Don’t try this at home, kids…

I’ve never thought much about my choice of beloved bands until I started having to explain them to my five-year-old. To wit, my son’s obsession with the song, “Dracula from Houston.”

Him (groovin’ to the Ipod): “Mommy, I like this song!”
Me (filled with a sense of cool mommy pride): “Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it? This band is from Texas.”
Him: What band is this?
Me: Uh, um, well…heh, heh, heh, you know it’s the darndest thing…they’re called, ah, they’re called the Butthole Surfers, honey.

(sounds of raucous five-year-old laughter.)

Me: Heh, heh, well, yes, you know we probably shouldn’t…
Me:…shouldn’t, um, you know, say that at school or to your friends because it’s not so nice. Really. I mean, it’s funny, but you know–only in the house kind of funny.

(2 hours later during a playdate.)

Him: Hey Joey, you know what this band is called? THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS!!!

No way am I introducing him to the Sex Pistols.

In other news, I let the kid use the Polaroid because I had this wacky idea that we could take pictures of, oh, I don’t know, bunnies and unicorns and crap, and then make it into a story together. “Bunny’s Big Sleepover!” “Hot Wheels in the Hallway!” “Jeremiah Bear Wears a Variety of Hats!” You know, something that, years from now, when he has his first show at the Whitney, people could look back at and see evidence of his genius even as a kindergartner stuck at home with Mom on a rainy day.

So what does the kid take a picture of? My butt. No joke–I’m at the ‘fridge looking for a Diet Coke and I hear this fiendish giggle and the flash goes off behind me…low behind me…and I think, you evil demon seed. But hey, I’m game. “Okay Mr. Smarty Pants,” I said all cool-mom like, pasting it onto the page, “what’s the caption for this picture then?”

And he puts his hand to his chest–I kid you not–and in his best 1950’s horror movie impression, eyes rolled up in his head, he says, “The butt of DOOM!”

I do not know what we have spawned, but he is not boring.

So REALLY in other news, I put my butt of doom on a couch at Tea Lounge today and wrote for five hours, and it’s possible this first draft will be finished by the end of the month.

And there was much rejoicing.

36 thoughts on “Don’t try this at home, kids…

  1. Re: Butt of doom!

    Sounds like the title of a NYT best-selling pb! ; – D (NOT featuring your butt of course)

    Yay for progress on your draft!

    And good luck at SCBWI. I’m so sad I can’t be there. Your sessions look GREAT!
    Oh. No pun intended. Sorry!!

  2. yes

    yeah, so when is the book going to be out?!?! i found on some website a while back that it was out in june 2004. obviously they are vicious liars and impecibaly (spelling?) stupid to toy with my emotions like that.

  3. Re: yes

    Book 2 will be out October 2005, so you’re going to have to wait a bit longer, sorry. But take comfort in knowing that Libba has stopped pulling her hair out, kicking the cat, and pounding her head against the brick wall of the apartment, which is all good.

    Oh, and she got a really great haircut, which always helps her mood. ;^)

  4. I just read “A Great and Terrible Beauty”. It was amazing. My library didnt have it, so I requested it and I waited a month, but I finally got it last week. Amazingly, I gobbled it up in 2 days. Usually it takes me a week to finish books because I find better things to do on my list of priorities. Anyway, thank you for writing that book. Truly captivating.


  5. wow

    i read your book a while ago, and loved it. i just found your journal, and you are such a funny, beautiful writer!! i was feeling lousy, but you brightened up my day-thank you!!

  6. The Great and Terrible Beauty Scrapbook Project

    Um, hello…thank you for writing such a brilliant book! I bought it today and finished it soon afterwards. Um…I’m doing this project thing were I’m putting stuff that’s related to the novel in a scrapbook sort of thing and I would like to send it to you once it’s finished, as a thank you for writing the book, but I’m really not sure where to send it once it’s complete and I was wondering if you could tell me.

    X__x I feel so embarassed, sorry if I wasted your time.

