Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Sure They Had Nothing Against Foxes

I spent much of yesterday feeling melancholic. I don't know why, since on the whole my life is going very nicely.

It could have been because summer returned, not that I asked it to. I like autumn and I've never been particularly fond of August. But the temperature has returned to nearly 90, which it generally does in time for the new school year (I remember as a kid, how it always drove me crazy that the weather was never better than for the first week of school). Or maybe it's something physical. I've been feeling achy all day today, so maybe I have a little something wrong with me. Or it could just be that every time I checked things online (which I do all the time), I kept seeing pictures of Glenn Beck.

Whatever the cause, I felt mildly sorrowful, which probably wasn't the best of moods to watch a documentary on the Discovery Channel about the demise of the dinosaurs.

I am, as we all know, a total sucker for anything where civilization comes to an end. I wouldn't have written Life As We Knew It if I weren't attracted to that sort of thing. And I love dinosaur shows. It astounds me how they get all those fabulous closeups, which are particularly impressive on my Stegosaurus sized high def TV.

But last night, watching all those cute vicious dinosaurs eat each other and then die anyway really made me sad. Not that I want to coexist with dinosaurs. I like mammals and I'm glad to be one.

But watching that nasty asteroid land in the Gulf Of Mexico (I think that's where it landed; geography isn't my strong suit), and seeing all the disasters spread throughout Dinosaurland moved me to tears (okay, not all the way to tears, but to near tears). Scooter didn't help. He had no interest in sitting on my lap, which would have given me some comfort as the poisonous gasses killed species after species. Or maybe it was the volcanic eruptions. Or the 300 degree temperatures. Or the gigantic ocean wave. Or the nuclear winter. Or all of the above.

This morning, I found an article on what killed off the dinosaurs that says maybe it was a lot of asteroids all at once, or some such thing. Like one wasn't enough.

Most likely though, it was Glenn Beck. The Tyrannosaurus Rexes and Reginas probably got together and decided if what mammals would eventually evolve into was Fox News, they'd rather go while the going was good.

My guess is Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and many other such mammals, would have felt exactly the same way!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What I've Been Reading

This has been a tricky summer, with a lot of fun stuff and a lot of not fun stuff, but in the midst of it all, I've been reading.

Generally, I do read in the summer, because reading is a good thing to do while baseball is on. I'm at the point in my life where I take my glasses off when I read, but I can't see what's on TV without my glasses, but with my giant new TV set, I can figure out what's happening. Since I tend to read with the TV on, but the sound off (I frequently keep the sound off the TV, even if I'm not reading), it helps if I can kind of make out shapes.

Now that I think about it, I exercise a lot when I'm reading and watching TV. All that pushing the glasses on and off my nose probably burns off 100 calories per page and/or inning.

Anyway, Monday the US Open will begin, and whether I have the sound on or not, I'll be reading less because tennis is the kind of sport you actually have to pay attention to (so is figure skating, but that won't start for a while). So I figured I should let you know all the high class things I've read this summer before the summer ends and I stop reading.

Be prepared to be impressed. After a spring of reading suspense novels, I've moved back to non-fiction.

Teresa Of Avila (Cathleen Medwick)- Teresa Of Avila (who I've always affectionately called Big St. Teresa) turned out to be a lot cuter than I'd expected. She had a real problem with levitating. There was a lovely scene where a nun happened to notice her and St. John Of The Cross having a late night chat while both of them were floating towards the ceiling.

The Great Warming (Brian Fagan)- Who knew things warmed up on earth between 800-1300? Well, maybe you did, but I didn't, and I also didn't know when the Little Ice Age happened (right afterwards, since you asked). If I'd ever had any illusions that I wanted to be a subsistence farmer in medieval times, this book convinced me otherwise. Actually, I never had those illusions, since I've always known life is better with indoor plumbing.

Doomed Queens (Kris Waldherr)- I have my doubts about the historical accuracy of some of the queens, but this book was great fun. Maybe not so much fun for the queens themselves, but definitely fun for the readers.

Madame de Pompadour (Evelyne Lever)- I never got around to reading the biography of Louis XIV's second wife, so I figured I'd read about Louis XV's official mistress instead. She wasn't doomed, but alas, she wasn't all that interesting either.

