elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I was going to whine about how I spent all day yesterday in the car, and how I should know better than to go anywhere on a holiday weekend because it seems like everyone and the twin they've never met decides they *must* get out of town--BUT.

But yesterday, coming home, my husband and I stopped at two Books-A-Million (I can't help it! I see a bookstore, I must stop!) and they had gotten in a bunch of copies of Bloom for their Teen Book Club, and in both stores, when I asked if I could sign them, everyone was so amazingly nice, and said kind things about the book, and suddenly, I found I wasn't cranky about traffic at all. So thank you Books-A-Million!

I'm going to be in New York this weekend, attending BEA, so if you're there, and see me, come say hi! I'm easy to spot, as I still haven't learned the trick of being cool about getting ARCs and still say things like, "Really? I can have this? YAY!"

I have tons of links to share:

Check out these tagged entries for interesting information on bookstore layout, and why and how books end up prominently displayed.

Agent in the Middle on having a bad day, or how orphaned books are no fun at all

Tess Gerritsen on how writers worry

Rosina Lippi on how she writes, and how her writing schedule has changed

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I have one email account that is a spam magnet. I don't know why -- I have other accounts I use a lot more -- but for some reason, every time I log in, I've got at least 500 spams sitting in a little folder.

I usually take a quick look at them, just in case an actual message has slipped in there, and then I read a few spam. I always skip the ones offering free stuff, or dire warnings about how I need to update various accounts, but I like to look at the ones that I guess must be trying to sell something (or come bearing virus-laden attachments), but mostly contain random sentences.

Some of my favorites from today's batch:

His brush worry dark lip ornament upcurled, smiles superciliously it better the stole less payment.

His hair JOE at home and he began to drank. A bit too; tickling, typhoid political theory of space.

the gruff voice was gruffer than ever, eatable they could lay their hands on.

I think my favorite one is the second, because a he (let's call him Larry), left his hair, JOE, at home. (The DRAMA!) So Larry, naturally, had to start drinking...and then the tickling (and typhoid-laden!) political theory of space showed up. (PLOT TWIST!)

And that's it. They just leave you hanging, wondering what will happen to Larry. Will he be able to get back to his hair, JOE? What will the tickling (and typhoid laden) political theory of space do? Will it buy Larry's drinks? Will it try to steal JOE? Or will it just talk and talk and talk until Larry falls asleep into his drink?

Monday, May 21, 2007

My brother got his MBA this weekend, and even though the ceremony was long (let's put it this way: even my brother took something to read during it) it was great to see him stride across the stage and get his degree. Plus I got to see my nephew, who is about six months old now and the cutest thing EVER. He's got huge blue eyes and the sweetest smile and he wants to stand up on his own so bad he's constantly trying to squirm his way up onto his feet whenever he gets a chance. And wow, is he sturdy. When he was really little, I was scared to hold him because he was so tiny, but now that he's bigger, I like picking him up and carrying him around. The only thing is, after about ten minutes, my arms start to ache. And I work out! Okay, I try to. But I think holding a baby is probably the best upper body exercise there is.

Other things I learned this weekend: If you want to keep me out of a room in your house, put one of those big plastic childproof ball things on the doorknob. I won't tell you how long it took me to figure out how to work it. (Yes, I will. Five minutes! My parents teased me about that all weekend.)

Also, people really like to dress up for horse races. There were a bunch of people at our hotel who must have gone to see whatever big horse race happened over the weekend and I'm telling you, there were fancy clothes everywhere. This one woman had on a hat that was about five feet across. And it was bright pink! You have to admire someone who can carry off that kind of headgear.

Oh! And before we left on Friday, I checked my email and found out School Library Journal has reviewed Bloom!* That was really exciting. (As in I printed out a copy and read it about eight zillion times and said "YAY!" every time)

I'm also happy to announce that Bloom is currently being featured over at teenreads.com and I want to say congrats to Shawna, Bethany, and Michelle, who each won a copy of Meg Cabot's latest, Pants on Fire!

* I don't think I can quote the whole review here, but I can at least share some of it: "In a style reminiscent of the work of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti, Scott tells the story of Lauren, a not-so-popular high school junior who is dating the secretly celibate most popular boy in school. Without warning, Evan, the loner son of her distant father's former live-in girlfriend, returns to town and stirs up confusing emotions for Lauren, who once believed that a popular boyfriend was all she needed to secure happiness...Lauren's inner conflict over her affair with Evan, and the various lies surrounding it, rings true, and the novel has enough drama to keep readers interested." (And now you see why I spent the weekend YAYing!)

contest: BLOOM and PANTS ON FIRE!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Borders has named Bloom an Original Voices pick for May. So, to celebrate I'm giving away THREE copies of Meg Cabot's latest, Pants on Fire to anyone who enters the BLOOM contest this week.

