Blog Category: Did It


Birthday Thanks

By meggin,

Thanks to everyone who emailed, Tweeted, and sent me birthday greetings today! You’re all the best! Seriously, that was so sweet of you!

I was going to celebrate by going see Avatar because I’m the only person in the ENTIRE WORLD who hasn’t seen it yet and I feel like I’ve fallen behind on my popular culture.

But after treating myself to a day of beauty (manicure, pedicure, hair), I got a flat tire on my bike on the way home… … Continue reading

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God

By meggin,

When I was a kid, and things like this horrible earthquake in Haiti would happen, I would get really mad at God.

Because I used to think God was a kindly old man with a long white beard who lived up in heaven (just like they told us in Sunday school), and who, like me when I played with my Barbies, looked out for us and protected us and got us new dresses or, if we prayed hard enough, a date with Ken. … Continue reading

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Change…

By janey,

Some of us love experiencing new things, while some of us (okay…me) prefer the comfort of the familiar.

Example:

When my best friend told me on the bus to school that her dad had bought this machine that played something called “video tapes”—movies that you could watch at home!— insisting that this was going to be the next big thing, I was like:

“That’s STUPID. No one is going to sit around and watch movies at home when you can just go to the theater at the mall instead.” … Continue reading

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Too Much Awesome

By meggin,

Remember how the Wonder Twins (helpers to the Super Friends) would get together and save people?

Well, it seems like whenever my brother and I get together, instead of saving people, we make people fall down.

And break something.

Take the last time my brother and I got together at my house: My grandma fell down the stairs and broke her pelvis.

This time, it was my husband. He fell down the stairs and broke his ankle on Saturday.

I know what you’re thinking:

Is it the sheer awesomeness of so many Cabots together at one time that’s too much for people to handle, so they just fall down?

Probably.

It’s really for the good of mankind that we remain on separate sides of the country most of the time.

Oh, wait. That wasn’t what you were thinking?

Oh, okay, it was “Didn’t He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog just break his elbow a few months ago?”

Yes, he did, in a bike accident (I would like to point out that neither my brother nor I were anywhere close when that happened).

HWSNBNITB is feeling very sad right now at the prospect of having pins put in his ankle, and then more months of physical therapy.

And I know I should be THANKFUL that it wasn’t worse (he was checking why the pool lights didn’t come on. In the dark. And then he slipped down the pool steps, and fell in. He could have hit his head and drowned, or something)!

So I AM grateful! Not just that he only broke his ankle, but for all the other great things in my life….

…like YOU!

But it’s hard not to feel a little bad.

It actually all reminds me a little of this:

But I swear that’s not how it went down! No bears were involved!

I hope your thanksgiving was a little less exciting than ours.

And that you’ve learned to contain your awesomeness better than my brother and I have, when we get together for the holidays.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Meg’s Mail Bag

By meggin,

It’s perfect stay-indoors weather here because of pesky Tropical Storm Ida–windy and rainy, with palm fronds flying everywhere!

And while I hope it clears up in time for the book fair in Miami this weekend, it’s kind of a good opportunity for us to dip into Meg’s Mail Bag, since it’s been a while.

So let’s take the plunge!

My best friend is really SO lucky. The Galera Record (who publishes your books here in Brazil) is raffling two books (Of course, Yours).

Now, guess what? She wins!

I really love her, so I didn’t blame her, or nobody. But, the fate or something like that is so unfair! I mean, I love you so much more than her.

And you FOLLOW her on Twitter, and didn’t follow me.

One day Fate should be fair, right?

So much love,
I’m Not Going To Put Her Name

Wow. What I loved most about Brazil was the hot-blooded PASSION of its residents.

Anyway, here’s the thing:

Twitter is new. We’re all still just trying to figure it out.

People seem to be doing one of these three things:

Following everyone who follows them; just following their friends; or following no one.

To me, following no one is kind of boring.

And I think “just following your friends” is kind of stuck up (no offense, clique-y celebrities. But we’re not in high school anymore)!

And I agree with Nameless Above that it’s a little bit rude not to follow back someone who is following you (as long as it’s a real person, who isn’t a spammer or a total psycho).

I understand that people with a million followers can’t read EVERY SINGLE ONE of their posts. As much as I’d like to, I can’t read all of my followers’ posts, either, or I wouldn’t have time to write my books and stay on the cutting edge of popular culture by watching every television show known to man.

But if someone is following me, I really do want to see who she is.

So I do try to check in on each and every one of my followers from time to time, when I get the chance. I don’t tweet back personally, but I do get a great feel for who my followers are–fun, fantastic people.