Stonewall Jackson (John Bowers)- I've had this book on my shelves for a long time and I finally got around to reading it, and I'm very glad I did. Extremely entertaining, although as someone who always roots for the North in the Civil War, it was kind of worrisome to read about Stonewall Jackson's great successes. Good thing I knew how things turned out in the end.

What I am currently reading: Born To Be Hurt (Sam Staggs). This is (or so the book jacket says) The Untold Story Of Imitation Of Life. I'm not a big fan of Imitation Of Life, which I think I've only seen once and that was many decades ago, but any book that talks about Lana Turner and Sandra Dee is all right by me. And I should be able to finish it by Monday.

Hmm... Now that I think about it, Lana Turner starred in Madame X, and she stonewalled during that nasty murder business, which could have doomed a lesser movie queen, and while she wasn't exactly a saint, she certainly warmed things when she wore her sweater.

Suddenly, my entire summer makes sense!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Way You Do The Things You Don't

Recently, LemurKat left a comment asking why I'd written This World We Live In from Miranda's perspective, rather than taking a different approach and writing instead about Alex and Julie's journey through what remained of America.

Also recently, blog regular Fear Death By Water put a link to his own blog review of Life As We Knew It, and he had questions also, wondering (among other things) why there were no marauders to make Miranda's life even more difficult.

Even though I'm a firm believer in Never Apologize Never Explain (Always Complain), I've decided to explain anyway. Complaining is optional (but always in good taste).

I'll start with the marauders question, because I wrote LAWKI first. When I first worked out the plot for LAWKI, I certainly considered a home invasion. But I decided against one, for several reasons.

To start out with, my idea for the book was to put Miranda and her family into a situation of hunger and isolation. I didn't want them to be able to escape, or to improve their situation. That would have been a different book. If they were to be in a situation that seemed hopeless, they couldn't acquire food. That meant no hunting, no trapping.

I covered both of those possibilities very quickly. Early on in the book, the family goes to town and finds the sporting goods store closed and empty. And later on, Miranda walks through the woods and comments on the lack of animal life.

So Miranda and her family are unarmed. Which meant that anyone breaking into their house could easily overpower them, and most likely rape and murder them. Which was definitely not the story I intended to tell.

And if you're thinking, well they could have cleverly outwitted the marauders, then you have to ask what would have stopped a different set of marauders from showing up. As long as there were signs of life, there could have been people breaking in.

No guns, no means of self-defense, no marauders.

When I wrote LAWKI, I was certain there would be a sequel. I wanted to write one, and I felt sure people who liked the book would want to know what happened next. Only my publisher didn't want a sequel. What they were open to was a companion book, same catastrophe but different characters. So I came up with and wrote The Dead And The Gone, always assuming that at some point, my publisher would want a third book that would combine the characters from the first two.

For what felt like a very long time, the publisher said no. I wrote at least one completely different (and completely unusable) third book, which had Julie as a fairly important character and Jon as a minor one. I may have a copy of that manuscript somewhere, but it doesn't matter, since no one will ever see it. But while I was writing it, and for a while thereafter, I pestered my then editor about my getting to write a third book. "No, no, no," she'd say, until one day she said, "Yes, yes, yes." But not a sequel.

I came up with a plot that I thought was brilliant (and I still think was pretty darn good). It was set about a year later, so readers would see what the world was like (pretty lousy), but with a third completely different set of characters. I may have sent my editor an outline, but I certainly didn't get any further than that, when she said, "No, no, no.What we want is a sequel."

Well, that was what I'd wanted to do in the first place. So I couldn't exactly argue. I had suggested to my editor a third book version where Miranda and Alex met on the road, but that was when my publisher was in its "No, no, no," phase, and that was exactly what my editor had said.

I might have tried to work out a different Miranda and Alex meet on the road book except I'd created my own problem, which was that LAWKI ends on March 20 and d&g ends three months earlier than that. Which meant that by the time I'd have gotten Miranda to wherever Alex was, it would be June or later, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why Alex would be someplace where Miranda could meet him.

Trust me. I lost a fair amount of sleep over that.

Then I decided that if I couldn't get Miranda to Alex, I should get Alex to Miranda. I determined that I was okay with returning to Miranda and her diary, and worked out a reason why Alex would have gone back east. Once I was comfortable with all that, I began writing This World We Live In.

