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Saturday, May 10, 2008


I’ve just gotten off another plane, this time from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I was visiting the Michigan libraries Spring Institute, along with John Green and Hank Green. The whole event was excellent, top to bottom, and it was great to see John and Hank.
At the last minute, we threw together an informal gathering at a local library—just a little drop-in between a panel and a dinner. It was done on less than two days notice, so as we drove over in the car, we said, “Maybe ten people will come. That would be nice.”

What we didn’t expect were A HUNDRED SCREAMING, AMAZING PEOPLE armed with gifts and video cameras. We were completely unprepared for this. I didn’t even bring a Suite Scarlett to read from, so I asked if anyone happened to have one . . . only to see Scarletts shooting up in the air all over the place. John read from Paper Towns, and someone even provided Hank with a guitar so that he could do some songs. I was so happy, I did this dance.

We were so overwhelmed by the whole event that we could barely speak for the rest of the night, and sat at dinner alternating between stunned silence and insane laughter.

Michigan may now be my new favorite place in the world. Thank you to everyone who made it happen!

The only bad part of today was when I was at the airport, waiting to get on the tiny, tiny plane. I was really tired, because I had been up late talking with the librarians and John and Hank, and because the guy in the room next to mine was doing some kind of interpretive dance at five in the morning. So I was not at my best and brightest when I arrived at the Grand Rapids airport and was fumbling around, staring blearily at the self-check-in screen. The designers of the screen had gone to some lengths to make their instructions as vague and conflicting as possible, while issuing increasingly random demands.

The four check-in computers were in the middle in the check in area, with three of us poking away at the screens, saying things like, “They want what?” “Passport goes where?” “I can’t fit my head in that slot.” “All the signers of the Declaration of Independence? In alphabetical order?”

I usually appreciate this kind of attention to detail, but I was sort of not in the mood for it at the time. I gave up and decided to talk to a person. There was one passenger at the check in desk itself, and another one way, way, way back, lounging against the barrier. I was pretty sure I had heard him say he was just waiting for someone, and he didn’t look like he was doing anything else. I mean, he was really far back.

So I took a spot between him and the desk and zoned out for a good five minutes, until he tapped my arm and said, “The line starts back here.” With a growl.

And then, this other guy who had just walked up said in a low and knowing voice, “She’s got selective hearing.”

Now, here is something you need to know about me: I DO NOT CUT IN LINE. If I even THINK I have possibly, maybe, in some way almost cut in line, I pretty much have to act like Dobby in Harry Potter and start beating my head against the wall in self-punishment. So that was Level of Horror One.


Level of Horror Two was the obvious contempt in the man’s voice. To be fair to me, he had picked a strange spot to start his line, nor was he acting like a guy in a line. He was practically doing this:

I think if you start a line, you have an obligation for it to be at least in VISUAL DISTANCE of the place you want to go. If you arbitrarily decide to pick a strange, hidden, distant spot half under a potted plant, I think you should expect some confusion.

Level of Horror Three was the REALLY nasty and self-righteous Second Guy who thought I hadn't just made an understandable error, but had actively plotted to cut the one-person line in a dead airport by feigning deafness.

Normally, these kinds of things do not bother me. I live in New York, so you more or less have to shoot me in the kneecap for me to take any serious offense. But this morning, I was stung. If it had just been the first guy, I would have thought nothing of it. It was the pile-on effect, this idea that I had SCHEMED MY WAY AHEAD OF THE NON-EXISTENT LINE. As if my goal in life was to beat the system at the Grand Rapids airport and get to security first.

The insults hit me on so many levels.

You know how some things just get to you? Even when you know that in the long run, they simply do not matter and you shouldn't care? And that caring actually makes you kind of crazy? But you don't care about that either? Because you have gone a little crazy?

I was astonished by how rattled this got me. Maybe it was the afterschock of all the joy I had just experienced. I immediately gave the first man his “spot,” simply saying, “It wasn’t selective hearing. I genuinely didn’t know. I am sorry.” Then I went and stood behind him, in the ridiculously far away place.

He just stared at me. When it was his turn, he went up and started berating the man behind the ticket desk because it was raining in New York and the plane might be late and someone was going to have to do something about it.