So my policy is, I follow EVERYONE who follows me (except spammers and pervs, of course. If I see that you’re a spammer or a perv, of course I will drop you, after first reporting the pervs to the appropriate authorities).

This just seems like the princessy thing to do.

The rest of the populace may do as they see fit.

Hey Meg,

Was just browsing the internet and I saw this totally awesome thing. I got a lot of humour out of it and thought you would too!

Best Thing Ever

Cheers!
Jennifer J.

Shut. Up.

Jennifer, you get a tiara for a day for that:

Wear it in good health.

From Diana P:

Kathy Griffin Signs Up For Another Season Of D Listed!

Yay! Diana P gets a tiara for the day, too!

Also, Kathy’s book, Official Book Club Selection, which I’ve been reading in bits and pieces when I get a chance, is so GOOD!

I really had no idea how much Kathy struggled to get to where she is today. It’s seriously awe-inspiring, and I think a must-read for all career-minded women, especially anyone who wants a career in the arts.

(And the chapter featuring Andy Dick was so laugh-out-loud funny, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog actually came running upstairs to check on me when I was reading it because he thought I was having a seizure.)

Re: Heather Wells:

Are you planning to publish another book in this series?

Ever since reading Big Boned almost 2 years ago I have been waiting for the next book in this series.

By the way, I know you write a lot of books. However, I really want another Heather Wells mystery!

I know. My bad.

Here is the status on this series:

The next Heather Wells book is all plotted out and I even have the first couple of chapters:

Heather is currently stranded in a J Crew dressing room, trying on those wedding gowns you see in all the catalogs, and not having a very good time because you know those J Crew wedding dresses almost never look as good on as they do in the catalog.

(I know because I just ordered a bunch and was trying them on recently. And they looked AWFUL on me. Possibly because I ordered them in green, but whatever. They looked really, REALLY bad.)

But I got sidetracked from that project by my adult editor, Carrie Feron (who edits the Heather Wells books, too). It’s her fault. BLAME HER!!!!

It was one of those things where Carrie said all casually at lunch one day, “Have you ever thought about doing _______?”

And I was like, “Um, no. Why would I do THAT???”

And then for the next year I couldn’t get the idea of doing THAT out of my head.

It turned into one of those “shark” ideas. You know, the kind that sneak up and bite you and won’t let go until you start writing them?

I was so, so mad. I seriously HATE those! They come from nowhere and you don’t want them and yet…they won’t LEAVE until you write them all the way down.

So, THAT book (called Insatiable) should be out this coming summer (if I get it turned in on time. I’m still tweaking it. It’s quite long).

But Heather will be coming right after that!

As long as I get her out of that dressing room. Poor thing.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Significant Objects

By meggin,

A while ago I was asked to be part of the Significant Objects Project.

This is a fun project you might have read about where authors are sent a photo of an object and asked to write a story giving the object new meaning (in under 500 words).

Then the story and photo are posted on eBay.

The object is then auctioned off, and the winning bidder gets the object and the author’s original story.

I’m going to match whatever my winning bid is, and send the proceeds to The Heifer Project!

So if you like what I wrote about my object and its invented owner, bid on it here!


Click here for the story on the Significants Objects website.

I was psyched when I got my object. I actually got sent three or four objects, but the minute I saw this one, the story behind it hit me RIGHT AWAY. I was like, “I HATE THIS THING, and THIS IS WHY. This thing hurt a girl a LOT.”

And the whole story just came to me. That poor, poor girl.

The project has attracted some very cool authors like mystery author Laura Lippman, and Shelf Discovery author Lizzie Skurnick.

There are a bunch more stories coming soon from other talented authors (like Merrill Markoe! I love her)!

Did what happen to the girl in my story happen to me?

My lips are sealed. But they say you have to write what you know, to a certain degree.

Now let’s all buy a nice lady a cow.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Strong Female Characters

By meggin,

Guess who’s going to be on Voice of America?

That’s right. Me.

(And Diana Gabaldon. And Shannon Hale. And Kristin Cashore. Yeah! The theme for the show is Strong Female Characters, in case you didn’t notice.)

I know you totally want to listen to it, and you can, by going here. The show will air this Thursday (Oct 22) at 9AM Pacific/12PM Eastern.

This was a fun show to be on (I’ll be honest: not all radio shows are. Especially the ones where you have to wake up at 5AM and the host is named DJ Mad Dog and the first thing he says to you is “Hey, Meg! Welcome to the Dog House! Bark for us! Come on! Bark for the Mad Dog, Meg!”) because the VOA host, Matthew Peterson, was funny and personable. It was more like just having a conversation with a friend than being interviewed.

