Blog Category: Uncategorized


Happy Galentine’s/Valentine’s Day!

By meggin,

Wow! We made it through 2020 all the way to February 2021!

February is obviously the best month because:

  • Aquarius/Pisces rules
  • Black History Month (in the US)
  • Leap Day (every four years)
  • Groundhog Day
  • Galentine’s Day
  • Many snowstorms
  • Superbowl
  • My birthday (along with Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and many others)

As long time readers know, I’ve never been the hugest fan of Valentine’s Day, for many of the same reasons Michael Moscovitz outlines in Valentine Princess, The Princess Diaries Volume VII 3/4.

But I’ve come to enjoy Galentine’s Day, February 13, during which we shower our friends (including ourselves) with love and appreciation for always being there for us.

This Galentine’s Day, you can join me – as well as authors Alisha Rai, Jen Deluca, and Sarvenaz Tash – on a special virtual Galentine’s Day Gala sponsored by Cary Library. Signed books (sorry, no personalizations) can be purchased from all of us at the site above. I hope you’ll join us with cocktails (it’s BYOB, obviously) to dish about books, the woes of romance in the 21st century, and friendship!

If you can’t make it to the event above, and you’re looking for signed/personalized books from me, don’t forget that Books and Books Key West has a huge Meg Cabot collection. Just fill your cart online, jot down how you’d like the books personalized in the Comment section, and they’ll make sure your books get delivered to you promptly (who knows? If you order today, you might even get them in time for Galentine’s Day)!

 

Since everyone is asking what I’m working on now, I feel like I should be honest…The Mediator Netflix series! Yes, Jesse and Suze are still getting their chance to stream, despite Covid ruining everything else. So far Shadowland is the title for the first film installment, just like with the book series. I can’t really tell you more than that, except that . . . it’s great!

And I’ve finally turned in No Words, the third book in the Little Bridge Island series, and I’m so excited! I think it’s really fun. Cover to be revealed at a later date (the book won’t be out until September 28, 2021) but for now, here’s a summary of what to expect!

 

Coming September 28, 2021

 

In the meantime, look for me a month from now on Between the Covers, one of everyone in South Florida’s favorite shows on PBS, where I’ll be interviewed (virtually) by the amazing Ann Bocock! You can even RSVP to be a (virtual) member of the audience! My show will be streaming March 4 (not sure when they will start advertising it or when it will air). Mark your calendar!

Have a happy (and SAFE) Galentine’s/Valentine’s! Stay warm, and remember: all that Valentine’s Day chocolate goes on sale for 1/2 price on 2/15 to make way for Easter candy. Just something to think about! (If you’re my doctor pretend you didn’t read that.)

XOXO

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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Corona Princess Diaries Day 14

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

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Corona Princess Diaries Day 10

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

 

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Corona Princess Diaries Day 8

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

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Corona Princess Diaries Day 7

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

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Corona Princess Diaries Day 6

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

  Filed under: Meg's Diary, Uncategorized
  Comments: None


Corona Princess Diaries Day 5

By meggin,

Coming in March 2023

From the desk of Princess Amelia “Mia” Mignonette Thermopolis Moscovitz Renaldo (and her royal biographer, Meg Cabot) as well as Avon Books, comes the book so many have been waiting for!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a section of the diary of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia fell into the hands of Meg Cabot, the Princess’s royal biographer.

As reported in media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Mary Sue, Refinery 29, Bustle, and more, from March until June of 2020, sixteen entries of the princess’s diary were leaked by Ms. Cabot onto her blog, to the delight of over a million fans. Since then, readers have been clamoring for more of Mia’s coronavirus diary . . . and in March of 2023, their wish will be granted:

The Quarantine Princess Diaries is 300+ pages of not only Mia’s previously released entries (now edited and updated with completely new content), but more than two hundred MORE pages of entirely original, never-before-seen entries. 

