Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Adelphophagy" -- creepy new word of the day

Did you know that mako shark fetuses cannibalize their sibling embryos in the womb? Cool!!! Er, I mean, ICK! Only the strongest one or two will survive, fattened on the flesh of their sibs. Fire salamanders do it too. Isn't that crazy? Where do I come up with this stuff? I don't know -- oh yeah, I was thinking up devil species for Dreamdark, and I was toying with "mako devil" for a sharklike one. Think I'll go with it. I'm quite certain that devil fetuses practice "adelphophagy," which is this specific type of "intrauterine cannibalism," though it is unlikely to come up in the books. Ha!

I'm trying out a new schedule in an effort to get myself to the gym ever, and it's this: nighttime gym. The last couple of nights we've gone at about 9:30, stayed to 10:30, and I think I like it. The things is that going during the day is way too massive a disruption to my writing schedule, and I really need to be a revising maniac right now. (I love the word "maniac" by the way. It's funny, last Thanksgiving my brother commented on it, being told as a kid that there are "maniacs" in the world and how mysterious it seemed; then in the book Atonement the word "maniac" makes an extremely strong impression on Briony, and is surely partly responsible for the terrible thing that she does.) Anyway, I think I like this new schedule. For one, the gym is practically empty then, and there's more chance of there being something interesting on the many TVs in the cardio area.

Might I ask though, what is up with Food Network always being on those TVs? I mean, really. Like I want to watch someone braise meat or build a wedding cake while I'm on the treadmill! Oh, and you know what was on recently? Painting with Bob Ross! How funny is that, for treadmill viewing?

And then the best part about working out late is that you know you don't have to do anything after you get home. Just take a shower and get in bed with your book. It's nice. It's advisable to eat a light, early dinner though.

I think this just might work out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Sometimes you just need an incinerator, baby."

{this post title is something Jim said to me over breakfast, in reference to the crime novel he is reading just now. In the way of bloggers, I thought, "That would make a good blog title." So here it is, and fyi, it has nothing at all to do with the post.}
I got my "Emily" books the other day at Powell's. (Sigh, Powell's, how I love you.) There was a school field trip there and the whole kid's section was aswarm with kidlets. I wanted to put my book into all their hands and lead them to the cash register like a row of ducklings, but of course I did not. Aside from the Emily books, I took a detour to the folklore section, where I had not been in a little while, and added to my library of books on weird beliefs -- witchcraft, demons, superstitions, fortune-telling, faeries, that sort of thing. And now, as you see above: gargoyles, bird omens, animal spirits, plant symbolism and "the toad."

A whole book on toad lore! I've only read a few pages, but so far I have learned quite a few uses for toad venom (making zombies, for example), and a recipe for hair dye that consists of crushed tadpoles and mulberry juice. I guess that would work. Here's a good line: "Toad bile is more reliably lethal when mixed with such items as the poison of spiny fishes and a small shot of powdered glass (hidden in the victim's food.)" Uh-huh.

Oh, that reminds me of a crazy thing I read recently in a self-published and totally delightful diary of a Raj childhood (In Those Days, by Justine Dowley-Wise) -- In 1925 the author's father, who was some sort of factotum for a prince in the State of Bhopal, fell seriously ill, with violent abdominal pains and so forth. The doctor analyzed his stool (such a word. sorry.) and was horrified to discover finely ground tiger's whiskers therein which, apparently, are capable of perforating the bowel and causing death. Really??? According to the doctor, according to the book, this is a well-known means of sneaky murder, and someone had put it into his food! He survived, and moved with his young bride to Calcutta, where the author grew up. Very interesting book! I just got another Raj childhood diary in the mail, but haven't read it yet. You see here a few of my reading obsessions: weird folklore, and Raj India.

Anyway, I'm about halfway through "Emily of New Moon." I just love all her childhood mortifications. I can just feel them. And the way she consoles herself with writing, and "gets square" with people by imagining them into scenes.