In fact I totally hope he edited this interview a bit because I got carried away and said some things I kind of regret…like about He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog’s reaction when he found out I was giving away all the author proceeds from Ransom My Heart to Greenpeace (reaction: “WHAT??? Are those PRE-TAX DOLLARS???”)

In other news, attention French readers:

You know how you were complaining that you didn’t have any of the half books, like Project Princess and Sweet Sixteen Princess and Princess Present?

Well, now you do!

Encore Plus D’Histoires de Princesse! Volumes 4 ½, 6 ½, and 7 ½, all bound in a lovely snow white volume. Bravo, France!

I actually didn’t know about this until a gorgeous copy of it arrived at my house (well, I mean, I’m sure someone told me about it, but I forgot).

I love that all the books in this series have been translated by the same translator, the sweet Josette Chicheportiche, whom I got to meet when I was in France for the Salon de Livres two years ago, and who does such a terrific job. Well, not that I can read French. I can speak it, a little—with what I consider a very nice accent, which I learned when I had to spend 1st grade in a little village in France because my dad got a teaching job in Grenoble!

Which might be why one Frenchwoman pointed out to me last time I was there, very politely, “Your accent is very good, but your tenses…you sound like you might be a leettle bit retarded.”

Oh well. Voice of America still thinks I write Strong Female Characters! Bien sur!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Pass the Luck

By meggin,

I just got home from Birmingham, Alabama, where I got to speak at a luncheon in front of a BIG audience of Books-A-Million sales managers and buyers (hi, guys)!

A lot of people think being a writer is just sitting around writing books, then jetting off to sign those books for fans, and then getting served freshly sliced mangoes poolside and going to parties.

(I know I’m partly to blame for this misconception.)

But lot of it is also hard work like this:

And that’s only a small fraction of the books I signed in Alabama, pre-luncheon!

(It was fun while I was signing though, because I was kept entertained the whole time by the hilarious Books-A-Million Ladies about the scandalous doings of the Real Housewives. That crazy Kelly)!

Of course, I also got to hang out with Peter Lerangis, one of The 39 Clues authors (and no, he wouldn’t give me any of the clues).

The weird thing about my trip to Alabama though (besides the fact that when I walked into the hotel they were showing MY FACE on the welcome monitor behind the reception desk) was that in the gift shop they were selling T-shirts that said this:


Prayer…it’s not just for dinner anymore.

When I saw this T-shirt I freaked out.

And not just because my parents used to make us say grace before dinner every night.

But because right before I left for the airport to go to Birmingham, I got an email that totally had me praying.

That’s because my friend Michele told me that something terrible had happened to a good friend of hers: Her little daughter had been hit by a car and suffered a traumatic head injury, and was in the hospital in a coma.

I know, right? Oh my God!

When something like this happens, even to someone you don’t know well, you just feel so upset. There’s really nothing you can do to help…except, whether you’re a believer or not, pray.

Or, as I started to think of it, pass the luck.

I don’t know about luck. Sometimes when people say to me, “Oh, you’re so lucky!” I think, Really? I thought it was my hard work and maybe some talent that got me where I am. As sharp-shooters like to say, “Luck is 95% preparation, and 5% opportunity.”

This is true. If you’ve worked hard, hopefully you’ll be prepared when the opportunity presents itself to shine (or shoot a hostage-taker in the head).

On the other hand, some people get cancer, and other people with the exact same genetic background and lifestyle don’t. What’s up with that? It has to be luck, right?

So let’s say I am lucky. If that’s true, then how come I can’t, by thinking hard enough, shoot some of that luck toward someone else, even someone far away, someone I don’t know, who needs it more than me?

This should totally be possible.

Luck is a funny thing. Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. I think we can all agree that if luck exists, lately, I’ve been a pretty lucky person.

It wasn’t always this way, though! I had a patch of bad luck that lasted a loooong time. I won’t go into the details, because it will only depress you (and me).

But it wasn’t good.

When I heard about Michele’s friend—the 24 hours after I left for Birmingham were going to be critical in the little girl’s recovery. She would either start getting better, or get very much worse—the first thing I thought was, “If only we could pass our luck to someone else when they need it.”

All I was doing during the time this little girl was going to need all the luck in the world was going to Birmingham. What did I need my good luck for (if I even had good luck)?

So I closed my eyes and started praying to pass the good luck I’d been having for so long onto her.

I know what you’re wondering:

Did it work?

Well…the good news is: she didn’t get worse.

