybe you could give us the inside scoop. an inside outsiders view.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous doodlebug23 said...

Ohh...Free copy of Suite Scarlett? Count me in. Anyway, is cheese rolling truly something the English enjoy? What, exactly, is the point of chasing after a big piece of cheese when you're likely to get injured? Are the English SANE? Are they slightly masochistic? Because that's how it seems. Anyway, didn't mean to offend anyone, just saying...Cheese rolling is kind of crazy.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous doodlebug23 said...

Oh, and by the masochistic comment, I meant the definition where it means that you are willing or have a tendency to subject yourself to painful experiences, not the one about sex. Anyway, I'll shut up now.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Wonder_Sauerkraut said...

Thanks for the sleeping mask, MJ! It got here pretty fast and I can't wait to use it tonight.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Leahr said...

I've always wanted to know what English people think Americans sound like when they imitate a British accent.

Thanks for introducing me to missxrojas! I liked her videos. Her name looked familiar, probably from Nerdfighter things. I want her haircut, seriously.

I like the scientific study of internet-ness. Personally I like long posts after a medium-length wait, because it is annoying to come back and check and discover only old posts, but I don't always have time to read a really long one so that time is useful. Really, I think people just want you to do whatever works best for you to continue making entertaining posts.

I love rolling down hills! Just for fun. Not for cheese. I am not Wallace (from Wallace and Gromit) nor am I British. You do get rather grass-stained, which is unfortunate. But the few times I've tried it was quite fun.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Emma C said...

Who's your favorite Nancy? Why?

(Part of the fun of the question is that you get to figure out what I mean by it. Ask around.)

8:22 AM  
Blogger barb said...

I also love turbulence and I used to be phobic about flying.

Re: in or near Guildford - I'm about 15 miles away which is nothing. When an American says 'just down the road' (or equivalent phrase)it could mean a 2 hour drive.

Cheese rolling - just another little English quirk, we have many. Have any of you seen the burning barrel rolling?

12:48 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

does this mean you are out of sleep masks?

noooo!!!!

sad.

But I would LOVE a copy of Suite Scarlett!!!!

please please please.
also. I don't think you've really left the YAAM (the YA Author Mansion, naturally). You are still there... you just THINK you left! HA!

1:50 PM  
Anonymous moosealexa said...

cheese,yum. do english people eat american cheese or is there an english cheese?i just finished all of my exams!!!!!!!!!!! i just realized you have the same initials as michael jackson? can you moonwalk?

6:49 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

COMMENT

8:20 PM  
Blogger Elainareads said...

Hahaha cheese rolling. It sounds very painful. Your flight sounds a bit scary, i've only been on a plane twice and both times were very calm and I slept the whole time.
I'm still dying to read Suite Scarlett!! =D

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Haley said...

I would love a copy of Suite Scarlett. I loved hearing about your journey to London, especially since I'll be flying there too, in about a month! I hope my plane ride there is just as fun.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous *allie* said...

I want to know about england is what sort of slang they use! Do they really talk like Simon Cowel, or is he just making it up? Does everyone look at you weird if you talk normal, like an American? These are need-to-know questions!
I hope your plane ride back is just as fun! Wish I was there!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Maureen, I do not believe in Guildford. I think that it is a total myth, and if you think that you are headed for Guildford, you are really headed for disappointment. I also think that you should make trips to less elusive locations, such as the dreadfully realistic one in which I live!
I do, however, believe in the YA mansion! And I think that the Vespator's theory sounds startlingly accurate. That girl, after all, is a genuis. (Just ask her. She doesn't think. She KNOWS. She took an IQ test, in the second grade.) I hope that you and John don't get into any trouble.
I don't have any ideas about actors that remind me of your characters! But, as for real people, today, one of my curls stabbed me in the eye. I'm not sure how they managed this, since my curls are quite long, but somehow one of them did. It hurt. They are evil and tricky, those curls.
XO
Sparkles/Caroline

3:15 AM  
OpenID ceicei said...

i want to know if people in England are as excited for Maureen Johnson And The Deathly Hallows as I am ;)

3:45 AM  
OpenID ceicei said...

PS.

I am nor trying to win for myself but for my friend Kahla who is under the most intense form of grounding, that even I her best friend haven't seen her outside of school in a month, and isn't allowed to use the computer :(

so PICK HER PICK HER!!!!!!

