Monday, April 28, 2008

I have in my hands a copy of Sarah Dessen’s latest book “Lock and Key,” which, so far, is *not* disappointing. I love, love, LOVE Sarah Dessen’s books, which is why I needed to post *how* I managed to get my hands on a copy.

We just moved last month, so I’m *familiar* with the area, but then again, I don’t really know my way around yet, especially downtown Raleigh, which is only about 20 minutes or so away.

So on Saturday the guy I’m sorta married to but not allowed to talk about online decided we should go out and pick up a few things, with the intent of buying Dessen’s latest. We went to a few retail stores without luck, and decided we definitely needed to get to a book store, so into Raleigh we go.

I have to confess that I’m pretty uptight about driving. I haven’t driven to Raleigh to date because I’m just *not* used to the traffic—I’ll get to it one day, but either way, if I have a destination in mind, I *have* to know exactly where it’s at, and what streets I need to take . . . I’m just a big planner (read: control freak). DH, thankfully is *not* like that at all. In fact, he’ll take a random turn “just to see where it goes” which I love, because you never know where you’re going to end up and what you’re going to see. It’s safe to say that we get lost whenever we go out, but it’s a fun lost—kind of a “lost on purpose” thing.

So we were looking for a bookstore, and “lost” on Saturday, when DH randomly sees a sign that says “shopping center” and whips into the turn lane and heads into it. The shopping center wasn’t exactly what we expected—a little on the dated, bohemian side—but guess what it held?

Quail Ridge Books and Music—which is Raleigh’s only independent bookstore. A store I’d heard about, and knew about, but had never seen (I didn’t even know where to find it). So we pulled in a space and I ran inside and first thing: copies of Lock and Key. I picked one up and was ready to go in two seconds, but then I saw the YA section in the back, so I decided to go take a look. And There . . . in their own little stand . . . copies of Lock and Key . . . THAT WERE SIGNED!

ACK! I saw that little gold “signed copy” sticker and practically ripped the book off the shelf.

So not only were we lost, and taking random turns to find a bookstore, but we *find* one, and it just so happens to be the best bookstore in Raleigh AND it has signed copies of my favorite author’s newest book. J J J

The stars were in alignment.

Sarah Dessen will be signing there this weekend, but of course I’ll be out of town. Erg. Still, I’m pretty satisfied just knowing she picked up my copy herself and wrote her name in it, which is just, so completely “stalkerish” it frightens me.

What’s funny is that somehow baby girl (almost three) recognized the book later when I started reading it, pointed to the cover and said “Sarah Dessen.” Of course, I thought this was incredible, so I told her to say: “Sarah Dessen is brilliant,” which she did.

Moral of the story . . . um, go off the beaten path because you never know what you’re gonna find? And . . . it’s never too early to introduce your young to amazing writers.

Yeah. Sounds great. What’s even better: I have a copy of Sarah Dessen’s newest book, which I’ve waited two years for . . . which I’m going to go read . . . right now.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Since I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment, I wanted to pass along the information of someone who is inspired, and at the same time “inspiring.”

This is Shawn. I found out about him through the “Nerdfighters” Channel. Shawn is a former grad student and Nerdfighter currently working with the poor in Bangladesh.

This is from his YouTube page:

“My name is Shawn and on September 14 2006, I found my answer on how to make the world a better place. It's because of that answer that I am now in Bangladesh.On September 14th, 2006, the University of Notre Dame (of which I was a student studying for my Masters in Sociology) canceled all of its classes so that students could learn about an important issue: the problem of global health and third world poverty. One of the people who came to speak to us was Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (author of the book "The End of Poverty"). Dr. Sachs believes that extreme poverty can be eliminated in our lifetime. The power of this message inspired me to put school on hold so that I could do my part and hopefully inspire others along the way. I have come to Bangladesh to try and help the poorest of the poor. I am sharing this experience with the world through the power of YouTube.I know that my little "uncultured" project is a drop in the bucket. But hopefully, the more people that be inspired to believe we can end poverty in our lifetime - the closer we can get to that goal.”

