I'd Like This Light in My Living Room Please

There are so many things I've been wanting to blog, including the lovely news that Jane, Unlimited made the list of YALSA's 2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults. But I'm trying to finish a book -- getting so close to finishing a book -- and that takes precedence. So. In lieu of real, in-depth, interesting blogging... here's a photo of us today at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Their current exhibition XYZT is around through most of April and is one of the most fun things I've ever done in a museum. And this room containing this light is just so beautiful.

More when I can! Godspeed to all writers.

Two New Books and an Event

Do you all know about Mary's Monster (by Lita Judge) and The Hazel Wood (by Melissa Albert), both set to release on Tuesday? If you're in the Boston area, both authors have events this week. Lita Judge will be at Porter Square Books on Saturday (Feburary 3, 3pm) and I'm hosting Melissa Albert's event at the Brookline Booksmith on Thursday! February 1, 7pm. Do come.

Here goes...

Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein, by Lita Judge

"Pairing free verse with over three hundred pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations, Mary’s Monster is a unique and stunning biography of Mary Shelley, the pregnant teenage runaway who became one of the greatest authors of all time.

"Legend is correct that Mary Shelley began penning Frankenstein in answer to a dare to write a ghost story. What most people don't know, however, is that the seeds of her novel had been planted long before that night. By age nineteen, she had been diso…

Just sharing a few signs from today's Women's March in Cambridge, Massachusetts...


Here Are Some Reasons Why Women Do Not Bear the Responsibility for Avoiding Men's Horrific Behavior

Okay. I've had it.

To the people who are writing articles in The Atlantic and The New York Times and other publications about how "Grace" simply had a bad date with Aziz Ansari, and she should get over it, and it's her own fault for letting herself get pushed around…

Here are just a few reasons why a woman in that situation might not get up and leave.
Because she's very young, and this is the first time she's found herself in a situation where someone's actual behavior diverges so dramatically from their shiny public persona, and that is confusing.Because she is just a person, and he is a freaking millionaire TV celebrity, and he has all the power of celebrity and personality, and that is confusing.Because everything is happening very fast, and it's hard to stay on top of a situation when someone else is being a bully and has taken control, and that is confusing.Because it is very, very easy, when you're trying to be kind to someone you just met a…

On Writing Jane, Unlimited: Please Don't Choose Your Own Adventure

Before I start, a couple of important things:

There's a documentary airing on Monday on PBS called Unrest, about MECFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I hope you'll watch it and pass the word on. Official blurb: "Jennifer Brea is working on her PhD at Harvard and about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a mysterious fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her 'it’s all in her head,' she turns her camera on herself to document her devastating symptoms. Searching for answers, Jennifer discovers a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Together, Jen and her new husband, Omar, must find a way to build a life and fight for a cure."

MECFS is a devastating illness that has not received the attention it needs from the medical community, for all sorts of f***ed-up reasons. Many of the people with this disease can't be their own activists…

In Which the Author Makes a Star

I found a pattern for a 20-sided star online (called a Moravian star). 
While I printed it out, Kevin went through my wrapping paper collection and chose a really lovely one made of an old German map of Europe.
I cut out twenty of these.... turn into twenty of these.

At a certain point, it occurred to me that wrapping paper isn't the strongest stuff in the world. I wanted this to be a star for us to use every year, a hearty star with a long life... so I decided I needed to make understar parts out of cardstock, then attach the wrapping paper parts to the cardstock parts. I began to cut out and create twenty of these.

I also made the icosahedron (20-sided polyhedron) above out of cardstock, using the pattern below. (Here's another link to this great pattern, by Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap!)

Of course I didn't think about the fact that I might want to blog this later, so my pictures are random and disorganized... sorry about that.
Next, I glued the twenty po…


The news is relentlessly bad, triggery, and heartbreaking. I go back and forth about these blog posts, because I don't want to seem frivolous when so much bad stuff is going on. But -- I want to celebrate our creativity, and I also want to express gratitude for our friends who've made a recent four weeks of costume parties possible. And I'm also hoping that our silly costumes will bring a smile to the face of you, Reader.

No more costumes for us for a while. But I'm brainstorming next Halloween :o).

And that's that. I hope you are finding some light this November, dear readers.