While it may not seem like this to you, basically these are the short versions of the decision making process. And a lot of what the long version includes is my personal preferences, the choices I make to tell the stories I want to tell. Those choices aren't necessarily the readers' choices (or the reviewers or the publishers'), and I'd be even more delusional than I am if I thought every choice I made was ultimately the best one. But those choices are rarely made casually. I think a lot about what my intentions are before I ever begin writing, and I consider and reconsider things while I'm writing, and then I even do rewrites to make sure the choices I've made work within the context of the story.

I hope you understand all that. Even more, I hope the copy editor who's working on Blood Wounds understands all that as well. Because the thing I dislike most about working on a copy edited version of a manuscript is the unspoken assumption that I haven't considered my choices and the copy editor knows better than I do what should be done.

Ooh. I think I've moved from explaining to complaining. Thank goodness, that's always in good taste!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Couple Of Other Things

We've sold the German audio rights to The Dead And The Gone, which, of course, greatly pleases me. I really need to start learning German.

I've been remiss in not putting this link to an article about Emily Bauer on the blog. Emily, of course, is the actress who did such an amazing job as he voice of Miranda in the Listening Library audiobook versions of Life As We Knew It and This World We Live In. Google was kind enough to let me know about the article, and I'm passing the information along!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Worry Abhors A Vacuum

I used to spend my summers at my family's country house in the Catskills, and one of my summer rituals there was to worry about money. How much did I have. How much was I likely to make. How soon would what I have run out and what would I do when it did.

I worried on the front porch. I worried in the front yard. I worried in the forest overlooking the stream. I probably worried other places and other seasons, and undoubtedly every time I worried, I had cause to be concerned.

My guess is all freelancers worry at some point about money, unless they make their fortune very early on and invest it wisely and don't overspend (and what fun is that). Even rich successful freelancers can hand their money over to Bernie Madoff and end up worrying. There's no security in self-employment (or any other kind of employment, I'm told, but self-employment has been my job history).

Right now, I'm going through one of those spells where I'm not worried about money. I have money in the bank, money due me, and an upcoming royalty check which should arrive later than I'd like but earlier than I'll need it. For many years, I tried to determine how soon I could start collecting Social Security. Now I think about how long I can hold off before collecting it.

I like having money. Although it's been my life experience that I actually do better when I earn less, I figure at this point I can handle what I get and keep my fantasies of what I might get under control. It also helps that I rent an apartment rather own a house, since I had a terrible habit of redoing kitchens and building additions whenever I felt I could afford it.

Now I let Scooter destroy the walls and carpet, with the cheerful shrug of a tenant.

So you'd think I'd be living a cheerful worryfree life, wouldn't you. Well, you'd be wrong. I don't worry about my next month's rent. I don't even worry about how I'll manage when my royalty checks peter out (which I probably should worry about, but prefer to be pathologically optimistic intead). Nor do I worry about the state of the world, which, in case you hadn't noticed, isn't so great. I'd say not so hot, except for that nasty global warming business, which is demolishing glaciers and coral.

What I worry about these days is my mother. My brother and I have both been concerned about her health all summer long. She's taken longer to bounce back from the pneumonia she suffered in July than we anticipated. There have been a number of visits to the doctor's office, a couple of trips for x-rays, and a quicky visit to the emergency room.

My mother has consistently said she feels fine, and she isn't nearly as worried as my brother and me. I don't think she'd be worried at all, if we weren't.

This afternoon was a perfect example of what's been going on. I called to confess to my mother I'd forgotten to order lunch for her from the dining room (she hasn't gone to lunch by herself since she got sick in the beginning of July). She didn't answer the phone. I tried again a few minutes later. Still no answer. I tried a third and possibly a fourth time to no avail.

There are reasons why my mother doesn't answer the phone, the simplest being she just didn't hear it. I don't think she's ever not answered the phone because she's been too sick or has fallen or any such crisis. I reminded myself of this as my stomach turned to knots. I made myself do a couple of jobs around the apartment, knowing that if there were something wrong with my mother, those kinds of jobs might not get done for a while. I decided if my mother didn't answer the phone the next time, I'd drive over to her apartment to see what was happening.