My ire was really reserved for Second Guy—the guy who felt he had to jump into to this already strange confrontation and confirm my evildoing. I confined myself to giving him what I would like to think were very guilt-inducing looks, but I probably just appeared insane and crosseyed.

Of course, you should never give in to people like that, and I know this, but it didn't stop me from spending the rest of the time I was in the airport watching out for him and obsessively trying to think up comebacks.

“Oh,” I wish I had said. “Is this a$%&*le convention in Grand Rapids this year? Are you an attendee or featured speaker?”

No, I thought to myself. That’s what he would want. That would make me seem like that kind of person who did those kinds of things. A much better plan would have been to go up to him and say, “It’s not selective hearing. I’m just 80% deaf in my left ear. Thanks for noticing.”

I could have pulled that story off really well, because my good friend Nurse Trixie is really 80% deaf in one ear. (A fact I discovered when we sat next to each other in 3rd period study hall one time, and I sat on her bad side and thought she was selectively ignoring me for an entire semester, when in fact she could not hear a word I was whispering.) Nurse Trixie has told me all of the medical factors behind her deafness, and I could have USED HER STORY to give Second Guy a wicked case of moral whiplash and WON!

In the end, I just got on the plane and took a nap . . . but I am still wishing I did something more . . . like steal the tragic story of my friend's deafness and use it against a largely imaginary enemy.

You will think from this story that I am perhaps not in the best of moods. So untrue. I burst with happiness, and I am now going to prove it.


It’s hard to be influenced by something that came AFTER the book was written. Also, I normally do not approve of giving any direct visual images of characters. I don’t like to point to pictures and say, “so and so looks just like this!” I have a real problem with this because a). the characters live in my head with the brain monkeys and no photos can be taken in there and b). I think you should draw your own mental pictures.

However . . .

I love Goldfrapp, and her new song “Happiness” is in my songlist for Suite Scarlett 2. I wanted to see what the video for Happiness looked like, since I listen to it about 30 times a day.

I was amazed to find that it features quite an accurate representation of Scarlett and Spencer, as they exist in my mind. (A grown Scarlett, appearing in many disguises, but the Spencer is pretty much dead on.) And it’s not just what they look like . . . it’s the whole video, the activities. This is just the kind of part I could see him getting cast in (his dancing skills play a major part in the next book). And the sly little side roles . . . that’s very Scarlett. It’s a strange feeling, like someone has been rummaging around in my head. I watched the video and said, "HOW DID THEY KNOW?"

It's uncanny enough that I feel I have to show it to you.

Even if you haven’t read the book . . . the video is worth watching. It’s an excellent homage to a movie called “Small Town Girl.” It will make you happy.

Do you see what I mean? Aren’t you happy now? (What I REALLY should have done was just hopped around those guys in the airport, because that would have been the best response of all. IF ONLY I HAD THOUGHT OF IT.)

In my absence, stuff has been coming in through the windows. (And by “stuff,” I mean pieces of information, and by “windows,” I mean the internet and other places where information is found. Sorry. I should have been clearer.)

I don’t mean to imply that you should spend all your time reading about me, but in case you are really bored and looking for stuff to do, there’s this interview with Publishers Weekly, and this piece I wrote for the wonderful John Scalzi, who would never have cast aspersions about me at the airport. In fact, I wish John Scalzi had been with me, because I bet he would have had a good comeback.

And now . . . the best part of every post . . . the giving away of things!

First, the very kind Namlhots (who would know where to start a ticket line) decided to give his sleep mask away to Cassandra mortmain, because she sounded so disappointed that she didn’t get one. So, e-mail me your address Cassie!

Today’s RANDOM BOOK WINNER IS . . . breanna. Breanna, please send along your information!

And today’s giveway is . . . FIVE SLEEP MASKS. They’ll go to five random comments who ask a question, or tell me what I should have said to that guy, or really anything else. Basically, just say you want one, and you will be entered!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some jumping around to do.

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Anonymous kiki said...

Jumping around those guys would have been great! (Also the 80% deaf thing.) My friend is great with comming up with things like that. I wish I had her skills when it comes to imaginitive and witty combacks.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Emily Marshall said...

No sleep mask needed, but I just wanted to tell you I really enjoyed your presentations at the conference this week. Sorry to have missed the impromptu dance session. Whatever caused it looks like fun.

7:45 AM  
Blogger lkmadigan said...