And I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but my bad luck started RIGHT AWAY! I got pegged as the Beauty Products Bomber by Key West airport security on my way out (even though they know me there because I go through that airport like once a week)!

All of my bags were summarily searched (as was I)! And I mean, SEARCHED.

(And they didn’t screw the tops to my bottles back on, so they leaked all over inside my bags. Yes. Everything I owned was covered in Cetaphil Facial Cleanser.)

And when I got to the next airport for my connecting flight, they made me go through security AGAIN, pegged me as the Beauty Products Bomber AGAIN, and made me so late, I was the last one on board!

And I had to sit by a stinky guy (excuse me, but it is the year 2009. There is such a thing as deodorant now).

And then when I got to my hotel room, the previous occupant had apparently been a baby with the poopiest diapers on the planet. He had pooped up the place really good, leaving behind the odor of baby diarrhea and Luvs Scented Disposables, a fragrance with a piquant flavor that really lingers.

And the windows of the room were bolted shut, apparently to keep people from jumping, which of course was my first inclination when the smell hit me.

That was why I was in the gift shop, trying to buy a scented candle (the cool girl in the gift shop, understanding the problem instantly, recommended Paddywax, Blood Orange), and I saw the Prayer T-shirt, and I realized, “Oh my God. My prayers to pass on my good luck must be working….”

Of course, I also got a new room. I mean, I’m not an idiot.

But my bad luck continued. When I got home, I discovered that, among other things, my cat needed a bath, for reasons you don’t want to know.

I think it’s safe to say my good luck has been passed successfully.

And I don’t mind. I can live without my good luck for a little while.


Though I’m not sure how long Henrietta can.

And maybe these things would have happened anyway, and had nothing to do with me passing my “luck” onto someone else.

But wouldn’t it be cool if there was such a thing as luck, and those of us who are having good luck streaks could pass our luck to others who are down on theirs, the way those of us with money can help those less fortunate?

What if we all concentrated on passing our luck to kids who need it more than we do? Then we wouldn’t need this guy:


Jizo, Japanese Good Luck Guardian of Children

Although I suppose he’s nice to have around anyway.

I just hope I can get my good luck back eventually. Because Henrietta really isn’t too happy right now.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Party Bus Goes Home

By meggin,

What can I say?

Big love to all the Julianas, Giulianas, Juliannas, and Giuliannas, Marinas and Ana Carolinas, the Luisas, Luizas, Ana Luisas and Maria Luisas, the Andressas and Alessandras, the Isabels and the Marianas, the Helenas and Rafaelas and Raquels, and everyone in between! … Continue reading

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New Books for Fall, An Excerpt…and a Giveaway!

By meggin,

I’ve been so busy trying to finish up my deadlines before I leave for my book tour in Brazil—and yes, Princess Diaries 10 is out now in Brazil! Check it out–I almost forgot to offer ADVANCED READER COPIES of one the two new titles I’ve got coming out this fall!

(One them is coming out the exact same day as Dan Brown’s new book! I tried to get you advanced reader copies of his new book, but he was like, “Sorry, Meg. Even I don’t have any of those.”)

Here’s the FIRST EVER sneak peek look at what you can expect from Allie in Stage Fright, along with an EXCLUSIVE link to an excerpt of the first chapter!

Allie desperately wants the lead in the school play (the part of the princess…natch), but the competition is fierce. What’s going to happen if she DOESN’T get the part? What’s Allie going to DO? What would YOU do?

Author’s note: This actually happened to me!

Since I only have a few advanced reader copies of Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls #4, Stage Fright, and it’s getting close to BACK TO SCHOOL TIME, I’m going to offer them only to librarians and teachers, since librarians and teachers are the ones out there on the front lines in the battle against illiteracy in America!

Remember, advanced reader copies are sneak peek uncorrected proofs. They have not yet been copy edited for spelling errors, etc. But I promise I’m an excellent speller and there are very few mess ups in these ARCs.

I’ll have a contest to make a limited amount of final copies available to EVERYONE after Sept. 15 when Stage Fright hits stores!

Updated 8/14: Librarians and teachers, thank you so much to all of you who entered to win a copy of this book! We’ve had so many entries that we’re a bit snowed under at the moment, so the contest is now over while we process them. Email notifications will be sent out soon to those of you who will be receiving copies. Thanks again for all your hard work, and stay tuned for the next contest, coming soon!

And don’t forget, the last of my manga titles, Hunter’s Moon, Avalon High, Coronation comes out in two weeks…September 1!

Much like Dan Brown, there are no advanced reader copies of the above book, so it’s as much a mystery to me as it is to you (and him) how it’s going to turn out!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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