Of course she answered the phone. The reason she hadn't before was she'd gone to lunch in the dining room. Something she hasn't done in six weeks, but felt so natural doing, it didn't occur to her to call and tell me she was going.

It took an hour for my stomach to unclench.

I take after my father's side of the family and Pfeffers are natural born worriers. My brother is much more like my mother, and very easy going. I remember as a kid convincing myself that my father had been in a terrible accident, when he got home from work later than I expected (and given that he commuted on the Long Island Railroad, the amazing thing is he wasn't always later than I expected).

But coping with a 98 year old mother, even one who is basically strong and healthy and independent, makes me nostalgic for the time when all I worried about was having enough money to make it through the winter!

Friday, August 13, 2010

This World We Live In Is Now Available On Kindle

You may already know that, but I only discovered it this morning.

I admit I don't have a Kindle, but the people I know who do have one love it. So I figured I'd make an official announcement.

Consider it announced!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You Won't Find These In Bartlett's (Well, Maybe One Or Two)

As you know by now, Google is always writing, always calling, always letting me know what's going on with my life.

So I wasn't surprised when the other day, Google emailed me the following cryptic message: We live behind the sorrow moon, we live in to the final day

I still have no idea what it means, and none of my further Googling has given me much information, but I like the way it sounds, especially the behind the sorrow moon part, which has a lovely melancholic ring to it.

But it got me thinking about those various catchphrases I use that don't necessarily have any meaning to anyone else. A few of them I've mentioned here over the eons I've been keeping this blog. But I figured I'd compile a dozen of them. Feel free to steal any that might come in handy in your life.

Ooh, I'll try to make them alphabetical. Now that should be a challenge!

Before the flowers of friendship faded friendship faded. That's Gertrude Stein, so it might be in Bartlett's.

Did he ever write Church, State And Freedom? Church, State and Freedom was the first book my father wrote, and a classic in its field. Whenever my father heard about someone else's accomplishments (say, Roger Maris's 61 homeruns), he'd respond by saying, "Well, did he ever write Church, State And Freedom?" Once, when I was listening to a friend extol the virtues of an acquaitance of hers, who was hardworking, brilliant, and chopped her own firewood, I thought, "Well, did she ever write About David?" But it works better with Church, State And Freedom.

Don't wait for Harry. Give me the axe. That comes from a Lizzie Borden biography. She was with a bunch of friends, who were always very careful about what they said to her, and one of them mentioned what a shame it was the view was spoiled by an ugly shed and someone else said, "Well, when Harry comes we'll ask him to chop it down," and there was an awkward silence, followed by Lizzie Borden's response. I went through a Lizzie Borden stage, but this is the one absolute best anecdote and a highly useful phrase.

If you can't trust your banker, who can you trust? From an episode of Maverick. People who know Maverick know that phrase. At least I've met someone who did once.

I hate her rotten f......g guts. In real life, I curse a lot, and when I use this phrase, I fill in the missing letters. This was said by the husband of a friend of mine, when the friend asked if he'd be interested in going to an Anne Murray concert. I think it stuck in my mind because I couldn't imagine anyone caring that deeply about Anne Murray. I probably don't say this particular phrase out loud very often, but then again, I don't say, "Did he ever write Church, State And Freedom" out loud that often either.

If you're going to America, go to America. The story goes that Grandfather Rabbi Pfeffer was making his way from Hungary to America, when he got offered a great job in Germany. He wrote his wife (at home with the five little Pfeffers, of whom my father was the littlest)to ask if he should accept the job, and Grandmother Mrs. Rabbi Pfeffer responded, "If you're going to America, go to America," so he did, and a good thing indeed that he did. It's a very useful phrase for keeping on target.

Life is for the living. My father's mantra, borrowed from Thomas Jefferson. Also a contender for Bartlett's.

Life With Its Sorrow, Life With Its Tear. I say this all the time, and I finally decided to find out where it came from. It's the name of a novel I never read. I figure I must have read a review of it somewhere and the title stuck in my mind.

Never apologize, never explain.This has something to do with Henry Ford, but I'm not sure what, since I've never read a biography of Henry Ford, a thoroughly unpleasant person from what little I know about him. The Ty Cobb of industrial magnates. As one prone to apologizing and explaining, it's good to remind myself that I shouldn't.

