Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wisconsin, Demigods, and Parties in the YA Mansion

Manhattan Parties and the YA Mansion

When I started this whole writing thing, no one told me about the cool parties. My image of being a writer involved a quiet room with lots of books, a computer, paper and pens, and a secret stash of chocolate-covered raisins. Or perhaps a rat-infested garret with me chewing on a notebook while I scrawl bad poetry on the walls. I didn't expect the YA Mansion. You see, as Maureen Johnson recently explained, despite all the "facts" to the contrary, it turns out that all YA writers live together in a big mansion in NYC. This was supposed to be a big secret, but now that Maureen has spilled the beans, I guess it'
s okay for me to talk about it. Word of the YA Mansion is spreading fast. It's already inspired a new YA review site called

Since I'm not exactly a big name, my room in the YA Mansion is a bit like the aforementioned garret, except that it's at the top of a doorless tower (which means I have to climb down my hair every time I want to get out -- a tricky feat for someone as uncoordinated as I am). Also, my garret doesn't have rats. Instead, it's infested with marmots. Luckily, I like marmots. I also really like the other residents of the YA Mansion, though Scott Westerfeld won't let the marmots play on the hoverboards. It's a littl
e known fact that marmots love hoverboards.

Give me my hoverboard!

But I was about to tell you about the parties...

On Monday night, I attended Kidlit Drinks Night, an every-few-months-or-so event hosted by the fabulous Betsy Bird of Fuse 8 fame and the fabulous Cheryl Klein from Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic. I learned that librarians compete in contests that are like synchronized swimming. But without water. And with shelving carts. I am filled with jealousy that I haven't seen such a thing. I also learned that I am WAY behind in my reading. Librarians have read everything by everyone. I do not exaggerate. You know that book
of children's poems written by the last guy to live in my marmot-infested garret? Me neither, but these awesome people have read it and critiqued it.

On Tuesday night, I joined several YA Mansion residents for the book release party for Suite Scarlett by the fabulous Maureen Johnson (which, by the way, is an excellent book -- I read it on the train ride home and loved every single character). The soiree was attended by lots and lots of super-awesome people, and I had SUCH a great time. Maureen (in addition to being made of awesome) throws a great party. I had lovely conversations with amazing people like Diana Peterfreund and David Levithan and Libba Bray, just to name-drop a few.

Libba Bray and Me-Very-Excited-To-Be-Sitting-Next-To-Libba-Bray

Libba also lives in the YA Mansion (in a much nicer room) and has been known to juggle hard-boiled eggs on occasion. Okay, I totally made that up. She actually juggles scrambled eggs, which is way more impressive.

Demigods and Monsters Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Demigods and Monsters contest! You guys are awesome and so are your deities! (For those of you just tuning in... I have an essay in the just-released Teen Libris anthology Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and I'm giving away a couple copies. The challenge was to invent a new Greek god or goddess.) Here is the full pantheon of all the entries:

Agoraphobionicus - god of telephone booths, RV shower stalls and one-room apartments

Apathea - the goddess of indecision

Bubbalemus - the god of all things redneck

Cafarticus - the god of finding relief through flatulation

Curlenia - goddess of hair rollers and ice games played with brooms

Dewidiphia - the goddess of placing dewdrops on flowers

Euphoricups - the goddess of laughing so hard you get the hiccups

Gaggliospoona - goddess of the Valley of Epithets and Keeper of the Holy Navel Ring

Gandalphion - god of talking trees, giant spiders and teeny tiny people with hairy feet

Googleus - god of Google

Hazardius - god of Left Turn Lanes and Those Who Run With Scissors

Neuresia - the goddess of worrying she’ll forget everything

Pediosthene - goddess of comfortable shoes

Sushiana and Quichandra - twin goddesses of trendy foods

Uppchuckionus - first cousin to the twin goddesses and god of bicarbonate of soda

Verbosa - the god of talking too much

Wikipedthea - goddess of Wiki

And the winner is... Apathea, the goddess of indecision, created by Meagan! (Meagan, please email me your address, and I'll send you your copy of Demigods and Monsters.)

And the winner of the random drawing is... Enna Isilee! (You win a copy of Demigods and Monsters too!)

Wiscon 2008

On Friday morning (and by "morning", I mean so ridiculously early that breakfast will actually be dinner the night before), I'm hopping on a plane to Madison, Wisconsin, for Wiscon, the World's Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention.

I've never been to Wiscon before, but I kept hearing such good things about it that I started to feel left out. And when I feel left out, I tend to sigh a lot, eat chocolate, and watch marathons of American Idol Rewind... Okay, those last two are fun, but the sighing was irritating my cat so I decided to go this year (even though it means spending half my birthday at the airport). Here's my schedule:

Reading - Fri May 23, 4pm - Elizabeth Bunce, Cecil Castellucci, Sarah Beth Durst, Heather Tomlinson, Tiffany Trent - "Glass Slippers Come off! 5 New YA Writers"

Panel - Sat May 24, 1-2:15pm - Sarah Beth Durst, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Sharyn November, Tamora Pierce - "The Curious Boundaries of YA Fantasy"

Panel - Sat May 24, 2:30-3:45pm - Alma Alexander, Elizabeth Bunce, Sarah Beth Durst, Heather Tomlinson, Tiffany Trent - "Fairy Tales for a New Generation of Girls"

Panel - Sun May 25, 2:30-3:45pm - Cecil Castellucci, Sarah Beth Durst, Sigrid Ellis, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Heather Tomlinson - "Transformation, Ready or Not"

Mass Autographing - Mon May 26, 11am-12:45pm

Hope to see you there!

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At 8:38 AM, Blogger Amy Sisson said...

I can't believe you didn't know about the shelving cart/drill team competitions! (Sadly, people will probably think you're making that part up.) If I had known that you were living your life in such a state of sad ignorance, I would have performed my one-librarian version for you at the Nebulas. Although it would have been hard to squeeze that in, because I spent most of the Nebulas weekend in my hotel room reading everything ever published in the YA field. That person hanging out in the hospitality suite that looked like me is really my twin sister. She's not a librarian, so I don't like to publicly acknowledge her.

Re: Wiscon, I'm envious that you get to be on a panel with Cecil Castellucci. I loved her Boy Proof.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Amy: I would have loved to have seen the one-librarian version! Next time. Definitely next time.

Cecil is fabulous. I think the panel will be really fun. I'm looking forward to it. I'll do a trip report after I get back with all the details...

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Faith said...

That sounds so fun!! And tell Tiffany that I loved the newest book. :)

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the linkage! (Send me books, yes? Or have your publicist do so. I definitely want to read the collected works of Sarah Beth Durst.)

Much love,

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Q said...

Wow, Enna Isilee, you're sweeping.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

But, but ... how am I supposed to live in the YA mansion and in my cabin and Camp Middle Grade at the same time, huh?

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Faith: It was very fun. I just bought Tiffany's new book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Brina: Thank you for the great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed Into the Wild.

Q: She should buy some lottery tickets or something...

Janni: Summers at Camp Middle Grade and winters at the YA Mansion?

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brim over I assent to but I about the brief should prepare more info then it has.


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