Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catch Up

The past couple of weeks have been very busy ones, and I've been ignoring many professional (and some personal) obligations. My fantasy for the day is that I'm going to catch up on these things, and I figured I'd start here with bringing you up to date on a variety of stuff.

The look of the blog: I love the way the blog looks now (which doesn't mean it won't get changed at some point), but I don't like how the links look, which is kind of invisible. So just now I went over to the let's change stuff place to see if I could make the links a different and more noticeable color. Only they've changed the entire let's change stuff place! And it now scares me (which isn't hard). So you'll just have to find those links on your own.

Fourth book yes or no: I've had comments left here and a goodly number of emails asking if there's going to be a follow-up to This World We Live In. The answer, at least for now, is not that I know of. My publisher has expressed no interest whatsoever; it has never come up. Granted I had to bludgeon them into The Dead And The Gone and This World We Live In, so it could just be they're waiting to be bludgeoned. If that's the case, they'll have to wait a while longer, since I have no idea what a fourth book would be like. I do have fun coming up with unusable fourth books (just as I had fun coming up with unusable third books), but the operative word there is unusable. So no fourth book unless something totally changes everything.

Blood Wounds: I haven't heard back from my editor since her initial read of the manuscript. At some point, she'll make her rewriting suggestions, and I'll return to it. In the meantime, I've given up waiting to hear as an excuse, and scheduled my annual mammogram (I told the woman making the appointment to squeeze me in, which I think is one of the great mammogram jokes, but she didn't seem to get it).

Facebook And Twitter: My friends this weekend told me I should do both. I investigated Twitter yesterday to see what it would entail (almost nothing, I grant you). Then last night, I had the pleasure to talking to a number of young people who either will be participating in the Mid-Hudson Library System's Battle Of The Books this summer or who happened to be visiting family in the area, and I asked them if they used Twitter or Facebook. The vast majority of them did neither. I take this as a sign that I shouldn't. Yay for not having to work!

New Gigantic TV Set: I have mixed feelings about my gigantic new TV set. On the one hand (and I think this is a multihand issue), it looks great in the living room. I love the new entertainment center, and the room isn't overwhelmed. So that concern has evaporated. And on the second positive hand, the hi def stuff is so gorgeous, it's unbelievable. I love watching Yankee games on it, and I'm going to go berserk with joy during Wimbledon. But the non hi def stuff looks crappy, and that includes a lot of my DVDs of older movies and TV shows. I went back to Best Buy to return something and asked a salesperson about that, and was told basically there's nothing I can do about it. Hi def TVs only look good in hi def. Also my cable box went out on Sunday, which I find a tad worrisome, since it's a special super duper hi def cable box and I don't want it to be temperamental.

My Mother And My Cat: Both are in excellent health. My mother is actually being a little more social. Marci, Carol and I had lunch with her last week, and my mother has returned to having lunch with her friends at her assisted living place on Sundays. Scooter and I have settled into a Purr On The Neck routine, which consists of his playing Purr On The Neck anytime between 5 and 6 AM. The game lasts for about 10 excruciating minutes, and then he and I both fall back asleep. Some days, like today, he plays again about an hour later, and we fall back asleep yet again. Some days, he skips the second game and lets me sleep until as late as 7:30, at which point he switches from Purr On The Neck to Bite The Hand That Should Be Feeding Me. He's not much of a lapcat, he's at the age where sitting on the newspaper when I'm trying to read it is his idea of a great joke, and on occasion, he finds attacking my foot to be positively irresistible. And yet I love him. I love my mother too, but that's easier, since she almost never sits on my newspaper or attacks my foot.

Books I've Read and Movies I've Seen: Nothing, nothing. Although I did buy a book on Saturday (Lonelyhearts- The Screwball World Of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney by Marion Meade) and I reserved a novel from the library (I'd tell you what and who, but I've already forgotten). When my friends were up this weekend, we didn't go to the movies, which we almost always do. We did, however, watch Category 6 on whatever it is they call the Sci Fi Channel these days. Sunday night, because I didn't have cable, I watched my DVD of Category 7, which was even better.

Adam Lambert Concerts: I've been to one and a quarter, and loved them both. I have another one to go to at the end of the month, and on Friday, I'll try to get presale tickets for a newly scheduled concert in Albany. That one is end of August, so it'll be fun to go after a couple of months of not having seen him. In July, I'll being going to Bethel Woods to see the New York Philharmonic, Celtic Woman, Boston Pops and the Moody Blues (that's four separate concerts, in case you were concerned). So it's going to be a very musical summer.