People Meet And Sweet Music Fills The Air. The title of a movie I've never seen, Swedish maybe, and maybe about sex.

There's More To Life Than The Hully Gully. I've definitely quoted this one in my blog. It's from a True Confessions story (although not necessary from the actual True Confessions Magazine; there were a lot of different confessions magazines and I read them all)about a girl whose dream was to be a go-go dancer, only her boyfriend thought she was misguided. Unlike Life With Its Sorrow, Life With Its Tear , I actually read this story. All the way through. Possibly more than once.

You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time and those are pretty good odds. Also from Maverick, and quite possibly from the same episode as the line about trusting your banker. On the occasions when I've written fiction about subjects I'm unfamiliar with, I let these words of wisdom from Bret Maverick's old pappy reassure me.

While there are no doubt many other phrases I use at just the right moment (I watched a lot more TV than just Maverick), a dozen is enough for now. But if anyone wants to offer one or more of their own, feel free to share in the Comments. Just be careful with the four letter words!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Leading Off And Playing Shortstop, Lieutenant Sulu

Yesterday, while watching a baseball game, I had one of those realizations that other people don't need to have because they have brains.

I think I had a brain once, but I misplaced it.

The realization was when baseball players indicate that there are two outs (which they do with their index finger and pinkie spread and their middle two fingers touching each other), they do so with their throwing hands, which are their dominant hands. It'd be kind of silly for them to do it with the hand that's in their glove (that's the part people with brains realize without thinking).

I've been aware for a very long time that I can do the Live Long And Prosper gesture from Star Trek a whole lot better with my left hand than with my right. So I started indicating two outs, and that too, I could do a lot more successfully left handed than right handed (see all those nifty self-portrait photographs).

This got me wondering, as I have in the past, whether I am a natural lefty, or even more likely, a natural neither (or maybe both).

I do everything right handed, and I have no memory of switching hands. I remember every injustice I suffered in kindergarten, and I'm sure if my teacher had made me go from left to right handed, I'd still be sulking about it.

But I also know that I could only tell which was my right hand and which was my left by wearing a ring on my right hand and a watch on my left, and that when I played baseball as a kid, I could never remember which side of the plate I was supposed to stand on. When my friend Christy taught me how to crochet while facing me, I learned mirror image and stitched with my left hand (Christy thought that was very funny, and I promptly started crocheting right handed, because I am extremely sensitive to peer group pressure).

So yesterday, in search of answers to this lifelong question, I went to Google. I learned the history of Live Long And Prosper. Note how well Mr. Spock does it with his right hand.

And while I didn't learn the history of the two men out gesture (trust me, you don't want to Google "two men out"), I found this fabulous left hand/right hand hit the dot test, which I did both yesterday and today and got identical scores on (24 right, 14 left). I'm not sure what that means, except that I'm consistent in my successes and failures.

A number of years ago, there was a wonderful article in The New Yorker about twins. The article said lots of pregnancies start out as twins, and many of them terminate almost immediately, and some terminate with one fetus living and one not, and that since identical twins can be mirror image (one right handed, the other left), it could be that left handed people started out as twins but the righty didn't make it. Whether that's true or not, it's a nifty image, and you'll never look at left handed people the same way (and if you are left handed, well, you'll never look at yourself the same way, until you forget about this blog entry, which will probably be immediately if your brain is any way similar to mine, and if it is, you have my condolences).

But given my 24/14 (I must take that test again; I'm certain I could do better next time) and my lefthanded crocheting, I'm starting to wonder if I was one third of a set of triplets when I first began, one lefty, one righty, and me in the middle.

If that's true, then my poor mother. I'm sure it would have been much easier for her to have the All Righty Susan Beth Pfeffer or the All Lefty Susan Beth Pfeffer than the All Mixed Up Susan Beth Pfeffer she's been stuck with for so many decades!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Teacher, Study and Discussion Guides for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In

While many of the following links are available on the side of the blog, I thought it might be helpful to have a single entry with links to various teacher's, discussion and study guides, book talks, and other useful things for Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In.

I'll try to keep this entry up to date, with new links as I find them.