And speaking of scenes . . . REVISIONS PROCEED.
Somebody asked me in comments a while back about my revision process, so I thought I'd go a little bit into the "process porn" (as Gwenda calls it). It certainly is not a matter of going chapter by chapter and fixing little things. It's way bigger and more terrifying than that, and I am using an old standby to get through the terror: a new notebook. A nice new notebook. Not one of my hardbound collaged ones, but an unprecious spiral. (Unprecious yes, crappy no. It's from Borders and has nice thick paper that doesn't bleed through.)

So, I read my book. The key is having had several months away from it. I really needed that. So, when I read it, I could really see it. It's remarkable the difference this can make. Anyway, I have a gazillion notes from my editor, and I processed those as I read through the very long manuscript, making notes to myself (and wishing my editor was a bit heavier on the gratuitous compliments, you know, the little "Nice!" and "Lovely!" thrown in here and there to fortify you for the "Cut this chapter" and the "I don't understand what's happening here." Next time I'll have to submit a formal request for compliments along with my manuscript!)

To begin the big attack, I mentally divided my book into 5 parts, beginning with "the set-up" and ending with "the aftermath," and then I took those on individually, thinking about the big issues, the internal logic, new ways to tackle problems to make the book better. I brainstormed a lot about the villain, and when and how to reveal secrets to the reader for maximum impact. I went over and over it, working on the internal logic, seeing what "threads" of the story might be cut altogether and removed from the book to simplify and streamline it. What I'm after is a "complex but elegant" plot. At its core, every book has a skeleton, the pure lines of the story, its essential elements, and though the skeleton may be fatly fleshed and then dressed in layers of velvet and silk, underneath it all, the skeleton must be sound and simple.

Mine was not. Much of my work now is simplifying the skeleton.

You might not know what your skeleton is, really and truly, until after you've written a complete draft. It might not end up being exactly what you thought it would be. I have moments where I say, "Oh! The book is really about. . . X." This is the part where you can state what your book is about in a sentence -- none of the flesh, and none of the velvet, just the skeleton. And once you know what that is, really know it, then you can go back and revise the book so it is clear to the reader too. So that it is sharp and direct, no matter how dressed up it is in fun scenes and imagination and dialogue and excitement.

It's kind of like sharpening a pencil. You're sharpening your story.

So. I've got big new plans that call for vast amounts of rewriting. My notebook is brimming with strategies and bristling with post-its:
Some words of advice:
-- BE OPEN. Cast your imagination wide. Don't be afraid to think of new things and go in whole new directions.
-- BE BRAVE. New ideas may come to you now that will require a ton of new work. This can be overwhelming, but this is your chance to make the book the best it can be. Do whatever you need to do.
-- BE EXCITED. Anything can still happen. This is marvelous. You can still dazzle yourself.
-- BE DETERMINED. You can do it, and you will do it.

Here I go, to follow my own advice!

Monday, May 26, 2008

New ladies, weird hairstyles, crazy caterpillars, etc

Ah, new Laini's Ladies complete. It's a small new collection that will debut at the summer gift shows. Just four ladies:

I made samples over the weekend; watched about 4 episodes of Lady Oscar while I cut them out. (Love that Lady Oscar! These episodes were all about the feud between Marie Antoinette and the Countess du Barry (mistress of the king) -- funny, French court intrigue, told in big-eyed anime. Lady Oscar herself scarcely features in these episodes, and there's hardly any swordplay at all.)

[Oh, heh, I got the new "School Visits" section of my website posted. It's HERE.]

