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Sunday, August 17, 2008

MJ’S BIG AND RANTY LITERARY SALON

In my last post, I asked you if you had any questions about books. Today, I have tried to answer just a few of the questions that came in. They were all excellent, but I ended up going on and on and on about a few. Feel free to chime in! Everyone can chat in the SALON!

QUESTIONS ABOUT VAMPIRES AND (TANGENTIALLY) ABOUT BREAKING DAWN

lightforms said...
Why don't vampires go after people their own age?


I assume because “people their own age” are either extremely, extremely old or are, in a word, dead. Just to take Twilight as an example . . . Edward is what? 107 years old? Even eHarmony is not going to be able to help with that. Can you imagine his online profile?

Name: Edward Cullen

Age: 100+

Physical appearance: Rock solid body. (No, really. A rock solid body.) Also, kind of pale, sparkly. Basically, I am a diamond shaped like a guy.

Skills: Running, basic cooking, playing piano. Also, can throw a minivan half a block and hear you think.

First concert you ever went to: John Phillip Sousa plays “27 Great Military Marches.”

First album you ever bought when you were a kid: Home gramophones were not commonly in use at the time.

Likes: Overcast days, running through the woods at night eating elk.

Dislikes: Open wounds, large dogs.

Do you see what I mean? Even with his 29 dimensions of compatibility, Dr. Neil Clark Warren would have a hard time finding Edward a match. And if there are some single 100 year old women out there, they are probably not very good with the internet.

Even the littlest vampires are about 80, and it’s technically possible for them to find someone their own age . . . but then you’d have an 80 year-old going out with someone who looks and acts like someone about 20 and then you’d have . . .

Oh wait. You’d have Harold and Maude! And that would be AWESOME! Okay, I see your point. Maybe they should actually date people their own age, if they can. But if they’re over a hundred, anyone should be fair game.

a literate musician said...
What do you think of Jacob imprinting on Nessie?


It certainly puts a new spin on cradle robbing.


hayley said...
Dear Maureen:

I just wanted to say that I am an avid reader of your blog; and, also, a vampire. I would like to know if I could come to your house one day and discuss obscure literary theories. I promise I won't eat you.

Sincerely, Hayley


You cannot fool me, “Hayley.” I see right through you. I know exactly who you are. Free Alan Rickman now!

killersmile said...
I hear that a lot of people didn't like the end of Breaking Dawn and so a lot of people returned it to their bookstores. I don't think that there is any area of this situation that doesn't suck. Readers get a bad (ish?) book, bookstores don't get any money, and Stephanie Meyer, who has put so much time and effort into this series, gets negative feedback. Do you think this hurts more or less than having a book banned? How do authors deal with negative feedback?


Having a book banned is always worse, because it is worse for everyone. All book-banners are fascist dweebs, without exception, and they are almost always non-readers. When they win, we all lose, because that means that we are now taking direction from certified idiots and have curbed the public discourse based on their incredibly limited understanding of anything.

Negative feedback is just one of those things you have to deal with. Just because the comments are negative doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong. But the psychic impact of reading all the negative comments to get to the nuggets of wisdom, if they are there, can be profound and leave you twitching in the corner. You deal with it by . . . um . . . just dealing with it. Or by twitching in the corner.


beauxdanseur282 said...
Has the fan reaction to Breaking Dawn frightened you, as a YA author?


Let me answer your question by talking about something else entirely.

I was fascinated by the Breaking Dawn discussion because it brought so many people out to talk about books. There were two comments I saw over and over again really made me go a little insane. They aren’t really about Breaking Dawn; they’re much broader. I have responded to these below, because if I didn’t, I was going to lose my mind and end up eating my own tie on television like Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. (Oh, BBC News. Did you really say “chews over his next move.” Really?)

ANNOYING POINT ONE: Fiction doesn’t have to make sense! It’s okay for the rules to change at any time. Fiction is just a bunch of made up stuff! Fantasy, especially, can do anything, at any time . . . because it’s really WEIRD fiction!

Yes, fiction is “made up stuff,” but in order for a story to function, it has to follow its own rules. If it doesn’t, it is BROKEN. All meaning and significance goes out the window. Fiction is not just a grab bag of random paragraphs, unconnected ideas, and cracked trains of thought. Saying that fantasy IN PARTICULAR has no rules . . . oooh. You just made a lot of fantasy writers reach for their phasers, light sabers, and sonic screwdrivers.

Fantasy is a creative way of re-examining the world we know, giving us a new angle on familiar concepts. The stories resonate because, at heart, they are talking about things we know and understand. Stories can be strange—very strange indeed. They can diverge from whatever you think of as reality in a million different ways. A good fantasy strikes at a universal truth. To dismiss a story because of its fantastical nature is AN EPIC FAIL.

Fantasy writers (at least the good ones) break their own backs building the worlds of their stories, weighing the impact of their choices, showing the cause and effect of the new conditions they have established.

Just taking one of a bazillion examples of fantastic fantasticals: “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka is about a man who wakes up one morning and finds that he has turned into a giant insect. Bam. From the first sentence, weird things are going on. But the story doesn’t just fly off in a dozen different directions, breaking its own logic. It consistently follows that reality, and in doing so, tells one of the most moving stories about the human condition that has ever been put to paper. It’s not just random crap about some DUDE who gets BUGGY. He doesn't just stop being buggy for no reason. There's a POINT, and it gets made in a way that is, of course, impossible in life. This is the beauty of fantasy . . . showing us the real and possible through the unlikely or impossible.

ANNOYING POINT TWO: It’s just fiction! It doesn’t mean anything! If you want meaning, read non-fiction!

It’s hard to even know where to begin with this. I had to ice my head.

