Also, I want to share something I’ve been doing lately, in case it’s something you might like to do too. Do you know about Postcards to Voters? Now and then, when I have a few minutes, I’ve been writing postcards to Democrats who live in districts with important upcoming elections. It’s an impressively organized system — very easy to get as many addresses as you have time for instantly — and it makes me feel less powerless and more hopeful. If you’re a person who wants more registered Democrats to show up at the polls, consider checking it out! (Edited to add: the voting date for Danny O’Connor is actually August 7, not August 2, so if you’re joining in, do NOT copy my postcard! Agh!)
Graceling is coming out in September with a new 10th Anniversary cover :o). And an Afterword and Q&A from me! In the Afterword, I speculate a bit upon what I’ve learned in the past ten years, thanks to the world of experience Graceling has given me. I hope you like Katsa’s new look as much as I do. I’m so grateful to the team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for this green beauty!
More news soon, here and on Twitter @kristincashore. Happy Sunday, everyone :o).
I walked home through a lovely, gentle rain, then propped my umbrella up in front of the couch to dry. Seeing a package waiting, I opened it eagerly, suspecting it was the paperback of Jane, Unlimited. Then I noticed something matchy!
Some things, at least, are aligned in this universe.
The other day, I wrote a blog post with the heading, “These times make me inarticulate.”
I wonder if any of you noticed my misspelling? I changed it as soon as I noticed it, but for a little while, it said, “These times make me inarcticulate”…
I’m afraid I have the Arctic on the brain :o). That’s because in October, I’m going to be doing an artist residency for a couple weeks on a tall ship in the Arctic Circle, opening my writing heart and mind to that vulnerable ecosystem. I bet it will affect everything I write thereafter.
The remarkable organization making this possible is called The Arctic Circle. The photos you’ll see if you go to that link are not out of this world, they’re right at the top of this world, but you may think otherwise when you see them. In the words of the organization, “International artists, scientists, educators and innovators will live and work aboard a Barquentine Tall Ship while sailing the waters of the international territory of Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago just 10 degrees latitude from the North Pole. The Arctic Circle program provides opportunity for artists and innovators to pursue their personal projects on board while exploring collaboration with the expedition’s fellow participants.”
I am the luckiest writer on earth to have this opportunity. I’m already preparing for it and I will not waste it. I promise to share as much of it as I can with you on this blog (lots of pictures!) and in my future writing.
And for those of you thinking of Jane’s aunt Magnolia in Jane, Unlimited… Don’t worry. I promise I’ll come back. :o)
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have caught on that I like wearing cool stuff on my head. In that spirit, I want to share the Etsy shop ElsewhenMillinery, whose proprietor, Wendy, recently made me a beautiful green hat.
I have an upcoming social event that requires a hat. (If there are good pictures, I promise to share them, because, weather depending, it’s going to be a photo-worthy event!) I decided to treat myself to exactly the hat I wanted, which meant finding a skilled artist who could make it for me. Look how it turned out.
I love it. Here’s a photo that shows the pretty shape and fine details…
I chose a green linen fabric because I wanted a hat I can wear anytime that will always match my ring. The buttons are a nice touch.
To my surprise and delight, when it arrived, I discovered that the inside was lined with a thesaurus-themed fabric that contained entries for words like “memory,” “amusement,” and “inspire.” I spend half my life in the thesaurus, and these words are so appropriate for my intentions for this hat, and, just, LOVE.
Check out Wendy’s shop. She usually works in more neutral colors, so don’t worry if grass green isn’t your thing :). She also has hat patterns for sale, so if you’re interested in making your own hats, definitely take a look.
Of course, this reminds me of another incredible hat by another artist — the hat my mother knitted me, hiding my book titles inside — which you can see here. I’ll be wearing that hat soon too, on a grand snowy adventure, which I will blog about sometime in the coming days. Yes, I am cloaking the blog in mystery :o). But I promise, everything (at least, everything hat-related) will be revealed.
