costume ideas up for grabs

I recently updated my Facebook status to: Susane is bummed that she’s too old for trick-or-treating. Some comments came back insisting that you’re never too old. But really? If I showed up at your door with my pillowcase, would you give me a fun size Milky Way?

And what would I be?

Some costume ideas that come to mind are on the obscure side. Like this one:

Eyeball fish

I could go as an eyeball fish! This is actually a photo of microscopic marine life near Hawaii. That’s a swordfish on the left and a sunfish on the right. I’d go as the sunfish. Photo by David Liittschwager.

Or I could go as Honk-Honk-Ashoo:


Isn’t he so cute? He’s a pillowhead from the book by Ralph Cosentino.

The ultimate costume would be to go as the Pam half of Jim and Pam:

Pam Beesly and Jim Halpert

Except SP doesn’t watch The Office. And we’re going to see Speed-the-Plow tonight, so we can’t be anything anyway.

What are you going to be?

top 8

Teen Author Reading Night was so packed last night! Dude, people were standing in the back. We were all entertained by several debut authors’ awesome books, including Courtney Sheinmel’s My So-Called Family and Matthue Roth’s Losers. We were very lucky to also have Elizabeth Scott reading from the outstanding Living Dead Girl. I am saving my Elizabeth warm fuzzies for a future post, as we will be getting together later today.

I absolutely adored Top 8, the debut novel of the warm and wonderful Katie Finn. She was totally sweet and gave me a copy, which I was going to read first before raving here, but the truth is that I cannot wait to share my excitement! Seriously, you will love this book. The plot: Madison goes away for spring break and while she’s away without Internet access, her social networking site is hacked into. The hacker breaks up with Madison’s boyfriend online. When Madison comes back and explains to him that she wasn’t actually the one who broke up with him, it’s too late. Boyfriend has moved on. So good! Plus, there are graphics from her page throughout the book (so you get to see what Madison’s Top 8 friends look like) and fun music/quote chapter headers. Top 8 is out now!

inside info

Ashley of Ashley’s Bookshelf reviewed When It Happens. Her site has been reviewing books since June, so go over and show her some love.

Pop quiz! What did I get at New York Hotdog and Coffee on Saturday?

a. hot dog
b. coffee
c. waffle

If you picked a., then you missed the part where I’m a vegetarian. That’s okay. Anyway, they now have veggie dogs, so you might have thought it was a trick question. I really liked creating trick questions when I was a teacher. Because the more you challenge your noodle, the sharper your noodle becomes. That is called a win-win situation. Michael Scott would even take it one step further and call it a win-win-win situation.

Or maybe you picked b. Well, their coffee is tasty and they have decaf, but that is not the correct answer. The correct answer is c. Waffles at New York Hotdog and Coffee?! Those wacky kids! The owner’s daughter, Jane, told me where the idea for that unlikely hot dog/coffee combo came from. One day, her mom was eating a hot dog. Then she had some coffee with it. She was like, “Hey! These two things taste great together!” And that was it.

I find this fascinating.

Also fascinating: the Rubik’s Cube. I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough Rubik’s Cube solution tricks. How stoked was I to find this dude on YouTube, dropping some serious Rubik’s knowledge?

breaking cupcake news

Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by my fave cupcake shop, Crumbs. Allison and I are loving their Halloween cupcake assortment. We went a little crazy:

Halloween cupcakes at Crumbs

If you are one of my fellow neighbors here in NYC, you will be stoked to know that Crumbs has a new shop near Union Square (University Place between 13th and 14th). They’re planning like a zillion new shops over the next few years, so maybe one will appear near you!

more sweet things

1. Laila is visiting from San Francisco. She was the inspiration for the Laila character in When It Happens. You know it’s close to Halloween when pumpkin (for her) and ghost (for me) cookies abound. Laila was really excited about the cookies:

Laila and the Halloween cookies

2. Washington Square Park has been under construction for what seems like forever. I am happy to report that it’s almost done! The fence is still up, but I used my Harriet the Spy skills to document this for you. And yes, I did have a spy notebook and spy route in fourth grade, just like Harriet.