Look, not every book has to wield the Big Red Hammer of Significance, bringing it down on your head over and over again . . . but stories do carry messages. Maybe the message isn’t very deep. Maybe you don’t like the message. Maybe the author didn’t even mean for the message to be there. But stories show us a slice of experience—no matter how major, minor, wrongheaded, fabulous, profound, or inane. I think people who make statements like the one above are grossly underestimating the value and impact of fiction, especially on themselves.

I think most people know this, and we all figured it out in a different way. I learned it from watching Fat Albert when I was four years old.

My dad and Bill Cosby grew up in the same area of Philadelphia around the same time, and Fat Albert is based on real people Bill Cosby knew. My dad told me this, so I watched Fat Albert appreciatively. At the start of every episode, Bill Cosby explained that while stories would be fun, they might also have a meaning, something we could glean from them. This pretty much blew my four year-old mind. That and the fact that he was throwing signs and things to Fat Albert and Fat Albert was throwing them back.



That a cartoon could actually reflect real people and real situations . . . tiny mj was staggered. Then I was trundled off to Sunday School, where I learned that Jesus taught people through parables . . . stories! Fictions! Bill Cosby AND Jesus were both using stories?

That’s how I got the point. What about you?

I’m not suggesting you should analyze every story until your brain splits apart into tiny pieces . . . but just to dismiss any significance because something is fiction is deeply foolish. Stories are one of the most powerful and ancient rhetorical tools out there. Entire civilizations fall, and their stories remain. On the surface, some of these stories are cracked-out crazy . . . stories of gods and monsters and magical whatsits of all stripes. But these stories explained the entire world, and were often carried along, changed, retold . . . so that some of those ancient cracked-out stories affect the way we see things NOW.

So maybe that cheesy romance book you’re reading isn’t a civilization builder—it still may say something about the perceptions of romance and love, of desire, of our society’s current view of relationships. Or maybe it’s all about shoes. (Which could mean it’s about consumerism and our value system.)

There’s a million ways to nerd out on this. I just get freaked out when people are so quick to dismiss fiction as a force, especially coming from people who seem to be passionately moved by a work of fiction.

I’m much calmer now.


QUESTIONS ABOUT BOOKS BY PEOPLE I KNOW, ALSO PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW


nicole s. said...
have you read How to Ditch Your Fairy, did you like it, and should I read it when it's released?


YES. I read How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier when it was just a little Word document, just making its way into the world. You should read it because it is EXCELLENT. No, really. It is AWESOME. And if you are disappointed in any way (you won’t be), come to my house and I will make you a taco.

betty said...
I just want to know what you think of "Paper Towns".


I think Paper Towns is awesome, and not just because I like John Green. It’s hard answering these questions because it sounds like I just like my friends’ books, but the thing is that I DO like my friends’ books.

summer said...
I has book question!

 In The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, where does the Time Traveler go to the bathroom?


I have always wondered this exact point about the TARDIS. Also, I didn’t realize until recently just how snide the Daleks are. For trashcans with plungers sticking out of them, they certainly are full of beans. I was particularly fond of this argument they get into with the Cybermen. I think I have a DALEK CRUSH!



Does this answer your question?

intheclouds23 said...
Do you think that Clary and Jace are really related?


You are talking about the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, which I adore. But you are asking the wrong question. The more important question is: HOW CAN WE GET MORE SIMON IN THERE? Why doesn’t she call it THE SIMON STORIES? This is what I want to know! And she KNOWS it, too!

But as for your question . . . I can’t actually talk about this because I have spoken to Cassie about these books at length (in my attempts to get more Simon in there) and she’s told me everything. My lips are sealed.

renee said...
Do you think Neil Gaiman is real? Do you think that you are real?


I am pretty sure I am a figment of Neil Gaiman’s imagination.

QUESTIONS ABOUT AWESOME


at said...
I was listening to "Honey Honey" while reading this blog post. 
Why hasn't there been an ABBA-inspired novel in which the main characters wear awesome fur coats in the snow and are practically perfect?


THIS IS AN EXCELLENT QUESTION! Books about completely perfect people are almost by definition boring and dumb, but this would be the exception. And they should also fight crime! And maybe have a spaceship! And a talking shark!

Oh wait. I’m channeling 70s cartoons again. Why were so many of them about pop bands who fought crime? Like Josie and the Pussycats and Jabberjaw.

I don’t care. IT’S STILL AWESOME.

suvi said...
Today was the first lesson of the compulsory music course in upper secondary school. You know what we did? WE SANG AND LISTENED TO AND LEARNED ABOUT AND WROTE ABOUT ABBA! All lesson was about Abba, and a little bit about the musicals Benny and Björn have done after Abba. We sang Money Money Money, and Mamma Mia, and SOS, and the teacher really tried to make sure that we know everything about them.

Now I know that Finnish education is the best in the world. Everyone HAS to take that music course. They won't graduate without it. And what is so very important that everyone has to know about it? Abba, of course!


I can’t hear you over the sound of me PACKING MY BAGS AND MOVING TO FINLAND.

QUESTIONS ABOUT MY BOOKS

reese said...
Did you ever consider writing a book about Aliens that suck out people's brains while at the Olympics?


Have you not read Suite Scarlett?

libraryhermit said...
What's your next book going to be about?


Thank you for asking! The next one to come out is Scarlett Fever, the sequel to Suite Scarlett, and the one after that will be the sequel to Scarlett Fever! So it’s pretty Scarlettastic for the immediate future. Then I’ll do something else.

chelsea said...
I just noticed that on the cover of The Bermudez Triangle, the 'M' in 'Bermudez' and the 'A' in 'Triangle' are both a little out of line. Does that have anything to do with Mel and Avery, or is it just a coincidence?


WOW. That is some observational skill. I have no idea.

victoria said...
But is this choice of a random commenter to win a copy of Suite Scarlett really random? Or do you just choose you're favorite comment and say its random? Will it help my chances by saying that I nearly died laughing while reading Suite Scarlett, and that Spencer is now one of my favorite literary figures of all time?