Well, I think that brings you up to date. Which means I should start attacking that pile of emails. Or I could go to the supermarket. Hark! I hear the siren call of the mangoes. "Buy me. Buy me. Buy me right now."

The emails will just have to wait!

ETA (the mangoes are waiting a few minutes also): I did read a book recently. Innocent by Scott Turow. And the book I reserved from the library is The Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah. You know, I actually enjoy reading books. I should definitely do it more often.


Becky said...

Yes, blogger did change the "let's change stuff place". I liked having the option of *both*--there for a while you could choose how you changed stuff. Oh well.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Becky-

I totally missed the "both" era in the let's change stuff place. I don't wander over there too often, because when I do, I end up changing everything, which can be a little overwhelming.

Meanwhile, my word verification du jour is "ditionie" which really looks like it should mean something in some language or another!

Rachel said...

Ooh! Celtic Woman is amazing! That sounds like it's gonna be a lot of fun. I'm so glad summer is here, so I can have time to read again too! (Currently reading: Fleshmarket, by Nicola Morgan):)

Anonymous said...

I love the way the blog looks now! The links aren't that bad, but it sometimes can be a challenge. ;)

I'm going to call your publisher! I don't think I'm going to be able to live without knowing what happens to Miranda and her family, and Alex. I've spent my first week off from school rereading the series, and I really can't help wondering what is going to happen! I have ideas...

Hope your editor gets back to you soon about Blood Wounds. Can't wait for it!

Though almost every single person [well, at least that I know] seems to have a facebook/twitter account, I'm stuck with the overprotective parents who won't let me have one. I don't really think it would do you much good, but that's just my opinion. A lot more work for nothing. :o

I bet the hi-def tv and the new entertainment center is great, well, except for the non hi-def problems. Be sure to make the best of it, though. :D And pray the cable box keeps working!

Scooter is so adorable! You're lucky to have a cat. :D

. . .

More Adam Lambert! Yay! :D Hope you have fun there!!

Wow... ok, that was a super long comment. A whole lot more then I was planning on writing, a lot more then I needed to. Oh well! :D


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to Rachel Maria and Courtney-

I've never seen Celtic Woman live, so I'm very much looking forward to that. Bethel Woods is as amazing venue, but it's much better when it isn't raining. Last year's fireworks with the New York Philharmonic got rained out (not the concert, just the fireworks).

I'm getting emails all the time asking about a fourth book. I answered one today from a student in Connecticut who had really good ideas about what might happen next. My guess is my readers have better ideas than I do, which is fine by me. I'm not searching for reasons to work right now!

Nora said...

How do you go to a quarter of a concert?

The package you sent came the other day. Thank you so much!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Nora-

You know, I actually did go to just 1/4 of the concert. It was one of those radio things, lots of different performers (some of them I'd even heard of).

The weather was questionable all day and the concert was outdoors. When I found out Adam Lambert was going to be the last one to perform, I waited out the bad weather before going there. So all I saw was Train, some woman I never heard of, and Adam Lambert. He sang about half a dozen songs, which is less than he does in his regular concert appearances.

And now you know much more than you ever wanted to about my recent concert going experiences!

Anonymous said...

Heyokay let me begin by saying your publisher should show intrest in a fourth book. When my family went to the new super center Wal-Mart near my house, all I could think of was Life As We Knew It. I was in the aisle with a bunch of canned goods. One entire side was Progresso soups and there was a section of canned spinach. There were about 5 carts in the aisle, so my mind naturally drifted off to the book. I immagined myself as Miranda pushing her shopping cart, shoving everything she could lay her hands on into the cart.
Yes, that was a good Mammogram joke. I giggled when I read that.
:-(. That's sad how your DVDs don't have good quality on your nw TV. Also, I watched Catagory 6 on the Sci-Fi channel too. It was pretty good except I had to go shopping with my mum, so I had to leave the TV behind. Yesterday, a documentry was on Nat Geo. I was thinking of you the whole time. It was Aftermath: Population Zero. It was very good.
Thabks for the updates!

~~Sunshine :-)

Fear Death By Water said...