I am always pithy and scathing hours later.


I pity the next guy who tries to cast aspersions on you, because you will hit him with the pent-up Grand Rapids Airport Rage.


7:56 AM  
Anonymous shaylaluna said...

I am like the 4th commenter. YAY!! I was watching ET but the DVD kept skipping and freezing so now i am watching the 288 videos that will explain to me nerdfighters. (this is what john green advised)

If I was in your position of being accused of being a cutter i would have responded.(this only works with me and people who know me) "well they do call me shay" (at my school i call my friend vivian tally and she calls me shay) in fact that happened today adn i got a lot of weird stares. smiles

8:03 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

"What?! I have what now? I'm sorry, I can't understand you through the false sense of entitlement."

Or, the more simple and undoubtedly more effective method:

"Do you know who I am? I'm Maureen Johnson."
-That would shut him up.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

I'm looking forward to reading sweet scarlett as soon as I get my hands on a copy.
Maureen, how did you meet all of you author friends in New York? Isn't it kind of like being friends with your competition?
(I would love a sleep mask!)

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Whitney said...

Boo for people accusing you of things and having no good comeback. I think the 80% deaf would have been good. I have a bad habit of flipping people off as I walk past them, but that probably wouldn't have worked that well in this situation. /delurk

9:05 AM  
Blogger nfiles said...

What would Amy Amberson say to the airport guys?

Suite Scarlett was great. I am coming to NY this summer with my book club. We are inspired.

Could use a sleep mask for the trip. ;)

9:09 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I saw you in GR this week, I was the chick with the purple hair who also loves the Marx Bros. I just wanted to comment and say that I loved hearing you speak and I am really sorry about both the guys in the airport. There must have been some funny vibe going on all over GR today because I witness four almost accidents before I even got out of town.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous AJ said...

WOW, that song is amazing. I can't stop listening to it. It makes me want to sing and dance. It's even given me an idea for a story. I can't remember the last time I've felt this inspired. Thank you.

Oh, and I'd love a sleep mask.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Temporary insanity! Today I totally have that! Reading that paragraph I was thinking "Oh my gosh that is so me!" I am glad to know I am not alone in suffering this plight.
I agree about Scarlett in the video and I can see Spencer acting that way but he looks completely different in my head. The song is really great though.

9:29 AM  
Blogger AllMightyPen said...

You know what Maureen? I noticed one of your entry tags for this entry is 'temporary insanity.' It got me thinking. I go temporarily insane almost all of the time. Does that mean I'm just plain old insane? Does this mean I can't plead temporary insanity if I ever get hauled into court? And, just plain insane doesn't sound too fun. But then again, insane is always fun, so.....

PS: How are things on the 'Free Alan Rickman' front?

9:33 AM  
Blogger Breanna said...

I can't believe I won, yay! I can't wait to read Suite Scarlett, I'm sure its amazing. I just sent along my information =)

I can't believe what those two guys did to you at the airport, thats so crappy. I probably wouldn't have done anything either, what can you really say to that? I do agree with you though, you should have just jumped around. That would have been great, and probably would have gotten them to be quiet, haha.

I'd love to win a sleep mask, so much light shines in through the blinds in my room in the morning. A sleep mask would definitely remedy that situation.

Thanks again Maureen!


9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have said, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. My ears are still ringing from all of my screaming fans that came to see me last night."

It would have been totally true!


9:33 AM  
Anonymous keziah said...

don't you hate it when you have nothing to say and afterwards you think of a million great comebacks? worst thing in the world.

the 80% deaf thing would have been amazing, though.

and i would absolutely adore a sleep mask =]

9:34 AM  
Blogger courtneylynne said...

That video did make me extremely happy, considering it's 1:13 am, and it's hard to be happy at 1:13 am. And I agree with what Judy said in her comment, because that would have been awesome.
I still haven't read Suite Scarlett, because someone else checked it out from the library, and there is a long waiting list, like, six people in front of me or something. But I will read it! And I would love a sleep mask, because I have to go to bed now, and a sleep mask would help out with the sleeping situation... =]

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! I had a VERY SIMILAR dramatic line-cutting experience at LaGuardia Airport EIGHT YEARS AGO with crazy hidden lines with BREAKS in the LINES and to this DAY the memory of the perceived slight POPS UP TO HAUNT ME.