What if I told you that you happened to be today’s random winner? Because you are. But it’s not because you were nice—I SWEAR.

In case you are thinking that I will be giving out Scarletts to random commenters forever . . . I won’t be! It ends this month!

But since it’s still on now, leave a comment and let me know what YOU are thinking about!

EXTRA! POLITICAL STYLE NOTE!
Did anyone see the Obama/McCain live forum tonight? One thing is clear . . . TIES ARE OUT! WHAT WILL THEY EAT WHEN THEY GET NERVOUS?

Labels: , ,

103 Comments:

Anonymous beccaswitz said...

i know this is COMPLETELY RANDOM...but since you are too ( :D ) i thought i would be ok to ask.

i just got the september issue of vogue, and noticed that its EXTREMELY LARGE. 798 pages to be exact. whats your take on fashion? do you think that that much literature deserves to be devoted to fashion?

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Raelyn said...

what am I thinking about? I'm thinking I'm loving that I have a new keyboard that can function faster than 10 words per minute. I'm thinking that Michael Phelps is FRICKING AWESOME. I'm thinking I would like a Suite Scarlett very much, s.v.p. :)

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

I'm thinking I love you, especially after that Doctor Who clip. :D Best. TV show. Evar!

And this totally helped me take my mind off my broken ankle. <3 Plus I completely agree with you about the power of fiction.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous nosidam said...

Okay you wanted to know what I'm thinking about so I'm just going to list some random thoughts and questions.

Rainbows: They cut indigo because it's a tertiary color and there aren't any others in the rainbow, but wouldn't it me kind of fun if the rainbow had 12 colors including chartreuse? Also who sits around and thinks about changing the number colors in rainbows? This seems like a good gig. Ditto, planets.

Replacing real words with other letters and numbers is just confusing. Why do people find it necessary to do this. I have a hard enough time spelling as it is.

Red hair: Why do people call it red hair? It's normally more of an orange color, but when I say someone has orange people think I'm crazy.

Okay I think that's enough thinking for now. Would you like a virtual juice?

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Haddy-la said...

why is the song its warmer in the basement by corbra starship so awsome even though its about someone kindnaping a person and locking them in their basement? I mean if you where kidnapped and locked in a basement that would be very unawsome.

My mom wants to steal my preciouse books and give them to my evil Language Arts teacher. Ilove my books as proff they are alphabatised. In fact i love books so very much i alphabatised my aunts VERY large amount of books well i was visiting. How do i make it so my mom cant take my books? THEIR MINE!

5:06 AM  
Blogger seekingsomething said...

I have now read your entire blog archive. I preceded that with the entire Brotherhood 2.0 Project archive. I think I may be overloading on awesome...should I be concerned?

5:10 AM  
Blogger AT said...

I'm working on a treatment for this ABBA novel. It's set at the Olympics (timely, huh?). The four "whippersnappers," as they are, indeed, whippersnappers, are performing in the Opening, Closing, and newly-invented ABBAnastics Ceremonies. BUT! Things go wrong when a German underwear model kills hundreds of people during a performance of "Lay All Your Love On Me." This starts international turmoil. And World War III. It's up to our perky heroes to save the day!

5:21 AM  
OpenID themadpoker said...

I have been making up the plot of Suite Scarlett in my head from the book summary and everything you said in your blog. Now I'm adding aliens! =) I am a little worried about how very off my expectations will be when I finally get to read it.

Question! Should you find yourself in posession of a time machine that ran solely on Hershey's chocolate and were given a limited supply which time period would you choose to go to? (You could also eat the chocolate instead, it would probably be the safer option)

5:24 AM  
Blogger AnneB said...

But Maureen, I've already read Suite Scarlett. What I want is to be the first entrant i the contest for an ARC of Scarlett Fever. Heck, I'll settle for the Word.doc. I'll even proofread it for you...

5:44 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

WOW. That is some observational skill. I have no idea.

I don't think it's exactly observational skill. It's probably a touch of OCD. If something is out of alignment, I will notice it and pounce.

Question time! Have there been any breakthroughs on strategies to free Alan Rickman? If not, I have an excellent plan involving green Jell-o, large amounts of potent rubber, some vegetarian tacos, 12.5 Peeps, a fan belt, some purple duct tape, a pool noodle, the Ms. Scarlet piece from a Clue board, and the entire Harry Potter series (collectors edition). I can't say more, or I will give it away.

And to answer YOUR question, I am thinking about MY question.

6:24 AM  
Blogger ROSIE!!!!!!!!! said...

Maureen, i totally agree with your take on fiction. IT IS A POWERFUL THING! why without fiction I how could we read about humpires? And romance novels teach lessons to. They teach about how everyone loves and wants to be loved and how love dosen't care if your 2 girls or 2 guys or a vampire and a human. It just happens. wow that was a lil' nugget 'o' wisdom.
My brother probably wants to kill me i've been singing gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight way to much over the last 24 hours. Our music teacher didnt teach us about ABBA we got stuck with learning about boring ol' Motzart :p

6:55 AM  
OpenID lady-ceky said...

Oh Daleks. You make me so happy. =) Whovians are excellent.

What are your feelings on Trock? Charlie's song Blink is fantastic Y/N?
Also! I went to borders today and was so excited to see a huge pile of your books and a sign saying "Suite Scarlett coming soon!" (this is in New Zealand) so yay!

6:57 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

so...if i pretend to be disappointed in How to Ditch your Fairy to get a taco, will you know i'm lying? ;)

ps. Can i have a Suite Scarlett? Pleeease? I'll wash the dishes after i finish my taco. And possibly even make fried ice cream. As soon as i learn how to.

7:07 AM  
OpenID trudeau1031 said...

I did not see it. Unfortunately I was at work.

I have a question, even though question... uh Saturday? is over:
How did you feel when your book was banned? Cool? Angry?

7:09 AM  
Blogger beth said...

