Lots to tell you!
#1: Be sure to come to my live chat online here at the Meg Cabot Book Club this Sunday, August 27, at 2PM EST—we're having it in the afternoon, rather than at night, just so our European friends can attend for a change! We'll be discussing my new book, READY OR NOT, which is now celebrating it's fourth week as the #1 New York Times Children's Chapter Book bestseller. If you haven't read it yet, there's still a chance to win a free copy here.
#2: For some reason, residents of Key West were not informed we would be waking up to a HURRICANE over our heads yesterday morning. We were told Katrina was going to pass right by us, and not even to bother boarding up our windows.
Well, I learned better at 4AM Saturday morning, when all of my window shutters were blown lose by the wind, and were banging against the side of the house so loudly they sounded like fireworks. Oh, and the power went off. And stayed off until just now.
Efforts to secure my neighbor's cat, who has taken to hanging out on my back porch, resulted in a night of plaintive meowing from the kitchen, where she was locked up to keep from coming into contact with the less than cat-friendly raccoons that live beneath my house, and also from Henrietta (who came in contact with her anyway, and took her indignation out on my foot, which now has five puncture wounds in it).
As I informed the gathering of neighbors on my street who came together last night for an impromptu pot luck in the dark, I am 100% sick of nature.
Oh, and we lost our hundred year old Jamaican sugar apple tree (the one with all the orchids grafted onto it), 17 royal palm fronds, most of our porch furniture, and our teak bench blew into the pool.
This, people keep telling me, is the price you pay to live in paradise. But it wouldn't have been so high if the weather people got something right once in a while!
#3: I promised you all a copy of the PRINCESS DIARIES 7 (due out March 2006) cover, and here it is, along with a brief synopsis:
This spring, Mia is determined to have a good time, despite the fact that the student government over which she presides is seriously broke. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), Grandmere has an elaborate scheme to simultaneously raise money, catapult Mia to theatrical fame, and link her romantically with the eligible teen bachelor playing her love interest—who is NOT her boyfriend. It's no wonder that Michael, the love of Mia's life, seems to think she's a psycho, or worse: not much fun.
Is it possible that a soon-to-be star of the stage, president of the student body, and future ruler of Genovia, doesn't know how to party?
#4 After having seen the list of Upcoming Books I posted on my last blog, many of you wrote to express worry over my ability actually to write all the books I have due. I feel duty bound to inform you that most of those books are already done. Not all of them, of course, but more than half. And many of the ones that aren't through are in various stages of near completion.
So please…don't worry. The books are fine, and so am I. I think, in fact, that it's time you knew, in case you haven't guessed already: I am a geek. I actually do enjoy it when I have 90 things to write. In fact, when I don't have 90 things to write, I feel restless and adrift. Sure, I complain about it.
But as He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog often states, “The complaining-about-it part seems to be your favorite part of it.”
People like me are usually referred to, when we reach adulthood, as workaholics. And people who aren't workaholics generally feel superior to us because they have lives, and we do not.
But I would argue that that depends on your definition of “life.” If, to you, life is jetting off to India to star in a Bollywood movie, or exploring hidden beaches in Costa Rica, or going to Paris to drink coffee in cafes, or having children, then yes, you are right: I don't have a life. I don't even like coffee.
But if, to you, life is getting up every morning knowing just how you're going to fix that messed-up chapter, then fixing it and going, “Oh, yeah, baby, things are cooking now,” and then later when you are cleaning out the cat box, getting a brilliant idea for the NEXT chapter, and then celebrating with a TaB and maybe a sugar free chocolate chip cookie or two, then, actually I DO have life.
It's really all about finding out what that gives YOU a feeling of contentment and pleasure, and then doing that as much as possible (so long as it's legal). Happily, I've found mine, AND someone is willing to pay me for it. Life is good. Even if your backyard furniture is in the pool.
I will leave you with this to enjoy over the weekend, a photo my friend Sophia sent me, of what her cat JJ does to her other cat, Howard, just to show him who is boss:
Don't mess with JJ, or he'll sit on YOUR head next.
SEE YOU AT THE CHAT!