Get ready to read about Princess Mia’s most heartfelt emotions while dealing with her personal (and political) battles while imposing health restrictions on her small European nation; life during lockdown (even in as idyllic a location such as a palace on the Riviera); a suspected royal affair; the invention (and implementation) of a vaccine by Michael Moscovitz (that could change the course of the pandemic – or at least the lives of every citizen in Genovia); and one very demanding royal grandmother.

Even better, Meg Cabot is partnering with real life human rights activist and royal Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands and founder of VOW for Girls, since they, like Princess Mia, share the same vision: a world where someday no child is ever a bride. With the purchase of this book, you can help raise funds to end child marriage in our lifetime.

Pre-order The Quarantine Princess Diaries now!

After all we’ve been through, what could be more comforting for any lover of royal romance than snuggling up with a brand new installment of the diary of the princess who started it all? Look for it in March 2023!

 

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Fall Book Tour!

By meggin,

I can’t believe how fast the summer went by! I went to the beach one time, and then it was over.

Now it’s Fall, and I have not one but TWO books coming out (first my adult book, No Judgments, and then in November my middle grade graphic novel with DC Comics, Black Canary Ignite).

Then I have another book due–the next installment of the Little Bridge series after No Judgments (cover and title a secret for now)!

So I’m not busy AT ALL or doing any stress eating or staying up way too late watching crazy thrillers on Lifetime (five royal crowns to Mommy’s Little Princess).

You probably won’t be surprised to know that there’s a lot of other stuff going on that I’m not allowed to talk about, and that’s stressful, too, but in a good way.

Mainly I can’t wait to get on the road to talk about No Judgments, which Kirkus is calling “a fun, fast, and romantic read,” Popsugar.com called “a total delight” and named one of their Best Books of the Fall, and Booklist says is “equal parts sweet and steamy.” (I’m blushing! For even more embarrassing but very welcome praise about the book, click here and scroll down.)

I’m so thankful for everyone’s support of this book–the story really is personal to me, since it’s inspired by a real life experience (when my husband and friends and I failed to evacuate for Hurricane Irma–hey, no judgments!), then met an amazingly brave young women who helped save dozens of pets who’d been left behind in our area by their owners. Much of the story is fiction, of course, but quite a lot of it, especially the parts about the storm and the animals, is cold hard fact (but it still has an HEA)!

Here are the venues I’m going to be talking about the book at the end of September (more will be added soon as I begin touring for Black Canary). Some of these venus might require tickets, so if they are in your neighborhood, PLEASE click on the links and/or contact the venue to make sure there isn’t anything special you have to do have to get a nice comfy seat (I don’t go anywhere anymore unless I’m assured a nice comfy seat, which might be why I don’t go to the beach more often).

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
CORAL GABLES
8:00 PM
BOOKS & BOOKS
265 Aragon AVE
Coral Gables, FL 33134
https://booksandbooks.com/event/meg-cabot/

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
HOUSTON
7:00 PM
BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP
14532 Memorial
Houston, TX 77079
https://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/event/meg-cabot

Sunday, September 29, 2019
CLEVELAND
2:00 PM
CUYAHOGA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Parma-Snow Branch
2121 Snow Road
Parma, OH 44134
https://attend.cuyahogalibrary.org/event/2817765

Tuesday, October 01, 2019
TOLEDO
7:00 PM
TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
325 Michigan ST
Toledo, OH 43604
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/authorswith-meg-cabot-tickets-68033890197

Sunday, October 6, 2019
NEW YORK
11:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
Panel: Raising Super Readers: Inside DC’s Middle Grade Graphic Novels
Room 1A24
COMIC CON
The Javitz Center
https://www.newyorkcomiccon.com

Thursday, October 10, 2019
NEW YORK
7:00 PM
BARNES & NOBLE UPPER EAST SIDE
150 E 86th St
New York, NY 10028
https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780062071973-0

Saturday, October 12, 2019
NEW JERSEY
MORRISTOWN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS
Morristown, NJ 07960
https://morristownbooks.org/2019-authors/#fiction

