Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow and copyedits

Expecting more snow today! Also expecting, if the UPS truck can get here, Lips Touch copyedits in the mail! I just fed-exed the Silksinger ones back to Putnam yesterday -- it's copyedit season, I guess! It's so exciting that these books are nearing completion at last and will very soon manifest themselves as actual books. Advance reader copies, anyway. One of the most exciting days in the whole making of Blackbringer was the day that box of ARCs came in the mail. I have talked to other writers about this, and it seems many of us remember a scene from the movie 'Back to the Future' that non-writers don't tend to remember: the scene when the Crispin Glover character ('dad') gets a box of his new book from his publisher. Do you remember that? It is a glorious, glorious thing when that happens.

I mean, we love books. Not just reading them, but holding them, having them. And when our words become a book. . . it is magic. I love to make books myself. I used to staple-bind my illustrated stories as a kid, and last spring when we got home from Mexico I was completely obsessed with making one of those snazzy photo books from Shutterfly that makes your trip into a coffeetable book. I keep thinking that I want to make a special book for Lips Touch, a kind of behind-the-scenes, showcasing a lot of the art that Jim has done for it that will not make it into the final book. This was a very brainstormy process, with a lot of styles tried and abandoned, and a lot of cover concepts gone through before the final lovely cover which I can't yet show. Here's a peek at one that is not the cover, but that I love almost as much as the cover:
Isn't it so beautiful and romantic? Jim just posted it on his blog too, along with the first look at a great cover he just did for Simon and Schuster. I have such a talented husband! And he's cute, too:-)

Anyway, I'm really excited by the idea of making this "behind the scenes" book for Lips Touch, including an extra little story about kissing, and maybe the earliest incarnation of the novella "Hatchling". "Hatchling" was the result of the second-ever Sunday Scribbling, for the prompt "real life," and I had so much fun writing it. However, the story in the book bears almost no resemblance to that initial "scribble," beyond the first line, which is:

Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turned from brown to blue.

So I think it would be cool to print the story that became "Hatchling" and maybe talk a little about the process of turning a short, free, fun piece into a longer and more complex story.

I'm thinking of using for the book, because you can do nice little paperbacks for $20. Just the thought of laying out the pages excites me. I love to do that kind of design! I think it would be great fun to be a book designer, especially for some really creative house like Chronicle Books.

Snow is twirling lazily outside. I was supposed to have a crafty date with Chary and her sewing machine today, but I don't want to drive. The mailman just came by to deliver prezzies and he had chains on his tires, and staying in the house sounds good on a day like this. I might actually -- gasp! -- do some WRITING!!!

But maybe not. I mean, there are Cybils books to hurry up and read before the end of the month, and there are cookies to bake. What's better than reading under a warm afghan in a house that smells like cookies? I ask you.

I just read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and it is GOOOD. It's a frightening vision of what could easily happen if there were another major terrorist attack on US soil and the Dept of Homeland Security was given a free hand to do what they will to *investigate* US citizens. It's also a great read for any techies you might know and love, as it's about a teenage boy who sets out to undermine the DHS using technology, including using Xboxes as untraceable internet providers. The "little brothers" of the title are the kids who are screwing with "big brother," making technological mischief into a whole new form of protest and sabotage. Very cool stuff. It made me feel old, thinking about how tech-savvy today's kids are. And then there's the tag line: "Don't trust anyone over 25." Eeek.

Have I mentioned I am . . . um. . . turning [gasp!] 37 on Monday??? (Don't tell anyone.)

But back to writing. Have I confessed here to falling prey to the newt*? That is, the so-called "slutty new idea," and abandoning (for now) the Bad-Ass Sci-Fi Novel that occupied my November? Well, it's true. It's the same newt from earlier in the fall. I've been seesawing between these two ideas and for NaNo I forced myself to choose one and I chose wrong! Or not. Maybe this was the way things needed to evolve. Because what happened was, while I was forcing myself to slog through the sci-fi, the newt was coming clearer and crisper and ever more exciting in the wings of my mind. And I am SO ready to write it now. So thrilled about it! It makes me want to tap dance, and I don't even know how to tap dance.