I was just going to shamelessly ask for a copy of your new book, but then I noticed the Doctor Who clip, and I'm too busy having David Tennant dreams :) Have you seen the pic of him in a tux-kilt? GOD I LOVE SCOTTISH MEN IN TUX-KILTS!!!!

7:11 AM  
Blogger The Not So Closet Geeks said...

i am thinking of how much fun i had today.

one of my friends threw her 16th bday party today and it was amazing. it was way cheaper and more fun than the parties in sweet sixteen =)

7:15 AM  
Blogger betty said...

Sadly I didn't see the forum, I just moved back to my apartment from staying with my parents for two months. Got to love summer. Now I am without cable television but luckily I got the paperback version of An Abundance of Katherine's in the mail. :)

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Becky S. said...

have you read The Kite Runner??? because I just finished it and it was AMAZING. I bet you've read it already. How many books do you think you've read in your WHOLE LIFE????

7:35 AM  
Blogger Lauren(wearing a superman cape) said...

Questions for MJ:
Would YOU like a superman cape?
Is Micheal Phelps awesome?
Did Stephenie Meyer ever get her taco?
Where is Keith. And how can I kidnap him?


*gives a kiwi and runs away singing about flamingos

7:38 AM  
Blogger LibraryHermit said...

I love that Doctor Who clip!!! I love the Daleks too!!

Will you give Spencer a wonderful girlfriend named Elaine?

Do you find it creepy that male swimmers don't have any hair?

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Elise said...

I am so glad you like Doctor Who!!!!! And that we are on the same brainwave about bathrooms and TARDIS-es (or would it be TARDIS-i?) Now you are officially my favorite person ever. (don't tell David Tennant. I wouldn't want his beautiful self to have his feelings hurt)

Will you be my new best friend?

Also, I have a friend who didn't like Mamma Mia! She said she thought it was lame and childish! But she will not listen to reason! What will I do?

Kthxbai,
Elise

9:45 AM  
Blogger Elzabelle said...

Just something I was wondering about: Where do you do most of your writing?
Coffee shops seems particularly alluring when writing, but I think that is just because I like excuses to spend money on coffee.
Do you write at home a lot, or in the park, or on the bus?

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Ariana Ocasio said...

Hey!!!
I want a copy of Suite Scarlett, YA section in my local borders suckss!!!
Help!

10:59 AM  
OpenID beauxdanseur282 said...

Wow. When I posted my little question, I had no idea that it would inspire such a rant. I'm stunned. :) I agree completely with what you said about fiction, even really "weird" fiction having to follow its own rules. I hate when people dismiss fiction for not being real. Scoff.

I have another random question that I ask the world in general: WHY DID THE LYING SCUMBAGS AT WB PUT BACK THE RELEASE DATE OF HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE? WHY? *huffs and puffs for several more minutes*

I'm glad to see some lovely Doctor Who. That is my all-time favorite Dalek moment as well. And of course, David Tennent is a whole other thing of awesomeness. Sigh.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous maureenisawesome said...

MAUREEN!!!! it has come to my attention that there is ANOTHER "Summer" writing comments to you. This is a problem.

I have now changed my name to "MAUREENISAWESOME"
but it's really still me.

Also. I have a question. Why do we have to wait until July for HBP? WHY?

12:47 PM  
Blogger chanel.wa said...

My guess is arm-huggies and/or belts. Would love to see that.

I'm currently thinking about...
ABBA (I will not/can not ever take ABBA off of my mind. Ever. Mark my words.)

Going to Finland. (omigosh, ABBA classes?! And to think that we're wasting our time on things like science and math! USA should be ashamed!)

Hello Kitty Chinese Drop candies (Yum.)

The Twilight Zone (maybe I'll actually watch it someday...)

Winning Suite Scarlett (would be totally awesome and would give me something to do this summer besides devouring jars of Hello Kitty Chinese Drops. I mean, hello! Cavities!)

What is your favorite Scott Westerfeld book (hmm... Lots of goodies to choose from)

Sleeping (Hmmmmm........ Sleeping...)

Good night, MJ.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Kimber Alice said...

I'm staying at a friend's house tonight, and I literally started to laugh aloud while reading this blog. I am now certain that my friends are considering admitting me to an Asylum of some sort, but I think I can hold them off using my chop sticks.

Just out of curiousity, though, have you been watching the Olympics? What's your favourite event?

Also, I just read the Uglies/Pretties/Specials series and loved it, but I'm wondering what you think about the series. I love hearing your insights.

Ever the procrastinator, I would still love to be the winner of a copy of Suite Scarlett.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I'm thinking that it's pretty awesome but weird that i get to know so many YA-writers over the internet before I actually read their books and that I will hunt down one of your books when I get the chance to because if your blog already makes me have breathing issues due to laughing too much, your books must be amazing.
Also, if i should happen to win a copy of suite scarlett, I shall donate it to my favorite american library, since I live in Germany (shipping over the atlantic is not a very co2-neutral business) and I like to share the awesome

3:57 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I am thinking about how much my school sucks, and how I want to move to Finland with you. I've always harbored a secret desire to be Finnish.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Miranda K.. said...

1. Edward enjoys mountain lion, not elk.

2. you say that negative feedback is just "one of those things you have to deal with". What's the worst rejection you've gotten, on which book?

thanks!! :D

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Erin W. said...

What I am thinking right now:

Spencer Martin is perfect...How did you do that? You created a character that everyone would fall in love with pretty much as soon as they read, "I got a butt butt, I got a mud hut...Got shoe and socko, get me a taco." (My sister and I will run around the house chanting those two lines to each other...It confuses my mom to no end.) I NEED ME A CHARMING, WONDERFUL (teenage) MALE CHARACTER FOR MY BOOK!! GIVE ME A HINT AS TO HOW YOU DO IT!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I was going to leave some sort of random, hilarious comment concerning ABBA and jellyfish and a pokemon-style battle, but I actually have a question about writing.