The looks on the faces! The judging! Outcast! Shame, the shame!

10:41 AM  
Blogger marrije said...

I am slightly worried for that guy in the video's knees, but he is adorable. And very happy-making :-)

Although I must say I also love John Cleese's mad cackle after blowing up all those people.

12:48 PM  
Blogger barb said...

Silence coupled with internal mutterings is often the best response when faced with numnuts who have delusions of adequacy.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Hillary said...

I was just wondering...do you like Swedish Fish? Because EVERYONE loves Swedish Fish that I know. I love them. If I could marry a Swedish Fish I would. Well, maybe it's just my town but idk.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...omg..."delusions of adequacy"...I laughed out loud at that one...I need to remember that!!! Good one Barb!!!

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Those two guys in the "line" were incredibly rude!!! I don't know how people can be so rude to other people. Last night I dreamt about flying/airports all night (I have a huge fear of flying so I always have flying dreams) and no one in my dream was even remotely as rude as that!

My questions:
1) How do I get rid of my fear of flying?
2) You are given a secret mission: to find 3 other YA authors of your choice and go on an adventure. (Money, time, and geographic locations are not an issue here.) What do you do and who do you do it with?

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Miranda K said...

for the first guy, i would've been like, "oh, well there's clearly a line there, since the person at the counter can't even see it!"

for the second one, "selective hearing is a common disorder that 30% of people in the world have. Selective vision, however, is a not-so-common insanity disease that only a#(@&les like you get!

and no, i don't think 30% of people in the world have selective hearing. when in doubt, make up statistics!

yes, i would very much like a suite scarlett mask :)

7:34 PM  
Anonymous williams45 said...

I think you should have completely ignored everything they were saying (as if you couldn't hear a word) and then if they finally tapped you or something and told you to go to the back of the line, you could have either pretended you couldn't understand what they were saying or said something like "sorry, I suffer from selective hearing, it's something my doctor and I have been working on" as if you really thought it was a medical condition

but the guilt trip 80% deaf scheme would have worked wonderfully

question: how much time do you spend on youtube? do you find all the videos you post, or are they things that people have sent you?

Things you must see on you tube: Charlie bit my finger, buhlud, jackie and deborah, the soup's yo gabba gabba spot, and of course harry potter puppet pals the mysterious ticking noise.

sleep mask, s'il vous plait?

7:51 PM  
Blogger Renata said...

I would love a sleepmask! Sounds pretty sucky, about your airport experience. But now you can write a whole book of comebacks and it will be completely amazing and IN YOUR FACE :P to the assholes at the airport. Haha that's an interesting title . . . Assholes at the Airport. If you're into that alliteration thing, I guess. We love alliteration!!!

8:15 PM  
Anonymous JK said...

Haha this is very interesting because my mom acctually is deaf in one ear, and she seriously hears only about 30% of the things people say to her, it is up to me to notify her when she is unkowingly ignoring someone. It happens all the time.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

I think your best response, besides the hopping of course, would have been to do your superawesome happy dance, and possibly singing as if you were tone deaf. I've always found that's a good way to solve problems.

9:13 PM  
Blogger katesutton90 said...

Another comeback (besides the deaf in one ear which is good) is start talking in a different language.
Or you could mutter to yourself under your breath (with the occasional swear word) and act like you were really insane. i am sure after that THEY would have given you a wide berth:)

Really though when these things happen I go completely blank. I suck at comebacks!

Anyways I would absolutely LOVE a sleep mask!

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was an amazing video ... i could totally see Spencer doing that!! ☺ although, uhm, i was wondering throughout the whole video, how on earth did he do that for so long? i realize they probably took it at different times (in segments i mean), but he was the PERFECT hopper, so straight into the air!!

wow, he's got talent. anyway, i would have totally pretended that i was deaf in the airport, or at least start ranting how i couldn't hear anything, cuz i mean, if there really wasn't that many other people, then why not?

no sleepmask needed (unless you _really_ want to send me one, though i doubnt i'd win). i just enjoy your blog.


11:13 PM  
Anonymous Raelyn said...

I have to admit, it's hard to have a comback and be mature at the same time. If, for example, you were a ten-year-old boy, you could've replied with "No, I was just too busy thinking about your mom," but I have a feeling that you were looking for something more than that. Sorry. I got nothing. Not even a sleep mask ;)

11:26 PM  
Blogger Gia said...

