2008 wrap-up

2008 was, in many ways, the best year of my life so far. I guess it’s pretty apparent as to why. It didn’t start off so great, or at least it started off a little “meh” as far as my life was concerned. I’d just gotten a rejection on the full of AUT on Christmas Eve, and I was back in New York after spending the holidays with my family in Chicago, which always sort of depresses me, 1. because I love my family and miss them when we’re apart and B. because I only like living in New York, like, 30% of the time. So. I had a job, I had an apartment, I had my best friend right there with me in the city, but everything was new, cold, and a little bit “what now?”

Then Joanna emailed me and I told her about AUT and she asked for the full and then offered me representation. Boom! I remember walking to Cambria’s apartment with her from the train and saying, “If Joanna offers me representation, this could change my life.” And it did! Three much needed revisions of AUT later and we’d sold it in a two-book deal, in a pre-empt, to Francoise Bui at Delacorte! It was a very exciting moment for me, and when I think about how unmoored and listless I felt last year at this time, I’m so grateful for (and amazed by) what happened this year.

2008 held all kinds of wonderful surprises. I made way more awesome friends in New York, including most of my coworkers who are angels sent from the Lord above, I introduced one of my California best friends to one of my New York best friends and they started seriously dating, two of my good California friends got engaged (not to each other, to their respective boyfriends), Kim and Jenny came to visit (Jenny, the girl half of the aforementioned couple, came three times this year!), Carmen and Tim (one of the aforementioned engaged couples) came this year, my mother came several times, my sister was here for three weeks for a film camp and I got to see her a bunch, my aunt Kika and cousin Emma came, my aunt Irene and cousin Michelle came, and I’m sure I’m missing visitors and other fun things, but my brain is not capable of remembering how great this year was in one fell swoop. I have to do it in chunks.

I read 72 books. That’s 8 below my goal, but maybe next year.

Professionally (aside from the book deal), I finished MB (well, the first draft anyway) and joined the Tenners, which is such a great community I can’t even begin to tell you (holla!). In my day job, I got a little promotion, which was grand.
I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m proud of myself, I’m still excited about writing and reading, I’m still addicted to the Internet and Gossip Girl (and GG on the Internet). I think I only had the two fake boyfriends (Rob Pattinson and Ed Westwick) and one fake husband (That James McAvoy) this year, which means I’m starting to settle down!

You know how I celebrated the New Year? I mean, before going to Jenny’s NYE party? I SENT THE FINISHED AUT MANUSCRIPT TO MY EDITOR. Sure, it was New Year’s Eve and she wasn’t in the office, but it said December 31 on my contract, so I sent the manuscript in on December 31. I hope it’s finished. I won’t be upset to do more revisions, but I always like to make the best effort possible so I hope that at least the manuscript accomplishes what I wanted it to accomplish (it’s the new sections that make me a little bit nervous; other than that I think the MS is fine). We’ll see later in January. Until then, the rest of my MB revisions so I can send that manuscript to my editor. And THEN I can start working on new stuff! New stuff! I can’t believe it! I have a feeling it’ll involve proposals, but still!

I hope everybody’s having a great New Year’s Day morning (my brother’s had better, but I’m fine, if probably more tired than I feel). I think maybe later I’ll head back to Jenny’s to help clean up and then up to Cambria’s dad’s house to watch the Rose Bowl? We’ll see if I can tear myself away from my bed.

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Chuck and Blair FTW

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Now that I’m fully caught up on Gossip Girl, let me say something: Chuck and Blair are the most awesome couple on television right now. THEY JUST ARE. I will hear no dissent (all right, I will hear dissent, but I won’t like it)! I don’t care that Chuck looks like creepy Jimmy Fallon, and I don’t care that they’re both, in their ways, morally reprehensible at times, emotionally stunted buffoons when it comes to love and romance, and out-of-control illogical in most if not all cases. THEY ARE AWESOME. They’re passionate and insane and sharp dressers (how about Chuck’s sparkly tux from the Snowflake Ball? Genius! Nobody else on television could pull that ridiculousness off) and, best of all, because they’re so angry and lost and wounded their connection is stronger than it would be if they were both relatively normal because they’re the only people on the face of the planet who truly understand and accept each other.

The best part of the episode by far was this:

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Most awkward embrace the world has ever seen? Absolutely. But it’s not really a proper hug, it’s more of a union, a fitting together of puzzle pieces. Blair doesn’t need to look at his face or say a word to him, all she wants to do is hold him to keep him from collapsing. He’s so tired and weak that he can’t even turn around or sit up on his own, but he raises one hand to touch her arm to show her that he knows she’s there, that she’s the reason he’s still upright. That is some powerful blocking right there, guys. Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester are no joke in this scene.

Best of all, it reminds me of this:

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Bluck (Chair? I’m undecided) is totally the new LoVe.

(Gossip Girl screencaps taken from BlairandChuck.com. Veronica Mars screencaps taken from Something-Happens.com.)

Also, remember when Leighton Meester was on Veronica Mars? She was awesome on that show.

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(Screencap from BlairandChuck.com.)

Okay, just one more for good measure:

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You know, since I was on the site already.

Oh, okay then, one more of Chuck and Blair, too, since I did it on LiveJournal:

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Doodles

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been engaging in some collaborative doodling (and that is NOT a euphemism, get your dirty minds out of the gutters…heh, doodling) with various and sundry friends of mine and I thought I’d share the results.

The Brunch Bunch:

Every Wednesday, my sitcom friends and I head down to the Lower East Side for Drunken Smart Ass Olympics a.k.a. trivia night. 2 for 1 domestic beers and lots of questions we should be able to answer but can’t, although our percentage correct is improving (over 50% last week!). To amuse ourselves between rounds, we’ve occupied ourselves with creating a felt pen-and-napkin comic strip called “The Brunch Bunch”, where in the characters are mostly food items but they act like people i.e. argue and cheat on each other.

Introducing the gang.

We’ve done a sort of mediocre job of keeping up with their story up until last week, when we drafted a couple of rough story boards with the sordid tale of Apple’s affair with Orange behind Pear’s back (Cambria: Which one’s the girl and which one’s the boy? Katie: The pear is the girl, look at her curves!) and then something between Brie (as in the cheese) and Wheat Beer about addiction?? It’s unclear, as we were drunk when we wrote these and also we didn’t put a whole lot of thought into the story arc. We resolve to do better in the future.

To be clear, the third panel is a flashback.

On the back of crossword puzzles (Eric Rhodes originals):

The other person I collaboratively doodle with is Eric. Our first piece was a painful exploration of the true evil behind the face of modern happiness…er, it’s a smiley face? With horns. It’s the first in (I hope) a long series of sketches that shows once and for all that Eric is the bigger cynic, and that secretly I believe in hearts and flowers and kittens and world peace.

Oh, how he cackles!

This piece has a title, “The Universal Story”, where in (from right to left, like the Hebrews do) the seeds of love are sown, the relationship blossoms, and then, as Eric put it, “She breaks your fuckin’ heart.” Except imagine that said in a Jersey accent, makes it sound even angrier. Also, it could be “He breaks your fuckin’ heart”, as love is an equal opportunity destroyer.