I'm a writer, but I've never been able to get beyond short stories because I am profoundly inept at constructing plots. Characters easily pop into my head fully formed (as Athena from the head of Zeus!) but I think in terms of PEOPLE, rather than EVENTS. And while pages upon pages of them talking to each other certainly fascinates *me,* it isn't exactly marketable.

So anyway. When you get ideas for books, do you always have an initial idea of the story arc, or does that come later?

...

... and, hypothetically, if the members of ABBA got into an undersea battle with a group of jellyfish (with breathing apparatuses [apparati?] which allow them oxygen but render them unable to use their beautiful voices) who would win? And how?

10:53 PM  
OpenID phantmgreeneyes said...

Dalek reference = love!! Cyberman reference = made of slightly less love than the daleks, but still good.

I always get such a kick out of reading your blog (while at work, which is something I probably shouldn't be doing... do de doo). This one especially gave me great ideas of new books to read! So many thanks.

Also, the Edward Cullen eharmony add? Had me laughing so hard a few patrons looked at me funny. If he put that add out on eHarmony, I'd check him out.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Haha, the eHarmony ad was gold.

On a more serious note, I'd like to know what you think about this:
http://www.alisavaldesrodriguez.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html#3554407638079814097

11:05 PM  
Blogger barbara said...

At the moment I am thinking about the best way to avoid homework. Why do people's "brilliant" ideas of finishing in four years at college have to come with so much work?
Kafka’s Metamorphous does follow rules. Part of the reason for the story is about how people are being dehumanized by society and that he lost his self value before turning into a bug, but why is it soooo weird? Why couldn’t he use something that isn’t a bug? Bugs are ewwwie!
Loved how you put Edward into perspective as the average eharmony user.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Elise said...

I did watch the forum adn I must say I enjoyed it. I gained quite a bit of respect for both canidates. I was genuinly surprised by Mccains dry sense of humor.Also my theory on the ties....... I think they skipped the ties because they are all on diets, the were trying to avoid eating anything.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Elena said...

Maureen, I can't tell you how excited I am when I see you have a new blog posted. Okay, I can tell you; the excitement levels are pretty high.
Do you like the Olympics? Which one of you books was the most difficult to write?

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Nuwon Wearspants said...

(I'm thinking about school starting, because this is the last week of summer for me.)

Did you like school when you were a teen/kid?

And did you write a lot as a teenager? Or was it more when you were an adult?

..and I would like a copy of Suite Scarlett, please!

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Suvi said...

I'm thinking about chocolate. My favorite chocolate brand has a new kind of chocolate. It has pieces of creamy toffee in it. My favorite brand of toffee. In my favorite brand of chocolate. Do I even have to tell you how much I like it? I actually painted a picture of it. That's not something I do with everything I eat.

Sleeping might be nice. I think I'll try that now. Sorry, I know that writing comments is just as important. But my English really isn't that good when I'm sleepy.

12:33 AM  
Blogger rosaleepip83 said...

John McCain doesn't need to eat ties. Everyone knows that McCain only eats brains as he is a ZOMBIE.

Barack Obama is still eating ties off camera. And flag pins for dessert.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous foreverbored said...

apparently, im not the only one listening to the mamma mia! soundtrack over and over again. its great isnt it??
ugh. i just read everyones comments and thought of a million things to say, so, of course, now i cant remeber a thing.
oh well.
so, mj: jake or edward or both?? just curious.
see ya!

1:21 AM  
Anonymous meghan said...

MAUREEN, WATCH THIS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd1Ws9QnmZY
ZOMBIE HAIKUS!!!

2:18 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Hello! I have a number of things to say, so they will be numbered.

1. Your rant about fiction and how it can make a significant impression on readers is absolutely true, because we as readers cannot help but take away something from a story, unless the reader happens to be a certifiable idiot book-banner.

2. I also have stuff to say about your other rants but that would include a rant of my own and that would make me hungry. Which reminds me, I want cookies.

3. I didn't know ties could look so delicious.

4. Is it hard to be as awesome as you? You make it look so easy...:]

5. Wow. Edward Cullen seems so much more scary when you present him like that.

6. Do you think you could randomly give me a Suite Scarlett? Because I think I will go into a coma if I do not receive an infusion of awesome.

7. Happy Olympics!

That is all. Now, I will go drink something and think about rainbows and their symbolism in life.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Nerdfighter said...

What did you sell to the queen?

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking that we need to get a writer as president. A lot of presidents have BECOME writers, mostly about their time in office, but has a writer ever BECOME president? Preferably you Maureen, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, Steven King, John Green, E. Lockhart, Libba Bray, or Anne Rice. Plus it would definitely raise our country's literacy rate. Also most writers have blogs, most people get their news over the computer in blog form! So many more people would know what is going on.
That's what I'm thinking about.
~Bee
P.S. Anne Rice vs. Steven King, who would you vote for MJ?

4:03 AM  
Blogger Shrieky said...

You recent reference to Doctor Who got me thinking. Which would you rather have? The TARDIS, a sonic screwdriver or K-9? Personally I'd like my own mini Doctor. You know the model of a Hungarian Horntail Harry Potter gets in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament? Like that.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

I loved Fat Albert as a kid. I still love parables. Fiction does have to make a certain degree of sense. There has to be something that resonates with the reader/viewer. I saw some clips of the forum. I noticed the lack of tie also. Maybe that's just for the Spring/Summer. I don't wear pantyhose in ths summer but I do wear them in the Fall/Winter. It's interesting that even dressy fashion is becoming more causal. Fashion is a cycle so ties/panty hose may come back in the future.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Shloopy (Nerdfighter) said...

The Nerdfighter scavenger hunt has begun, and I've been rereading 13 LBE.

At the end of the second letter, it gives complete, detailed instructions to a location in London. Fess up MJ. Is there a clue there?

