Saturday, August 9, 2014

Appearances - Fall/Winter 2014


Summer vacation, WHY YOU GO SO QUICKLY? 

I'm frantically writing and will probably be super busy for the next two weeks, so here's this before I forget:

On September 24th, the German edition of The Whatnot goes out into the world in its sharp blue suit, and I'll be doing stuff like going to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which should be exciting because it's apparently massive and I have not been to Frankfurt in ages. I'll be reading and jabbering and trying not to fail at speaking the German language so if any of these appearances are in the vicinity of you and you want to come I'd love to meet you! :)

Here are the ones I have so far. I'll try to keep it updated:
In other news, The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief and Sinister is getting many lovely reviews, so thank you so, so much, reviewers. It now has two starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, and very kind reviews from Booklist, Shelf Awareness, and Horn Book Review.

And so that this blog post isn't completely tiresome, here's some MUZAK.

Current writing soundtrack:


It goes well with all the desperate running and screaming I'm writing about.

Current song that's being played too often on my iPod:


It goes well with that person who was done in by wingéd seraphs and put in a sepulcher by the sea.

(Also, it makes me think someone should write an Edgar Allan Poe opera. How cool would that be? Very cool.)

Bye! :) 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dubai

Ughhhhh.

Ugh, I tell you.
So, because I'm actually dumb, I overwrote most of my Tokyo pictures, and now there will probably be no Tokyo Food post and no Tokyo Gardens post and no Weird-Tokyo-Shop-Names post (which there was totally going to be.)

SO THAT'S TERRIBLE.

I'll probably do one more Tokyo post with my mom's pictures, but right now I'm busy trying to revise a book and not forget what music is before university starts again, so here's a Dubai post in the meantime.

They're like those little emergency balloons from The Hunger Games, drifting down to SAVE the desperate, weary shoppers.
I did not love Dubai. I'm not sure that's entirely Dubai's fault, but it's at least partially Dubai's fault, and I feel like the problem with traveling to other big cities after Tokyo is that they seem dull and quiet in comparison.

Dubai: quiet. Also, dull.

Seattle: small.

San Francisco: Ok, but not Tokyo. . .

And obviously that's super unfair, especially to Dubai, because a) it was Ramadan and everything was closed all day, and b) one can't walk outside or one will die of heat. So I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that if you are there when it's cooler and things are open it's no doubt a RIOT.

But when I was there it was mildly creepy and fake and empty.

A deserted, air-conditioned street at Mall of the Emirates.
I liked it at first. I got off the plane, wandered through the snazzy airport, had a mini heart-attack at customs (I mean, if Canadians have qualms about letting me visit their country I don't even want to think about what middle eastern opinions are of Americans), passed through without incident (I would have arrested me on the sheer amount of nervousness on display, but they were busy upending an Australian lady's make-up kit, so BYE), saw this from the taxi car:

This picture is from my hotel room balcony, but I saw it from the car too. Was super impressed. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world at over 800 meters.
The architecture in the city center is amazing. The Burj Khalifa is tall. All the aquariums and malls and fountains are cool to see for about three seconds. And then you get the feeling there's not much beyond any of that. The city is allllll calculated glitz, and I KNOW, CAT AND BRIONY, you warned me of this, but I was sure it would be cool since it's a new culture.

I felt like they toned down their own culture a lot in favor of calculated glitz, though. Tokyo is quite sleek, too, in places, but it's also very Japanese. Skyscrapers are interspersed with random tiny wooden houses and grimy railroad underpass restaurants and bright red shrines, and you have the feeling there's tons of layers and tons of history under all the glass and sparkle. In Dubai not so much.

This was a large indoor ski-slope at Mall of the Emirates. Shop till you DROP OFF A SNOWY CLIFF.

The feeling I got from wandering around was that some kid was like, "SIM CITY TIME" in the middle of the desert and a few years later there was Dubai.

The SOUK.
In case it seems like I'm being super harsh and whiny, there are things I DID like. I found a Reese's store for one:

Rees'esssss! :D
I also found my books at the Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall, and the saleslady was like "NO PICTURES" but you can see below how wickedly wayward I was. Also, thank you, HC, for having such an awesome international sales division!!


The plan was to sneakily turn them face-out if I found them, but they already werrrrrre. I was happy.
AUTHENTIC ARCHITECTURE, maybe, I think, I don't know.
The service was excelent, but the speling needs wrk.
Massive candy store.
This was a poster on the wall of the massive candy store, and is an accurate representation of what my brain is thinking when visiting massive candy stores.
Gallon-sized strawberry syrup bottles 
So many nerds.
Dat waterfall, though.
Room service. The chicken burger was a little bit icky, but those onion rings were pretty much deep-fried, coronary-thrombosis-inducing bits of amazing.
Huge aquarium. It had stingrays and sharks in it.
And a massive guppy fish that looks like it's plotting something against the lady at the desk.
After Dubai I flew to Seattle on a super-super-long-haul flight, then to San Francisco, got in a Taxi, drove on the freeway, saw this fellow dancing on a bridge while holding a red cardboard heart:

There are worse things to do with one's life than dancing on bridges while holding red cardboard hearts.
So that was Dubai! I'll do a short San Francisco post next. Hope everyone's having a good summer!

Bye. :)