morning ramble.

It’s a little dismaying when you think to yourself at the grocery store, Don’t accidentally buy vanilla Greek yogurt instead of plain!, and then you’re making a smoothie and you lick the spoon after thunking in some yogurt and it’s vanilla. I used to give my mum a hard time when she’d bring home the wrong flavour of whatever from the grocery store, and she must’ve been a decade older than me at the time! (Smoothie’s pretty darn tasty, tho, so…thanks, Brain!)

Admittedly my brain’s been in a thousand different directions of late. I went to London (and blogged a bit about it over at my other online home, LivSpencer.com). After the London Book Fair, I stayed with my super-pal Claire — fun fact: this blog was started way back when as a way to keep in touch with Claire after she moved to the U.K. from Canada and to keep in touch with my bro when he was on the first of many trips overseas to teach. Claire’s husband ran in the London Marathon (I was leaving that day so I missed the big event but happily witnessed the prep) and this Guardian article is worth a read. Admittedly, I never thought much about marathons or that the people running them are raising money for charity, but I certainly do now.

Other things on my mind:  where I buy my clothes. Claire and I were walking about London, and passed Primark and she told me about how insanely cheap the clothes are there and how people emerge with bags and bags of them. What do they need all those clothes for? I am certainly guilty of the same habit: shortly before my trip, I went into Joe Fresh and emerged with three cardigans, not just one, because they were so affordable. But the massive loss of life in Bangladesh is a harsh reminder that there is a high price for consumer goods so cheap. I watched the Louis C.K. special Oh My God the other night, and he ends it with a point about ‘human greatness’ being built on the backs of oppressed people. The pyramids. Our iPhones. (The particular part I’m talking about starts around 2:50, but the comedy starts at 0:01!)

I vote for horses and candles and a little bit more kindness toward the folks on the other side of the world.

I recently read The Power of Habit, a book with a lot of interesting ideas about how habits form and function and how to change them, in individual, societal, and corporate contexts. I’ve been flailing around for a while trying to change my personal habits: what I eat, how many hours a day I’m sitting or lying down vs standing and moving (forget the word “exercise” for now), how I structure my writing time…. And I’m going to get more scientific to root out the cues, cravings, routines, and rewards of what I’m doing — the cookie habit video the author has on his website lays out the basics.

My mind palace is slightly less crowded than it was a few months ago, and that is thanks to Epic Projects Being Done! The thing about writing a book is that it takes longer than I think it will. Every. Single. Time.

TaylorSwift_smlBut our updated edition of Taylor Swift — which I have to say is pretty awesome? It’s pretty and awesome — is back from the printer! It’s already available at Amazon and all sorts of retailers near you! Co-author Jen and I are going to the Red Tour when it hits Toronto in June and we will be dressing up, rest assured. I have a red polka dot dress for the occasion, and Jen is going traditional sparkles.

Navigating the Shadow WorldThe other Liv Spencer book of the summer is Navigating the Shadow World — and it goes to print today! Today! That is crazy. This was a project where we just kept broadening the scope. Which is why our subtitle says it’s a guide to The Mortal Instruments, but actually it’s a guide to ALL THE THINGS. Namely The Infernal Devices. Like, how could we possibly leave out TID? We could not. (So…um…the book is a little longer than originally projected, but hey! same low price.) I’m really excited to see this one arrive back from the printer — and more than a little nervous! — and to get some cool ideas we have into action around the book. More info on that soooooon.

Love You to Death Season 4But what all that means for me is that I am now Vampire Diaries All The Time, as Vee and I write Love You to Death Season 4. Let me tell you that it is the best having Vee as a co-writer. The best. Kicking myself for not twisting her arm into writing one with me earlier!

I started a rewatch of season 1 last night, and oh man you guys they are so little and innocent, and for the first 5 episodes it’s strange how uncomplicated their lives are — and while the Gilbert kids have already experienced great loss, the others are remarkably untraumatized compared to their season 4 selves. TV nostalgia!