That's right--if you buy a copy of Bloom (from your favorite local or on-line bookstore), take a photo of your receipt, and email that picture to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com by midnight on Sunday, May 20th, you could win a copy of Meg Cabot's Pants on Fire.

I'll pick the winners at random on Monday, May 21th, and announce them here that day.

Here's the BLOOM contest nitty gritty:

1. Buy a copy of Bloom from the bookstore of your choice.

2. Take a photo of the receipt with your camera phone, a digital camera, scan it in, whatever, and then send the picture to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com Please make sure to include your name, as well as the email address it's best to contact you at.

3. Once I get the picture of your receipt, you'll be entered into the BLOOM contest drawing. The prizes are:

ONE first prize winner will receive an iPod OR a $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice.

TWO second prize winners will each receive a $100 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

THREE third prize winners will each receive a $75 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

FOUR fourth prize winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

The contest runs through June 30th, and I'll be announcing the winners on July 2nd.

BUT! To enter the contest AND have a chance at winning Pants on Fire, I must get your entry for the contest no later than midnight EST on May 20th!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ugh. I *just* sat down, and somehow my left foot has fallen asleep and now it has that icky prickly feeling and so I'm jiggling my foot around to try and wake it up (that's right, foot! If I'm up, you're going to be up too!) and my dog is looking at me like I'm crazy.

Seriously, she's lying on the floor next to me, head cocked to one side, staring at me. And now she's yawning. And closing her eyes. Good to know you're there for me, little dog.

Before I go off to try and wake my foot up--maybe I'll do it by going back to bed (ha!)--I want to say congrats to last week's contest winners: Kate, Juanita, Amber, and Erin.

And, of course, a few links:

An interview with Stephanie Rowe, who writes books in not one, not two, but THREE genres

A post about returns. Every wonder why paperbacks get "returned" by having their covers stripped? This explains why.

Friday, May 11, 2007

My parents are visiting right now, and I was making pizza crust last night (see why they come to visit? the FUN!) when I noticed that the dough seemed to be rising more sluggishly than usual. So I put my hand on the stove, to see if maybe I needed to turn the oven up a bit--and the stove was cold! My oven was broken! Had I lost my whole stove?

Naturally, as I am the cheapest person in the world when it comes to anything except books, I checked the burners (worked fine) and then the broiler element (worked fine too). Which meant my oven element had burnt out. So my parents, because they are lovely people (even if they did point out that I could, you know, go ahead and buy a new stove since the one we have was in the house before my husband I bought it six billion years ago), drove me to a local hardware store*, where I got a new element. Cost: $25. Way cheaper than a new stove!

The only downside to putting in an oven element is that getting an old oven element out is dirty work--unless the inside of your oven is spotless, and mine isn't--and you have to be patient enough to fiddle with the screws that hold it in place and then slip the wires in, which is a little tricky. Oh, and remember to turn off the power to the oven as well! That one's really important.

Anyway, that was going to be my project for this morning, but when I got up, my father had already gone ahead and fixed it for me! I have the best parents in the world. So now I am going to bake my dad some of his favorite cookies as a thank you.

My father's favorite peanut butter cookies:

1 stick butter (I use non-dairy margarine because my father and I are both allergic to milk)
8 tablespoons peanut butter (about half an average jar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cake flour (you can find cake flour (I recommend Swans Down) in most grocery stores--it makes a softer cookie, but if you can't find cake flour, you can use regular flour, though *don't* use self-rising)

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave (use a pretty big microwave-safe bowl, and this is a one bowl recipe), then add in the peanut butter and stir (you can just use a spoon, you don't need a mixer or anything) till the peanut butter has mostly mixed in. Then add the sugar and mix again. The peanut butter will be totally incorporated by now. Then add your egg, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Mix again, and then add in your cup of flour. The dough will be soft-ish, so I usually stick it in the fridge while I set up the cookie sheets.

Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper, or foil that's been greased with the butter wrapper. Get the dough out of the fridge, and use a teaspoon (or amelon baller) to drop the dough onto the sheets. You can usually get one and a half cookie sheets with this method, or about 30 cookies.

Once the cookies are on the sheets, take a fork and press the dough flat--I usually do it lengthwise and widthwise, but some people just indent with a spoon.

