german cover love

Half the fun of having my books translated into other languages has been wondering how my name or the titles will be changed. It’s fascinating to see books by authors who’ve had lots of publications in other countries. Each country seems to have its own idea of which cover designs work best. There are plenty of covers that work well somewhere else, but would never work here. Authors’ names are usually changed along with their book titles on foreign editions, so I’ve been wondering what they’d become for the German edition of Take Me There. After much speculation, this is what the cover looks like:

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti, German edition

I cannot even tell you how much I love this cover. It’s so sweet! And I want those clogs something fierce. This is an example of a cover that works in another country that would totally work here as well. I can definitely picture it in American bookstores. The flower designs are so cute! Love.

If any of you speak German, I’d love to know what the text on the cover says. Is it a translation of the title or a tag line? Even though I can’t read German at all, it’s fun to preview a few pages. I like looking at the dialogue and trying to figure out how some of our slang translates. Like “drag” (as in “what a drag”) is mist.  Which is interesting, because then how does “mist” translate?

Also, have I mentioned that I want those clogs?

Update: I just received word on Facebook that the tag line means “A story to fall in love with.” Love that!

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bookstore event

On Tuesday, February 16, I will be doing a pre-pub event for Something Like Fate at Anderson’s Warehouse in Aurora, Illinois. This event is open to everyone, so come on by! I believe that galleys will be available for everyone who attends.

Here’s the event info:

February 16, 5:30 pm
Anderson’s Warehouse
520 N. Exchange Ct.
Aurora, IL

You may contact Anderson’s for more information at 630.820.0044.

If you’re in the Chicago area, I hope to see you there!

here comes more sun

Slogging through winter is not easy. It’s cold (except for today – it’s supposed to be almost 60 degrees here!). You just want to stay in and read (which is actually a good thing). And there are only, like, three minutes of sunlight each day. Things always feel better when sunset crosses the 5:00 mark. Which it totally did! I am welcoming the light. Or I will be right after this dark, rainy day is done. Not that I’m complaining. Rainy days are cool if they are also warm.

More daylight is bringing even more happiness this year. I’m getting really excited about the release of Something Like Fate. My book tour information and other festivities are still being finalized, but I will share all of the details here as soon as I can. In the meantime, The Book Girl has posted an early review of Something Like Fate. Thanks for your excitement about this book, Renee!

It’s sort of weird to be working on a new book when Something Like Fate isn’t even out yet. That’s how the publishing world works, though. Last week, I met with my editors about book five. I never know if a new book I’ve written is any good until they give me feedback because I don’t show my manuscripts to anyone else. So I’m thrilled to report that book five is approved! It will naturally undergo revisions, but it looks like no major overhaul is needed. Major overhaul = stressful times. I have definitely been there and I don’t miss it. When It Happens went through so many major revisions that it ended up looking almost completely different than what I started with. Which was a good thing – that first draft was atrocious. Hopefully, I’ve learned a few things since my first book was published in 2006. Like how to write a less atrocious first draft.

For those of you also working on revisions or trying to improve your life in any way, we are all in this together. It’s time to shine.

keeping it real

Whenever I’m paying for something and I’m a penny or two short, the cashier is always like, “Don’t worry about it.” This started happening a few years ago. At first, I was amazed. I wondered how I could possibly be getting away with that kind of behavior. Don’t cashiers get in trouble for coming up short? How could they disrespect pennies like that, like they’re not even worth anything?

News flash: Pennies are still real money.

Don’t get me wrong. When I’m out of change and something costs $5.01, I’m grateful that I don’t have to get 99 cents back in change. But now other coins are being dissed as well. The other day this deli cashier chose to forget about 12 cents instead of making change from an extra dollar. Twelve whole cents! Excused! Seriously, it’s only a matter of time before pennies are discontinued, then eventually all coins. Then all bills. Down the road, I’m sure we’ll be paying for everything with cards. Or eye scans. Kind of like when they stopped making subway tokens and we all had to get used to MetroCards. They were so strange at first! Now we don’t even think about them. Technological progress is a good thing. I’m really looking forward to washing clothes without using all of that water. And hopefully in a year or so, watching Letterman online in better quality.  When Kiefer is on in a dress, I want some sharp picture quality happening.

Kiefer Sutherland, David Letterman, and a dress

What I’m really really looking forward to is my fave season, spring, along with the return of awesome fruit. Right now there is only mediocre fruit. When one is subjected to nothing but mediocre fruit all winter, it becomes boring fruit. By March I can’t even look at a banana without snarling. This desperation is what forced me to purchase a jug of expensive blood orange juice. Question: Why is fresh produce expensive while fast food is cheap? It’s so stupid. But I could not help myself. This blood orange juice is a dark red color, which means it’s one big antioxidant party up in here.

But not really. Because as of today, I am in revision mode. It’s just me, sexy iMac, music, and a deadline. It’s the 24 equivalent of going dark. Whatever your goals are for the upcoming weeks, I wish you a successful mission. Oh, and remember to secure the perimeter. Copy that.

things made of fun

Mummenschanz is returning to New York! This is big news. I love love love Mummenschanz. It’s the best performance art group ever. They do these eccentric skits in really cool, simple costumes. Like there will be two people in black body suits with notepads over their eyes and mouth, and just by ripping papers off the pads and drawing new expressions in they totally tell this whole story. Or they will be hidden in this enormous shape that will roll around and change into a bunch of other shapes. As you have probably gathered, it’s kind of hard to explain exactly what Mummenschanz is all about. Just know that they are awesome. And they will be coming back to the States at the end of the year. So. Freaking. Excited.