I don't know if this will make you feel better, but maybe the random 2nd guy who decided to jump into a strange conversation that did not even concern him...
Maybe he has a daughter. Or a son. And perhaps his child enjoys reading. And maybe his child enjoys reading books by you, maybe.
And maybe one day they will be reading a book by you and the random 2nd person who puts his nose in other people's business will pick up the book, wondering what his child is reading, see you in the back, and realize you are a smart, educated woman who has a happy, successful career, and is admired by his child, despite the fact that you may or may not have selective hearing issues.

11:39 PM  
Blogger alilyamongthorns said...

...and that is why I hate people
the elastic on my sleep mask is stretched out. I guess I could use a new one.
I too marvel at the stamina of the Spencer in the video. Thanks so much for posting it!
This Sally Forth is so true:
You could definitely have faked sign language or revealed that you are an asylum escapee.
In certain situations “sometimes violence IS the answer.”
For comebacks I like:
“Do you know who I am?”
“if I could make someone dead with my mind, it would be you.”
“Go home. You’re depriving your village of its idiot.”
“I have met chunks of cheese with plans more cunning than yours.”

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Beth W. said...

Ah, I love the jumping guy (& goldfrapp- i think this is one of my new fave vids)! And your experience with the rude airport people reminds me of a similar person I came across in Disney World- yes, the land where Dreams Come True. Apparantly my 'dream' was to be talked down to by a barely audible man with mirror sunglasses. However, I did give him a now-legendary death look and wrote a BCR about my experience in English and got a 4 (highest grade). So.. yay for that! (P.S. I also wonder if that guy in the music video ever fell down when they were filming it? If so, did they have to change his perfect white suit?)

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

yay, a sleep mask! This would be so neccesary..
I have this LARGE SHINING LAMP right outside my window, that always shines in my eyes when I lie down in my bed.
Not fun.

My question to you is... Why not come to Sweden?
You will meet tons of people, wanting to read/buy/steal-because-they-need-it-so-much/borrow your book, AND you get to visit ABBA' home land.

(just a suggestion)

Tons of love, and that darn shining lamp

12:30 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I'm reading Suite Scarlett right now and having BLAST with it. I'd love a sleep mask!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous ari :o) said...

"I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce!"
Okay, not my best, but it is all i can think of in my sleep deprived state...

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Haddy said...

i loved the blowing up people video you should have opened up you lap top or grabed an inocent bystanders (whatever floats your boat) and sshow that dude that video and told him it was him hidding there. And eveybody should go watch Juno because well most new movie suck this one if good and its like a YA book in movie form and and because it has good funny music

2:26 AM  
Blogger Heather♥ said...

Well I want one, of course.

And that boy can hop! He had to have been tired after all that. It was amazing.

And I just started kind of sort of listening to Goldfrapp a couple of months ago. I really like "Happiness"

2:46 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

you should have made random sign language motions and said "i'm sorry i can't hear you" in a (no offense hearing-impaired people) deaf-person sort of slurred way.

my sister was at an intersection on her way to work and some guy yelled "you're hot" at her and she said that because it was so awkward.

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Allie said...

when the guy said you had seletive hearing, you should have turned and said all sarcastically, "What? what? I can't hear you." and just walk away.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Oooh I want a sleep mask!!! Wow I bet that convention was fun. Too bad I live in California, not Michigan...

Those guys at the airport were really rude. Whenever stuff like that happens to me I obsess about it afterwards because I can't think of a good comeback when it's actually happening. Then I get more irritated because I come up with some good ones and I can't use them and I get all frustrated and mad. Which ruins my happiness and joy. And happiness and joy is good. So I guess obsessing over revenge is bad for my mental health but it's kind of fun to imagine their faces if I had said something. So, you could have said, "Oh, I'm sorry, there was a line? I guess I have selective vision as well as selective hearing." And be all death-glare giving. Or you could have stuck your tongue out at them behind their backs, which is always fun, if immature and stupid.

Yay I love the happy video!!! Because the hopping boy was spreading happiness and joy and that's good. That should happen all the time. Every day. And the world would be a better place and stuff like what happened to you at the airport wouldn't matter because life is too short to waste it on obsessing over evil people and nonexistent lines.