Monday, November 4, 2019
6:00 PM
BOOKS & BOOKS KEY WEST
533 Eaton Street
Key West, FL 33040
http://booksandbookskw.com

Saturday, November 09, 2019
TAMPA
TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING
140 7th Avenue S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
https://www.tampabay.com/expos/festival-of-reading/

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Princess Diaries Rumor Control

By meggin,

So some rumors have been going around about a possible Third Unauthorized Bio Pic of Princess Mia’s Life (aka third Princess Diaries movie).
“Is this really happening?” people like the Dowager Princess of Genovia keep asking me.
As Princess Mia’s royal biographer, all I’m permitted to say is that a script has been written, the cast seems willing, and so does Disney and Debra Martin Chase, the same producer who spear-headed the first two films.
But so many factors need to come together in order for a movie to get made!  Especially one set in Genovia, which as you know has some of the strictest film permitting laws of any nation in the world.
So if you’re a fan of the Princess Diaries films and would like to see a 3rd, keep your fingers crossed: Miracles happen!
But if you’re Princess Mia Thermopolis, who does NOT want tales from her personal life (however erroneously) being splashed all over the big screen, well, there’s hope for you, too.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to stay out of the whole thing by working on other projects. These will be coming soon. If you’re interested in those, they include:
 
May 28, 2019 
Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge Island hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped…until sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Bridal Boot Camp is an e-novella for adult readers. There is sex in it. Pre-order it now
 
 
September 24, 2019
When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island, twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . until her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, shows up to offer a helping hand. No Judgments is a stand-alone novel for adult readers, as there is sex in it. Pre-order No Judgements now
 
 
October 2019
As her school’s Battle of the Bands approaches, will middle schooler Dinah Lance finally find her true voice? Black Canary Ignite is a graphic novel for readers 6 and up–there is no sex or even kissing in it. Pre-order Black Canary Ignite now
 
I really think that is enough for now, except to let you know that, barring any unforeseen Genovian coup attempts, I’ll be touring for the projects above, but I don’t have a full schedule yet. I know I’ll be at BEA and also Book.con in New York City at the end of May, and also at RWA in New York in July. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there. Royal wave until then!
 
More later.
Much love,
Meg

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Summer Events

By meggin,

Well, summer is here which means that SUMMER BOOK FESTIVAL/CONFERENCE SEASON IS HERE!

I’m lucky enough to have been asked to attend the American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans this week (where the guest of honor is Michelle Obama. I’m dying – DYING – of excitement).

Oh, but wait. What will I be promoting at #alaac18? Um, only my new graphic novel from DC Zoom, Black Canary: Ignite!
Black Canary: Ignite won’t be out until October 2019, but this week at #alaac18 we’ll be handing out some cool free sample excerpts of the first chapter! I’ll also be on some panels with a few of the very fun authors for DC Zoom (middle grade) and DC Ink (young adult). Here’s where you can see me and/or maybe get a sampler (unfortunately these events are open only to registered attendees of #alaac18):

Friday, June 22, 2018 – ALA NEW ORLEANS #alaac18

Penguin Random House Library Con panel – Nurturing Empowerment and Confidence!
Time: 1:15pm-2:00pm
Place: Room 348 and 349
Ernest M Morial Convention Center
Moderated by Robin Brenner
With Shea Fontana, Lauren Miracle, Karen Berger, Shelly Bond

Penguin Random House Librarian Reception + DC Ink and DC Zoom Signing
Time: 8:00pm-10:00pm
Place: The National WWII Museum
945 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
RSVP

Saturday, JUNE 23, 2018 – ALA NEW ORLEANS #alaac18

DC Zoom Signing
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Place: DC Booth #2040
Ernest M Morial Convention Center
With Shea Fontana and Ridley Pearson

Graphic Novel Panel: DC Zoom and DC Ink authors discuss their upcoming original graphic novels for DC Comics:
Time: 2:30pm-3:20pm
Place: Graphic Novels stage–next to booth #436
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Moderated by Michele Wells
With Shea Fontana, Ridley Pearson, Meg Cabot, Danielle Paige, Kami Garcia, Lauren Myracle, Mariko Tamaki