  7. hooo boy.
    That’s one of those bands that I’ve held off introducing to the kids. (Your son and my 2 kids are about the same age) Of course, the belly laughs it gives them more than makes up for any future public embarassment, right?

    Some friends were telling me I had to check out your blog, and I’m glad I did. I’ve enjoyed reading it.

    btw- where’s Barry been lately? We’ve missed him in chat. I’d go through his blog, but, well, he never writes anything in it. ;^P

  8. Re: The Great and Terrible Beauty Scrapbook Project

    You can always send correspondence to Libba c/o Random House; any author, in fact, is always most easily contacted through his/her publisher. They forward it along to authors quite reliably.

  9. Kids are so much fun…

    Libba, love your journal, especially this entry. You don’t know me from shinola, name’s Agy. Wanted to warn you (don’t say it can’t happen) woulda thought the same thing four days ago.

    Looking forward to nine glorious days of uninterupted work, wahooo, as husband was taking the girls to Fla with him, and I write and illustrate, and close to finishing a few projects, but not enough hedstrom, if you will. Anyhow, the eve prior to their departure, my five year old comes in and asks what would happen should one be so inclined to put beads in one’s ears. Duh, me, didn’t make the connection as I’d never had those kinds of problems, and I was happily categorizing what they needed to GO and what I was going to do when they were GONE.

    After seven and a half hours in the ER, two of it with a semi hysterical child, at 1:30 a.m. we make an 8:00 a.m. appointment with an ENT. After another twenty minutes of traumatizing-can’t-get-the-TWO-beads-out-especially-with-the-damned-crazy-glue-they-used-from-the-night-before, we scheduled her for surgery this morning. Everything is NOW F-I-N-E. And they are off, so we’re down to eight days. She’s happy as a clam now, but we were both basketcases for a few days, there.

    Loved the story of you little one. Thanks for sharing.
    (I’m at, if you’re so inclined.)
    Agy Wilson

  10. AG&TB—my favorite book!!!

    I absolutely loved your book! So I did some searching to see if you wrote anything else, and I found your online journal. Not to sound like a moron (even if I am), but I check here (about once a week!!!) to see the progress on your sequel! You have no idea how much I am craving to read it! I just finished AG&TB for the, I dunno, SEVENTH time yesterday!!!

    Now, I just want to say it’s AMAZING that you can write for five whole hours straight! I can’t do anything except read for hours straight!


  11. Haha your son is funny. Little kids are soo chuck full of energy and imagination, they could laugh about something for hours and hours. I wish i could do that because laughing makes you feel oh soo good. Anyway, you are such a wonderful writer and cool person. Everything about you is very cool. I am soo happy to hear the first draft might be finished at the months end, because then it just needs to be looked over and published and put in stores, where i can read it and be happy all over again. 🙂

  12. Hi, my names cate and Im just dropping a comment to ask you a question about a book of yours.

    Last night, I couldnt sleep so I read the entire book ‘a great and terrible beauty’ I couldnt put it down, it was absolutely amazing. I loved it so much. Its quite unlike any other book Ive read and I read quite alot. It was just breathtaking. I can offically say that it is now my favorite book. You are an AMAZING author! Im so glad you have the chance to get your writings out into the world because they are great.

    But now onto the question. I was surfing around the internet and word has it that it is going to be a trilogy. But I’m not sure whetehr what I heard is correct or incorrect so I was wondering if you could clarify it for me.

    thanks < 3333

  13. please make me your friend

    ok, seriously, you have NO idea how totally awesome it would be iof you would add me to your friends list. the first time i read “A Great and Terrible Beauty”, i knew from the first 10 pages that it would soon be one of my favorite books. thank you so much for writing a book like this and i hope that your next one is a good.
    a devoted fan,

  14. hey, person who posted last, we have the same name! wohoo! we spell kaitlyn the RIGHT way

    this is funny.

