Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quick Update

I'm fine. I never lost electricity or cable/internet.

I spoke to my mother a few minutes ago, and I'll visit her tomorrow.

My brother and sister-in-law in New Jersey haven't had power since yesterday evening. My friends in New York City lost their power last night and I assume they haven't gotten it back yet. I haven't heard from Marci since yesterday afternoon. She has a cable/internet/phone system, so when one goes, it all goes.

I hope all of you who were in Sandy's path are doing as well as possible. It was a horrific storm and it will take a long time to recover.

ETA to say I heard from Marci. She's lost all power, but she emailed me from Starbucks, so I assume she's all right (and has had some coffee).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Prepping For Sandy

It may come as a surprise to you, but I've been obsessively watching The Weather Channel for days now. It seems Hurricane Sandy is coming and it's never going to leave.

Ordinarily my pathologically optimistic nature kicks in and I choose not to worry. And I'm not worrying nearly as much as I should. The past two big bad weather events around here (Tropical Storm Irene which was devastating in this area and the big and unnecessary Halloween snowstorm) didn't interrupt my electrical service one bit. Other people lost their electricity for a week, and my clocks didn't even blink. In fact, the last blackout I can remember happened the night of the Olympic women's figure skating final, and even then, semi-miraculously, the electricity came back in time for me to watch the final flight (Kim Yu Na won).

But at some point one of the cheery people on the Weather Channel assured us that approximately a zillion trillion people are going to lose their electricity for days and days and days, and we should all go out and buy board games so kids will have something to do.

That sounded uncomfortably familiar. I realized I'd written scenes like that in Life As We Knew It. And that was when I decided to take action.

I went to the supermarket Friday and Saturday and today I went to every store I could find to buy batteries. In front of the CVS Pharmacy in Goshen, NY, I ran into a woman who told me she'd bought some D batteries from a hardware store where they really ripped her off, and I thought, I wrote that scene in The Dead And The Gone. But I didn't tell her that.

As it happens, the only batteries CVS had were Double As, which would come in very handy if I needed to change batteries in my remote control during the endless blackout, but I doubt that will be an issue.

But I'm set. I brought in my welcome mat. I got a radio working on batteries and checked my two flashlights every ten minutes. I took a novel (The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton) out of the library so I'll have something to read if (when) my cable goes out. My freezer has ice cubes and bottles of water scattered around. Since I don't like drinking warm water, I bought juice boxes and apple cider. I also got oranges and grapes to prevent scurvy.  Just to be on the safe side, I bought muffins and chocolate chip cookies, as well as stealing candy from my mother.  I cashed a check and promptly spent all of it on batteries and  juice boxes and apple cider and oranges and grapes and muffins and cookies, so it's a good thing my mother had that candy for me to steal. I always have candles, so I don't worry about that.

And I bought a new toy for Scooter, to keep him from being bored.

Scooter pondered what to do about this all.

Then he checked it all out.

His new toy was definitely the most interesting thing.

I also brought his carrier in, in case we have to make a fast exit.

But that was of no interest to him.

Take care everybody. I'll be back as soon as Sandy lets me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Picture Is Worth A Thousand (Crabby) Words

So in lieu of six thousand crabby words, I'll post six pictures from my recent trip to Salt Lake City, Thanksgiving Point, and Provo (I had a great time, by the way, and was treated wonderfully and really enjoyed spending time with Jonathan Maberry, but I'm too crabby to go into details).

This picture looks so much like a picture postcard that I find it hard to believe I took it. Well, maybe things are a little tilted, but I'm still very impressed.

I've forgotten which building this is, although I'm sure it's a very famous one. I took a picture of it because of the lion on the balcony. My father's name was Leo, and I'm very fond of lions on balconies as a result.

These pictures are from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. I fell berserkly in love with this fountain, but since it wouldn't fit in my carry on luggage, I left it where I found it.

 The best unexpected treat from the trip was a half hour organ concert at the Mormon Tabernacle. They change the background colors in case you don't care for green.

On my way to Provo, I stopped at Thanksgiving Point. The dinosaur museum was so fabulous I forgot to take pictures. But I also went to the gardens. I took a lot of pictures of trees, but you know what trees look like, so here's a picture of flowers instead.

I was taken on two trips while in Provo. One was to Sundance, where I saw a necklace that sadly cost $463.00 and remained where it was (although it would have fit nicely in my carry on bag).

The other trip was to a spectacular waterfall. It was even more beautiful than the necklace.

Oh dear. All these pictures are reminding me of the wonderful time I had in Utah. I sense my crabby mood slipping away.

