Monthly Archives: October 2008

The proof is in the page

So on Monday, a huge package from Simon and Schuster landed on our doorstep. Inside we found page proofs for The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading.

That’s right. The manuscript looks like an actual book. Well, an actual book if you printed on huge sheets of paper, landscape, two book pages per sheet.

One of the reasons I was so excited when we sold to Simon Pulse is they produce some of the most beautiful trade paperbacks for the their teen line. The artwork and typesetting all comes together to support the story. Here’s a peek at what they’ve done for Geek Girl’s Guide:

Each chapter heading is at a jaunty angle and in the “cheerleader” font (I’m sure it’s not technically called the cheerleader font, but whatever). Each of our chapters begins with a little excerpt “written” by the cheerleader coach and on each they’ve added a different silhouette of a cheerleader. Okay, how cute is that?

So now we read, looking for typos, things that were missed, and so on. And even as we inch closer to July, it still all seems a little surreal.


Filed under Reading & Writing

The weather: a study in contrasts

This was yesterday:

Children frolic in the sun-dappled leaves. Mother Nature rejoices.

This is today:

 Yes, that’s snow. Somewhere, a woman screams. A baby cries.


Filed under Misc

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Girl

So today, since it was so lovely out, I once again put together the kids, their Halloween costumes, my digital camera, and the guest of honor, Microsoft Movie Maker.

But when I first grabbed my camera and checked to see what was on there, I noticed Andrew had used it to take several pictures of himself and the cat. I give you a new take on human/animal relations:

 The Blair Witch Cat Project

Just be glad I spared you the photo he took of the cat using her litter box.

On to the movie. Last year, it was Snow Princesses and Werewolves. This year, we call this one Super Girl vs. Freddy Krueger (aka Revenge of the Marvelous Miss B).


Filed under Kids, Video

The email I just sent Darcy

Dude, dude, DUDE.

Check it:
We’re up at Simon Says.
We’re up at Simon Says.

How incredibly unreal.


* * *

As you can see, our emails are scintillating.

Updated to add: Well, darn. It appears the link is no longer working. I hope this isn’t some kind of omen.

Updated to add again: It appears to be back up. Hooray!


Filed under Reading & Writing

Well, thank goodness for that

You Should Be Allowed to Vote

You got 15/15 questions correct.
Generally speaking, you’re very well informed.If you vote this election, you’ll know exactly who (and what) you’ll be voting for.

You’re likely to have strong opinions, and you have the facts to back them up.



It’s official. Blogthings says I can vote. I’m so relieved. Sorry for not blogging for a while. Work = v.v. crazy busy. Writing inspiration = v.v. nonexistent.


Filed under Quizzes

The sweet smell of edible Australia

So, today I bring you a recipe that may surprise you. It’s for Rice Krispie Treats. I know what you’re thinking: Dude, no way! You have to buy those at the grocery store–proof that they’re just too hard to make.

I used to think the same thing, but really, it’s not difficult to master the recipe. In fact, today, I’ll present both the basic recipe and some advanced techniques. You can thank me later.

First, what you’ll need:

Note: While it’s esthetically more pleasing to place the butter in the center of the dish, it doesn’t affect the actual recipe.

  • 3 tablespoons butter/margarine
  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies

First, melt the butter, then add the marshmallows. It will look something like this:

Mmmmm. Melty high fructose goodness.

When the marshmallows are all melted, add the Rice Krispies. This can be a little tricky:

Challenging, but worth it.

Spread the mess yummy goodness into a 9 x 13 inch pan that you’ve previously hosed down coated with cooking spray. Use a buttered spatula or waxed paper to keep the mess from sticking to everything in known creation press the treats into the pan.

And that’s it! And I know what you’re thinking: That’s easy! I’ll never buy Krispie Treats from the store again!

Now that you’ve mastered the fine art of the Krispie Treat, you can use them a launch pad for more experimental work. I give you: Edible Australia:

You’ll need a bigger pan because Australia is … big. We recommend you outline Australia beforehand.

Sometimes it’s good to have your map of Austalia by your side while you work.