The single best source remains the University of Missouri eThemes for LAWKI.

Amongst its links are those for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Classroom Resources for all three books, and Scholastic's guide for LAWKI.

Here's the Teen Book Guide to LAWKI.

There's a Super Summary Guide to LAWKI.

I just discovered this Life As We Knew It book unit with writing prompts.

The invaluable Nancy Keene has book talks for Life As We Knew It and The Dead And The Gone.

Here's my blog entry, full of links, for program ideas for LAWKI and d&g.

I also wrote a blog entry about the science of LAWKI and d&g.

If you're interested in my writing process, here are my preliminary notes for d&g and TWWLI as well as scraps of dialogue both used and unused.

Just in case you talk about me, here's how to pronounce Pfeffer correctly.

With 76 books published, and #77 (Blood Wounds) due in the fall of 2011, I need a list of my books. This is the one I go to. It's not completely accurate, but what in life is.

Have some doubts about the originality of those essays on The Dead And The Gone? Maybe your students did a little shopping here.

Scooter and I hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let Kids Read Whatever They Want (As Long As It's Written By Me)

I read a couple of interesting articles this morning.

The first comes from Publishers Weekly,by the ever wonderful Elizabeth Bluemle about how to convince people in as few words as possible to read certain books. Life As We Knew It took a few extra words.

The New York Times has an article about the importance of getting kids to read in the summertime, regardless of what they read. It seems it's a whole lot better for a kid to read a book about Hannah Montana than not to read anything at all, especially if what's read is the kid's choice.

This particularly resonates with me because when I was a kid, my mother did volunteer work on the bookmobile, and I remember her saying the exact same thing. If kids read what they want to read, they're going to be a lot more likely to keep reading than if they're made to read things that are of no interest to them.

I guess what I want to read now are articles about getting kids to want to read (although I admit to a particular fondness for articles about getting kids to want to read me)!

ETA: Speaking of articles about kids reading whatever they want, just as long as what they want to read is by me, here's an article about a summer/schoolyear reading program in New Bedford, MA, where the 9th graders read Life As We Knew It.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Ends With Rejection; August Begins With One

In case you were wondering, Chelsea never called, never emailed, never even apologized for my invitation getting there too late for her wedding, which leads me to suspect maybe she never invited me in the first place.

Steven Spielberg, the sweetie, didn't go either, presumably as a protest to my lack of invitation. Next time he comes, I'll let him play with my Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Space Alien Plastic Figurine (he can play with Scooter too if he wants).

But now it's August, time to move on to different rejections. For reasons best known to someone else, I have not been invited to be a new judge on American Idol. Simon quit, now Ellen's quit, and Kara's been fired, leaving only Randy and two or three empty seats. And the way I've been eating, I could easily fill any two of those seats all on my own.

I started watching American Idol at the end of its first season, and I've watched with moderate to ridiculous obsessiveness up until last season, which everyone agreed was a lackluster year and not worth my watching. I can name all of the winners and all of the runners-up and a healthy proportion of third place semi-winners, and quite a number of other Idolettes. It is even possible I created the term Idolette, which alone should give me an in for the job. I went to American Idol summer concerts for Seasons 2,4,5,7 and 8, and most recently, went to 2 1/4 Adam Lambert concerts, which should surely count for something. Since Randy (the last remaining judge) says "Dawg" all the time, I could say, "Cat," or "Kitten" or "New York Times Best Selling Novel Life As We Knew It." As in, "Sorry Cat, you know I love you, you're a real hot Kitten, but that just wasn't up to your usual New York Times Best Selling Novel Life As We Knew It standards."

On the off chance, one of the Idolettes sings well, I could say, "Cat, that was the dead and the gone!" Or, " This World We Live In just got one thousand percent better thanks to that performance, Kitten!"

And if they keep me for the 2011 audition shows (and why wouldn't they), I can yell at all the lousy auditioners, "Blood Wounds! Blood Wounds!" which is a lot catchier than, "I don't want to be rude but you were terrible."

Idol is supposed to make a big announcement tomorrow, so they still have time to read this blog entry and email me their offer, which I'll accept instantaneously. Tomorrow, they can announce my new judgeship to the world.

I bet Chelsea'll be sorry then she didn't invite me to her wedding!