Check it out:
In my ongoing quest for Laini's Ladies faces, I came across a site I've found before: Lunagirl Images. I'd never ordered their CDs because I thought copyright would be an issue, but I finally emailed them and asked and they granted me permission to use just faces from their photos. So I ordered a ton of CDs, and even bought some digital download collage pages, but then I didn't end up using any of them because none of the faces had quite the right look (from the downloads; I hadn't received the CDs yet). Laini's Ladies' faces need to have a certain joy or sweetness (usually), and the problem is that models don't tend to shoot for that look. More like: sultry, sexy, bored. NOT so Laini's Ladies-esque. I scrounge through a lot of photos to find a few smilers! I'm hopeful there will be a some on these CDs I can use, though.

And look at this:
It's a little set of vintage hairstyle cards sent to me by my friend Abigail. Isn't it awesome?? Of course, I couldn't resist trying some of the hairstyles on myself:
(That's a picture from my Mexico photo album. Yes, I am having a cookie for breakfast.) I tried some hair on this little boy, too:
Ha ha! So silly.

Since this is becoming a post of randomness, here is a photo I snapped while taking pictures of my new ladies. I made these dolls a few years ago:
I went through a brief obsession with making dolls with polyclay molded faces. These were the paperdoll-body versions. The one on the left says "ripe slice of person." I don't remember what that was about!

Random wrap-up:
Besides Laini's Ladies and Silksinger, which I'm fully back into with great zest, I have recently read Atonement (the movie was a strikingly faithful adaptation; I loved both), and then right after that, a really good, super-creepy ghost story called Heart-Shaped Box that my parents had given Jim for his birthday (along with a Spiderman Tshirt and season 2 of Veronica Mars). Now I'm reading a YA called Teach Me -- I just started it last night and I'm deeply into it. Instantly loved the character's voice and humor, and got so sucked into the story of a highschool girl in the aftermath of a passionate affair with her teacher. Girl voice/male writer, extraordinarily well done. Funny, convincing, fabulous. (Liesa, I'm dying to find out what Nine did at the wedding.)

So, that's the book update. We're also watching Buffy season 3, which I haven't seen in ages and I think it might be the best Buffy season ever. Faith! Werewolves! Angel returned from the hell dimension! The mayor! God, it's so good.

Reading all that stuff above, you would think that I never work, wouldn't you, that I just sit around reading and watching TV. Well: not true! I work! I wrote myself to a massive hand cramp yesterday! (Notes on the revision; so many new ideas!) Besides the books and TV shows, there have also been brief flirtations with a possible new obsession which I plan to stave off: collecting more weird creature parts! You know about the box of claws. Well, once you're in possession of such a thing, you sort of start wanting more claws. It's only natural (ask Batch Hangnail). And how about some fangs while you're at it? I really think I need a full set of hippopotamus teeth, and maybe a replica giant sloth claw. (Did you know giant sloths weighed 20,000 pounds? Er, how is that even possible?) And then, too, you can wile away quite a few minutes looking at freaky pictures of moth caterpillars. Look, it's like a couple of space-alien dachsunds out for a stroll:
And. . . what???
No. . . really?

(It is high time for a new installment of "Earth's Greatest Hits" I think. Moths, man. Moths are crazy!)

Heck, I really need some amazing, rare insect specimens, like these. They're like jewels. No? I don't need them? No, I don't. Slipping the credit card back into the wallet. Shopping averted. Back to work!

P.S. "Emily's lost story" people, yay, this is going to be fun!! Let's read the books and be in touch. Anyone still want to sign up, see last two posts.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Seller of Dreams" challenge

Well, then. I think we should do it! I'm so glad to see other people love and remember these books. Thinking about it these past days, I'm so excited to reread them! I'll have to get new copies -- can't find the old, I've moved so many times since I read them. I found some of the later Anne books on my shelf, which I bought and read a few years ago. But no Emily. So, we'll [re]read the books, and then we'll write our own versions of the lost story!

Yes? We'll give ourselves plenty of time since it'll be summer soon and we're all busy, and, er, since I have a book to revise, heh heh. But this will be a fun treat at the end of it! After I finished Blackbringer, it was pure fun to write the "Lips Touch" stories. This will be like that! And honestly, this story has been swimming around in my head in some way or other since I read the Emily books when I was, I don't know, thirteen or something. And that's a long time!