Mummenschanz

In more immediate entertainment news, the last season of Weeds is out on DVD along with season two of Thirtysomething. Our friendly neighbors at Netflix have sent me the first disc of each. I really like both of those shows, so deciding which one to watch first will not be easy. I’ve also been watching Ally McBeal – love it! When it first came on, I remember lots of people talking about it. Now I get what all the hoo-ha was about. The only thing I don’t get is how Ally never gets cold in those tiny mini skirts. In the winter. In Boston. As the Biscuit would say, this troubles me.

Although I’m a massive Apple fan, I do not yet have an iPhone. I’ve never had a cell phone. If I ever feel the need to have a cell phone, it will hopefully be after Apple has improved the iPhone. Whenever a friend calls me on one, it sounds like they’re on the moon. Oh, wait. That’s how all cell phones sound. But yeah, I think it’s an AT&T issue. Anyway, I’m impressed with everything else the iPhone does, particularly all those sweet apps. Have you seen the Trees Near You app? It tells you everything you could possibly want to know about nearby trees. Fascinating! Here’s a demo. Prepare to be amazed.

habit of happiness

The first blog post I wrote this year was all about looking forward to lots of exciting things in 2010. I’ve been trying to establish a habit of happiness, focusing more on what I do have instead of worrying about the things I don’t. Then the earthquake happened in Haiti. I tried to go about my normal routines of working and errands and blogging about fun things like cupcakes and cute boys. But this pain in my heart persisted. When fifty thousand people die and there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s beyond depressing.

Depression caught up to me on Friday. I couldn’t really focus on work and it was warmer here, so I decided to walk around. Sometimes when I’m sad, no amount of The Office or John Mayer can make me happy again. I feel this need to walk forever. So I went to the art supply store to look at colored pencils and take in the fresh-cut wood smell. I went to the scrapbooking place to admire all the sequins and glitter. I stood outside and watched contrails in the sky. Even the Container Store could not pull me out of my mood. I walked around some more, hating that feeling of not being able to do anything when so many people desperately need help.

So what can we do? We donate. We remain available to offer assistance in whatever way we can. But the hard truth is, the damage is done. And there’s just not a whole lot we can do about the loss. Which is why we have a responsibility to make the most of what we do have. We need to do this because we can.

Something else happened on Friday. It was the one-year anniversary of Flight 1549 landing on the Hudson River. Everyone survived. Those survivors returned to New York on Friday to reunite for a celebration of life. I’m sure those survivors see life differently now. It’s not a constant struggle to complain about. It’s an opportunity to fulfill your heart’s desires, to reach out to those around you, to make the world a better place. By establishing a habit of happiness, the annoying parts of life don’t seem as annoying anymore. Am I saying that we shouldn’t be sad when catastrophe strikes? No way. I’m saying that having a habit of happiness means keeping things in perspective. It sharpens our definition of what constitutes a catastrophe. Major earthquake = catastrophe. Long line at the post office? Not so much. By dedicating ourselves to a way of living that makes appreciating life a priority, everything we do benefits.

We have the immense gift of being alive. Next time I’m faced with a minor setback, I want to remember this. I want to appreciate the journey. It may be the only one I get.

adventure lives on

After much delay, I finally got around to seeing It’s Complicated. It was definitely the fun time I thought it would be. John Krasinski could not be more adorable. As a bonus, we get to see him in lady pajamas. He has some scruff happening, which I typically do not enjoy. But, you know. It’s John.

John Krasinski in It's Complicated

When Meg Cabot reviewed the movie on her blog, she said how she didn’t like the scene where Meryl Streep is replacing a water cooler bottle and Alec Baldwin doesn’t even offer to help. But I liked that she didn’t need any man help. And I like how you can always count on a film by Nancy Meyers to have at least one scene with incredible food. I guess whether you write a screenplay or a book, your voice is recognizable. Which is a good thing.

Dude, what’s the verdict on Nick Jonas and the Administration? I saw him play on Letterman and was less than impressed. Is his voice always that quiet?

My friend Eric informed me about this 100 Games Cupcake Game site. Some geniuses decorated cupcakes to reflect pretty much every old-school game you can remember. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love the old-school games. There was this Atari game called Adventure that I was absolutely obsessed with. It was so low-budge you would laugh really hard if you saw it now, but back when the Atari 2600 came out it was the the. You were a little square and you had to travel through this kingdom and everything you encountered came in these totally remedial shapes. Despite the early video game design, I was terrified about encountering dragons. They looked like this:

Adventure cupcake

The green square is you and that arrow thing is what you had to pick up to kill the dragons.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that someone else knows about Adventure, because every time I mention it (which would be more often than you’d think), no one knows what the eff I’m talking about. Pitfall Harry was also fun times on the old Atari. And of course Pac-Man! I ruled at Pac-Man. I was also very into this game called Simon, with its big buttons of flashing light you had to imitate.

Simon cupcake

Speaking of games, I’m still searching for a good Board Games Night to join.  I only have a few friends who like to play games.  Everyone else thinks they’re too old.  I’m like, How can you ever be too old for a Cranium game?  Or Uno?  Luckily, I will be playing Uno and Set this weekend at my fave coffeehouse.  Hope you get to play some fun games this weekend, too!