Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Firebird

"I think there's room on everyone's schedule for pure, unadulterated stupidity."

—MTV president Van Toffler

Not sure what this is referring to exactly, but it made me lol so there you have it! :) With that in mind, does everyone have time for pure, unadulterated GORGEOUS ANIMATION??? Good.

This video is sew purty, I want to take screenshots of every second frame and paste them over my spectacles or something. It's almost ten minutes long though, so if thousand-foot-high fiery monsters bore you then... umm... Well, I don't know how to help you.

Stravinsky's The Firebird with Disney animation:




Wasn't it purty? Huh, wasn't it?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh. Mah. Goodness.

Look at this...

From Deal Lunch, October 28, 2011
Fiction: Middle Grade


18-year-old classical musician currently studying at the Zurich Conservatory Stefan Bachmann's debut THE PECULIAR, about a changeling who suddenly finds himself at the center of a web of intrigue and danger when he is stalked by a sinister faery, to Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow, in a major deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2012, by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency (World). Film: Kassie Evashevski at United Talent Agency














Auction. Major deal. Film agent. Woah. O_O

For my dear friends who don't know what an auction is, or what a major deal is, or what the helicopter green willows have to do with anything, let me explain.

Greenwillow is an imprint of HarperCollins. I don't know what an imprint is either, but I suspect it's a specialized sub-section of a larger publishing house. And HarperCollins is a large publishing house. Ginormous, in fact. I feel very fortunate.

The auction part means that more than one publisher wanted to publish my book (!), and the "major deal" part means they duked it out for a ridiculous amount of money.

An author by the name of Jay Kristoff wrote all about what auctions are and aren't over heaaah, far more engagingly than I could have, so check that out if you want the detailed version. (He's rather foul-mouthed though, so be warned.)

And that's that! Now the work starts.

I will admit I would have described the book a bit differently than the way Deal Lunch did. Namely that it's steampunk/gothic/faery/alternate-history murder mystery. Because stalking is not really a hooky sort of plot element for Middle Grade. Also, I'm not sure being a classical musician at the Zürich Conservatory is a bragging point, but whatever. Too happy to keeeeeeer! :D

Annnd too tired to write any more today. I have a recorder concert tomorrow for which I'm ill-prepared. You see, my teachers couldn't care less if I'm a someday-going-to-be-published writer. If I mess up on those last five measures of thirty-second notes, it is OVER.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

They'remakingamovieofthesaddestbookofalltimeandthatmakesmehappy!


Universal Pictures is making a movie version of Dr Suess's "The Lorax"! This is mostly awesome because it's DR SUESS (who for all practical purposes is the definition of awesome), but also because I remember it being the saddest, saddest book I had ever, ever read. When I was six. I haven't read it since, as it has unfortunately gotten lost amongst the vast amounts of other books in our house, but it definitely had a lasting impact. It's kinda like "The Giving Tree", but less confuzzling and more traumatizing.

Of course, at the time I was blissfully unaware that it was a cautionary fable on responsible usage of the earth and her resources. All I knew is that some bratty fellow cut down all the trees and the countryside looked ugly afterwards.

*twitches* I still don't like it when people cut down trees.

The only other thing I remember is that it had a framing story, which, in retrospect, the good doctor did brilliantly well. If you haven't read it, there's this shadowy figure telling a story about a factory to a kid, and the world all around is dark and ruined, and it gives the story he's telling this super-tragic inevitability. Or something. At least that's how I remember it.

But back to the movie. The description on Wikipedia doesn't look overly promising. I don't remember the book featuring an "idealistic young boy, who tries to find the one thing that will win him affection of the girl of his dreams." Also, Dr Suess adaptations have been a mixed bag IMHO, ranging from slightly rubbishy (The Grinch) to inexcusably rubbishy (The Cat in the Hat) to lovely (Horton Hears a Who). This one is by the makers of Despicable Me which was ok, but has subsequently driven me insane since my little brother got it on DVD.

Ah, well. I'll definitely be watching this one when it comes out next year, but not before I've searched out the book and re-read it. It won't be the same as when I was six, but it'll still be saaad! Those loverly, loverly trees...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oopdate

Ohhhh dear, I've been frightfully bad at keeping this blog updated. No doubt everyone has given up clicking on it, having found out that I'm quite as dull and uninteresting as my bio suggests.

