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let it snow

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I just got to England. I’m sitting here now with my tea. I Twittered about my plane, which was called the Dancing Queen, and the fact that they played Abba on the Dancing Queen, and then the Dancing Queen got stuck on the runway for about three hours because Air Force One had just been at JFK and all the planes were backed up.

Just in case you think I make these things up, I took a picture:

Click the photo to make it bigger. SEE? I DID NOT MAKE THIS UP!

In the last few weeks, MANY things have happened that I need to tell you about. So many things, in fact, that I need to spread them out over a few posts.

Let’s do the most serious news first. I think you know what I am talking about.

No. Not the fact that all the money is broken and Wall Street fell over sideways. I barely noticed that in the face of the REAL NEWS.

The morning I read the REAL NEWS, I had just made myself a smoothie . . . one of my favorite smoothies, in fact. I had all of this great fruit and I had just GONE for it, smoothie-wise. You know when you just GO for it, smoothie-wise? You put it ALL in and you pretty much guarantee yourself a great day? Well, I had done that. And then I sat down and read this.

Dear ABBA lovers! We hereby announce the sad news that it won’t be possible to open the ABBA museum in Stockholm in 2009. The reasons are that the premises where the museum was to be built will not be ready in time and that the project in several respects has become more complex than we had counted on. This is very sad for everyone involved and especially for all the fans the world over who are longing for the day when the museum opens. But please keep a bright outlook on the future – there will be an ABBA museum . . .

About an hour later, when I could lift my head from the desk, I took a sip of my now warm and separated smoothie. It tasted like metal. I mean, a lot like metal. So much like metal that I went and checked the blades on the blender to see if they were still there. They were, but I suspected that I had gotten just a hint-o-blade in my drink. So I poured it down the sink, then I took down my disco ball and peeled off the glass tiles one by one and flicked them against the wall. I was in a funk, and not a good funk, like one that Boostie Collins might drop in on.

I tried listening to “Tiger” and “Does Your Mother Know?” and “Take a Chance on Me”, but nothing worked. Finally, I decided that I had to stop moping and fix my blender and disco ball. And for that, I needed a little hammer. (I have a caveman’s instinct for tools and believe most issues can be resolved with a little hammer, or, if things are VERY serious, my little drill.)

So I went to the subway to go to the store to buy myself a little hammer. On my way there, I saw this newspaper:


“The world has gone insane,” I mumbled.

So I got my hammer from the Little Hammer Shop and got another subway back home. As I slumped dejectedly in the seat, watching the stations snap past, I saw that the guy next to me was reading “My First Five Husbands” by former Golden Girl Rue McClanahan. I moved closer to him, seat by seat, on the sly.

“You seem sensible,” I said. “What do you think I should do?”

He jumped, startled by my sudden appearance.

“About what?” he asked.

“The Abba Museum,” I explained. “It’s been delayed. They say they have all the costumes and everything to go in it, but the building is taking longer than they thought. I don’t know why it’s so complicated to put up a building. People put up buildings all the time. And I realize this is a VERY IMPORTANT building, but you would think they would use every resource available and . . .”

I guess I took my little hammer out of the bag at some point in all of this and started waving it around in agitation. He moved away a little, very slowly.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Well, what would Rue McClanahan do?”

“I don’t know. Marry someone?”

“That’s not going to help,” I said, in disgust.

“Why don’t you go there,” he added quickly. “You could help them. With that, um, hammer.”

Friends, it was like the sun came out from between the clouds.

“You’re right,” I said. “The Swedes are a very proud people. They didn’t want to ask for my help, even though they needed it! You, sir, are a genius.”

I hurried home and called my beloved agent, Daphne Unfeasible.

“Listen,” I said. “Abba needs my help. It’s urgent. I have to get to Stockholm with my little hammer immediately.”

“Of course they do,” she said. “You and your hammer. Got it.”

“I’ve got to get on a fast plane,” I said, throwing some clothes in a suitcase and gathering up the mirror tiles from my disco ball. “There’s no time to waste.”

“One question,” Daphne said. “Scarlett Fever . . . you know, the book you’re working on?”


“Of course you can. But I just need you to know . . .”

“Look,” I said, “I am a professional writer. I can balance my life. I can help build the Abba Museum with a little hammer and write a book at the same time. I can do lots of things at the same time! Remember that time I made you an origami butterfly while summarizing . . . well, not so much summarizing as explaining in detail . . . the entire plot of the movie Xanadu?”