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

I was wondering if you are going to be doing any sort of a book tour for Suite Scarlett...we would love to see you here in AZ!
:)
(I don't need to be in the running for the free copy, I have one.)

6:12 PM  
Blogger KimjustKim said...

More Simon! Hear hear! Nothing against the other characters, mind, but any scene with Simon in it is simply better. He's like...he's like the best parts of Jacob and Edward put together.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what am i thinking about? well, however strange it is, i am thinking of what to type, because my allergies have fogged up my mind. so there you go.

i have a few questions for you, MJ.

1. do you watch the Olympics?

2. if yes, do you, more specificaly, watch swimming?

3. ergo, Michael Phelps?

4. have you ever made a fool of yourself while watching an entertaining- possibly even stressful- sporting event?

5. do you partake in sporting events?

6. or are you a spectator?


i think you should be one of those match makers for older people. you'd be good at it! really. though i'd be afraid of Bella coming after you if you matched someone to Edward :) which brings me to my next few sentences: who would return Breaking Dawn? WHY???! i thought it was real good!

* Emilee

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we haven't heard about the contest in a while. What's up with that?

12:36 AM  
Blogger Keila said...

Ok...So I noticed how much you like Abba because its like impossible not to notice (You mention her in every single blog I've read.) And I wanted to know if you liked that song Chiquitica? My mom loves it and she showed it to me and I also loved it and did you know they sing it in spanish? You must listen to it. Also I would like to win a Suite Scarlett...PLEASE

1:17 AM  
Blogger Callidora said...

Your post made me very happy so thank you. I had just spent 1 1/2 hours at the Humane Society playing with kittens I can't have (my entire family is allergic). So many thanks for cheering me up!
:o)

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Kelsey R H said...

i am thinking about how this guy isn't emailing me back and how i am getting pissed at him.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever read anything by Robin McKinley?

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question 1: Have you read Cory Doctorow's Novel Little Brother? If so, what did you think after reading it. If not, how do you think the upswing of technology and intelligence will effect personal freedoms/privacy.

Question 2: How goes the freeing of Alan Rickman? I suppose he'll be locked up even longer, what with Half-Blood Prince being delayed until next effing summer. We need to FREE him and get him pizza.

~Chelsea R.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Hayley said...

I was visiting my nurse yesterday--and getting my weekly dose of Red Cross O-positive--when I was in the waiting room (which was, weirdly enough, FILLED WITH HUMANS!). I noticed that something delectably musical was coming from the speakers overhead. It was ABBA. I took this as a sign from the Sparkly, Singing Ones Themselves, that I am meant to get a copy of Suite Scarlett.

Alan Rickman is of the same opinion. Its impossible not to agree with Alan Rickman, right?

9:42 PM  
Anonymous *Allie* said...

lol. i agree with everything you said. I must be really stupid. i just figured out what Scarlett Fever was, the real thing not the book. woow....
still, i'd love a suite scarlett!!! plz!!!
not that i'm begging.
but plz.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

i finished suite scarlett before any of the people in my fgroup of friends, and it was fantastic.

and i kind of hated whats-his-face-the-turd-boyfriend.

see? i can't even remember his name. such are the inner workings of the mind of erin nicole.

i don't believe that the selection is comepletely random either.

but you're still my hero.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maureen, watch out: Britain Prepares for Massive Jellyfish Onslaught, details here:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/08/britain-jellyfish-attack.php Just though you'd want to know...

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Katrina said...

A small tribute a friend and I made to ABBA, disco, and glowsticks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx2t5fc87bY

1:39 AM  
Blogger Callidora said...

Do you know how to knit? I just learned and am knitting a Slytherin scarf!

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Meaghan said...

I think we need to talk less about breaking dawn, and maybe other things, like your next book, nerdfighters, pineapples, or anything for that matter

but you are awesome :)

5:06 AM  
Blogger Travis said...

"I am pretty sure I am a figment of Neil Gaiman’s imagination."

If that's the case, are you MAGIC?!?! Do you have any otherworldly talents?!?!

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are u and oscar together?
together together?

6:52 AM  
Anonymous katie-lyn forever said...

Hey! I have some very important and random questions to ask you. The other day in English we had to fill out a sheet of questions, so I would like to see what you say to them :o)

1)How would you feel if you were an egg, in a carton, in a refrigerator?

2) If you could be any store, what would you be?

3) If you could be King or Queen for a day, what would you be King or Queen of? Where would you rule?

4) If you had five minutes on national television
to say anything you wanted to, what would you say?

5)If you could be a book, what would your title be?

Pleaseeeee answer! Pretty please? :o)
Katie-lyn :o)

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I just watched the new series of Doctor Who, so when you commented about the sonic screwdriver, I spazzed out. Then you showed a clip of Dalek/Cyberman throwdown! Please tell me you are writing a trock song? There is no way it wouldn't be made of awesome! You could even do it in the style of ABBA!

7:33 PM  
OpenID visualkeipenguin said...

Dang it. I WISH I was a figment of Neil Gaiman's imagination. The possibilities there are endless.

I like what you're saying about meaning in fiction...Lots of people acts as if a book doesn't clonk you over the head with that Big Red Hammer of Significance it doesn't count as anything but "fluff for kids" or something. That's so frustrating, especially for writers.

BTW I JUST SAW MAMMA MIA AND---OMG. Sparkly, joyous, wondrousness. I will never stop singing the ENTIRE soundtrack. i mean,each song there is easily applied to anyone's life. I will catch a man with "Take A Chance on Me", and then there's a billion more songs to sing while I lament over losing him...

What makes me sad though, MJ, is that i was hoping you would have something funny to say about the Olympics! Why do you stay silent? what do you think of Michael Phelps (a.k.a. My Future Husband)? Or the fact that USA is sweeping away all the medals? C'mon, tell us your opinion. Or I'll kidnap Spencer. Actually I might kidnap him anyway, but tell us anyway.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous dancyrae said...