I warned ya! :)

If you haven't given up, this is me handing you a cookie and typing out a quick post about what's going on.

Numbah 1: My book went on submission. To publishing houses. Much madness ensued. I reeeeeally want to say more, but I'm not allowed to.

2: I swanned off to my sister's house in the mountains for a few days. Started Book 2. Got some news that made me start hyperventilating and running around and jumping. My sister was no doubt entertaining the idea of a strait jacket.

And 3: All you thousands of... um, ten people who click on my blog every day? Thank youuuuuuuu! Makes me feel like I'm not talking to myself. Seven of those people I know. The other two are mystery clickers. From Australia. We should be friends.

S'all for now, but I should have a whole BUNCH of interesting news as soon as I'm given permission to divulge. It will involve terror and excitement and phone calls.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comfort Zones

Yesterday, on the train, I was accosted by a lank-haired aging rocker type who insisted on trying to convince me of the benefits of pot-smoking.

Yeah, my mind does not understand this either.

Now, I don't normally talk to random strangers. I don't normally talk to aging rockers either, especially not on trains where all the other random strangers can sit and listen to your random strangeness. But he started it.

Me: *scribbling frantically on theory homework*
Aging rocker: "Sooooooo! What instrument do you play?"
Me: (Nosy, much?) "Ummmm... piano?" (Because whenever I say organ or recorder, people become immensely befuddled.)
Aging rocker: "Oohhhhh, cool man! I used to be in a rock band!"
Me: (Eww, rock) "Cooahl. Do you play guitar?" (He looked like he played guitar. What can I say... Guitarrists just look like that.)
Aging rocker: "Nah, I carried things."
Me: "You- carried things."
Aging rocker: "Reeeeeeeeally important things. I was almost as famous as the musicians. Everyone knew me."
Me: "Oh. Well, how lovely for you."
Aging rocker: "Shyeaaah..."

And then he went on to tell me how smoking bans are destroying communication between humans, and how some hippie concert a thousand years ago was really swell. Or something.

At first I was kind of annoyed. I had homework to do. He was a lank-haired aging rocker type. These things annoy me. However! I made a conscious effort to be nice. Step out of my comfort zone and all that.

Broaden your horizons, boah, broaden your horizons. You won't always be surrounded by spoiled-brat music students with good vocabulary, vast trust funds, and socialist ideals.

So I did! And we talked. And at the end of the line, when the train pulled into Zürich, we wished each other a good day and wandered off into our very different little lives. I don't think I'll be taking up pot-smoking any time soon. I don't think I'll become a cigarette lobbyist, go to hippie concerts, or do stake-outs on sidewalks with my camp chair with my herd of mournful, malnourished dogs. But I in the end I was happy to have talked to him. I learned all sorts of interesting things. I learned that aging rocker types are rather sad, lonely little people with nothing to do but look back on their glorious youth. I learned that they have yet to discover the use of shampoo. And I learned that they carry packets of illegal substances on them like regular people carry wallets or phones or keys.

So how's that for massive snarky generalisation. Really though, I might do it again. Talk to druggy, disheveled strangers. And even if I don't, I now feel totally qualified to write a lengthy tragedy about aging rockers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhh...

So remember when I said I would die if one of the two agents offered representation?

*drum roll* *drum rolls some more* *Ba-DUM*

I died.

Both agents offered.

I kid you not. Within days of each other.

And as of today, I am officially signed with the mahvelous Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary, LCC.

Here's my reaction to reading that first email saying she loved my book:

Stefan's head starts to buzz. Stefan reads email again. Stefan walks up and down hallway a few times. Stefan reads a email again. Stefan runs down stairs and jabbers incoherently at his brother and his brother's girlfriend and his other brother and his Mom. Stefan runs upstairs and reads email AGAIN. Stefan lies on bed and stares at ceiling for like... an hour.

Stefan was verrrry happy that weekend.

On the musical side of things, I'm in the final round for a job as organist in the town across the hill. The people there are ridiculously nice. Like, unreal nice. Like Stepford-alien-robot nice. As was brother Florian, who zoomed over on his motorcycle and picked me up after I missed my bus. :)

Yeah. Was a good week.