4:24 AM  
Blogger Reese said...

omc. I wish I was there. I'm fexcellent at comebacks that make other people feel evil.

So are my friends.

Like, when my mom almost ran over some lady today, because the lady was NOT using a crosswalk she was like "Hey, watch out oldie!"

So my friend yelled out the window, "Well excuse us for rushing! The fact that I'm late for my chemo really lifts my spirits!" Then she burst into very realistic tears.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from MI but the other side of it, and I was uber jealous that I was from the other side!!!!!!!!!!

As for that guy! You should've said "That's a really weird spot for a line. Normal people don't stand that far back! Excuse me for being like the other 99% of the population. Apparently it is not I who has her own rules, but you who likes to start lines in places they don't go!" and then stayed put! or you could've said "I am Maureen Johnson! Have you ever heard of a book called Suite Scarlett!? Yeah, that's right, it is I who wrote it. Shoot I even have Alan in my basement!"

7:19 AM  
Anonymous laurie said...

You could always say that you were 80% deaf from listening 100 screaming fans the night before. BTW you were Awesome. It was great to witness the debut of the Maureen Happy dance in person! Plus, when you read from Suite Scarlett, you ended at exactly the same spot I had stopped reading!


7:35 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...


Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

I think you may have told us this before, but I don't remember the answer, soo.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have said "Damn right I have selective hearing. I CAN'T HEAR JERKS."

I would LOVE a sleep mask, btw.

And nice PW interview.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

You should have serenaded them in the gift of music by way of Goldfrapp. Then done a happy dance.

They would have joined in, along with the entire airport, and whilst they were dancing, you could have gotten through to security. An amazing plan, indeed.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Nuwon Wearspants said...

Hi Mrs. Johnson. You commented in the Ning forum after my comment, and I am sorry that people blame you for the book covers. I also think you shouldn't be sorry because it's out of your hands.

On another note - I would very much like a sleep mask. This would make my day.

And I would have said something probably very rude to that man, such as "I only have selective hearing with @!@#! like you." I am sad to say, that is probably what I would say if I could have had time to think of a good comeback.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Caitlyn Byers said...

At after prom last night, one of the prizes we could purchase with our Win Tickets was a green gel eye mask. I pointed to it and said "reduces puff!" and my friend immediately purchased it and named it Charlie.

And I would definitely like a Suite Scarlett sleep mask!

9:37 PM  
Blogger mina said...

haha, that was a good video...I loved the song too.
how do you find such good music, I mean those that are not mainstream? :)


10:33 PM  
Anonymous louise said...

Fantastic music video... and, on the topic of music which mina brought up, how do you feel about Panic at the Disco? I am currently listening to them and they are absolutely wonderful.

And ooh! song lists! Do you think you could reveal your whole playlist for the sequel to Suite Scarlett, or would it give away important plot points? Because it would be really cool if we could learn more about it

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Hillary! said...

You should just have gone for the simple and called him a 'wonky bastard'. The simple can sometimes work quite effectively, and leave you feeling less guilty for being mean. And the wonky would have totally thrown him off, like it did me when I read in Suite Scarlett. I thought I was the only one that used that word! Well, besides the British. Maybe JK has been hanging around you too much?

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Lizzy-wa said...

MJ, I think it would have been MARVELOUS had you done your happy dance around those immature men! Not only would it have said "I can dance and you cannot! Hahahahahaha!" But it would have said "Nothing you can say will hurt me! Why? Because I am Maureen Johnson! Writer extraordinare! Supreme blogger! Soon-to-be ruler of the world! Muahahahaha!!! *cough cough*."

And i would just ADORE a sleep mask! *hint hint*.

-Lizzy-wa OUT! :D

3:29 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I think that this is amazing...


I hope you enjoy it. See you back here in June!

3:49 AM  
Anonymous JK Rowling said...

I will place the rude bloke in my basement with Alan. He needs a new punching bag since his old one is worn out. I like him to get a few good hours of punching in every day, good for character building and whatnot. You may pay me in jam next time I come over.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Summer said...

I love that the Algonquin Round Table is mentioned in Suite Scarlett!!
is Scarlett by any chance a fan of Dorothy Parker?

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

I was able to attend Spring Institute in GR (my 1st) and was thrilled to see you with Hank and John. You were wonderful! Thank you so much for being there and I hope the airport guy didn't wreck your whole experience!