What will I do with myself when all the book writing is done? Suggestions welcome. Because if you don’t tell me what to do, I will end up writing another book, and I should PROBABLY take a break after this one.

Best get ready for work now.

xo

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good morning… i am having a properly sleepy, brain-won’t-flicker-on type morning, but there are a few things I’ve been meaning to post about here on this old dear bloggy.

I went to Iceland after my Frankfurt Buch Fair trip, and it was literally the best trip of my life. I may have taken over 1,200 photos. Oops? The thing is, with that many photos, it’s turned into this thing that I have to take care of — to sort through them and post the bestest ones, and to remember how to spell the name of the crazy-beautiful place we were in. So I am moving at a glacial place (to bust out one of my favorite Iceland times jokes). So stay tuned for pictures of me looking super happy next to glorious landscapes. Or getting some attention from a friendly roadside Icelandic horse:

Some things:

An interview at Ain’t Nothing But Music — Pat asked me some great questions about writing the Love You to Death series and my thoughts on TVD and why it is so freaking good.

My alter ego Liv Spencer has a new home! That’s where I’ll post about Pretty Little Liars when it returns, as well as other good stuff along with partner-in-crime Jen Knoch. (In this case, “crime” = “writing.”)

I’ve updated my archive of TVD posts with links to my Vampire-Diaries.net “in review” posts for this season. (I know. You were like drumming your fingers, waiting for this.)

I cannot wait to read the follow-up to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I finally picked up the other day: Days of Blood and Starlight. I also (finally) read Holly Black’s second book in the Curse Workers series, Red Glove, and now I’m in that funny spot of wanting to read the last book desperately and wanting to stave off the end of the series. In that vein, I still have not read the last book in Gail Carriger’s Alexia Tarrabotti series because I will miss her so. So many books, so little time. Cuz I’m watching the telly so much.

Speaking of, I enjoyed the first few episodes of Nashville, but hmmm. It’s already getting a little tired for me.  But I do love the songwriting duo of Avery and Scarlett and their beautiful duets: I will download whatever they release on iTunes. Fact.

Otherwise, listening to: RedRedRed.

adventuring!

For the third year in a row, I am going to the Frankfurt Book Fair — I depart today! For me, FBF is a weird mix of hectic and stressful and super fun and cool. Publishers and publishing types from all around the world gather at the Messe and there are probably 1,000,000 meetings over the course of the five days. And, of course, I eat sausage and potatoes a lot — but also the best Indian and Thai food. For reals.

After a week of Frankfurting, I am going on holiday for a week after! This is my first proper holiday in YEARS. (Book writing is the death of holiday time.) And I’m going to Iceland! With three of my best friends! I will see things like this:

Reynisfjara Beach (photo by Seattle’s Travels).

It is our mission to see the Aurora Borealis; October in Iceland is apparently quite a good time of year for a good Northern Lights show. Blue lagoons. Geysers. Wild horses. I think I am going to overdose on the wonders of our planet, you guys. Also, maybe Jon Snow will be there and we will fall in love?

The downside to the adventure: I’ll be in Deutschland (or en route) when both Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries premiere. Ugh, work and adventuring getting in the way of timely television viewing. The worst.

I’m determined to get my post on the TVD episodes over to the fine folks at Vampire-Diaries.net by the Sunday following the ep — once again this season, I have the honor of doing my ‘in review’ responses there — and I’ll probably do a double GG post upon my return to Kanada the week of the 22nd. I’ll miss the twitter explosion of watching live, which I love and adore, but I’ll be back in the game for episodes 3.