I just saw Mamma Mia. A lovely 2 hours dedicated to Abba. And to top it all off, Pierce Brosnan in a shiny disco suit singing Abba. Best. Thing. Ever.

I completely agree with you about the writing fiction thing. It makes me want to poke out my eyeballs when I see people making dumb comments like, "it's just fiction. You don't have to take it so seriously. It doesn't have to make total sense." WRONG.

What am I thinking about? Well, my birthday mostly. And since you mentioned it in this post, Breaking Dawn. I still don't get it: How does a vampire get one pregnant? He can't cry or sweat because he's dead, but his sperm's still viable? Hmm....

11:09 PM  
Blogger Evelyn18 said...

I have a question for you, Maureen:

Is the song Free Ride by The Edgar Winter Group about how all public transportation should be free so that we, the people of the world, can save money AND reduce emissions at the same time? Or is it about something else entirely?

I don't enjoy contemplating song lyrics as much as you'd think I do (other than ABBA lyrics, of course), but this has been bothering me. I need peace of mind!

P.S. I already have a copy of Suite Scarlett. Just so you know. (It was wonderful. I wish I had another thumb so I could give it three thumbs up.)

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Reese said...

That's it, Maureen. I'm moving to Finland with you, so that, I too, can be educated about ABBA in everyday schooling.

I hope you'll read the newest editions to Consequent Bloggers or, at least, reading Adam's (his blog responses just blow mine out of the water). I can't wait 'til your next blog. They always make my day more awesome.

Thanks for everything,
Reese

3:59 AM  
Anonymous beccaswitz said...

um, i just heard pretty much the funniest thing EVER.

barack me obamadeus!

HAH

ok. well. thought you would enjoy that. :]
i like books.

4:06 AM  
Blogger alittlebit said...

Today! I went to the library to get one of your books (I had Devilish in mind because that's such an alluring title). When I got there, I nearly had a panic attack, as a huge chuck of the J section appeared to be missing. But then, I realized that johnson and co were just on an alarmingly low shelf that I honesly had to get on my stomach to get to. I can only assume it was designed with your legions of dwarf fans in mind.

I got 'the key to the golden firebird' and devoured it. Not that I ate it (it was a library book!) but that I read it very quickly, and I actually just finished an hour or so ago. Regarding the book, which I enjoyed A LOT, I have a confession to make.

I AM MAY GOLD! I failed my first driver's test, I work in a place where they serve coffee, I am the responsible and slightly uncoordinated middle child, I got a 205 on my PSATs, I go at the minimum speed limit on the high way, and my sheets have flowers on them. So what I've been thinking about is this: How long have you been stalking me? (Be honest, it's for posterity). :]

5:16 AM  
Blogger Hollishillis said...

Maureen I've read all your books and I want to know:

1.which one was your most favorite to write?

2.which one was the hardest to write?

3.which one has had your favorite outcome?

4.If you could change one thing in any of your books what would it be (can range from a typo to small details to a different ending)?

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Harmonized said...

I'm turning my 14-year-old sister into a bookworm. It's been a long, difficult process, fraught with danger (papercuts!) and obstacles (Her: I don't want to read that. Me: You'll like it, I promise, just read it. Her: *teen tantrum*)

I started her off with Meg Cabot. This was followed by Harry Potter, then by a few random novels by different YA authors. Unfortunately we reached 'The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things' and my little sister said, "Dude, why did you make me read this? This is depressing."

So, of course, I had to win back her confidence with Twilight. And, of course, this worked. Following that, I threw a few more books at her, including Devilish. And now she's so into reading that she's set up her own 40-book-strong wishlist on Amazon. I thought you might like to know that your books have helped contribute to a young girl's slowly-developed love of reading :) I know I'm happy about it.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous leximel said...

I am thinking about Free Monkey. Where is he?

5:31 PM  
Blogger the dragonfly said...

I when I read there's a new John Green book coming out (where have I been??!) I looked it up on Amazon. And I almost fell off the couch laughing when I watched the video of him talking to..er..himself on the Paper Towns page.

Suite Scarlett was fabby. I know it'll be awhile, but I very much look forward to Scarlett Fever. Hooray!!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Maureen, I've decided to become a vegan. From your experience of being a vegetarian, do you have any tips for a newbie?

1:52 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

I know this is like totally unrelated, but where do you get all those cool old photos?

2:22 AM  
Blogger Juanita said...

All I'm thinking about right now is how freaking hilarious you are.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Concerned Nerdfighter said...

I'm thinking you might be the one updating the omnictionary for the new scavenger hunt...I'm thinking you're involved.
I smell a conspiracy!
We could use you at the ning. Please share your insight

7:09 AM  
Blogger Sarahbear9789 said...

This was great... I am thinking about how to get my Dad's birthday Present, because I spent all my money in Forks... and how much I miss Doctor Who, and want to read Paper Towns and Scarlett Fever.
Also that you are amazing... I just bought Girl at Sea and 13LBE for one of my friends.
Best Wishes, Sarah.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Xanthippi said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now, but until the other day, I hadn't actually read any of your books! However, I have since rectified the problem. I read The Key to the Golden Firebird and LOVED it. Then just yesterday, I DEVOURED Girl at Sea and Devilish all in one day! They were amazing. Now, I know you get lots of this already, but I thought more praise can never hurt. Now, if only I had a copy of Suite Scarlett...

9:18 PM  
Blogger Kaitlyn said...

Thank you for the answers. I think they just made my day after the long car ride home.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Lexi Lou said...

I am yet to read this series... but I was blog-browsing and found your entry about book banning.

Miss Maureen, will you please blog about hug-banning sometime? Or gender-mixed seating. (Girls can't sit by guys and vice versa on the bus/lunch ect at some schools).

My lack of hugs are making me sad. (Yes, and girls can't even hug other girls.)