What do you say that the week beginning July 20th we'll have read the books, and we can post about them -- kind of like a book club? And with them fresh in our minds, we can discuss perameters for the story. I think we'll keep it very open, though: write a story based on Emily's idea. You might try to write it as if you were Emily, and "recreate" it, or you might just take the idea and go your own way with it. I'd say length is totally open -- it could be a super short piece, or it could be a novel (yeah, let's get right on that), but it would be nice to develop it into a short story of maybe 5,000 - 10,000 words?

Sign in below if you're interested in the "Seller of Dreams" challenge (see last post if you have no idea what I'm on about), and plan on blogging about the books the week of July 20th, and then we can go on to the next step. I think it would be fun it we post all the stories on their own blog. I'll design a cute header for it some time this summer.

And if you just want to be in the book club portion, and not write a story, that's okay too.

P.S. On an unrelated note, if you're interested in attending the Second Annual Kidlit Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon, September 26-27, go HERE and find out more about it. Author-bloggers and book-lover-bloggers welcome!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The lost story

Has anybody read the "Emily of New Moon" books by L.M. Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame)? I liked Anne, as a girl, but I loved Emily. Emily was a writer, and though I haven't read the books in years, I still remember the story of her "lost story." See, she wrote a story about a "peddlar of dreams." I can't recall how much detail was given, but I remember imagining a peddlar's cart and an old dream merchant pushing it around, and the possibilities seemed endless to me. I loved that idea. Well, in the book, Emily showed the story to a trusted friend, who the reader knew (but she didn't know) was in love with her. She wanted his opinion of her talent, and he told her the story wasn't any good -- because he wanted to knock those writer dreams right out of her head so she'd give up and marry him, and in despair, she burned the only copy of the story. Tragic! So even though I read those books years ago, I've never forgotten that poor burned story, as if it were something real that had really been lost. Funny how things can take up residence in your mind, like this dream peddlar has been wandering in there with his cart, all these years.

Well, on my most recent quote search I came across this:

"If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
and the crier rung his bell,
What would you go buy?"

-- Thomas Lovell Beddoes

And of course I instantly thought of Emily's story, and I got to thinking: I want to write that lost story! Wouldn't that be fun? Kind of like L.M. Montgomery "fan fiction" -- only, I'd probably actually just take the premise and write it as my own, not try to write like a fictional Victorian girl. . . but that would be fun too, a fun challenge. I wonder if anyone else might want to do this? Could be kind of a fun little group project. Write different versions of "Emily's lost story" about the peddlar of dreams. I think the premise given in the book is vague enough it could go in a lot of different directions. (Not that I have time to do it right now, but maybe as a little palette cleanser when I'm done with this round of revisions on Silksinger.)
Of course, I'd have to reread the Emily books, which sounds wonderful. I don't recall which book it was in -- maybe the second, maybe the third. (Unlike the endless Anne series, there are only three.) Here's the first one, if you're curious. Anyone interested? Or even if not, anyone else remember the story?

Monday, May 19, 2008

New blog banner, new Laini's Lady

(Look! I managed to change my blog banner, finally! It's supposed to be easy now, but late last night nothing was going right. This morning I thought to try Firefox instead of Safari and it couldn't have been easier. I guess I should give up Safari. But I'm so used to it. But it kind of sucks. . .)

