PRIME DIRECTIVE

August 4th, 2005

First and foremost, thanks to everyone out there who bought a copy of READY OR NOT, and made it the #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING CHILDREN'S CHAPTER BOOK of the week!!!!! This is very, very cool.

YAY!

(Don't worry, Harry Potter 6 is still #1, over on the Children's Series list. READY OR NOT isn't part of a series. It's a sequel.)

The following, however, is not so very cool. It is, in fact, the opposite of cool. But someone has to say it, and I guess I'm the one who is going to do it first:

What is wrong with Keira Knightley's hair in the new remake of “Pride and Prejudice”?

Because–in the trailer, at least–she looks like an orphan who's just escaped from a Broadway production of “Annie.”

Now, I am the last person to rag on someone about their hair, having been told by my mother approximately 9,000,000,000,000 times to “get your hair out of your eyes.”

But Keira: Come on. Get your hair out of your eyes.

And I understand that back in those days, they didn't have mousse or anything. But they still had curlers. You can see that in the ballroom scenes, they've made an effort to make her look somewhat19th century.

But in the rest of the scenes, she looks like something out of an indie film written by Charlie Kaufman. All she needs is a blue streak and she could be Kate Winslet from “Eternal Sunshine” (which, by the way, if you dated someone like that character Kate Winslet played in that movie, wouldn't you be glad to get rid of her? I'm sorry, but breaking into someone's summer house? Were we really supposed to think that was charming and whimsical? That is not charming or whimsical, it's breaking and entering, and it's really rude. I bet those people loved their summer house and felt violated and horrified when they found out someone had broken into it. Jim Carey was right to have run like the wind).

Also, seriously—was there a need to remake “Pride and Prejudice” that I didn't know about? Wasn't the Colin Firth version—the definitive “Pride and Prejudice”, in my opinion—good enough? Can we not watch that on DVD over and over again, especially the part where he jumps into the pond and then comes out of it all wet and panting? Oh, and the part where he's in the bathtub? Not that I do that. Especially not since I moved and my DVD player is not hooked up yet.

Why, hello, Mr. Darcy!

(I couldn't find one where he was wet, sorry.)

Anyway, I'm sure the new version will be delightful. But seriously, movie studios, listen up: If you're looking for a book to make into a movie, why not a book that HASN'T ALREADY BEEN MADE INTO A MOVIE? How about “THE SECRET DIARIES OF ADRIAN MOLE”? I'd pay money to see that. Or what about Mary Stewart's “NINE COACHES WAITING”? Or Anne McCaffery's “DRAGONSINGER”? I'd so be there.

Anyway, in other news, I guess I get to go to the White House after all. I mean, they can't really cancel it now that the press release is out, can they?

Better yet, I get to hang out with my pal RL Stine while I'm there! I first met Bob when we both had to judge a contest where kids took turns reading out loud, and we had to pick who'd done the best job. Bob and I both picked this one kid, and all the other judges picked this other kid. Their kid won by majority vote, but during the awards ceremony, Bob kept going, “OUR KID WAS ROBBED.” I almost died trying not to laugh. We have been friends ever since.

So anyway, hanging with Bob at the White House should be interesting.

A lot of people have been asking what I think about Michael winning HELL'S KITCHEN. Well, I have not been a fan of Michael since the infamous meat-hiding incident, so I wasn't pleased. But I was more displeased by the fact that he didn't even get a restaurant in the end!

Don't even talk to me about what happened on SIX FEET UNDER, either, since I'm totally not watching that show anymore. I was SHOCKED. All that angst…and for what? It just goes to show, you have to live each moment to the fullest.

And after watching the most recent episode of Anthony Bourdain's NO RESERVATIONS, I'm not so sure about going to Iceland, either. It is true they have a 100 percent literacy rate. But no way am I eating marinated putrefied shark. Like I said—you have to live each moment to the fullest.

As far as the mail goes, people keep writing to ask when I am going to write a book with teen superheroes or vampires in it. Here is the answer: Never.

Why? Because there are already so many authors writing brilliant superhero and vampire stories, there is no need to add mine to the mix. Besides which, I don't have any superhero or vampire stories to tell. Except that when I was a kid I loved this series called CLIFFHANGERS, which featured a Dracula storyline starring Michael Nouri. I cried when that show got cancelled, and not just because I had finally gotten my mother to let me stay up late enough to watch it.

Speaking of letting me stay up to watch stuff, I remember when I first heard the promo for DUKES OF HAZARD, the TV show, when I was a kid. I FLIPPED OUT, because I thought it was going to be about actual dukes. In medieval England. Having adventures. Like Robin Hood.

So I begged and begged to be allowed to watch it (my parents were very strict about what we were allowed to watch, even though we only had four channels, because they wanted to be sure we watched stuff that wasn't degrading to minorities or women). And finally they relented. And so I sat down, SO EXCITED, that fateful Friday night to watch it, and it came on.

And it was about hillbillies.

I nearly died from the disappointment. No sword fights. No princesses. No nothing. But cars.

Although I did like Daisy because she had her own Jeep and was quite sassy. I assured my parents she was a good female role model, even though she wasn't a princess.

Anyway, I guess I'm just trying to explain why, even though I don't want to, I'm going to have to go see the new DUKES OF HAZARD movie. Because it looks just dopey enough to be good. In a bad way. If you know what I mean.

A movie I just saw that was good in a good way was TREKKIES 2. It was so good it made me cry. Okay? A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO BELONG TO STAR TREK FAN CLUBS MADE ME CRY.

Want to know why? Because Trekkies believe in giving back to the community—are required to do so, as a matter of fact, as part of their membership–and are known for their generosity and volunteer work. If, for instance, a Trekkie lives next door to you, and your kid gets cancer, that Trekkie will raise money to help pay for your kid's medicine. Oh my God, that just kills me. Trekkies are so cool.

Even if they do often have weird hair (but not as weird as Keira Knightley's in the new “Pride and Prejudice”).

Anyway, in publicity news, don't forget to pick up a copy of the August/September issue of Justine magazine, in which I'm interviewed.

And now I would like to close with this:

As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the healthy development of alien life and culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other
considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.

Got it? Good.

Now make it so.

More later.

Much love,

Meg