Monday, November 17, 2008

A Solution For The Nickname And Spoilering Problems

Don't you love one stop shopping?

After a great deal of thought, both on the exercycle and the treadmill, I've decided the blog nickname for This World We Live In is B3. That stands for Book 3, since it will, after all, be the third book of the trilogy. B3 is easy to type and will always be in good taste, even if by some chance This World We Live In changes its title between now and when it's actually published.

I tried to figure out spoiler tags, but Blogspot (which I'm very fond of) doesn't seem to want to make them easy. So here's the obvious solution to the spoilering problem.

Anytime I write a blog entry that is spoileresque, that discusses small or large plot details of B3, I'll put B3 in the title of the entry.

Let's say I write an entry about how I'm the greatest writer ever because I solved a particularly tricky plot problem with B3. If the entry is merely about my fabulous wonderfulness, then the title will be: I'm The Greatest Writer Ever. But if in the entry I explain what the problem was and how I solved it, then the title will be: I'm The Greatest Writer Ever B3.

If you see a B3 in the title, and you don't want to be spoilered, then say HA! and go elsewhere (the saying HA! is required).

While it is possible that in a B3 entry, I'll also discuss other things happening in my life, my life isn't so interesting that if you skip an entry or two, your life will suffer. Besides you'll have the thrill of saying HA! And if something interesting really does happen (like winning that Nobel Prize For Literature I've been eagerly anticipating), I'll be sufficiently thrilled that I'll forget about work and write the entire entry on whatever it was that happened. Not that anything is likely to happen. Except maybe a kitten (I really want a kitten).

I am now going to put a little note on the right side of the page (where, I'm sure you noticed, I added South Dakota to the list of states where Life As We Knew It is nominated for a young readers award)explaining about the B3 system.

You may now go and practice your HA!


Anonymous said...

Only one reaction after reading B3 -- and I did restrain myself for several days, but being time-shared by three cats, I have to say this: I hope Miranda slapped Jon good when he made the crack about her cat.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous Santa Fe-

I just found out the four person panel I'm scheduled to be on at NCTE has become a two person panel.

I think someone had better slap me good!

Also the word I need to verify is "mulanist," which I can only assume is someone who's a real big fan of the movie Mulan (that would leave me out, since I never saw it).

I'm off to develop multiple personalities to add some zest to the upcoming panel dialogue. Oy yoy yoy.

Anonymous said...

I reread B3 a couple of days ago -- the main part, and something came to mind as I was reading the ending. Part of my creative process involves music, and I was reminded of a song John Stewart (not the comedian) released around 1978-79 called "Midnight Wind," which is about a girl named Miranda. I don't know if you've heard of it or of him, but it's on his greatest hits CD. Maybe some of the other intrepid posters here have heard it -- Stevie Nicks does backup, and Lindsay Buckingham supplies both his voice and guitar.

I was just struck by how appropriate the song seemed to be for the story -- Miranda's transition into womanhood is being accelerated by her post-meteor experiences.

Good luck with your two-person panel, and I AM trying not to bother you too much with discussion.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Anonymous said...

I loved Life As We Knew It! I work with teens at an Ohio library. This is what I wrote in my blog,

Every so often a book will get under my skin and alter the way I think. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is still swimming around in my head. The main character is a teenage girl named Miranda. The world witnesses a huge event, a meteor is heading straight for the moon. Families stand outside with telescopes to watch the impact. But not even the scientists predict what will happen next. The meteor hits with such an impact the moon is knocked off kilter, pushing it closer to earth. This creates a change of catastrophic events with tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and winter in August.

The story is told through Miranda’s diary entries as they try to survive. They live in rural Pennsylvania, so while the tsunamis cannot reach them and there are not any volcanoes nearby, the ash covers the sky, blocking the sun. They have little information about what is happening outside their small town. They know large parts of the county have been wiped out. Her family is lucky though. Her mother has the foresight to purchase as much canned food, medical supplies and batteries as possible. They also have a wood burning stove. Miranda tells her story as they slowly starve; making each can last as long as possible.

Let me just say, as I was reading this book, my power went out and the house became a little chilly. So many aspects of the book stick with me. Although the chance of a meteor hitting the moon that hard is remote, it is not outside the realm of possibility. Once disaster hit, all the technology became irrelevant. They had to survive primitively.

I discussed this book with the mother/daughter book group at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library. The mothers and I all shared the same fears about the economy. The girls enjoyed the story, but the book made us mothers very nervous. When someone losses their job and the source of food and heating fuel become in jeopardy it is very terrifying indeed. You take on the same mindset, how can we make what we have stretch?

This book also reminded me of the power outage in 2003, when the all the cities in our region went without power. I remember the fear as I first heard it was not just Cleveland. Was it a terrorist attack? I am sure this is the same feeling of fear and uncertainly as Miranda and her family tried to figure out what was happening with the rest of the world. When we lost water during that outage it was truly terrifying. I remember going to the store to pick up a few things and watching the panic as people filled carts with bottled water.

This book made me want to take a trip to the wholesale club and stock up on canned goods and water. It may not be such a bad idea.

Susan Beth Pfeffer has also written The Dead And The Gone, which takes place in New York City as the tsunamis hit. I will read this one too, as soon as I can get up the courage. She is also writing a third book in the trilogy.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous Santa Fe-

Thank you again for your email. I appreciate your efforts both with B3 and with not spoilering B3 on non-B3 blog entries.

I worked on B3 while I was in Texas, and I'm very pleased with where things are (and with people's responses when they heard B3 was in the works). I plan on doing a B3 update over at thirdmoonbook when I have the chance.

Meantime, I'm just trying to catch my breath!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Kris Hickey-

Thank you for your comment and for bringing over your LAWKI blog entry. I enjoyed reading both.

I'm kind of curious about how people will respond to LAWKI/d&g in the current economic freefall. My hope is, of course, that the economy will miraculously recover, but if it does take a while, I don't know if LAWKI/d&g will be too scary/depressing for the times. I'm choosing not to worry about the long term consequences on the books, which is a refreshing change for me, who used to worry about the long term consequences of just about everything in my life. Working on the third book is proving beneficial to my mental as well as financial health!