They put a bonnet on my head.

I was reading an earlier draft of The Sweet Far Thing in my Orphans file when I came across a passage where Kartik explains to Gemma what’s going down with the Rakshana. He says, “They put a bounty on my head.” Except that I read it as, “They put a BONNET on my head.” And now, I can’t quite get the image of Kartik, all broody and steamy, with a lace doily on his head, out of my mind. Just. So. Wrong.

I had a grand time in Montreal last weekend at the Jewish Public Library. It was such a lovely event, and there was a lot of chcolate. Also, I met some really great people. That’s one of the best perks of my job–meeting new, very cool people. I don’t care how Hallmark Cards Sensitive Moments that sounds, it’s true. Canada cooperated very nicely with us by not dipping into the Holy Crap How Do You People Live Here in January???? cold zone. I also discovered that my limited college French is still very limited. The concierge asked me my name twice, and after smiling maniacally, I answered that I was fine, how was she? Sad, sad, sad. Did I mention that I drove my college French teacher to drink?

(There’s a guy on the couch across from me reading Raymond Carver’s CATHEDRAL. Amazing short stories. I’m not worthy. Go forth and read them.)

Tuesday night, still plane-bleary, I went to the Teen Video Book Awards. It’s such a cool idea: filmmakers do 15-second movie trailers for books. The three books in question were THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak (I’m not worthy, Part II), HOW I LIVE NOW (Printz winner and a must-read), and A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. I thought all of the trailers were terrific. And I loved meeting Katie K. (sorry, she has a very long last name and I don’t have the spelling available…will correct later.) who directed BEAUTY. She was talented and terrific.

I was so, so happy to see my pal Cecil Castellucci in last Sunday’s NYTimes piece about DC Comics launch of a new line of comics aimed at teen girls. Whoohoo! ‘Bout freakin’ time. Cecil, the author of the fabulous Boy Proof and The Queen of Cool, has written a comic called P.L.A.I.N. JANES, and it is crazy good. So when it comes out, check it out. Support your local feminist comic book writer. Or we’ll put a bonnet on your heads. (Sorry. I just can’t stop.)

Okay, I have to go write some blood and gore to get the image of Kartik in Little Bo Peep gear out of my mind. And then I must watch my Dallas Cowboys annihilate the New York Giants. And then all will be well in the universe.

192 thoughts on “They put a bonnet on my head.

  1. And Kartik would totally rock a bonnet! He’d look great in anything! Although i’m not suggesting that you actually put him in a bonnet. I think that that would be going a little too far…

  2. So I totally went to (God’s gift to man-kind) and looked up that Video contest and luckily, found the one for AGATB! You’re right, she was very talented and I loved what she did with it. It also makes me very excited for the movie to come out soon! (I’m also peeing in my pants waiting for The Sweet Far Thing) Best of luck!

  3. I totally live in Phoenix and I totally sympathize with you. We moved here from Des Moines to ESCAPE the snow.

    Now I’m seriously doubting my parents ability to judge good weather.

  4. I LOVE her. Trickster’s Choice…that’s a good one.

    I made the mistake of accidently reading her novels out of order.

    Do you have any idea how confusing her politics are when you read it out of order?

    *le sigh* (that’s the only French I know, if it’s any consolation)

  5. Re: Bonnets

    I’ll never forget the first time I read your novels. Seriously. I’m already known as the book worm in school, so no one is really very suprised when they see me engrossed in a book. But you’re lovely plot twist in AGATB caught me so off guard while I was in study hall, that I jumped four feet out of my seat and shouted “OHMIGOD!” Luckily, my teacher loves me and she told me to sit back down.

    But that doesn’t beat the first time I read Rebel Angels. I picked it up at the library and had been reading it for eight hours straight. It was three a.m. and I was tired, but I couldn’t put it down. The Poppywarriors scared me so much (along with other various plot twists) I screamed and tossed the library’s copy across the room.

    But it never fails to give me goosebumps. Thank you so much for blessing me with a novel as amazing as this.

  6. Re: Oh great..

    OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    By the way, I think the trailer is awesome. But, I didn’t really picture Kartik with short hair. Maybe it was long, but I just couldn’t see it b/c of the dark. Still, he is so HOT!!!!

  7. Re: Oh great..

    oh no!!! 😦
    I really hope not. *crosses fingers*

    But just incase, i think i’ll keep some tissues and maybe even a punching bag ready.

  8. Re: Oh great..

    what pippas like a monster now why whould he like make out with a MONSTER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Video Awaids

    If they actually made a movie of A Great and Terrible Beauty, they should cast my friend Emily as Gemma, because she has really red hair, and Orlando Bloom as Kartik.

  10. Tu ne sais pas comment parler en francais? C’est la langue de l’amour (je pense). Oui, c’est un peu triste que tu as dit que tu es bien quand elle t’a demande ton nom. Mais, francais n’est pas pour toutes les personnes. Mais tu es une anglais ecriveuse magnifique!
    Translation: You don’t know how to speak in French? It’s the language of love (I think). Yes, it is a little sad that you said you were doing well when she asked you for your name. But French isn’t for everyone. But you are a magnificent English writer!

  11. Lost in Translation

    I can understand the language barrier a little. My friend and I went to Tokyo and our little phrase book was really pretty much a waste of money. No one understood us and we understood no one. However through lots of gesutring and pointing we managed to survive the moments when there were no English speakers around. 🙂 Glad you had a good time.

  12. KARTIK

    If there is ever going to be a movie, Kartik better be dreamy, just like he sounds in the movie. That is going to be hard to find.

