Friday, December 28, 2012

Okay, I Admit It, I'm Totally Erudite

I've been travelling a bit more than usual for work lately. All of those plane rides and handshakes have resulted in multiple colds, a sinus infection, bronchitis, and three weeks straight of antibiotics(!) But, even though I was still sick, I was so excited to find out that I was going to Chicago in the beginning of December.

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you might remember my manical pre-trip tweets about going to pre-Divergent Chicago and all of my #ChicagoBookGeekStyle tweets. If you don't, I'm sooooo kindly geeking-out blogging about my trip here.

Before I start, I just want to say that Chicago is lovely (and windy) and I really enjoyed my stay there beyond just hunting for elements of a pre-Dystopian world. I had amazingly good deep dish pizza at a local pizzeria, ate some great Japanese fusion food, and munched on the best gingerbread popcorn ever while taking in the gorgeous architecture. I can't wait to go back someday.

But now, on to the Divergent-y goodness:

The first night, I realized that my hotel room looked out on a building just perfect for Dauntless ziplining:

The Hancock building at night

Since I've totally embraced the fact that I'm Erudite (don't hate me), of course I had to find our headquarters:
The Chicago Public Library
Reading by the giant lima bean at Erudite Headquarters (the Lima bean in Millenium Park)

Of COURSE I'm wearing blue. My glasses were in my suitcase back at the hotel, though (contacts, FTW!)
No, I did not jump on those trains. What do you think I am, Dauntless? Ha!:
The L trains
I walked over to the Hub for my choosing ceremony:
The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower

And pretended to be Dauntless for a few minutes...

On the glass platforms of the Willis Tower. Not really freaky or scary and actually kind-of cool :)
Don't tell Janine I said that, though!

 ...but really, those simulation results don't lie. I'd rather be reading a good book than jumping off of buildings like those Dauntless ruffians.

And, that's it! Next trip, I'll make sure to make it down to the Navy Piers to see what all that fuss is about carousels and Ferris Wheels. :)

On a non-Divergent note, I also stopped by the Russian Pointe store. Before I stopped pointe because of my achilles tendon rupture*, my last few pairs of pointe shoes were Russian Pointe. When I saw the store, I knew I had to stop in and at least buy a pair of mini pointe shoes-- and I was lucky enough to find a pair that matched my last pair of recital pointe shoes (dyed black!):

OMG, that black dye got on EVERYTHING. Our feet were grey, our tights were ruined, even dance bags had streaks of black dye in them. In my next life, I'm just special ordering black shoes instead.
I was a happy little ballet and book geek that afternoon. Then, I boarded my flight and sadly waved goodbye to my #ChicagoBookGeekStyle adventure.

If you want more Divergent road trip goodness, definitely check out the Fictitious Delicious Divergent Road Trip blog post, which is full of awesomeness.

Have you been to Chicago? And geeked out, like I did?

 *I still managed pointe one year after the surgery, but I just never fully regained my strength in my left leg. Multiple tendonitis episodes pretty much sealed the deal for me on ending pointe. :(

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Annual No-Kiss Blogfest


I'm posting today to pressure cajole sweet talk all of you to join me and a ton of other wonderfully bloggy people in the great Frankie Diane Mallis'

4th Annual No Kiss Blogfest.

From Frankie's site:

What: The No Kiss Blogfest! This is when you get to write a scene or post one from of your favorite books, movies, or TV shows that show the almost kiss-- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing, tension that comes when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it, want it, NEED it....and then...they don't!

Last year, I had a ton of fun writing up a scene with my WIP's characters, and I'm hard at work on my post for this year's blogfest.

So, head on over to Frankie's site for more details and sign up!

/end PSA

Friday, December 21, 2012


An entry from my paper journal, 12-21-2001: "Tonight is Yule-- the longest night of the year.

Tonight reminds us that even the darkest of nights are followed by light, and that even in the worst of times, we have hope. No night is so dark that day will never follow. long as we have hope, it will never truly be dark."

The light installation at Longwood Gardens this past summer-
"wildflowers" over a lake

With the talk of an "apocalypse"(well, since I actually mailed out most of my cards before January 1st, at least pigs should have flown), last night I had another of these freakishly deep moment on twitter:

Tweet: "I'm going to be deep, and then I'm going to bed: The world ends daily for many someones. Live every day like there is no tomorrow. Love, me"

On this darkest night of the year, with so much shadow around us and hope before us, I wish you light when you most need it.

And a lifetime of living for today.

(This post brought to you by Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables, and too many Christmas cookies.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Little Light

The events yesterday in Connecticut were awful, horrifying, senseless. Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I worked with one of the people who lost his child in the attack and it was surreal at the office when picture after picture of him and his wife showed up on news websites or the TVs in the breakrooms. My heart breaks for his family and all of the families who have to deal with the aftermath. (And I am only going to say that I'm disgusted with the media who kept posting pictures of families in their most vulnerable moments. Shame on you new outlets- the sorrow could be captured without exploiting the families' grief. Ditto with interviewing children.)

But this post isn't about that, per se.

While listening to the news yesterday, they interviewed a teacher who said she locked herself and her students in the classroom closet and read to them to keep them calm.

I'm sure a lot of familiar books came out to comfort children across the world last night.

While I talk a lot about YA on this blog because that's what I love to read and write, this post is in praise of the picture book and chapter book writers. Writing kidlit is incredibly difficult and writing picture books in insanely hard (contrary to popular belief. I hold picture book writers in awe.) The critical praise, movie deals, front page press is not as common, at least not when compared to older genres. Very few picture book writers and illustrators are household names, beyond the "greats." And yet, when our kids need comfort, there's nothing more powerful than a worn pressboard cover and sticky pages.

Thank you for writing and illustrating these books, toiling over just the right word, the right flow, the right colors. Thank you for stories that sparked our imaginations and continue to spark imaginations for generations to come. Thank you for the first "big kid books" we read, the kind to sneak under the covers with a flashlight because "I can read now!"

Thank you for being a little light in a sometimes dark world.