My city was there Tuesday, Nov 27 2007 

…with apologies to the Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone,” of course. But I went out this past weekend, and my city, Detroit, was there: at the DIA‘s grand re-opening, surging through the crowd; at Eastern Market, buying brussels sprouts and grabbing a coffee (hi, John!); and just generally hanging out, being what it is: diverse, potholed, sexy, imperfect. You know, like life.

Not to be all Chamber of Commerce and booster-y, but sometimes I get just the eensiest bit tired of people looking cross-eyed at my hometown. We are 300-plus years old. When you’re 300, you’ll have a few wrinkles too. In the meantime, shop here, read this, and drink this out of this. See you downtown.

I’m blushing… Tuesday, Nov 20 2007 

. . .at the wonderful review Kissing the Bee received from School Library Journal, that reads in part:

“Koja takes the typical teen love triangle and spins it into a layered, intricate, emotional read. This story is thick like honey, humming with beautiful imagery and dialogue. . . .Kissing the Bee is a short but rich psychological exploration of the intense complexities of friendship and love in a teen world. A definite choice for reluctant readers looking for something with a more creative, ’emo’ slant.”

Wow.

They say you only remember the bad reviews, but this one will stay with me for awhile. Thank you, SLJ.

Adult fiction, part three Wednesday, Nov 14 2007 

XTerminal on LiveJournal, after giving Kissing the Bee a ravishing review, went on to say this:

I was sad when I found out that Kathe Koja would no longer be writing adult novels, but she has certainly translated her talent wholesale into the young adult arena.

Now I’m sad. Not, of course, about the lovely praise for the book, but about the seemingly pervasive notion that I’ve totally given up writing for adults. This isn’t true, everybody. Every morning, at nine AM or thereabouts, I am at my desk, writing a new novel. For adults.

In fact, I’m about to start a brand-new blog all about the experience of writing this book, the subject, the research, the tremendous fun I’m having. . . .Much of it is purely extra-fictional — information and lore, odd facets and historical facts — things I’ve loved to learn but don’t want to forcibly shoehorn in and disrupt the story. Hence, the blog-to-be.

Until then, think of me at nine AM, writing away.

Glitteriffic Wednesday, Nov 14 2007 

Our quote for today comes from the late lamented Gram Parsons, via a new bio sent to me by a friend:

“Just because we wear sequined suits doesn’t mean we think we’re great, it means we think sequins are great.”

Sequins are great. Thank you, Gram.

XXX library? Monday, Nov 12 2007 

Check it out: a tale of forbidden love and, uh, library usage.

Though really, it isn’t all that funny. I can understand a parent’s wish to . . .

. . . you know, actually, I never could understand how frantically attempting to censor the world around her/him was supposed to protect a kid, any kid. What happens when s/he grows up at last and leaves the family bubble? Imagine meeting the world, with all its glory, sleaze, terror, grief, and just plain strangeness, head-on, and you all unskinned and blinking from your bell jar? How much more unprotected can you be?

LIke watching paint dry? Tuesday, Nov 6 2007 

Here is why no movie ever made (except possibly parts of Barton Fink, and correct me if I’m wrong) (seriously, I’d love to be wrong on this one) – ever gets the creative process right: Stephin Merritt in studio, and Bob Boilen pointing out how, um, static it all looks from the outside. Nothing against Boilen, who is usually pretty awesome, but – what did you expect? Fireworks? A magnificently furrowed brow? Musical notes floating in the air above his head?

It’s, yes, boring to look at. Musicians, artists – anybody creative – there is nothing more boring than watching someone write. Especially now that we don’t crumple up that sheet of typing paper anymore.

Maybe this bothered me more because I really really like Stephin Merritt’s work. Anyone who can write “The Meaning of Lice” can watch paint dry with me anytime.

Once upon a time. . . Saturday, Nov 3 2007 

. . .in Birmingham, Mich., the StoryTellers Guild, supported by the awesome BookBeat book store, hosted an event where you could shop and buy books, have them signed — by me, and Tracy Gallup, and Wong Herbert Yee,
and many other writers — and have some lovely refreshments while you do all this. This is the first year they’ve included YA lit in the event, so I’m very pleased to be the inaugural YA author (and will behave accordingly: correct spelling, no hoarding macaroons under the table, etc.).

So live the fairytale: Tuesday, Nov. 13th, from 4:00 -7:00 PM, at the Community House in Birmingham.

Trick or treat, love a dog! Thursday, Nov 1 2007 

Up and down the halls of Dykema Gossett we MHS folks trick-or-treated for donations, while parading (and it was a parade) three dogs and two puppies who were so incredibly sweet the Halloween candy got jealous. The canines received tons of lovin’ — two were adopted! — and the donations were generous. And it was a gloriously beautiful day downtown, sunlight sparkling on the river, a sweet breeze. . .I treated myself to lunch afterwards at Cafe 1923 where, if you have not yet been, you should go. Their house blend is not only delicious but restorative. And the witty Halloween touches didn’t hurt, either.