We can't have that. I'll think about those endless six hours in the Salt Lake City Airport, until that  six thousand word crabby feeling returns!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Six Hours In The Salt Lake City Airport Doesn't Count As A Natural Disaster

I'm home and have been for 12 hours give or take. I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I would have liked (or needed) because at 6 AM give or take Scooter decided to let me know just how much he adores me. After an hour of purring, head butting and petting (he pets me; he's the only cat I've ever had who does that), he felt the time had come to bite me and I felt the time had come to get out of bed.

So I am still very tired.

The clothes are in the drier and as soon as I finish this, I'll pop over to my mother's and see how her laundry is doing (I know how she's doing, since I've already spoken to her).

But I did want to let you know that Life As We Knew It won a poll without my telling (okay, begging) you to  vote on it. An honest to goodness victory:
Last week we asked you which natural disaster in YA lit was the most terrifying, and your overwhelming choice was the meteor striking the moon in Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. The volcanic eruption in Mike Mullin’s Ashfall and the drought in Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse also collected a few votes.  
I guess you could call it a landslide victory.

Tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday since Tuesday is $2.00 off at the movies for old folks day, I'll write about my excellent time in Utah and show you some pretty pictures. But today is devoted to laundry and napping.

It's good to be home!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck

At the Salt Lake City airport for 3 hours (after having gotten here 2 hours early) because of a problem with the airplane.

I am feeling crankier and crankier.

It's a long flight home and a pretty long drive from the airport and I want to be on my way already!

So I just figured I'd  complain to all of you.

Thank you for listening- your stuck at the airport pal Susan Beth Pfeffer

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Good Reunion Deserves Another

Almost no sooner than I had introduced the German version of This World We Live In to its relatives, the Chinese version arrived. The almost is because there's no mail delivery on Sundays, so the book arrived today (aka Monday).

Naturally, I introduced it to its siblings.

Then Scooter wanted to meet it.

He decided he needed to think about it some more.

While he pondered, I gathered all the different versions of This World We Live In so they could chat.

Since I don't speak French or German or Chinese (heck, I barely speak English), I couldn't understand most of what they said.

So Scooter, Cat Of Many Languages, obligingly eavesdropped.

Now, if someone can translate Meow for me, I'll know what's going on!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What's Been Going On Whilst The Revisions Were Ongoing

I think that Whilst is a nice touch.

I've actually been quite busy working around the rewrites. A fair amount has happened, much of it pretty fair.

I gave an interview to Scripts & Scribes.com in which, among other things, I reveal my addiction to FreeCell (yes, you knew all about it, but now the world's been informed).

Das Leben Das Uns Bleibt arrived. That's the German version of This World We Live In. Naturally, I introduced it to its German siblings. It was particularly excited to see the Buxtehude Bulle Award Winning Die Welt Wie Wir Sie Kannten.

Then I gave a small party for Das Leben Das Uns Bleibt to meet its international  first cousins.

As the youngest member of the Moon family (at least the youngest one with a title), there aren't that many first cousins just yet. But the clan is expected to grow, and more reunions are anticipated.

The paperback of Blood Wounds arrived.

 I had actually seen it at a bookstore before I got my copies, and if you look to the link on the right, you can see that many different bookstores have it for sale.

I began preparations for my upcoming trip to Utah, where I will be participating in the  Provo Library Teen Book Fest along with Jonathan Maberry. If you should be around Provo on Saturday I hope you pop in. And if you should be around my apartment this week, I hope you won't break in. I'm going to spend a couple of days as a tourist in Salt Lake City, and I'll be doing a school visit in Provo (the very last school visit I have scheduled), as well as the Book Fest.

Fortunately for me, Scooter The Vicious Attack Cat is prepared to take on all comers!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lucky For Them I Made A Vow To Stop Complaining

You may not have noticed, but once again I didn't win a single Nobel Prize.

Granted, I didn't have much of a chance in all those science ones, and I can see why they picked a Literature winner with a name easier to spell than Pfeffer. But Peace? I mean, who is more peaceful than I? I even let Scooter bite me (well, I try not to, but he is a biter and I am a very peaceful person). And Pfeffer is at least as easy to spell as European Union. Plus I'm a whole lot cuter, which ought to count for something in Peaceland.

But that's how my week is going. My doctor failed to compliment me on my weight loss, even after I casually  brought it up three times. She actually suggested I lose more weight, which, while I'm sure it's a fine idea, wasn't exactly what I was waiting to hear.