Australia is surrounded by a lot of ocean. You’ll need blue frosting for that. But don’t panic. You can make your own.

Attention to detail is important.

Voila! All you need now is the finishing touches (brown sugar for deserts, cookie crumbs for mountains, and Swedish fish (?) for the ocean) from your classmates, and you have Edible Australia.

The real reward will come not in the post-quiz consuming of (some of) Edible Australia but whether older women (aka eighth and ninth graders) will ask you to share some of it on the way out of school.


Filed under Cooking (disasters), Kids

Words I constantly misspell despite my profession

  • Documentation
  • Usability
  • Questionnaire

That pretty much sums up my week, too.


Filed under Tech Writing

Chariots of … water?

This is one of those quizzes that’s more fun to take than to read the (really, really long) responses. Go have a little Saturday fun.

Your result for Which Tarot Card Represents Your Higher Self? Test…

The Chariot

It is somewhat of a mystery why the Chariot, clearly a card of force and of control, should be of the Water element. But its attribution to Cancer is indeed valid because this card deals heavily with the emotions. Specifically, the Chariot is a card of emotional control; the power of the mind to shape the desires of the heart and direct them to meaningful expression. This is not the emotional control of the Emperor, who totally suppresses all of his emotions in favor of logic and reason. The man driving the Chariot knows that his emotions are not to be swept under the rug, but trained and used to his greater good.

The triumph over both positive and negative emotions is often shown by two horses or sphinxes of different colors pulling the Chariot. Though on their own they would run wild and untamed, going in whichever direction they chose to go, here they move only forward. So they still have some power, but this power has now been directed and focused by the man holding the reins. The chariot cannot move without horses to pull it, just as we cannot function without our emotions to drive us. But without the control of the chariot, the horses would run free, just as our emotions can run wild when unchecked and uncontrolled. Balance is needed.

The Chariot embodies the type of discipline that is necessary to gain control over the emotions, and this is why a military symbol has been chosen for this card. The purpose of the harsh conditions of the military is to develop the will and the ability needed to control emotions and put them to productive use on the battlefield. Only through the mastery of yourself can you ever hope to achieve mastery over others and your environment. The wisdom and the glory gained through conquering one’s enemies is nothing compared to the self-esteem you build through defeating your fear. Inner enemies are often tougher to defeat than outer ones, and thus teach you much more.

Through the application of emotional force we can learn to achieve our goals and desires much more quickly. For someone like the man on the Chariot, who is in total control of his will and his emotions, almost anything is within his grasp. In the Thoth deck, written across the canopy of the Chariot is the word Abracadabra, which may seem foolish at first glance. What is the stage magician’s catchphrase doing here – is there magic involved? No, there is no magic. Abracadabra comes from Hebrew, and it translates roughly to “What I have said will be done” or “As it is said, so it shall be.” Nothing embodies the spirit of the Chariot more than this word.

The appearance of the Chariot often shows a need to take control of your emotions and, instead of wasting energy grieving or complaining, use that energy to take action and to make changes in the world. Fear will cripple you unless, like the Chariot demands, you can acknowledge it and face it. Then you can use your fear constructively, for your own purposes. But this type of control is not limited to the negative emotions. In relationships the Chariot often shows how idle infatuation can be transformed into passion and confidence. Through controlling your emotions, the Chariot says, you will eventually learn to control yourself.

And once you have reached that stage, anything is possible! Once you have transcended your fears you start transcending your restrictions until nothing can hold you back from the success you deserve. The Chariot’s appearance is often the herald of victory through discipline and confidence, a moment where all opposition lies defeated. Great success and achievements will come to you if you master your passions and believe in the power of your will. Do not let anything distract or sway you from your goals, and proceed with the straight flight of an arrow. Nothing is beyond your ability if you believe in your own power. Abracadabra!

Take Which Tarot Card Represents Your Higher Self? Test at HelloQuizzy


Filed under Quizzes

If a picture’s worth a 1,000 words …

What’s the going rate for a book cover?


Filed under Books, Reading & Writing, Writing