And when I return, be prepared for an onslaught of photos.

xoxo

happy tuesday the 27th to you

Sometimes I am just the worst at blogging. (And by ‘sometimes’ I mean ‘most all the time.’) My poor blog feels very neglected, and for that I am sorry.

things that have happened since last we met:

I finished my Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge to read 50 books, and as it turns out I read (a) books at work, (b) YA novels, (c) little else. If it was new year’s resolution making time (oh hey it is), I would vow to read a wider variety of books in 2012. Perhaps some for grownups as well as those for YA-loving grownups like me. On my to-read shelf at the moment I have three Canadian-authored recently-released novels, so I think that will count for something if I actually read them. (Yes, I have guilty feelings about working in Cdn publishing but being woefully poorly read when it comes to what is published by Cdn publishers. I watch a lot of TV, okay?)

It is the holiday times, and that means seeing my friends more than usual. Especially the one who doesn’t live here and comes home for the hols. That is just the best. As it turns out, I have a great deal of wonderful friends whom I love and adore a lot. This is not new, per se, but top of mind as I’ve just had an epic brunch (an annual event) and the high-quality friend times are top of mind. Also, the ones with kids tend to have kids who are really nice, charming, clever, well mannered … and I’m only a little bit biased. More procreation, excellent people!

now, what next? I have to make my annual resolutions list, and I think it will include ‘getting my act in gear in various ways so that I can go to this learn-to-surf camp next year’ (which I’ve been dreaming of going to for ages) and in all likelihood ‘stop being such a crap blogger.’ In particular, I feel I have dropped — nay, lost — the ball when it comes to Gossip Girl this season. Where have my posts been? Unwritten.

I’ve had a hankering of late to re-watch season 1 of Gossip Girl. Maybe it’s the thought of how much my dear darling Blair has gone through over the past few years — as we wait for Chuck to rise like the UES phoenix that he is — and, of course, to chart the progression of Blair and Dan’s relationship. Remember the school play in season 2? Flipping classic. Maybe that is how I should spend my remaining holiday days…parked in front of the television. Sounds not bad (and not that unusual).

But before I do that, I have to put together a little announcement for y’all. Hint: it has something to do with a TV show and an upcoming book and a pen name and a devilish anonymous texter . . . and if you have a look at my currently reading list on Goodreads you could probably figure it out.

this & that

morning lovelies,

the question that lies before me: am I too sick to go to work? i have one of these stupid colds where my brain is half working but…? Living across the street at least makes the commitment to going in rather minimal. Bed is always only 3 minutes away.

But that is besides the point: I am here to link to a few little things —

An interview for ECW’s Books on TV site! Jen Knoch and I talk TVD, Price Peterson, and how awesome Revenge is here.

I joined Nikki Stafford’s year-long Buffy rewatch this week to talk about three excellent season 7 episodes, and you can read my rambling thoughts here.

And finally, I don’t remember ever posting about Love You to Death — Season 2 being available in various eBook formats — but guess what you guys! It is. On Kindle. At the Apple iBookstore. For yo’ Kobo. Et cetera and so on. (And the bonus for people with fancy colour-screen eReaders: all the photos are in colour, not just the pretty photo section.)

It’s the time of year where I talk to my publisher about the next installment of Love You to Death . . . so, um, you know, if you were thinking it might make an excellent holiday gift for the TVD loving person in your life, no time like the present to buy up all the copies in the universe.

Fingers crossed for season 3!

At the Frankfurt Book Fair!

It’s the biggest buch messe in the world! I’m happily back at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year with ECW Press. Meetings galore! Publishers everywhere! Seeing Canadians I don’t see in Canada!

My German publisher is, of course, here. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Hall 4.1, D148. On Saturday, I’ll be loitering around their booth from 2 to 2:30 p.m. So if you happen to be at FBF, please come say hi!

makeover!

lookee, I switched my WordPress theme! more changes to come as I move around some of them other pages and pretty the place up. belated spring cleaning. and just in time for the America’s Next Top Model All-Stars makeover episode…

and stay tuned for some actual blog posts — fall TV, recent reads, The Secret Circle, and the return of Gossip Girl on the 26th. So much goodness. And if you’re looking for my Vampire Diaries posts, head on over to Vampire-Diaries.net.

xo