6:26 AM  
Blogger Summer said...


sleep mask please!!!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Katayoun said...

ok, now ny i would love to see BUT you have to visit us to have a true "line" (notice that i am omitting the standing part!!) experience. we have any and every kind of them, the fun ones are the ones that start like 3 am (for 9 am starts) and noone is actually IN the line, people come and write down their name and go away, and then around 6 ish everyone comes back and there are atleast 5 different lists and well you can imagine the fun. half the people survive, 2 get in and the rest are sent away for another day/night of fun. then there are the ones there is noone (not even the person who need the answer from) but you and then the next moment the guy/gal comes and you are trampled under foot by 100000 people that weren't there just a second ago (takes years of practice not to be trampled and only sent to end of the 100000 people line and another 100 years to be able to appear at the right moment and be there at the start of the line, lots of parachute jumping and juggling skills are required!!), and then there are the ones that you are standing in a normal line, with like 10 people infront of you and then you stand there for 10 hours because it's not really 10 people infront of you BUT all their family and friends and neighbors and ..... they come one by one, inform you that they were there and had just gone to wash their hands, atleast it's a clean line!!! and the last one and the most fun one is the one that looks like a riot and everyone pretends that it's a line and everyone is fighting with the people next to them that they were there first and they are really in the line and the rest are wrong!!! you come out of that (well if you are lucky and come out live) feeling so good!! a good massage, a feeling that you've told off 100 people atleast, feeling that you are the only rule abiding person in a country filled with non-linear!! people, and well feeling that "YOU'RE OUT! YOU'RE OUT!".
on second thoughts send those two lovely men here, they would learn to appreciate you more and also how to stand in a line!!!!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

"Why yes, I do have selective hearing. It comes in quite handy when I can select NOT to hear random strangers with selective GOOD MANNERS."

I would love a sleep mask! In a few weeks I have to fly to Hong Kong and that is a LONG LONG LONG flight. It could help me sleep and spread the word of Suite Scarlett across the globe.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Electric Landlady said...

Boo hiss to Guy 1 and especially Guy 2, because it was none of his business.

If I ever had the presence of mind and the nerve in those sorts of situations, I would love to try an equally disproportionate response, perhaps something like: "Thank goodness you told me! I could never have lived with myself if I'd cut in front of you! It would just have been disastrous! Oh my goodness, thank you so much for letting me know! How can I ever repay you?"

It probably wouldn't work as well as in my head, though. And in real life I would probably have done exactly what you did, only with less poise.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first thought after seeing that video was that that guy must have gotten really, really tired from all that hopping. My second thought was "I want a taco" but I'm sure that's not really relevant.

If you would be so kind, I would love one of those sleep masks (I'm going for the polite approach this time instead of the previously used I-want-this-more-than-an-easy-bake-oven-which-I-spend-the-entirety-of-my-childhood-years-pining-for method. Although that's still totally true)

2:36 AM  
Blogger ambeen said...

You should have said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize the line began over in Siberia."

Probably not the best, but at least you would have been letting him know it was his own stupidity that made you think he wasn't in line.

P.S. I would die for a sleep mask! I was very disappointed not to get one last time. Please draw my name this time! :P

5:01 AM  
Blogger Isai said...

Oh, Maureen. Only a few hours previous to that encounter you discovered your happy dance. Some happy dances done in the presence of those who have no idea what a happy dance is will instinctively take a few steps back from the happy dancer and avoid him/her like the plague.

Use your happy dance, Sweets!!! and and and if you really want to take it over the top, carry around some m&ms inside an old prescription drug container!! First you scream anxiously (make sure it's inaudible to nearby security), dig frantically through your purse, take out three pills with a not-so-steady hand, chug the '&ms and THEN Happy Dance your way to @%$#%le FREEDOM!!!


simply ask John to arm you with some Nerdfighterly Shakespearean-esque retorts.

I just finished watching the whole Michigan gathering. Man I couldn't help but sing along with Hank. It looked like an amazing night. I'm thrilled for everyone who managed to go see you guys and for you as well. Later, M.


**forgive me if I double posted**

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i want one.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Katie K said...

Sleep mask! Woot!