Stick them in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. It'll depend on how hot your oven actually is, but I've never had them take more than 10 minutes per cookie sheet.

Cool. Then eat.

*Local hardware stores are rapidly disappearing, swallowed up by the big box stores, and that's a shame because smaller hardware stores almost always carry things like oven elements, and the bigger stores don't usually carry parts. They'd just rather sell you a whole stove. So, as with bookstores, if you have a local independent hardware store, shop there!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I believe Blogger hiccuped this morning, which is what I get for fiddling around with old posts. Nevertheless, I'm in an almost alarmingly cheerful mood (I got my Borders Monthly email this morning, and Bloom was in it! My book, alongside books by Holly Black and Meg Cabot and Gabrielle Zevin--whoo!!) so I figure I'm going to indulge in one of my favorite things and....yes, you guessed it. Give away some books!

I've got What Happened To Cass McBride by Gail Giles, Ophelia by Lisa Klein, Things You Either Hate or Love by Brigid Lowry, and Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel, and if you'd like to win one of these books, well,you know the drill. Leave a comment, or send me an email at elizabeth at elizabethwrites dot com, by midnight EST on Friday, the 11th. Then I'll pick four people at random and each of those people will win a book. You can enter even if you've won something from me before, and yes, I will ship books overseas.

And, of course, some links:

Can you find the letters/numbers that are where they shouldn't be? I, um, couldn't.

How to Speak and Write Postmodern -- The instability of your question leaves me with several contradictorily layered responses whoseinterconnectivity cannot express the logocentric coherency you seek. I can only say that reality is more uneven and its (mis)representations more untrustworthy than we have time here to explore. Hee!

Laurie King on writing. And rewriting.

Monday, May 07, 2007

On Friday, I spent the day driving around to bookstores signing stock, which was really fun--okay, the driving part wasn't that much fun, but visiting fifteen bookstores in one day--FABULOUS! When I finally got home, my husband took one look at all the books I'd bought, laughed, and said, "I guess you had aperfect day." And he was right! Not only did I get to see (and sign!) copies of my book (and thank you to all the lovely people who let me do so), I had the perfect excuse to look around afterwards and then buy stuff. I mean, I was already there in the store, so it was sort of like I had to! And is it my fault that there are so many great books out there? And that I want to read all of them?

So anyway, Friday was a great day. And before I head off to stare longingly at all the books I want to read, let me share some links (and say congrats to Meghan, who won the copy of Masquerade!):

Editorial Anonymous on waiting, or yes, editors are really, really busy. Like, take your schedule and multiply it by about 50.

Agent in the Middle writes about time and numbers

I'm interviewed over at Bildungsroman. Note how I can't answer the ten best books question with ten books (or without resorting to making up a particular category!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I read Melissa de la Cruz's newest Blue Bloods novel, Masquerade, yesterday, and loved it so much I ran out and bought another copy, and I figure who deserves it more than you? Plus, I just found out that Borders is currently selling Bloom for 20% off--which means you can pick it up for under eight bucks, which means winning an iPod or a big bookstore gift certficate just got that much easier!

So....if you're interested in winning the copy of Masquerade, just leave me a comment saying hi or telling me how your week is going. (Yes, that's all you have to do!) Comments must be in by midnight EST time tomorrow, May 4th, and then I'll draw one name at random and send that person the book! Though you can only reply once, you can reply no matter where you live (I will ship books overseas), or if you've won something from me in the past.

And some links worth checking out:

The Second Time Around
-- Shanna Swendson writes about being published. And then not being published. And then being published again.

Writing a novel (or falling in love, sort of) by Sarah Dessen.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My husband passed the bar, and now he's officially done with law school and law-related testing. YAY! I'll finally get to see him on a regular basis.* DOUBLE YAY!

*See, when he decided to go to law school, he already had a full-time job, and so he worked during the day, and went to school at night. This meant his schedule was as follows--he'd get up around six, leave for work a little before eight, go to work, then go to school, and then get home around eleven at night. And this went on for about five** years.

**Yes, FIVE. So I basically saw him in the mornings and on the weekends, except during the weekends he studied, so I only saw him with law books attached, and as they are usually very large and heavy, I mostly just saw the books and sometimes the top of his head.

And so now I'm married to a lawyer. If you'd told me that would happen when I was younger, I would have laughed. Heck, if you'd told me that back when we first met, we both would have laughed. But he decided to do it, and he did it, and I'm so proud of him.