new and improved

The pink iguana!

Pink iguana

This is a new species of buddies that was just discovered in the Galapagos. When so many awesome living things are becoming extinct, it’s exciting to discover new friendly neighbors around.

Over at Teen Reads, you can vote for your fave young-adult book of 2008. You can either vote for a title already on the list or add a new title. Why not head over and spread the love?

Doing research for Something Like Fate, I came across this interesting Find Your Fate site. If you want to know more about astrology, numerology, palmistry, dream analysis and such, you might like it. I’m fascinated by all of these things. Readers of Take Me There may remember the dream journals that Nicole used to have. That idea was totally based on my actual dream journals in high school. The more I recorded my dreams, the more dreams I would have, and in greater detail. It was really cool, but got way too time consuming so I had to shut down the journals.

Oh, and about One Tree Hill? I just saw the school shooting episode. Best. Ep. Ever. I’m all in. But evil psycho dad needs to chill. I can’t believe he killed Keith. He’s really pissing me off. Oh well, I will just focus on everyone else, since they are such sweet characters. Just goes to show, there’s always light within the darkness.

people always leave

I’ve been Netflixing One Tree Hill because I keep hearing that it’s good. I couldn’t really make up my mind about it during the first two seasons. I’m in the middle of season three now, and it’s getting good. I mean, it’s definitely not Dawson’s Creek, or even The O.C., but I like its weird quirks. Like that strange “ice cream day” song Nathan’s car stereo sometimes plays. Or how Peyton said that she fell in love with music when she heard The Cure’s Disintegration. I even like the bracelet Nathan gave Haley from his Cracker Jack box. And all those letters Brooke wrote to Lucas! I love the idea that real letters are still being written.

Peyton is my favorite character, by far. I admire her strength and talent and heart.

One Tree Hill, people always leave

However, the evil dad has apparently confused a teen dramedy with a bad telenovela and it’s really annoying. Did he take a wrong turn somewhere? He’s been tired since season one and if I decide to move on to season four and beyond, I hope his character evolves. Also, Chad’s hair was all shaved and decent in season two, but now it seems to be leaning more towards the fluffy porcupine look again. Oh! And I’m so not buying that Lucas would rather be with Brooke than Peyton when he’s wanted Peyton forever. That’s just false.

Friendly neighbors, are any of you One Tree Hill fans? What are your thoughts (without spoilers, please, although hints are okay)?

city lights

Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by bokeh. Bokeh is a photo effect I’ve always loved, but I didn’t know there was a name for it or even a whole practice of creating photos with blurry lights. Photos of round, fuzzy city lights rock my world.

Taylor-Tomorrow is a master of bokeh. She creates gorgeous photos that speak to me, like this one.  This photo is right out of Take Me There, and even inspired a quote from the book.

Taylor says, “I don’t live in the city, but it feels like home to me.” That’s exactly how I felt growing up in New Jersey, pulled from across the water by the energy of New York City. Thanks for sharing your amazing talent with us, Taylor! It’s always a happy day when I connect with a kindred spirit.

my boyfriend is a rock star

I would never consider my work important enough to frame. Or even to randomly tack up on the wall. But SP doesn’t feel that way. He’s my #1 fan. So he had this specially made for me:

Take Me There frame

It’s a collection of Take Me There things. There’s the book jacket and part of the floor display and some author notes. SP also took a Gelly Roll pen and heart erasers and guitar picks from the John Mayer fan club and some other things that apply to the book. Then he had everything assembled by a schmancy framer. How cool is that?

In the entire history of me, no one has ever cared about me this much. One thousand gold stars for him.

wintergirls

Required reading for 2009:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I’m lucky enough to share a publisher with Laurie Halse Anderson, so I was able to score a galley of Wintergirls (thanks, Kendra!). It’s hard to imagine reading a new book by Laurie and seeing that she’s becoming an even more impressive writer, but there it is.

The power of this story will blow you away.

If I were an English teacher at a school that actually allowed some flexibility with the reading list, I would make Wintergirls mandatory reading. Not just because all of my students would absolutely love it, be moved by it, and/or have their lives changed by it. This book reaches out to every person who has been afflicted by anorexia, directly or indirectly, and brings them into a world where we can understand the depths of the illness. It will help teens strengthen their self-esteem. It will inspire lifelong readers.

March 19, 2009. Be amazed.