I’ve felt for a while that I want to blog more. I miss my blog! But regularly blogging about the current political / social / international / environmental / [insert crisis here] situation is a fast route to a mental health meltdown for me, in addition to which, I don’t see that I have anything useful to add. I’m working with these topics in my writing and in my daily life. This blog has always been my respite.
Yet I’m also somewhat uncomfortable with saying anything online that isn’t an acknowledgment of the state of our world today. It’s a dilemma.
I’ve decided to give myself permission to return to blogging and blog about relatively inconsequential things. Little things are important too, you know? Which is why today I’m going to share pictures from a recent day off :o).
I knew on Wednesday, when my book-in-progress seemed not just currently awful but certain to be permanently awful (in addition to never being completed, which would lead to my personal, social, professional, and financial ruin), that (1) I was not having logical thoughts and (2) I needed a day off. So yesterday, I went into Boston and saw RBG, the documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which incidentally, I highly recommend — it made me feel hopeful and full of energy! — and then I went walking along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Do you know about the Greenway carousel? It’s one of the odder carousels you’re likely to encounter, because every animal represented is an animal native to Massachusetts.
Here are some of my favorites.
Squirrel, bunny, some kind of butterfly.
Sea turtle and barn owl!
Most carousels do not have a grasshopper option :o). See the lobster behind it?
Skunk! Barn owl! And sorry I don’t know my butterflies.
Finally, here’s the RBG trailer to close :o). Go see it if you can! It will fill you with admiration and hope.
In some other universe somewhere, some other version of me blogs all the time. She blogs about the writing she’s doing every day, how hopeless it feels, where her motivation comes from, what’s hardest today, how she keeps her spirits up when the end feels so far away, what it’s like for those who support her emotionally and/or live with her :o). She blogs about the small adventures she’s having all the time, and what they mean to her. She blogs pictures of the crocuses poking through the endless snow. She blogs more about what it was like to write Jane, Unlimited, and how it feels that next fall is the tenth anniversary of Graceling. (Next fall is the tenth anniversary of Graceling, everyone! ^_^) She probably doesn’t blog much about current politics, because even Imaginary Kristin has her emotional limits…. But. She blogs a Whole Lot More.
I have some adventures coming up in 2018 that I will definitely be blogging about. 100%. But not today. Today, once again, I’m going to fling a single picture at you, then get back to the book I am trying so hard to get out of my head and onto paper. It (the book) contains all the things I’m not blogging about. Adventures and what they mean; hopelessness and how to keep pushing on; love and what matters; politics, and how to fight back against selfishness and cruelty. All with a fun plot, one hopes. ?? Sigh. *flops*
Anyway, the picture. It’s the newJane, Unlimitedcover, for the paperback version, which releases July 10! I think it’s possible to preorder behind this link (click on “Paperback”), though a lot of those vendors might not have the new cover on display yet. It’s very, very new. I hope you love it. I love my hardcover cover and I love this one too; they’re both unique, and they both feel right to me. (And it’s such a difficult book to encapsulate in a cover!) Thank you so much to the team at Penguin who put this together.
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.
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 disowned by her family, was living in scandal with a married man, and had lost her baby daughter just days after her birth. Mary poured her grief, pain, and passion into the powerful book still revered two hundred years later, and in Mary’s Monster, author/illustrator Lita Judge has poured her own passion into a gorgeous book that pays tribute to the life of this incredible author.”
I copied that blurb from the book description online, but in fact, I had the good fortune to see an early draft of this book. It is utterly, stunningly beautiful. It is sad, dark, scary, and glorious. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy.
The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert
“Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: ‘Stay away from the Hazel Wood.’
“Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.”
I’m rereading this book right now, in preparation for our Thursday event, and I keep reading lines out loud to Kevin because they delight me so much. This book is smart, thought-provoking, beautifully written, and also a great story. Please come help me celebrate Melissa Albert’s debut on Thursday at the Brookline Booksmith!