Laugh while you can, Monkey Boy!

Ah, morning. Much better. Rise and shine, sunshine…and get ready to chip ice off the steps. That Nor’easter is a-starting here in Brooklyn. Snow=love. Ice=despair. And a lot of work.

***Before I blog about last night, I’d like to ask a favor. I know that some of you, through a little twist of fate, have gotten the book early. I would like to implore you to please keep this a spoiler-free zone. I would hate for anyone to have the ending ruined for them. (Sorry to hear that happened to you, Luna. Big drag.) Just so you know, I will delete any spoiler comments posted here. Just saying. So thanks in advance for being considerate.*****

Okay, on with the show.

Last night, Cassandra Clare; her boyfriend, Josh; David Levithan; Scott Westerfeld (minus his lovely wife, Justine Larbalestier, who had the nasty flu); my wonderful librarian pals, Jen Hubert Swan and Phil Swan; Delia Sherman; Ellen Kushner; E. Lockhart; and Maureen Johnson all converged on Chez Bray-Goldblatt where there was much eating and eating and eating and gabbing.

Maureen told the tale of having John Green crash at her pad last night. Apparently, John ate a lot of snacks. John is snack boy and never goes anywhere without his bag o’ snacks. So send that boy some M&M’s; he’s now out.

David had gone to a fete at the fantabulous Miz Rachel Cohn’s place and he had on a tie and I kept looking at him going, “Really? A tie? You’re wearing a tie?” He wears a tie well, but I have never seen him in one, and it threw me, like I was actually seeing David’s accountant doppleganger. Rachel and David’s wonderful novel, NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST, is going to be a movie, and it has been filming around NYC, so we’ve been lapping up tales of their super-cool film experience. David and Rachel have a cameo! Woot!

Mostly, we stood in the kitchen (why is it that all parties end up in the kitchen?) and scarfed up all the food, of which there was plenty (oh, wait…that’s the answer to the previous question, isn’t it?) and talked about writing.
Delia was telling me that she’s at the scary point in her first draft–the part where you start to lose confidence and you just need to do it. I’m always, well, not pleased, that’s not the right word–relieved, perhaps–when other writers talk about just how tough it can be to write a book and how scary it feels at times. Scott talked about the new book he’s working on and I was pea-green with envy. I can’t wait to read it, so I’m just going to bug Scott to write faster. Ellen and Cassie (and Delia) had just gotten back from Jamaica where they had gone with some other writers for a writing week. (Writing? In Jamaica? Dude, I’d be on the beach going, wow, I really should write that chapter…ooh, boogie boards!) Their lives sounded very glamorous as I was wiping up the chocolate cake I’d dropped all over the kitchen floor and dabbing at the hummus on my shirt. Sigh. Miz Lockhart and I made a date to write this Tuesday. Last week, we got together to write and we both were quite productive. E. keeps me focused when I start in on something like, “Hey, you ever wonder what would happen if we lived in a parallel universe where you had to eat at least one scone a day or you’d become a zombie and…” She pats my hand and says, “Libba, get back to work and time for decaf.” Cassie started reading TSFT during the movie and when I looked over at one point, I think she was on p.200 or something and I was mesmerized by her reading speed. She could enter reading as a competitive sport. I read at a snail’s pace so I am envious of her skill. Jen is a middle school librarian and the author of Reading Rants, so talking books with her is always a pleasure, because she reads EVERYTHING. And she brought homemade sugar cookies, so I could listen to her book talk while mainlining sugar. It’s a perfect world! Huzzah!

Also, there was a disturbing conversation about marsupials which I will not repeat. But I’m looking askance at kangaroos now.

I made my mom’s chocolate-peanut butter balls, which I have dubbed Christmas Crack, and we were all vibrating after a while. Scott had on his new Issay Miyake (sp?) coat which he jokingly called “the largest piece of felt I have ever owned.” And who doesn’t need a large piece of felt in their collection? He also demonstrated his collapsible bag which folds up into a ball.
“But I always have ten pounds of crap in my bag,” I said. “They need to make collapsible crap.”
Scott was unfazed, as is his wont. He gave me the withering Westerfeld nod. “Look, you can put it in your pocket.”
I suspect there is another world in Scott’s pocket, sort of Golden Compass style.

We ended up watching BUCKAROO BANZAI, which is one of my favorite silly cult movies. (The other options were HAROLD & MAUDE, AFTER HOURS, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.) Many of the assembled had never seen the hot mess o’ lunacy that is BUCKAROO BANZAI. Now, they are converts. “Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy!” If you’ve never seen it, well, it’s a grand piece of weird ’80’s, oh-my-god-someone-gave-you-a-budget-for-this filmmaking. Perfect Tommy’s outfits alone are worth the price of a rental. And Jeff Goldblum in western gear. And John Lithgow’s performance. (“Home! Home is where you wear your hat! I feel so broke up, I wanna go home!”) So we all parted singing the catchy theme song, and calling each other John Big Booty (you have to see the movie for that one…) and I was made happy by having such lovely pals and Christmas crack that made me break out into a sweat and pizza and ridiculous movies and such.

Now, I must go break apart the ice and sprinkle salt.

Stay warm.

Here is today’s TSFT random quote:

“For my part, I find that their minds are as corseted as their waists, with conversations limited to parties, dresses, and the misfortunes or shortcomings of others. I should rather take my chances with the lions of Rome’s ancient Colosseum than endure another tea chat with the likes of them. At least the lions are honest about their desire to eat you and make no effort to hide it.”

OFFICIAL TSFT COUNTDOWN: 10 days.

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