5:28 AM  
Anonymous AnnaP said...

I just read The Key to the Golden Firebird, Devilish, and 13 Little Blue Envelopes and I read Suite Scarlett before. I love all your books! they're amazing. I was just wondering...what do you think of nerdfighters??? and are you going to ever ever be on tour again in southern michigan (i live in way northern indiana) or nothern indiana? I live in south bend. it is boring but your blogs always make me happy and help give me a laugh and a smile so THANKS!

6:07 AM  
Anonymous allykat said...

I am thinking....
dinosaurs should be pets. little mini ones....like mini elephants, only...dinosaurs. Heck, why don't we just make all the animals in the world tiny??

7:23 AM  
Blogger MadameScribble said...

I rang my friend in a frenzy of histeria when I watched that Dr. Who episode. I was laughing, crying and in fear for the entire human race. I remember spending around twenty minutes saying how much I loved the daleks and their 'tude haha.

Maureen, you constantly amaze me with your wit. One day may I just sit around you and soak up your awesome? :P

8:21 AM  
Blogger The Governess of Floods said...

Thanks to you, I'm thinking about vampires. While your logic is impeccable, I must point out two things:

1) You state that the youngest vampires would be about eighty, but presumably not all vampires are "vegetarian" (though wouldn't that be animalarian? Vampires don't eat veggies, unless they're Bunnicula, in which case they are fluffy bunnies, which would be awesome, but I digress...). They would still be feeding on humans, creating more vampires, so it couldn't be that hard to find someone closer to their own age...

2) ...like, for example, another vampire! Not that I have anything against it, but human/vampire relationships tend to be crowded with so much unnecessary angst. Everything about them is uncomfortable--the generation gap, the predator/prey dynamic, the coming-to-terms-with-conflicting-desires while in all likelihood being pursued by authority figures/evil vampires/vampire slayers/Lovecraftian horrors/irate book reviewers--but vampires only have normal drama, if any at all, to deal with before they head off into the sunrise (sipping pouches of D positive through their straws as they discuss the finer points of early twentieth-century plumbing, if what you say is true, which it will be, as MJ would not lie to us!).

I am also thinking about clip-on earrings, as I lost both of mine on stage today (opening night, third act, lots and lots of dancing...eek!). They were pretty--Art Deco, actually--and I regret losing mine. Sigh.
Now, some questions for you:
Have you ever lost anything while dancing on stage? Just dancing?
Will period dance and/or missing jewelry play some part in Scarlett Fever?
Do you think J.K. Rowling is a vampire?
Would you ever write a book about vampires?

10:13 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

I lovelovelove Doctor Who so much. That exchange between the Daleks and the Cybermen is one of my favourites. Daleks have lots of spunk. That's pretty much my thoughts at the moment. Though I have a Doctor Who related question: what are your thoughts on Steven Moffat taking over the role of chief writer of Doctor Who?

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Well. I'm currently thinking about the awesome that is "Mamma Mia." I'm also listening to my mom's old ABBA records and singing. LOUDLY.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Elzabelle said...

Maureen, you have failed me! I was crossing my fingers and hoping that you would write a blog today (as it is the weekend, you know). Alas, I am doomed to boredom, whereas you could have spared me for ten minutes or so.
Now I am off to do something dull, like finish cleaning my room. You really should write something tomorrow. = )

8:39 AM  
OpenID melusina-snake said...

Doctor Who! Daleks = <3 I've always had the same thought about the TARDIS as well.

I would totally love a copy of Suite Scarlett. :)

11:42 AM  
Blogger The Crane Wife said...

Maureen, we need a CLUUUUUUE! John says to talk to you!

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Harold and Maude is the greatest! =)

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I came to your blog today from a link in the forum at the ning. I decided to stay awhile, and I must say, I'm impressed. Generally, people who can be so witty and smart and Abba-loving all at the same time make me jealous (and you are no exception), but it's cool because it is clear that you are made out of PURE AWESOME. I love your books and it depresses me how few copies of them there are in my library system. I'll correct that someday. dftba!

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Oooh, i wanna hear the plot you're cooking! Also, daleks will never be hot.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Have you ever procrastinated just to procrastinate. For instance instead of doing my summer reading right now I'm reading your blog, even though I love to read and I actually like the books I have for summer reading. School starts in like a week. Must go read must go read. Somehow I'd rather be reading Suite Scarlett. Of course the math is a whole other story, I mean I don't even LIKE that!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous alisa said...

maureeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. it's been far too long since your last post. my snark levels are falling. please HELP!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous alisa said...

p.s. caitlin kiernan is writing an abba inspired zombie love story right now. she blogs about it here: http://greygirlbeast.livejournal.com/483436.html#cutid1

i just thought, perhaps, you might not know. hee!!!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

There is one question I always think about... whenever I have a minute. I'll be sitting at the circ desk at my library and zoning out and then...

"What color would a Smurf turn if you choked it or, you know, in case you aren't a smurfkiller, and you probably aren't because you're a nice person, Renee! But anyway... if, perhaps, Brainy (he's the most annoying) choked on a smurfberry and they were waiting on Doctor Smurf to come and give him the Heimlich. Well, naturally he would turn colors. Would he be purple? Or maybe green? Or gray? Maybe he would turn cerulean. Would it be permanant? Or once the smurfberry was out would he go back to being plain old ordinary blue again?"

This question plagues me, as you can plainly see. Perhaps I should write to Peyo and ask him.

If the Smurfs read your books would they change your name to Smurfeen Johnsmurf? Would Suite Scarlett become Suite Smurflett? Devilish become Smurflish?

Thank you very much for being you. I love reading your blogs. They never fail to make me laugh! And I often need a laugh!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Although, now that I Wiki Peyo I see that he is dead. So I will always be plagued with the "What color would a choking Smurf turn?"

*sigh* Oh well. C'est la vie.

6:23 PM  

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