    Which person on your LJ friends list will murder you for posting ridiculous amounts of these stupid memes all the time?
    LJ Username You will be killed by… libba_brayThey will kill you by… forcing you to spend every day reading good charlotte fan fiction
    This cool quiz by killtheold – Taken 840 Times.
    Get Free Daily Horoscopes from Kwiz.Biz

  15. i love ur book

    u sound like a fun person libba. neway i checked out ur book at the library and i LOVED it. i read it everyday 4 2 weeks. i stayed up til 6 o’clock in the morning reading it. i loved it so much!!!!!!!!! it was kinda funny tho cuz my mom saw it on the table and she thought it mite be 1 of those dirty romances cuz the title and then the pic of the girl wearing her corset. neway i xplained 2 my mom so she bought it 4 me. and now i’ve read it about another 17 times. not including the 1st 14. neway i can’t wait til the next 1 comes out!!!! it’s now my fav book.

  16. o yeah,

    i just also wanted to say, i’m tempted to read a great & timeless beauty and that’s basically why i’m here but, you know, the cover’s real sweet. 😛 ..and i don’t think romances are dirty..ok some of them suck but they’re not dirty. o well. each to own.

  17. Hello.

    The antics of your small child greatly amuse me.

    Anyway, I picked up A Great and Terrible Beauty a week ago and throughly enjoyed it. It was the best of the stack of books I took out of the library. I know I like having people tell me they enjoy my writing, so once I found out you had a livejournal, I had to share.

    Thanks for creating a world I got completely lost in.


  18. LOL

    Hey Libba, I found your blog through your agents journal through his name in the acknowledgements page in your delicious and stupendous book: A Great & Terrible Beauty(I am such a web-hound). I haven’t read a YA book in so long, and this one blew me away completely! Now, I can’t wait for your next one.

    Sidonie Fairbanks

  19. your son and book are great

    mrs. bray:

    i just found this site for i have wondered about the book to see if their was a sequel. i loved a great and terrible beauty. and the story of how much is kinda of funny. i bought your book for a trip i was goin on. it was to disney world. well my plane trip is only an hour since we flew from new orleans to disney and i didnt read it on the plane but once we go into the car to go to disney world i started to read. to make a long story short each day i left the book in the car of the disney world parking lot for it was to much to carry. and well i tried to make up excuses each day to go back to the car and read it. even once we said we were a little tired and i really wasnt and well i offred to go back to the car for a while and they all slept while i read. by the time i finished the book i wanted you to have made a sequel for it. also your son is so cute. he reminds me of my little sister she picks up everything we say and does things that just make us fall on the floor laughing like im sure the way your son said that he made you wonder where he got this from and well you must haVe laughed for i do each time for her innocence and the way she does stuff.

  20. book club

    heyy!! im in love w. ur book AG&TB – def a favorite (seeing as how i’ve read it about 10-12 times haha)! this yr i’m a senior, so me and my friend are starting a book club. some months mandatory reading – others suggested – and still others free choice. ur book will def. go at the top of the list! =D thanks for bein the AWESOME writer that u are!
    much love

  21. New Fan

    Well Howdy. I just got news of your book (through the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants website) about a week ago. I went and bought it the very next day and finished it. It was amazing. I got in chastized for reading it during class, but I finished it nonetheless. I wish you would post again, I would really like to read more about you and your fam. Your son sounds amazing, and remarkably like me as a child. “Avanlanche” by Butthole Surfers is one of my faves. 🙂 Well I can’t wait to read the next installment and hear more from you on here. Be good and I hope all is going well. 🙂
    -Lauren Rose
    ** Thanks for writing about a redheaded teenager, it lets me know that I am not alone!!
    ** Sorry, I have a minor spelling problem, haha. I really need to learn how to spell.

  22. I just finished A Great and Terrible Beauty and was searching for a link to put on my journal when I discovered you had an online journal as well. Pretty nifty.

    So getting to the point of this comment, I loved your book. I came across it in the book shop purely by accident. This is going to sound horrible, but I’m giving the details anyway. I was browsing through the discounted books when I saw the cover of yours. Right away I knew it wasn’t supposed to be there as it didn’t have the discounted sticker on it, but the girl in the corset on the cover pulled me in. I read the intro and immediately added it to my stack to buy.