New Laini's Lady #1. I've been wanting to use this quote for ages. Love it. The background for the skirt comes from a colored wall in Chiapas, and the blouse is from an embroidered table-runner that was hanging in a shop doorway in San Cristobal. And you might recognize the lovely face as belonging to a certain blogger. I just designed her wedding invitations for her, and had the photo already all Lady-ready, so I used it. So pretty! Here's the invitation:
It was gorgeous here all weekend. Saturday night we had the first outdoor movie of the summer at our friends' house, and it was perfect outdoors-at-night weather. We ate pear-ginger duff with icecream and watched "Death at a Funeral," which was weird and neither good nor bad. Yesterday was gorgeous, the heat wave broken -- a near-perfect day, it looked like, when viewed from indoors. I did not set toe outside the house, not even once. I never changed out of my nightgown all day. Am I ill, you ask? No, just working! It's very glamorous around here!

You might have heard that yesterday 75,000 people came out to Waterfront Park to hear Barack Obama speak -- that's his biggest crowd ever, and the biggest crowd of any of the candidates this election season. Go, Portland! As I didn't leave the house, obviously I didn't go, but my mom did. She's been campaigning for Obama -- the first time she's worked for a candidate since Kennedy! I am so excited by my parents' energy for Obama. My dad, a retired Naval officer and lifelong Republican, actually registered Democrat this year!!! It gives me so much hope for our country, that we can make a drastic change. Of course, John Edwards was the candidate Jim and I favored, and I hope he will be either VP or Attorney General of the new administration. It's so amazing to us here in Oregon that our primary votes matter this year! You know, I heard that nation-wide, more voters have turned out for the Democratic primaries than voted for John Kerry last time around? And when I heard that, it was with 6 states still to go. That's crazy-high voter turnout for a primary. Woo!

Today: more Laini's Ladies, while listening to my audiobook! I'm on CD #2 out of 10 and it's so cool to listen to. The narrator, Davina Porter, is a genius of voices and has given my book such LIFE! I love the Scottish accents! I wish I could do accents. I mean, when I speak Italian and French I have a good accent, but I can't "do" accents. I think if I could pick an accent to have, it would be Scottish, and a really thick one. You?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Careers in measuring moth tongues

Yesterday I went to an elementary school just across the border in Washington (though I kind of forgot I was in Washington, and I think I talked about "our forests here in Oregon". Oops.) to talk to the 4th and 5th graders, and again, it was great fun. Thank you, Jone, for having me!

Again, the wigs went over well with boys and girls alike, and the claws too, and I'm confident the "elephant poo paper" would have too. . . if I'd remembered to bring it. I did discover, though, you get almost as big a reaction just by telling the kids the trick you were going to play on them, then showing them the picture of the elephant pooping. Still, it would have been more fun to have the paper!

Here are my 4th grade volunteers (those are boys on the outsides.)
After Wednesday I'd added a few slides to my presentation. One of the things I do is talk about how I came up with my character names and what they mean -- that's how the "box of claws" ties in, because of my warrior prince named "Talon." I also have a character named Bellatrix.

Well, most kids know Bellatrix as a character from Harry Potter, but it's something else, too, which is why I used the name. It's this:
It's a star in the constellation Orion the hunter, and not just any star -- it makes the bow shoulder of the hunter. Well, since my Bellatrix is a warrior and huntress, I thought that was appropriate, especially since Bellatrix means "female warrior" in Latin. Perfect! In talking about Bellatrix and Orion, I also talked about the massive red giant Betelgeuse that makes up Orion's other shoulder, and about how a star that is 600 million miles in diameter (our sun is less than one million) is going to explode! and whether we on Earth should be worried about that. It turns out, not so much, you know why? Because Betelgeuse is 430 light years away. That means we would need to travel at the speed of light for 430 years to get there! Well, being kind of bad at math, I didn't know how far 430 light years was, so I googled around and found, as I suspected I would, a neato "light speed calculator" on line. And you know how many miles it is?
Whoa, baby. I don't even know how to say that number. I loved that after the presentation was over a bunch of boys (and one girl) clustered around my computer studying the number and trying to figure it out:
And here are some kids with the claws and butterflies:
And since I'm such a big nerd for weird science and nature facts, I worked some funky tidbits into talking about the different kinds of wings that faeries have.