Washington Square Park

3. My weekend will be very exclusive. Only two guests are invited: me and the Waiting for You copyedits. I’ve decided to use purple as my colored pencil choice for the manuscript. Also, I have designated my place as a Dwight Schrute workspace.

Dwight Schrute workspace

Dream big.

new contest

The fun and fabulous Melissa Walker is giving away a signed copy of When It Happens. She is the author of Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design, and Violet in Private. I love going to Melissa’s readings because her stories are super entertaining and her voice is true. Plus, she always wears cute shoes.

Enter to win by telling Melissa about your first crush. How fun is that?

llama with tude

Llama with tude

Montreal is always fun. This time we got to travel just outside the city to apple picking land, where I finally found maple sugar (in the shape of maple leaves, of course). I’d been looking for maple sugar for, like, ever. Sometimes you don’t realize how hard it is to find something until you start looking for it. Also, there was a llama all up in my face. He seemed friendly at first. But after concluding that I was not food, he became a bit snotty:

More tude

In other nature news, Eric Luper posted a Colasanti Tree update. My little tree is very determined. Thanks for taking such good care of him, Eric!

Time to get back to work. I’m in the middle of my second draft of Something Like Fate and anticipating the copyedits for Waiting for You. Thanks to everyone for all of your sweet comments about the cover. I’m stoked.

busting out my toque

I’m off to Montreal for SP’s family reunion. It will not be like Toronto was last weekend because a.) there’s a lot more to do in Montreal and b.) it will be cold. Below freezing cold. Which means only one thing. Time to bust out my toque.

For those of you unfamiliar with Canadian speak, a toque (pronounced “tuke”) is one of those really warm hats with the ear flaps and pom-pom on top. The bigger the pom-pom, the more fabulous the toque. Mine has a medium-sized pom-pom, so I’ll be looking for a bigger one while I’m there.

I heard Joe the Plumber has a toque like that.

On the plane, I’ll be reading I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Dude, this book is so freaking good! I love the whole Pay It Forward theme with a twist. And Markus is such a sensitive, entertaining writer. Good on you, Markus!

I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

This weekend, do something radical. See you on Tuesday.

national book award

Yay! The National Book Award finalists have been announced and they’re awesome:

Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Simon & Schuster)
Kathi Appelt, The Underneath (Atheneum)
Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic)
E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now (Knopf)

Sparkly confetti for everyone.

organization freak

I’m so into organizing it’s unreal. I’ve been like this all my life. Even when I was a little girl, my stuffed animals always had to be arranged a certain way and my books had to be in a specific order. When I was in college, I had work study as an administrative assistant. While I hated that I had to work so many hours, I secretly liked going into the office when I had a big organization project to do. Same with being a personal assistant when I was in grad school. That job was way more fun. I worked at a big financial firm and basically took over executives’ offices and completely whipped them into shape. I organized drawers. I went through towering piles of papers. I redid filing systems. I took everything off their desks and started fresh. And the best part was I could order whatever I wanted from office supply stores. True, it wasn’t for my own office, but I lived vicariously through all the others.

It was awesome.

Now that I work at home in a small Greenwich Village apartment, there’s not much to organize. It’s already done. But see, that’s not good enough. Because I feel the need to organize what I’ve already organized. I’m like, Dude! I can organize it even better! I recently bought a shiny new white file cabinet with white hanging folders to match and I’m in heaven. I filed away all of my school stuff (lesson plans, handouts, exams) and all my other papers that I had in those clear Staples folders with the tie thing. Next comes upgrading all of my stuff that I’ve stored in various document boxes (manuscripts, financial records, assorted randomness) to a streamlined set of new document boxes. It’s just a matter of identifying the best new boxes for the job.

Well, there’s a new issue of Real Simple calling me. Laters.