Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

May 27th, 2008

There’s nothing like a relaxing “staycation” (which is how I spent my holiday weekend) now and then. You don’t have to pack or unpack, spend money on gas, wait in long lines at the airport, and you get to catch up on doing things like laundry while simultaneously going to see Indiana Jones, and getting hooked on Andromeda Strain (one of my favorite books when I was a tween. I must have checked it out of the library at least 20 times) on A&E (part two airs tonight, at the same time as the lost footage of The Real Housewives of NYC on Bravo! I am in a quandary).

But while I was relaxing and learning about crystal skulls and space viruses, the people at my publishing house were busy working on the cover for Being Nikki, the sequel to Airhead (which will be out at this time next year)!

(There’s nothing that makes a writer feel happier than having her publishing house working on the cover of a book she hasn’t finished writing yet. HA HA HA!)

The same cover model who played Nikki on the first book will play her on the next book…Ellie C., who is a seventeen-year-old part-time Ford model, and full time high school student and lacrosse captain (besides being super smart, Ellie is also super funny and sweet).

Check out these “out takes” from the shoot for Being Nikki:

Ellie (as Nikki) getting out of the limo….

Look how cute! The miniature poodle who plays Nikki’s puffball Cosabella!

And here’s Ellie with the puffball!

I totally can’t wait to see what the finished product is going to look like!

Here’s a very nice review of Airhead on the awesome site, YA Fresh (where they were also giving away T-shirts this weekend…I’m sorry if you missed it…I love this site and could seriously get lost on it for hours)!

But don’t worry…over at the fun new teen site Lolasland they’re giving away 15 copies of the gorgeous UK version of Tommy Sullivan is a Freak (that’s Pants on Fire to those of us here in the US), which Lola reviews here (thanks Lola)! Don’t miss out!

I read some fantastic books while lounging around taking breaks between working on Being Nikki this weekend. Right now I am on an essay collection kick. The two collections I read could not be more different, and yet I found them equally enjoyable and both laugh-out-loud funny.

The first was Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea (Judy Blume, I’m sorry she stole your title. But that IS pretty funny).

Chelsea, as you probably know if you’ve ever watched her comedy, is a dirty, dirty girl. So if you are under thirteen or a sensitive person, you probably shouldn’t read this book. Please don’t blame me if it offends you. All letters of complaint can be sent to Chelsea care of her publisher.

The two funniest (and yet also sad) chapters of the above book are the one where Chelsea gets busted for a DUI and has to go to jail (I never, ever want to go to jail now. Not that I did before—well, okay, I sort of did, so I could write about it–but I mean, Paris Hilton made it seem like staying in a kind of crappy hotel and not so bad. Chelsea’s description? Trust me, you NEVER, EVER WANT TO GO TO JAIL), and the one where she goes to a restaurant where diners are expected to eat in the dark. Why she does what she does there makes sense in context, but you have to read it to believe it. And do not read it in public.

I think the narrator of the other book I read, Happy Trails To You, would get along with Chelsea.

I have admired to the point of semi-stalking (without ever having met) author Julie Hecht since her short stories first appeared in The New Yorker. Her nameless narrator is a bit eccentric (after the 2000 election results, for instance, she takes to her bed–something we all felt, of course, but few of us actually did. So kudos to her).

But she’s eccentric in a way the author explains well and that you can perfectly understand (actually, so is Chelsea Handler. So the two books go well together). I’m always happy when a new book about this narrator (the last one was called Do The Windows Open) comes out so I can see how she’s been doing. It’s like checking in on an old friend. But an old friend who wants everyone to try Ezekiel bread, so not one you’d actually like to share a sandwich with.

Really, I’d like both Chelsea and the narrator of Happy Trails to be my friends. Each would be a hoot during any staycation.

Finally, can I just ask….how is it possible that Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, R.E.M. , and the B-52s ALL HAVE NEW ALBUMS OUT RIGHT NOW??? Did I slip through a time portal to 1985 again?

And could someone please tell my where I left my bustier?

That is all.

More later.

Much love,

Meg