There's this cool story, for example, about how Charles Darwin, while doing a study on orchids, came across a species from Madagascar in which the nectar was to be found 11 inches deep inside the flower. Here's the orchid.
See those long skinny tube-y things? Well, the nectar's down at the bottom. So, Darwin theorized based on the existence of this flower that there must be a moth with a proboscis (hollow tonguelike organ) 11 inches long, to pollinate the flower! And guess what. 41 years later, another scientist finally identified that moth. Check out this proboscis:
Pretty cool, no? And then, of course, there's the moth stealing tears from the bird. I found out there's also a "vampire moth" in Asia with a barbed tongue that drinks the blood of deer and cattle. I think when I grow up maybe I want to be a lepidopterist specializing in weird moth tongues). Somebody's got to do it, right?

Anyway, the school visit was really fun. I think I'm really a 4th-grader at heart, totally fascinated by vampire moths and light years and paper made out of elephant poop. I might go to one more school next week, but then that's it for a while. I'll be putting up a new section on my website about school visits, so if you think you'd like to ask your kids' school to invite me out, there will be a place to direct them for information. (Coming soon.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Frass!" -- School visits and caterpillar poop

Kids are awesome. I ought to be around them more! Today I spoke to a school of about 400 kids, first to the 1st thru 3rd graders, then to the 4th thru 6th graders. Since I figured most of them would not have read my book, I talked about being a writer, showed some pictures of my family, like this one of my brother. . .
. . . told a little about the book, and threw in some of my favorite weird science & nature facts, specifically ones that apply to the world of my book. One of my favorite things about writing Dreamdark is the opportunity it gives me to do research into the natural world, in an effort to make the forests and jungles feel like real kingdoms full of wonders both magical and natural.

Take the humble moth for example. Not one of nature's most glamorous insects, but so cool. Besides the whole amazing silk thing, did you know that moths can smell each other up to seven miles away? I asked the kids how they'd like to be able to smell their friends coming from seven miles away. Not so much! That's a super power I could do without. I also showed them a slide of a moth caught in the act of drinking the tears of a sleeping bird. This amazes me. There are moths whose only source of saline is tears so they have specially adapted proboscises for getting through the inner eyelids of sleeping birds!!! HOLY COW!!!

And of course, there were the claws. Here is my guardian of the claws:
Like all my volunteers, he had to get dressed up for the occasion:
The boys were totally good sports about the wigs. One of them, a fifth grader and obvious class clown, even pounced on the one set of butterfly wings and commandeered them for himself!!

Here's my sweet butterfly faerie from the younger group:

I taught them my favorite new word:
Do any of you know what it means? Well, I didn't until a couple of days ago, but I knew at once that it would make a great faerie swear word. It means: caterpillar poop!!

And, I had a surprise for the kids that came about sort of by mistake when I went to the zoo with my family this weekend. I found a special paper for sale there. . . Well, I -- with the help of the kids, and Jim (who so sweetly came with me today for tech support so I could learn how to hook up my laptop to the projector. Thanks sweetie!) -- passed out pieces of paper, and had them hold it for a while, examine it closely, use their senses on it (ie touch, sniff. I did not suggest tasting, but some kids did so on their own). Only then did I show my final slide of the presentation, which revealed what the paper was made out of. . .
That's right. Elephant poop. Ha ha ha! That got such a huge reaction -- especially from the paper tasters, of course. But not to worry -- the paper is totally clean and sterilized, but it really is made out of elephant poop! When I saw it at the zoo, I knew I needed to have some. I just googled their web site and discovered they make rhino poo paper too.

And the very last thing, besides questions, was the facial tattoos. That's right, we gave the kids facial tattoos, a la Rathersting:

Snazzy, no? Of course they're not real tattoos. See, Jim took pictures of a few kids and then, while I was talking, he photoshopped these tattoos onto their faces, and we showed them at the end. It looked awesome.