Then yesterday I had to cancel on going to New York City to participate in an event celebrating the publication of After, in which I have a short story. I felt cruddy, which I'm attributing to the flu shot I got at the doctor's (although just as likely, it was my reaction to being told I should lose more weight). And we will not discuss the baseball playoffs and a certain team I was raised to root for (my father's favorite player was Babe Ruth), which not only doesn't win nearly as often as I would like, but plays games that last forever, making me stay up much too late, thus leaving me vulnerable to Scooter's late night snack on the human routine.

Oh well. The good news is the revisions are all neatly revised, and most likely on their way to the copy editor. Granted the book doesn't have a title, but you can't have everything.

I'm sure it'll have a title in time for next year's Nobel Prizes. And by then, they'll have learned how to spell Pfeffer!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Would Tell You The Title Of The Book On Which I'm Working On Revisions Except It Doesn't Have A Title And I'm Too Lazy To Be Working

Instead I've put all my energy into the heading of this blog entry.

The revisions I'm currently avoiding are those which my editor did. I finished the rewrites a couple of weeks ago, but no editor ever thinks a book is perfect, so they make little suggestions and the occasional snide comment, and then expect the author (who knows the book is perfect) to respond to those little suggestions and the occasional snide comment.

I have an extraordinary gift for (I know blogspot won't accept this as a word, but who cares) snideitude myself, so it's always a temptation to outsnide (ooh, another non-existent word) my editor in my comments about her comments.

I do not always resist temptation.

Total non-sequitur, but I recently read a book about the Brontes (as you may recall, I was left Emily Bronte in my 9th grade yearbook last will and testament page). Papa Bronte (I wish I could slap those darling two dots over the "e" but that's a computer skill I don't have) was originally named Brunty, and if he'd kept that name, do you think Charlotte and Emily and Anne Bronte would have the place in literature they have? Even if he'd changed it to Bronte, but didn't have the computer skills to put those darling two dots over the "e", so their name would have been pronounced Br-oh-nt, would they be quite so beloved and their home a national monument (actually I don't know if it is a national monument, but it's certainly a museum, which it might not have been if their name had been Brunty).

I guess they could have had that place in literature by their pseudonyms- Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, but Bronte's a whole lot better.

Yes, I should be doing the revisions. But if I dawdle just a little more, it'll be lunchtime and there's no point starting work until after I've eaten.

Le sigh. I have to finish the revisions today, because I said I would, and besides, tomorrow I'm having my annual physical and then in the afternoon I'm doing a Skype visit. The high point of the physical would be my doctor commenting on my weight loss, but I only see her once a year (seeing as I'm healthy) and she won't even notice unless she reads my chart, which odds are she won't bother. Then Thursday I'm going into NYC, to participate in a reading and discussing of the anthology After, in which I have a story. The reading and discussing (a whole bunch of writers will be there) will be at Books Of Wonder at 18 West 18th St. from 6-8 PM, in case any of you feel like dropping by.

Okay. It's 11:45, which means if I play another 3 games of FreeCell and check to see if I have any emails and what's going on at Figure Skating Universe and anything else I can think of, I won't have to start working on the revisions of The Great Untitled Fourth Moon Book for hours. Or at least minutes.

I'm off to dawdle. That and sniding are what I do best!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Entitlement Or The Lack Thereof

AKA: Title? Title? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Title.

My editor and I have fallen into quite a comfy pattern. I email her 88 different title possibilities (generally one title with an additional 87 variations) and she emails back to say No 88 times (generally one time with  an additional 87 variations).

I then email her a whole new title with only 37 variations (notice, all these variations are prime numbers- I love prime numbers), and she emails back 3 possible titles with 5 variations each, which is, of course, her way of saying No!

So I email back No! 15 times (which is my way of saying No!) and send her a few new, even more splendid title possibilities, and I never hear from her again.

It's funny. For years and years and dozens and dozens of versions, the fourth moon book was known as The Shade Of The Moon. Then my editor expressed some reservations about the title, and the next thing I knew I was hosting a poll on what version of Shade/Shadow you all preferred.

Then I began begging you to come up with a title for me. Then I started coming up with titles on my own.

The next thing I knew I was no longer hearing from my editor.

This morning, while exercycling, I came up with a perfectly wonderful title that has nothing to do with the book so it's of no use to me, but one of you might like it for something you're writing:

When We In Death Awaken

Isn't that gorgeous?  I liked it so much, I wrote a poem:

When we in death awaken
To the smell of burning bacon

Here's what might happen with The Great Untitled:

My editor and I figure out a title we both like.

We call it The Shade Of The Moon and forget this whole business.

For lack of a title, the book never gets published, but I get to keep the money anyway (not that I've seen the money, but a girl can dream)

We go the Robert Benchley route:

With all that volcanic ash floating around, 50 Shades Of Grey would work just fine!