Shawn posts regular videos highlighting his work. He isn’t with a group, he isn’t a charity; he’s just one person making a difference. His friends recently set up a paypal account to help support him while he’s there, but even if you can’t help, you can “subscribe, rate, and favorite” to get his message out there. His videos are amazing.

Shawn’s videos and commentary are also at:

Be Inspired!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. A LOT. As in, ever since I moved, I’m almost certain I’ve had a dream Every Single Night that I remembered the next morning. I’m a frequent dreamer anyway, but Every Night? It’s very weird.

And I’m not having *normal* dreams. Okay, so dreams aren’t usually normal, but for instance, last night/this morning I dreamt about planes. Specifically, I dreamed about a plane that lost its wing and crashed into a pile of flames. I called 911 only to find out later that it was really a toy remote-control helicopter (?). So I felt the need to call 911 to apologize. THEN . . . (I know, same night new dream), there was this huge, mossy cliff I was trying to climb down. And THEN I’m on a boat, and I see this little miniature plane-type thing. It’s mechanical, only it’s the size of a mosquito. I let this plane “prick” my shoulder, then I give a thumbs-up sign to two government planes hovering (yes, hovering) nearby.

All I have to say is . . . WHAT?

What is up with this? I’m not into any government conspiracies, but I *know* we have strange little things flying around, if not in our country in others, because I’ve seen photos and read articles . . . and I realize that by me saying this my blog is probably going to be flagged at the FBI headquarters. I’m going to be *watched* and monitored from here on out. Maybe they’ll even bring me in and question me about my crazy, flying aircraft dreams.

I just wanna know why I’m dreaming so much all of a sudden. If they can tell me that, I’m good to go.

So yes, I’m in a new place, and that’s when it began. The first night in the new place I started using a new pillow (larger and fluffier). I’ve also been working out every day for at least an hour (this is definitely new). I think I’m sleeping better . . . my diet hasn’t changed much, except that I’m not eating as much fast food. I don’t know. Theories, anyone?

It’s not that I mind dreaming or anything, it’s just that I’d rather be dreaming about fancy ball gowns and dancing with Colin Firth. I can’t say that I’ve been having “nightmares,” but dreaming about government aircraft sucking my blood isn’t exactly pleasant if you know what I mean.

I don’t know. Maybe if I wasn’t knee-deep in research papers to grade I’d google it. In the meantime, if you know what’s causing this let me know. If you can interpret these dreams, even better. Bonus points if you can tell me how I can start dreaming about normal things . . . like beaches and horseback riding in the surf with Leo. If not, you can just tell me about the craziest dream you remember having.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Colin Firth and Teen Flicks . . .

I love Colin Firth. I love him. I absolutely adore him. I do. Right now I’m kicked back, enjoying “What a Girl Wants” (the movie). That’s my treat for all the unpacking I’ve done. Yeah, well, the truth is I’m feeling incredibly lazy, and would rather watch movies than do important things. Like Cook. And Write.

Teen movies are my guilty pleasure. My DVD rack is full of them. I try to pretend that I rent and buy them for research (because I write for teens), but actually, I’d probably watch them even if I didn’t write. It sounds good, though: “Yes I’m watching Chasing Liberty for the millionth time . . . Of Course Not! It’s research!”

Because I just love researching girls who jump on the backs of cute guys’ motorcycles in Europe, and who go in search of their diplomatic father (especially when these diplomats are Colin Firth).

The truth is I’m a romantic at heart, which is why it’s so easy for me to love Colin, who is like, the ultimate romantic gentleman. His accent doesn’t hurt either, because yeah, I kinda have that thing for British guys.

So, to Lord Henry Dashwood, Mr. Darcy, Jamie Bennett, Lord Wessex, and Mark Darcy . . . (sigh) “Just As You Are.”