It was a lot of fun, and I'm going to another school on friday (hi Jone!) and another next week, but right now I really need to buckle down and create some Laini's Ladies. Ciao!

Oh, P.S. I just received my samples of the new Blackbringer audiobook! So cool! I haven't listened to it yet, but I can't wait! It's being sold primarily to the library market, so you will be more likely to find it at your library (or ask your library to order it!) than at a bookstore, which is just as well, because it's crazy expensive. Sheesh! I think it's a hundred smackeroos! SO, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to think up a contest and give one away here. So be watching. I'll come up with something!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's in the suitcase?

What, this suitcase? This is the suitcase of mystery, for my school visits this week. Volunteers will be called, knowing not what they volunteer for. And then, the suitcase of mystery will be opened to reveal. . .


Five different pink wigs! I can't wait to see the kids wearing these. Heh heh hee! Today I've been readying my slide show and props. Besides the wigs, there are butterflies:
(These sweeties died of old age in a butterfly zoo.)

And of course, there's famous BOX OF CLAWS:

Aren't those just SO COOL? One lucky student will be appointed the Guardian of the Claws, and will be responsible for bringing the box around to show everyone. (The claws will be sewn to the lining by then.) That student will also have to wear a pink wig. I got a single pair of faerie wings too, for the student in charge of the butterflies -- I think I'll pick a girl for that.

So looking forward to these events. Fingers crossed that all technical stuff goes well!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

fun with insect sex

In the mood for something silly, bizarre, and educational? Let me put that another way: how would you like to see Isabella Rossellini perform pelvic thrusts on a giant stuffed praying mantis? It's all in the name of art and science. Go to Green Porno. Don't be scared off by the "porno" -- it's just insect porn, and it's on the Sundance Channel website, so it couldn't be too porny. (I like adding 'y' to words. Have you ever told someone to "stop acting assy"? Try it. It's fun.)
Anyway, they're short movies that are like these pictures, except that Isabella Rossellini plays every role! I totally love when she runs away from the spider. Thanks, Abi, for the link!
Oh, I'm still soliciting quotes for the new Laini's Ladies. Thanks for the suggestions so far! Here's another quote for you, that I love but that won't make it onto a lady:

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."
-- Terry Pratchett

And another:

"The mind I love must have wild places, a tangle orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind."
-- Katherine Mansfield

Friday, May 09, 2008

Looky: new Laini's Ladies goodies!

The other day I got my shipment of samples of the new product: candles, bookmarks, and sticky notes along with the new cards and ladies. I love getting samples. It's kind of like Christmas. (Speaking of kind-of-like-Christmas, the other day I got 2 boxes in the mail from bloggy ladies. One was full of all kinds of candy and maple syrup, from the delightful blue poppy, the other two awesome "fairy cupcake" mugs from Meg -- though I have to give one of them to Alexandra. Sure, Meg, I'll pass that mug right along. Sure. Wink wink. No, I will. Thank you ladies for the packages of fun!)

Here's what the new sticky notes look like. They come in awesome little boxes:

And some of the many bookmark designs:

(There are lots more here.) (If you happen to be the bookmark-orderer for Barnes & Noble or Target or something, please place a gigantic order now.)

I need to design some new ladies now, like right now, which is. . . interesting timing considering the revisions in progress. But isn't that just the way things happen? Any quote requests? My mind is wide open right now. It's quite a challenge coming up with good Laini's Ladies quotes. Things to consider:

- Can't be by someone alive and likely to sue.

- Must have a fairly wide appeal.

- Must be either funny or uplifting.

- Must be relatively short.

- And finally, must have that certain undefinable awesomeness that makes you want to hang it in your house and reread it often. It's tricky. Ideas? Here's an example of one that, although I really really really love it, may not be a keeper. I'm being told people don't get it, which worries me a little. There's obviously not enough reading of Jane Austen novels OR enough appreciation of silliness going on out there!