Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tidbits and Interestings #2

This is a miniature Tidbit and Interestings, so it could also be called a Midbit and Semi-Boring, but!

Current thing I need to tell people 'bout - I've got an event at a book festival in Köniz on September 6th,  2015, and we only have an hour but apparently there will be a panel of kid readers and an actor and I will also be playing THE ORGAN. So. . . that should be wildly interesting. From what I've gathered, the book festival takes place in a cathedral and the organizers heard that I play the organ and were no doubt like:

"Hmm. Stefan + Organ. That can't go too wrong, can it?"
(A: it can)
Also, on the subject of appearances, this will most likely be my last appearance in relation to The Peculiar and The Whatnot everrrrrr! I have lots of feelings about that. :) Basically, to summarize those feelings, I adored the entire crazy experience of these past three years and am ready to move on. Barring a whiny phase in 2014 where I was tired and busy and stressed out of my mind, I'm super grateful for every single one of the awesome readers I got to meet, and the places I saw, and the many terrifying and interesting experiences that were had. I've slowly come to realize that the things I got to do for my first published books are definitely not what everyone gets to do for their first published books, and so I count myself very fortunate. At the same time, those three years seem like decaaaaaaaaaaades to me, and I think people change a lot between 19 and 22, and honestly I feel really far removed from my faery books. In 5 months A Drop of Night comes out. It's pretty much a 180 from anything I've written before, AKA I WILL BE SHIVERING IN A CORNER WHEN IT RELEASES, but at least it's a new thing and I'm ready for new things.

All that to say, if you want to see me talking about faeries one last time and maybe hear me play something grand and gothic on a pipe organ, come see meeeeee! We will send these books off in style.

Current favorite music - Schumann Lieder. The way he reflects the lyrics in his music is genius. I thought this song was ugly for a while and then we analyzed it in class and now I'm obsessed.

Reign of Fire soundtrack by Edward Shearmur. The movie is not nearly as good as movie about a post-apocalyptic world overrun by fire-breathing dragons *should* be, but the score is dark and harsh and interesting and I like it.

Current Cool Thing - I have a story out in a scary anthology! From Penguin/Random House! My story is called 'M' and features a blind girl who unwittingly stumbles across a murder as its taking place in a grand country house in turn-of-the-century England, whereupon she decides to discover the killer's identity and catch him before he catches her.

Thazzit. Bye. :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Serbia Adventures

Serbia! I went. It was great. And different. Let me tell you about it.

Things I didn't know about Serbia, and you maybe didn't either:

- The food is delicious. And cheap. And good quality. And what's better than delicious cheap food of good quality, NOTHING, I tell you.

Ok, this doesn't look delicious at all. But it's a massive amalgamation of deep fried dough and bacon and cheese, so. . .

- The people are super nice. Whenever they talk on the phone they sound like they want to kill the person on the other end, but actually that's their friendly voice.

In all seriousness, though, everyone I met was lovely. It's almost like they're a bit worried whether they'll make a good impression and be hospitable enough, especially if you're American. Which. . .  interesting. I know very little about Serbia or its history, and I heard maaaaaaaany different opinions on the NATO's bombings of Serbia and the Kosovo secession and other divisive topics from the locals. But regardless of what happened, they don't have many reasons to like America, and I still did not meet a single unkind person on this trip.

David, in the middle, was our tour guide extraordinaire. The guy on the right is Aleksander, and the one in the beanie is MEH, and we are standing on the castle hill in Belgrade.
- Novi Sad is nicer than Begrade. I thought. When we first drove into the city, there were Roma bicycling along with vast quantities of cardboard, and there was also lots of trash, and flea-markets, and shanty towns, but then we got to this part:

It's so pyootiful.

- Apparently the name "Stefan" is a very popular name in Serbia, which made me all like:

- People get married wearing crowns! We stumbled across this wedding while visiting the big cathedral in Belgrade. I was like, "Ooooh, a royal wedding!"

Royalty, in the process of being wedded.
But nay, good friend. Everyone is a king and queen on their wedding day. Or something. David explained it to me. He also said that Serbian weddings involve walking in circles and drinking wine from a ceremonial goblet. They can also last up to six hours. Ah wud dah.

- Speaking of royalty: Serbia does have a king. He lives in Chicago.

- Have you ever wondered how a brogue looks when cut neatly in half? No? Well, now you don't even have to not-wonder anymore:

Ta-da! Extra breathable.
- There are bombed-out buildings. Here's a bombed radio tower we went to see.

- Serbians lurrrrrv Russia. David asked me what I thought of Putin and I may have expressed some slight distaste toward him, which seemed to confuse David a lot. Oops.

- Police will sometimes pick up foreign-plated cars with A CRANE and SPIRIT THEM AWAY, because foreigners can be charged heftier fines. Our car narrowly escaped this fate thanks to some dramatic gesticulating and 20 euros.

David being like, "No, no, we were just next door, PUH-LEASE, PUT DOWN OUR CAR, AND WE SHALL DIMINISH AND GO INTO THE WEST!"
- We found an abandoned railroad track and followed it for no reason. After a while we were told that the track was not abandoned and a train was coming. We fled.

Blue suede shoooooes, cat, dog, something-something, don't step on them. . .

David Quotes

I was standing in the middle of the street, like the dumb tourist I was, about to be run over by a tractor, and David was like: "HEY, MOVE!" And then very quietly and politely: "Please."

Upon passing a cop along the side of the road, driving well over 20 kilometers above the speed limit: "On Fridays, police are sleeping probably."

So that was that! I hope everyone is having a maaaaaahvelous last bit of summer.

Bye. :)