3:48 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

I LOVE my Flavor Shaker! Jamie Oliver's amazing. BUT I would never want to be stuck inside a Flavor Shaker. OUCH! It's nice to know you enjoyed your flight. :)

10:31 PM  
Blogger Jayme said...

*fingers crossed*

pick me pick me pick me
because...
- my library still has not gotten Suite Scarlett because we've used all our money for the fiscal year so all new items will not be purchased until july.also still waiting for rick riordan's latest book which is wonderful, fyi!
:(
- i'm spending all of today and tomorrow folding letters...ma, look what i can do with three years of a college education under my belt. with any luck, after i graduate next may i will be promoted to licking the stamps! yes!
- and last, but not least, my Suite Scarlett holiday card needs a home in a Suite Scarlett book. just sayin'

have a wonderful day!

2:08 AM  
Blogger Lexi Lou said...

Hi Maureen!

So I hear the english have a hatred of grape soda. My friend's boyfriend lives in something-chester, and he says it is absolutely foul. (The miracle of video chat).

The chinchilla cat says hi.

4:08 AM  
Blogger TheNerdDilettante said...

Gotta get my name in the hat. Hope I'm not too late.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMGGGGGGGGG
so i have to tell you my brother made up THE CHEESE SONG wich is the best song in the world followd by the potty dance I love england and hope to go to/preform there some day i am so tierd that I cant possably spell or type any more
Karozo

7:55 AM  
Blogger Sarahbear9789 said...

Hey Maureen,
I love Rosianna's vlog. I am glad that she won the book. Her videos are amazing. I hate going on planes. I have been lucky to not get turbelence. Yay for longer post winning.
Peace out, Sarah.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I have always wanted to know, that if the English came to Australia then why do we have our own, different accent? I've asked people on this side, and they do not know. So i was thinking, maybe the British will know why they suddenly decided to change their accents. Because the British accent is awesome, and I am missing out, I feel.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Crypt said...

In a quest to be helpful, was the word the Scottish captain used 'hoolie'? My dad is scottish, and it's a favourite of his.
Rob

8:21 PM  
Blogger Alysa said...

ah, the power of cheese. If it was good cheese, I'd totally participate. :)

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like you to investigate how do the English feel about Canadians. Do they differentiate between Canadians and Americans or do they think we come from the same brood?

I've always wondered that. Like, I know Americans have these sterotypical thoughts about Canadians and vice versa...(although I really can't think of any from the Canadians part)...so what do the English think of us?

awesome cheese rolling/turbulance enjoying blog. You're so random MJ!

8:47 AM  
Blogger mina said...

Who's Oscar?

2:29 AM  
Anonymous allykat said...

hola.
I do wonder one thing about the English. Do they appear to be, overall, more well mannered/proper?
Thanks for being awesome!

5:18 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I love reading things written with a Scottish accent. You made me imagine that Gerard Butler was your pilot.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Reese said...

What is up with the English and tea? Just a sterotype? A real life, true fact that the English LOVE thier tea? --My ENGLISH teacher loves her tea, but she's from like, Wisconsin or something.-- Enlighten us, do the English actually love their tea OR NOT?

3:01 PM  
Blogger emily said...

I just have a suggestion, could you go around talking like EVERY SINGLE ENGLISH STEREOTYPE EVER mixed together, and record how people react. (Videotape it, maybe?)

Also, please don't enter me for random-commenter-book-winner, because i already have a copy of Suite Scarlett, and i would feel bad taking it from some poor person who doesn't have one yet.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous amani said...

congratz to the winner :)

11:25 PM  
Blogger itokro said...

I have made a frightening discovery. I am being stalked by a book - in fact, by one of your books.

I'm the commenter who a while ago asked why, if you are supposedly not published in the UK, I found a copy of 13 Little Blue Envelopes in a Guildford bookshop. And you could see no reason why it should be there. Yet today I found a similar copy in another bookshop... in Cambridge. That's not even near the London Office.

This leads me to one inescapable conclusion: your book is stalking me.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous amani said...

itokro you should keep us updated on the stalking book- its never happened to me b4 must have a hidden meaning :) :P

11:50 PM  
Blogger NightDrive said...

Im not sure when this blog was written and not sure if this is really relevent anyways, but I am probably going to living in Guildford in about a year. Almost exactly. Haha. If thats any help. = D

9:51 AM  

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