“All too well. The thing is . . .”

“Why can’t you just have FAITH in me?” I demanded.

“I was just talking to your editor, Emma Lollipop, and she was thinking that maybe instead of releasing Scarlett Fever next May, we should wait until just after Christmas. That way we can have a huge summer celebration for the paperback.”

I almost dropped my little hammer in surprise.

“That sounds like a good plan,” I said. “That way lots of people will be able to read the first book before the second comes out!”

“Well, exactly. Now, about this going to Sweden thing . . .”

But I had already dropped the phone. I had packing to do.

So that’s the Scarlett Fever news. I know next Christmas seems CRAZY FAR AWAY, but there will be LOADS going on between now and then. You won’t even NOTICE. Also! Let It Snow, a book I wrote with John Green and Lauren Myracle, is coming out in just over a week! It will be available on October 2nd!

Like I said, I am now in London. I’m here working on Scarlett Fever and YA for Obama . . . because both of those have to get finished before I can bust my way on to the building site in Stockholm.

Actually, I have other reasons for being here as well. And I have THE NAMES OF THE WINNERS OF THE SUITE SCARLETT SWEEPSTAKES!

When will I tell more sekrits? When will I reveal the winners?




(Just a note about YA for Obama . . . I want to thank the readers who aren’t Obama supporters, but still left very nice comments. You guys are awesome! I happen to be very pro-Obama, but I got lots of love in my heart for McCain supporters too. Like my dad, for instance, who is mega-Republican and sent me a nice note just this morning saying he NEEDS John McCain to win, but is still very proud in a dadlike way that I made the Obama site. We may support different people in the election, but we can all be friends! And to all of you who signed up . . . HOORAY! WELCOME!)


I couldn't finish off today's post without an Abba video. This one may be my new favorite. It's for Tiger, and it features Abba! Driving around in a car! Nothing else really happens, but they look fabulous, and I can't stop looking at Anni-Frid's headband! Proof, once again, that Abba can be the most amazing thing in the room without doing ANYTHING AT ALL. (If nothing else, watch at least the first twenty seconds to see "the dance move." Magnificent.)

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Blogger Heather Harper said...

"I happen to be very pro-Obama, but I got lots of love in my heart for McCain supporters too."

Wish more people were like you, Maureen. I love political debate, but I dislike like partisan bullies.

Enjoy your tea. :)

5:53 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Going forward, "You seem sensible. What do you think I should do?" will be my default opening line for talking to strangers on the subway — thanks!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Christina Hicks said...

I'm happy to see that Agnetha seems to be a very safe driver and everyone else are very considerate passengers. None of the dangerous antics you usually see in convertibles driven at night.

It makes me admire them even more! :)

p.s. I may use that dance move in my everyday conversation..

7:01 PM  
Blogger LibraryHermit said...

I'm so sorry about the ABBA museum!

Have fun in England! I wish I were there. I would stalk David Tennant.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Digressica said...

Hi Maureen! First time caller, long time listener. Just had a thought - maybe you should have an ABBA Museum fundraiser. Some kind of sponsored, 24-hour, all-singing, all-dancing, all-ABBA marathon. An ABBAthon, if you will. (ABBA-off?)

Do it here in London! I'll come. I'll even help out. I could sew sequins. I could stand at the door handing out numbers for people to wear over their sequins.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous poodle649 said...

Well that was a very entertaining way to break some horrible news. I'm rather disappointed about the change in the release date of Scarlett Fever. However, I do understand that these things happen.

I still love you very much, even if I am crying a little inside right now.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Crypt said...

I agree with poodle649. Also, this post did not contain you poison tea plant thing.
It is a sad day:-(

11:01 PM  
Anonymous sammi said...

yes, what crypt said. i am very curious as to what that plant thing is.
i finally read suite scarlett, and i love it, and i cannot wait until next christmas!
have fun in london!

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Julia Rios said...

I can only assume you know that McCain also shares your love of ABBA, but in case not: check it out.

I'll be voting for Obama, but it's good to know that if McCain wins, there will totally be ABBA blaring in the Oval Office.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

I love mini Hammers!

12:22 AM  
Blogger ROSIE!!!!!!!!! said...

Maureen! if you help save the ABBA museum maybe Agetha and Frida will write you a thank you note! And maybe Frida can review Scarlett Fever! (may i be so kind to point out that she totally rocks that bandanna) I CANT WAIT FOR LET IT SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:48 AM  
Blogger lightforms said...