Yeah, I bought a couple books yesterday too. First one was The Passage by Justin Cronin (at Costco) and was finally able to buy 'this world we live in'. I had to wiat because they were both gift books. They were given in celebration of my graduation saterday.

Both are now on The Bookshelves of Doom'. I plan on a back to back to back read as soon as i finish The Pack by Tom Pow. Can't wait to start.

Lexi said...

All my friends and I would reallyyyyy love it if you could write a fourth book! We're dying to know what happens next, so please consider it

Also, I think its so cool you like Adam Lambert. You are one of my favorite authors, and he's one of my favorite singers :) Coincidences like this make me smile, so thank you.

Elaine Marie Alphin said...

Have you tried your old DVDs on a Blu-Ray player? Plug it into the HDMI connection on your awesome new giant TV, and I think you'll be in for a pleasant surprise with how much better your old DVDs look. The improved laser playback is amazing.

Love the mammogram joke. : ) And the new look of your blog is very sharp.

Glad your summer is off to such a good start!


Kats said...

Enjoy your new TV - I'm also looking forward to watching Wimbledon on TV AND I got tickets to the men's final in the ballot so I will also be there this year!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning to Sunshine and Fear Death By Water and Lexi and Elaine Marie Alphin and Kats-

First of all, congratulations to FDBW on graduating! What a wonderful accomplishment.

And speaking of wonderful accomplishments, I got an email today from a Blog regular who has a piece in the June Highlights magazine. That's a tough market to break into and an amazing achievement.

And Kats, you're really going to be at the men's final? Wow. I went once with Todd Strasser to a US Open, and saw Pete Sampras beat Ivan Lendl in the quarterfinals, on the way to Sampras's first GS win. I had an amazing time that day.

And I bought a new DVD player when I got gigantic TV, so I'll probably wait a little bit before seeing if a blue ray will improve things. In the summer, I mostly watch sports anyway.

Maybe someday there'll be a fourth book. But truly, there are no plans for one, at least not in my head!

Anonymous said...

Courtney and June,
Hey, did you get the memo that Rachel Maria's blog Purstiltski Nonderibly is a great place for us to have heated discussions on her comment board?

Yeah, I don't have a Facebook and/or twitter, so I currently suggest that you don't get one. Not because I don't have one, but because Facebook is a social networking site and Twitter you just leave comments like : @susanbpfeffer: Just went to Target
@LAWKIfan1:Cool! I love Target
Yeah, I don't get that frankly.

~~Sunshine :-)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

And here I am commenting again.

I found out last night (and forgot to mention this morning) that the booktrailer for all three books is available for viewing on the Amazon pages for the paperbacks of LAWKI and d&g and for the hardcover (since there is no paperback) of TWWLI.

In other words, if you press the magic Amazon buttons on the left side of the blog, you can see the trailer in all its glory.

For some reason, they don't seem to have the trailer on the Kindle pages for the books.

I have no idea how this stuff works, who pays what for what, but as long as I don't pay, I love it all!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog mention about my first publication. That was sweet of you. :o)

I have a Facebook account and I really enjoy it. I have family in the Air Force and it's nice to catch up with them in that format. Plus loading photos onto FB is a lot easier than e-mailing them.

My summer hasn't been as active as yours. I'm chasing after two teenaged daughters, learning to deal/cook for my husband's newly diagnosed diabetes, fighting the weeds in my garden and attending the summer karate classes nearby. Kiyah!

I hope to do some reading and writing at some point.


Nora said...

OK, now I totally understand how you went to 1/4 of a concert. Makes perfect sense!

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan:

If/when there will be plans for a fourth book, let me know; I've got a few(?) suggestions we could knock around.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi WandaV (and congratulations again) and Nora and Anonymous Santa Fe-

If there's ever going to be a fourth book, I'll certainly let people know, but there really truly honest yuly (I decided to give that a Christmas feel) any plans whatsoever right now. And right now could last forever. The only reason I'm even playing with unusable fourth book ideas is became my brain's lying fallow right now and it likes to make stuff up.

On other notes- I went to the library yesterday and the Sophie Hannah book was waiting for me. But the new Robert Barnard was there as well, so I took that out and read half of it yesterday.

And ever since I wrote about Scooter playing Purr On The Neck, he stopped playing. Granted, that's only been 2 morning's worth, but it does lead me to believe, he reads this blog (I thought he only liked to look at his pictures on it before!).