Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Things

Because I may have been a bit negative yesterday in mentioning lots of things I don't like, I thought I'd end this week on a positive note and talk about the things that are currently making me happy.

In no particular order:
1) Don't Hex With Texas has already gone into a second printing. That's less than two weeks after publication. Don't ask me what that means about the status of book 5. The people to ask about that would be at Ballantine Books, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. (Yeah, I know I've said in the past that it was book sales that counted, but since that doesn't seem to be the case, go for it -- postcards, letters, petitions, whatever. And you didn't hear this from me.)
2) My new electric teakettle. It's so much faster than heating water on the stove, and with the amount of tea I drink, I estimate it's saving me up to ten minutes a day. That will really add up over time. It also makes boiling water for pasta faster -- I boil it in the kettle, then dump it into the pasta pot.
3) The new idea I'm playing with. There's a character in there I can't wait to write. I hope she's as much fun on the page as she is in my head.
4) The Sarah Jane Adventures. I know this is supposedly a children's show, but it's totally an adult woman's fantasy: The main character is pushing 60, but she's still gorgeous, glamorous, independent and intelligent, instead of being the nagging mother-in-law, ditzy empty-nester, knitting grandma, predatory cougar or any other role that women that age usually get given. She has a fabulous house and a cool car. The teenage kids think she's great and even listen to her. The kids are polite, intelligent, respectful to adults and seem to do well in school. Meanwhile, the more "normal" teenagers seem to be prone to being eaten or kidnapped by aliens. For teachers this might even qualify as porn.
5) Donna Noble on Doctor Who. I liked her even in "The Runaway Bride," although I usually have little patience with Bridezillas (though there's a huge difference between being a Bridezilla because you expect every detail of your wedding to be perfect because it's Your Big Day and being a Bridezilla because you were abducted by aliens while you were walking down the aisle at your own wedding). But now, it's like someone took my mental checklist of what I've wanted to see in a Companion and brought her to life. She's my new TV Best Friend. I think part of it is that it's nice to see a representative of Team Over-35, which I think makes a far better sidekick for a 900-something-year-old guy than a dewy-eyed youngster does, and that leads to her not being so much in awe of him, so she's able to have her own opinions, stand up to him and stand her ground -- and all while being so well aware that he's alien that she's in little danger of getting shmoopily romantic over him, which means she can also honestly express admiration of him and affection for him without worrying about how he'll take it or what he might think about her.
6) Cranford on Masterpiece Theatre -- The first episode Sunday night was so sweet and funny and yet also made me cry. I'm a total sucker for costume drama, anyway, but the cast in this is amazing, there's English Countryside Porn, and the vignettes of small-town life are so real even while being a little outrageous. I think I will have to get the DVD because it's a guaranteed pick-me-up. And I need to read the books this is based on. My library has no Elizabeth Gaskell, but it looks like most of her books are on Project Gutenberg.
7) The BBC Robin Hood -- Yeah, if you expect anything resembling accuracy in history, costuming, technology or anything else your head will explode, but it's such cheesy good fun. How can you not love a version of Robin Hood that includes ninjas and dominatrix-type villainesses in black leather catsuits? Plus, cute boys and heroic theme music that totally gets stuck in my head.
8) The opening fanfare for Star Wars -- I turned on the CD player the other day without knowing what was in the changer, and the moment those opening notes burst out of the speakers, I went right back to being a nine-year-old sitting in a darkened theater after waiting in a long line and coming to the realization that maybe my dad wasn't crazy for dragging us to this movie, after all. I think a large part of the success of the movie stemmed from that music that was pretty much the musical version of, "Hey, what you're about to see will be awesome."
9) Prince Caspian opens next Friday. That was one of my favorite Narnia books, largely because of the big swordfight with Peter. I had a bit of a crush on Peter when I first read those books, and that fight was swoonworthy. My inner 11-year-old is quite keen on the casting of Peter and is looking forward to watching that fight on the screen.
10) Strawberries seem to really be in season, and they're starting to be good. The strawberries a few weeks ago were kind of flavorless, but the ones I bought last week were delicious. I'm looking forward to getting more today. One of my favorite guilt-free desserts is strawberries topped with vanilla yogurt (the way you'd do strawberries and whipped cream). If they have any angel food cakes on the bakery clearance rack, I may be tempted to get one to go with the strawberries (and angel food cake is also really good toasted lightly).

Finally, a couple more stops on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. There's an interview at Stephanie Kuehnert's blog (for those who've asked questions about possible playlists, some answers are there) and a short interview at Kelly Parra's blog.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Shanna,

Stopping in to say I finally read (after buying on release day) Don't Hex with Texas. And I loved it! And I'm sharing the series with friends who are also loving it. *g*

I really really want a 5th book, tho I know you have no real control over that. The ending of Hex was satisfying but there are a few unanswered threads I want answers to, lol!

I hope your signings and sales soar and that Ballantine figures out what a gem they have in you. Thanks for the great books!