Wow. It seems to me that ABBA and the ABBA museum just might have saved your life. You could be poisoned with metal or whatnot at this point and we would unable to wax poetic about the wonders of Obama or the YA for Obama. BTW, John Green did a really great entry and I've emailed it all around. Thanks for the new ning site!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Khyrinthia said...

That is the most amazing plane to ever exist.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Zoe said...

I'm sad about the release of Scarlett Fever, but a writers go to do what a writers got to do...I guess. You should go help build the ABBA museum!

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Summer said...

I'm sad about Scarlett Fever. :(
but I'm excited about Let It Snow!
I'm planning on buying it at the bookstore where my friend works.

oh and Borders was playing ABBA the other day and it was awesome. (duh...it's ABBA)

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait did you just say NO ABBA museum AND NO scarlett fever i have to say i am really upset and it took me an hour to read your post because i kept on stopping and being upset

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Haddy-la said...

how am i supposed to read scarlet fever if noone ever gave me suite scarlet

3:17 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I think the ABBA museum may require the use of your little drill. :O

As for Scarlett Fever, anything worth having is worth waiting for. This book is going to be so amazing that I will wait as long as it takes for it to come out as long as I get to read it. I have Let it Snow, Paper Towns, Going Bovine and so many other books to keep me entertained until then. I think it's a smart idea to make sure everyone can read Suite Scarlett before you come out with the sequel.

Also, that plane is SO jokes. They should put it in the museum.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOOOO!!!! How could they do that do ABBA??!!! I loooove them soooo much! and Scarlett Fever isn't coming out 'till next Christmas??? (I would love Suite Scarlett, but I still haven't gotten it yet!)

The plane made me happy though... and my friend brought her disco ball to school today!(it was beautiful) I also wore bright pink lipstick and got it all over my teeth and no one told me, so i spent the entire day with pink all over my teeth... anyways....that was off subject! (i had to share that with someone!) I am going to go mourn the lack of ABBA museum now... i hope you enjoy your tea!

(and i would join the Obama website, but I really don't like him or McCain...but I looove YA!)
I also don't think it would be very good for me to have another excuse to be on my computer...

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Elena said...

Maureen, if you ever talked to me out of the blue on the subway...I actually have no end to that statement. I just wanted to let you know that it would be an okay thing to do.
That is dreadful news about the ABBA museum!

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! "the dance move" is fantastic!

I have to say, I'm a teacher and I have this student that reminds me of you...which I know is kind of hard to say considering we've never met. But she reminds me of your blog and of your youtube videos you've done and what I imagine you to be like in person. So, incase you didn't know, you have a 16 year old doppleganger in Oklahoma... just FYI.

4:57 AM  
Blogger betty said...

Lol, you are one of those "creepy" people on the bus who randomly talk to strangers. Hope the Abba museum opens.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Gin said...

i support obama, but i'm not willing to fight with my friends over politics. everyone has opinions and choices to make and needs to vote as they see fit.
i'm not going to lie and say i've read any of your books. i haven't (though i'm looking into it) however, while reading libba bray's lj i was directed here and have been following closely ever since (meaning, for like a week)

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was scrolling through these comments, happily listening to "Tiger" for the second time, when all of a sudden, the song ended. I was very disturbed for a few moments, and went, "What? What happened? NO! First the museum and now this!" and I proceeded to freak out for a good length of time before realizing I could just press "Replay". Foolish, foolish me.

While the news about Scarlett Fever is upsetting, I'm still excited for Let It Snow. It comes out in my birthday month, just like Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. Presents...

Approaching strangers by saying, "You seem sensible. What do you think I should do?" reminds me strongly of the Princess Bride, though I'm not quite sure why. Then I started thinking about YA for Obama. My brain synapses have been seriously out of whack since I read Heart of Darkness and wrote essays on it.

Have fun in England. Pip pip and cheerio and all that!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Question for ya - Are the ABBA members still alive and kicking it? Cause my Mother and Father, who are away on business, just claimed to have seen a concert with three of the members... Who looked, but apparently "smoking hot", as my Dear Dad put it.

Can this be possible?! Should I envy my parents?!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Looked old**

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Emanuel said...

After having gotten the distinct impression that you love ABBA, when they announced that there was a sing-along version of Mamma Mia!, my thoughts went immediately to what your reaction would be.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Suvi said...

I love the ABBA video! It might be the best I've seen.

2:00 AM  
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