    Honestly, I thought it might sit on my shelf for a while since I had also purchased a few books I had been waiting to read, but that night when I went to select a book, it was yours. I barely put it down after that. A Great and Terrible Beauty accompanied me on the metro the next day for my first day of work where I read on the train and during lunch. I had to force myself to put it down and sleep so I wouldn’t be dragging my butt to the office the next day. That never looks good to any employer, but most especially to a new employer.

    Well, I’ve rambled terribly so I apologize, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. I would have liked a mention of Ann at the end though. Fee was mentioned briefly at the funeral, but nothing about Ann.

  23. I have read A Great & Terrible Beauty sooo many times. I have to say it is my favorite book. I’m the same age as Gemma, so it’s really cool. 🙂 You are such an awesome writer! Now, that I’ve found your livejournal, I’ll be checking on your progress. Good luck with your writing!
    (I would be mortified if one of my young cousins said I had a “butt of doom.”)


  24. luv your book!

    Hi, I read your book a while ago and really liked it, and found out today that you have a blog. Your book is on my favorite books shelf. I can’t wait to read the next one. Keep writing.

    And btw, your son sounds very cute.

  25. Spawns are fun ^_^

    Your child sounds deliciously evil ^_^ I enjoy reading your Live Journal almost as much as reading your books. Almost. I also find reading about your torment as you create the second one, amazingly fun. *Evil cakcle* Yes I am horrid. But your books(and Live Journal) are what made my dream of wanting to be a writer much more strong. They showed me what the life of a writer is like and how much work it takes and I realize that I love it all. So thank you for your great books and your amazing stories. *end of sappy moment*

  26. Hi

    I must say…I would love to meet your son! You just have to love kids sometimes! I have 10 nieces and nephews…and I am beginning to think that children must have some worldwide evil conspiracy! However…the worst I have gotten (that I can remember at this very moment) is being called and I quote a “meanie poop” by my 2 year old niece. Butt of Doom is rather oroginal. Anyway…I just thought I’d pop in with some more lovely children stories. I haven’t read your book yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know how I liked it. Although I have to say that from what I have read of your LJ so far, your life is just about as good as any book to read about. Ahhhh…the joys of life!

  27. Your Books

    I just finished reading Rebel Angels and I cannot wait for the next book to come out! This is probably take a long time, no doubt but just thought you should know. Anyway I was listening to A great and terrible beauty (suberb name by the way) and I loved you diary thing at the end (sorry forgot the name, this always happens to me)Well, I listened to a Great and Terrible beauty like a year ago and a few days ago I went to a book store to get my injuryed friend a gift. I saw Rebel angels and FREAKED OUT I totally forgot it was coming out so soon. I was totally broke so I turned to the library for help but, there was tons of holds so I found enough change under the couch and bought your book. I finished it like 10 minutes ago and I have just seached your site for info about the next book but there is none. Are you planning it yet? (Sorry this is probably really annoying)
    *Much love*

  28. Great book

    Your books are awosome… I loved The Great and Terrible Beauty. I order the REBEL ANGELS… I must read it. I love the adventure you gave the book. Such an imaginative story. Just perfect. Magic,love,beauty,and friends…

  29. wow i know this is a late comment, but i just now, got to your LJ. And by this point in time have read both books several times over.
    And as for your son, my laughing was heard several rooms away. Hahaha your kid will definitely be a handful for years to come, in an exciting way!
    I’m only 18 but i deal with 3-10 year olds on a weekly basis. The best/funniest/most embarrasing experiences are with having them around.
    I absolutely love your sense of humor!

  30. butt of DOOM

    This made me laugh SO hard!!! I think it is now safe to assume that my chemistry teacher now thinks…well okay knows…that I am insane. Let this be a lesson to all of you out there who think you’re nonchalant enough to read these livejournal entries during highschool chem just to brighten things up a bit. You can’t. There is no escaping the hilarity and giggle fits that will eventually ensue after reading stories like “the butt of DOOM” or Libba going through her spam. Trust me…it is like trying to just eat one chip with the rest of the bag just sitting there. It’s just. not. possible. *insert awesome shatner movements*

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