Meg's Blog

Fiction Contest (and LA Celebrity Sightings)

Okay, all you aspiring young authors out there:

You complained that the AvonFanLit contest is only for adults (and US residents) over the age of 18. Well, now HarperCollins US has come up with a fiction contest for you under-18-year-olds as well—and I'm one of the judges!

Click here for details! (www.harperteenfanlit.com/megcabot)

And don't act like you guys aren't aspiring writers—I've seen all those stories you've been posting in the Writing Forum at the Meg Cabot Book Club.

So you'd better enter—and you'd better make your story good, because I am in some pretty lofty company judging-wise. We are going to expect only the best from you (please note this contest is sponsored by my US publisher, so entrants must be residents of the US. Sorry! Hopefully some of my foreign publishers, such as HarperCollins Canada, will have some contests of their own someday. I will keep you posted as soon as I learn of any of these).

So, U.S. residents under 18, sign up today, and get ready to ROCK 'N WRITE.

The contest doesn't begin until October 17 so you have some time to practice and get all of those homeless mucus-y grandmothers out of your system.

Meanwhile, here is the list of celebrities (in chronological order) I encountered while in LA:

1) While sitting at the Four Seasons (Beverly Hills) café, dining with Dr. Michele Jaffe, we were intrigued to see a black car (type: don't ask, I don't know anything about cars, did I ever mention I do not have a driver's license?) pull up with the vanity plate HUSTLR on it. Moments later, two men got out of the car, pulled out and unfolded a GOLD WHEELCHAIR from the trunk, then helped a man from inside the car into the wheelchair.

Yes, gentle readers. It was founder of Hustler magazine, LARRY FLYNT, subject of the bio-pic The People Versus Larry Flynt starring Woody Harrelson. Mr. Flynt then proceeded to eat lunch at a table DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM OURS. Dr. Jaffe and I were stunned speechless. Which, as you might know from reading our blogs, is an occurrence as rare as a full solar eclipse.

2) After lunch, Dr. Jaffe and I walked down to Robertson, where a number of fun clothing retailers can be found within a few short blocks (Nanette Lepore, BCBG Max Azria, Kitsons, etc). This is also where the see-and-be-seen restaurant The Ivy is located.

After doing some major damage to our credit cards, Michele and I were startled by a flurry of paparazzi, who were chasing after a blonde woman outside of Kitsons (which is where you need to go if you ever want a plastic skull on a gold chain). The woman and her companion darted from the store and into a waiting Range Rover. I was, of course, breathless with excitement, thinking it was Lindsay, or at the very least, Jessica Simpson.

But the blonde went by far too quickly for me to recognize her, and after quizzing the paparazzi (who were very nice, by the way, and quite unlike the ones portrayed in PAPARAZZI the movie) we discovered that she was ELLE MACPHERSON, and that she was with someone named MCPHEE (possibly this is the American Idol MCPHEE, but I did not see her nor was her identity ever confirmed).

3) Finally, when I got onto to my plane for Miami, who turned out to be seated in the row directly across from mine?

ADRIAN GRENIER, star of the HBO series Entourage, and lately of The Devil Wears Prada, with Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep.

And the answer is yes: He really is that good looking in real life.

Midway through the trip to Miami, as I was enjoying the in-flight movie (Nacho Libre) and my ice cream sundae (okay, shut up, yes, it was first class. But whatever, my publisher treats me right), Adrian Grenier got up from his row and plunked down into the empty seat next to mine, causing me nearly to choke on a chunk of Oreo cookie (it was an Oreo cookie ice cream sundae).

“Do you realize,” Adrian Grenier asked me, “that out of all the girls in this cabin, you are the ONLY one who said yes to the ice cream sundae? And also the warm nuts and the salmon over linguini? Also to the buttered roll and the creamy parmesan dressing? And who ate all her croutons, then asked if there were any more cheese plates left? Then ate four Godiva after-dinner caramel treats? With two glasses of wine and a freshly microwaved chocolate chip cookie, washed down with two percent milk?”

“Um,” I said, my heart pounding. Because, as previously mentioned, he really is that good looking in real life. His dark eyes are full of tender wit and wisdom. “No?”

“I love a woman with a healthy appetite,” Adrian said. “Will you marry me?”

“Um,” I said. “I can't. I'm already married.”

“Damn,” Adrian said, those dark tender wise witty eyes narrowing with regret. “The good ones are ALL taken.”

Then he went back to his seat.

And okay, that part above didn't really happen. It was just an example of what YOUR contribution to the HarperTeenLit contest could be like. But did you FEEL the REALISM? That's the kind of realism I want to see in your entries, people. I want to FEEL Adrian Grenier's gaze on me (even though in reality he actually slept almost the entire flight).

So get to work.

I did actually feel like a minor celebrity myself on that flight though thanks to reader Maureen, who gave me such a lovely handmade card the night before, and to reader Virginia who recognized me at the gate at LAX from one of my book signings, and then gave me such a nice letter. So, thanks, Maureen and Virginia!

Before you lock yourself into your room to start practicing writing, come see me at my very last stops on the HOW TO BE POPULAR tour. They're the last events I'll have in the US for about a year (although residents of France, Poland, and Germany—I'll see you in March)!

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2006, 7:00PM
Vero Beach Book Center
2145 Indian River Blvd.
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Books & Books
265 Aragon Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Hope to see you there!

More later.

Much love,