Also, everytime someone insults me...I have a foolproof comeback!
Just cry! Cry and cry and cry, shed enough tears to fill the Nile. The person will feel so guilty it'll be hilarious, they may even offer you a tissue. Throw in some broken sentences about how you're going to your grandma's funeral and then you're all set! (knock on wood)

thanks! katie

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Amy~la said...

you should have said, "what? who do you think you are? i dont know who you are sao you're not important! i will go i line where ever i want to because i'm maureen johnson!"

7:06 AM  
Blogger Isai said...


"Je sui di president du Burundi!!!"

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Caitlyn said...

Hello there! This is Caitlyn. I am very aware that i am VERY late to post here but it seemed like a fun thing to do to stall me from my BEYOND boring/difficult/impossible MATH homework. Blah. Anyway i emailed you and love you haha. I would have said for a comeback
"Your right i am selective hearing, i selected AKA choosed not to listen to your ANNOYING voice ramble on about noncence that i dont care about. MAYBE if people noticed the HUGE hole in the line and were smart, like me, they would have just joined the line were there actually WAS a line. Okay Sir??

haha how is THAT for a comeback. That is somthing i would neva say tho i just would have said "Well Sooooreeee" lol :D

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Caitlyn W said...

Silly me i just noticed there was ANOTHER Caitlyn. wow and spelled the same, that NEVER happens. Well i am the Caitlyn with the post above. Thanks :D

8:20 AM  
Anonymous poodle649 said...

I want one! But I won't just say that. I'll ask a question. Or write a non-ku. A haiku with NO set setup.

Like see
This a the poem
Of non-ku.

'Cause I CAN.

And my mom is making me get off the computer now so I can't do anything else...

10:16 AM  
Blogger Miss Hannah said...

i have to wonder how badly that poor man's calves were burning after the hours of bouncing that were inevitably required during the shooting of that video. poor, little spencer look-alike :(

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Caitlyn W said...

Hello I am back! After that amazing comeback, i logged off and went to bed, thats when the amazing thing happened i thought of a better one! you could have said:
"Thanks for noticing my selective hearing, you can thank me later for noticing your selective movement either in the brain or the feet, becuase obviously you didnt see you were like WAY back there and the line should be WAAAYYY up here" this is when you walk past him """accidently""" hitting his sholder with your and retaking your spot in the line.
HAHAHA i wonder what he would say to THAT

6:40 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Just wanted to say that I just finished "Suite Scarlett" in a matter of hours today, and I LOVED it. it struck in me so many of the same chords that E. Lockhart's "Dramarama" did last year.

It was odd, while I was reading it, I found myself getting excited whenever Spencer showed up and anxiously waiting his appearances--I think you've given me a literary crush on Spencer. Thank you.

I saw somewhere someone talking about who was more appealing Spencer or Eric, and it made me think that some people must really love Eric. (I liked him at first, but he kind of got on my nerves later on.) So Maureen, love, you simply HAVE to make a Spencer OR Eric poll. Please. It's a must. I'm hoping Spencer garners up the votes!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Christina Hicks said...

I got my sleep mask this weekend! I was so excited and everyone I know is jealous, thanks so much!

9:06 PM  
Blogger Reese said...

Yay! I got my sleep mask!


Now excuse me while I bang on my ceiling with a broom a bit more. WHAT COULD THAT GUY BE DOING?

1:01 AM  
Anonymous hurlax said...

Hi Maureen!
And also, here is my question: Is there any story behind naming your character Scarlett Scarlett? My friend saw the cover and title and asked if you were thinking of Scarlet Johanssen (blond hair, red lipstick).

6:07 AM  
Blogger Just a girl said...

I would ♥ a sleep mask!

I think you should have said “Is this a$%&*le convention in Grand Rapids this year? Are you an attendee or featured speaker?” Or played along, looked around surprised and said "excuse me, did you say something? I didn't quite catch that."

Airports are grumpy places. Too many people trying to get somewhere at once, most of them business types (the most angsty of people.)

Glad your impromptu library gathering worked out though!

Just a girl

12:26 PM  
Anonymous SuperEllen said...

This blog entry was too funny. I think tomorrow at school I'm going to jump around people for no apparent reason and see if they give me one of those 'whatever, you strange, scary girl' looks. (Haha, Girl At Sea) I would like a sleep mask, if possible awesome MJ!

4:44 AM  

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