I solemnly pledge that this newt will not be overturned by a new newt. This can become a vicious cycle. We all know that. Stephanie, who has done the exact same thing to her NaNo book, has agreed to pledge: No New Newts! We will write the books at hand.

Have a beautiful day! Tap dance in the snow. Write something fun. Eat a cookie. Pet your dog.

*"newt" stands for New Weird Thing, which was what I was calling the fun story I started writing when I was bored with my supposed next book.


Jim Di Bartolo said...

Awww shucks Laini...*blush*'re pretty cute and talented yourself :) And I CANNOT WAIT to read what you write next! CAN'T. WAIT!


Anonymous said...

you crack me up! i'm excited to running errands around town without my fleece! (folks in colder environs despise me this time of year). nevermind that it's >100F in the summer! where was i?!

oh...speaking of boxes. i sent one to mrs. claus. the peppermint meltaways tasted better than they looked! :D bake away!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Mine is on Friday, and I'll be 32.

Newt is such a cool acronym for a new writing project. And I love Jim's artwork. You've got me all excited to read "Silksinger" and "Lips Touch." Although I did like "Goblin Fruit" better. It was an allusion to Christina Rossetti's poem, wasn't it?

And I'm so excited about my novel right now too! I'm on my SECOND draft, which is a first for me, and I'm wacking 20 pages here and adding big chunks here and there. And my main character told me he has some hobbies last month that "snicked" in a major way. fun fun fun - I've got to go write!

Lexi said...

Ooh, so exciting!
I read Little Brother a few months ago and bought a copy just because Neil Gaiman said he liked it. And it was awesome. (but really, I am not as tech savvy as Marcus)
Also I just read PAPER TOWNS! !!!

Can't wait for Lips Touch. The pseudo-cover is beautiful.

liz elayne lamoreux said...

oh the next time we get together i will teach you to tap least a time step or two. :)

and i would love to read that behind the scenes book. yes. please write that one.

hope you snuggled in and read today!

Heather said...

Laini, you don't look a day over 25! For real!

I have done a couple of Blurb books and they turned out great - they arrived really quickly, too (and by that I mean they made it across the border in 6 days!) I highly recommend them. In fact, I am working on another for my teen who is GRADUATING in the spring (gulp!)

And how much do I love that Jim calls himself "Husbles"? I giggle every time I see it! You two are adorable!

Stephanie Perkins said...

The Crispin Glover scene! Yeeeesssssssss!!! I can't *wait* for that day. Yay for your forthcoming boxes!

I adore CG. He's so weird. Did you know he's written several really creepy dark collagey books? And his middle name -- by birth -- is Hellion?

I reeeally hope you do the Lips Touch extra. (Lips Retouch?)

No New Newts! No New Newts! No New Newts!

Laini Taylor said...

Stephanie! That is so weird about Crispin Glover's middle name. I am just finishing reading The Girl Who Could Fly and there's a character named Mrs. Hellion.

[And yes, NO NEW NEWTS!]

Myrna -- I am so happy for you! A second draft is an awesome thing, a totally different animal than a first draft. YOU DID IT!! And, happy birthday! Lucky you, you made it under the wire for Sagittarius. I'm a boring Capricorn. Supposedly, we're analytical and good with money. Me, not so much.

Hi everybody!

johanna said...

Happy birthday! Oh what a lovely, lovely special. Can't wait to see the final one!

Cuppa Jolie said...

So Beautiful! So Romantic.

Anonymous said...

LOVE Jim's cover!! really GREAT !!!
Loved Little Brother in a creepy
scarey OMG it could happen way.
Cookie baking Linzer torte making my house almost as christmassy as your blog inspires.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Happy Birthday, Laini!!!

Guess what? It's snowing again. What do you know!?

I posted a few pics of our neck of the woods on my blog. You can go here to see:

This will be a birthday you won't soon forget, huh?

I feel like I should be writing but I'm so distracted, wondering how much more is going to come and if I'll be able to make it to work at all this week and if our relatives from out of town will make it. Sigh.