  13. Noooo!!!!

    Noooo!!!! You were in my city giving a conference and I missed it. I am so sad and angry at myself for not checking your comments more often. Well, I guess all I can do now is cry in a corner and promiss myself it will never happen again.Oh and speaking of your French I just wondered if you knew that there was a little mistake in one of your book. It doesn’t matter because your books are very good, but I just wondered if you noticed it. That’s the French tutor in me taking over. Sorry! Anyway, I hope you’ll come back one day and that I won’t miss it.

    Looking forward to your next book


  14. Re: Oh great..

    I’m just sayin’ maybe Mrs.Spence (her name starts with an E…Just.Can’t.Remember.)in the Winterland made Pip beautiful again and she’s makin’ out with Kartik to get back at Gemma.

    I know its sick and twisted,but I’m just sayin’.

    P.S. I know he’s guy.Jeez.

  15. Watched the teen video book award

    I watched the movie trailer, real good. I’m so excited to see your book made into a movie.

    I discovered that you take the F train every day and I thought it was super cool that I might eventually run into you.

    Happy Holidays and wanted to let you know after my boyfriend got me a book signed by you from barnes and nobles I went crazy. Can’t wait till your third book comes out.


  16. There is something that I believe will never wriggle its way out of my brain. Kartik’s cryptic glance made pink and frilly by the Miss Muffet bonnet that sits askew on his brown curls…I can see it from here.

    As for a way to work that into the book, Gemma might have some sort of twisted dream in which she is Jack and he is Jill and they are in the wrong costumes rolling down from the well.

    Oh my. There’s another funny issue.

    Sorry. Must go bang head on mirror to get it out of my head. It really works.

  17. How I Live Now was very excellent… I read it this summer after being incarcerated by the jaw surgery! Very much a brain-bending book…

    Speaking of brain-bending…BONNETS? That’s a great one. Just fabulous.

  18. Weird…

    the image of Kartik wearing a bonnet is extremely disturbing…O.o *doesn’t think she’ll sleep anytime soon* Just to let you know, I LOVE YOUR WRITING!!! i’m listening to a great and terrible beauty on my MP3 player =]

  19. Re: Problem

    You live on the West Coast?

    I do too, and this snow is killing me! I nearly DIED on the way to school this morning!

    My hemp pants were not made for this!! *Eats granola bar*

    And your book sounds really interesting, just the title alone is intriguing.

  20. Re: Problem

    Thanks, originally the title was
    no Time Like The Present, but I think No Time sounds better. The snow is awesome though, my bus dropped me of and then it took 10 tries to get up the rest of the hill. So funny to watch.

  21. Great…I was about to fall asleep but I just couldn’t stand it…I couldn’t get the image of Kartik wearing a bonnet. I’m having a little movie going on in my head “Little House on the Prairie” style. Kartik is frolicking along in his bonnet with ringlets falling out and a puffy skirt to top it off. *shakes head* I don’t think that I’ll be getting any sleep tonight…

    Anyways, I TOTALLY am IN LOVE with your books! I just got both of them for Christmas (which was AWESOME!) and I can’t stop reading them! I donated my first copy of “A Great and Terrible Beauty” to my school library and now all my friends are hooked!

  22. bonnet

    let me just tell you that…i like fel in love with kartik in these books and i think the bonnet this is hilarious!!!!!! i love your books!!!!!!!!!

  23. oh boy!

    oh boy…Kartik in a bonet :] wow….
    yea thats a pretty….fabulous image! hahahaha.
    I NEED THAT THIRD BOOK TO COME OUTTT!!!!! OMG I CANT WAIT! i read both of your books, in a matter of days! thats all i did was read. i went out to dinner…and i brought the book with me, i ended up finishing it while eating my pizza at uno! the third book is going to be great! and what is this i hear about a movie! YESSSSSSS!!! that is great! its better than great! i cant wait for it to come out :]

    btw…i want kartik and gemma to get together in the third book! i have been waiting for it to happen!!


  24. You’re awesome

    I love reading your posts. And you never know, Gemma HAS dressed up as a man… why not switch it around? haha!

    Sorry. I forgot you were trying to get the image out of your mind. lol.

  25. 15 second movie trailer

    That was really cool!! I watched all three of them, and they were pretty neat. Although, (I am picky and unrealistic about movies based on books-I realize they can’t make things exactly like the book, but it still bugs me!!) Kartik was not at all like my reception of your description of him, Gemma’s hair wasn’t red, and her amulet, wasn’t any thing like how I imagined it; But every thing else seemed very AGATB like!

  26. Re: Oh great..


    i love Kartik…him and gemma better get together! thats what i ahve been waiting for since the begginning of the book!

  27. omg i watched the trailer that was made for great and terrible beauty and i was like WHOA!
    it would be awesome if your books were made into movies! i bet alot, alot of people would go see them because the books are well, brilliant!
    well, if you ever get an offer to turn your book(s) into movie(s) than please accept!!!!! that would be one of the coolest things on earth! especially if it was like the trailer from the teen book awards thing! that would be even cooler than the harry potter books being made into movies!
    i think i should stop babbling now!
    can’t wait till your new book!


  28. I remember my friend read this entry before I did and told me about the bonnet thing before my 4th period math class.

    So, I’m sitting there trying to focus and do those anti-derivatives, but every time I try to think, the image of Kartik in a frilly bonnet pops up in my head an I start cracking up.

    So LOL! XD;

  29. kartik ‘n’ gemma 4 eva


  30. LOVE/Depressed/anxious

    Well, i don’t possibly know how i will cope with not being able to read the next book till a while!!!
    I shall positively go crazy with knowing that Gemma and KArtik might not get together, and this will make me cry so much!!
    Well, please inform me on how i can get this book fro my birthday in September.Or maybe even earlier.
    I have bought both books and am sure i will buy the third!!!

    Big fan from Yorktown, Texas!!!! email me!!!

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