POP TOP EVENT: Cultural Icons in the Libary!
DC Zoom and DC Ink authors discuss their upcoming original graphic novels for DC Comics
Time: 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Place: PopTop Stage–next to booth #432
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Moderated by Michele Wells
With Shea Fontana, Ridley Pearson, Meg Cabot, Danielle Paige, Kami Garcia, Lauren Myracle, Mariko Tamaki

Wow, that is a crazy schedule! Especially since I’m used to doing nothing but sitting around writing all day (although this summer I signed up for Boot Camp at my gym so I’ve actually been working out a lot which has been good for stamina, but bad for my goal of avoiding sweating).

I know that some of you are bummed that none of the events above are open to the public. But never fear because in July, when I’m in Denver, CO for the Romance Writers of America convention, I’ll have TWO public signings in TWO days! I hope some of you can attend one or both!

 

Denver, CO

Friday, July 20

Romance and Rosé Book Party

Time: 6:30-8:30PM MT

Location: The Tattered Cover

2526 East Colfax Avenue

Ticket details to come

 

 

Saturday, July 21

“Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing

Time: 3:00-5:00PM MT

Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel

  • This event is open to the public and is free of charge to attend.

  • You do not need to register in advance to attend this event as a fan.

  • Since this is a fundraiser event for literacy organizations, attendees will not be allowed to bring books from home into the event. Unlimited books may be purchased on site, however. Cash and major credit cards accepted.

 

I think I’ve also mentioned that in addition to Black Canary, I’ve been working on some contemporary women’s fiction/suspense/romance. I don’t really want to say anything more about that yet though because I always feel like if I talk too much about a project before I’m done working on it, I’ll put a curse on it, and it will never get done. THIS IS A REAL THING that I’m positive must happen to other creative people besides me!

Don’t forget that in August, the 4th book in the Princess Olivia, Notebooks of a Middle School Princess series will become available! Look for Royal Crown in stores (and online) everywhere on August 7. I’ll have more details on events for this book soon!

In the meantime, enjoy your summer, and I hope I see some of you in New Orleans and Denver!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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The Cone Life

By meggin,

Wow. From my book tour for Royal Crush to a hurricane to getting ready for NY Comic Con, where I’ll be participating in a panel on a certain Star Wars book that’s coming out next week, things have been cRaZy.

But things have finally settled down enough for me to update this blog (plus, I actually have Internet access for the first time in a while).

Thanks to all of you who were posting thoughts and prayers for me during Irma!  I didn’t see any of them until a few days ago, since I didn’t have Internet.

I have to admit I was surprised!  I had no idea that the media was calling the hurricane in Key West a “non-survivable event.”

It’s weird to have survived something “non-survivable” (I’m going to guess we survived due to Florida’s very strict zoning and building codes, about which we used to complain every day. Not anymore!).

I will admit my backyard went overnight from looking like this….

To this:

But, like 98% of Key West, it will be fine after some clean up.

Most of the hurricane damage that occurred in Key West was tree-related.

(In case you can’t read the above, it’s the marquee on Key West’s famous indie cinema, The Tropic — already open for business — which says: Key West Lite – Same Great Place, Less Trees)

Homes and businesses in Key West have had power, water, cell phone service, and Internet restored, and the town is up and running.

But many places up the Keys – like Big Pine and Cudjoe –  are still without electricity and running water, and many people there have lost their homes. So, while they survived a non-survivable event, they still need a lot of help.

A lot of people have asked why I stayed for the storm instead of evacuating.  Honestly, it just felt right to me to stay . . . even though staying in a place you’ve been told to evacuate is a REALLY BAD IDEA. DO NOT DO IT. I was very, very lucky.

That being said, a large group of my friends/neighbors were also staying (mostly because they have family/pets in the area that couldn’t leave, or businesses to run, or whatever). Like me, they had been through hurricanes before, did not have kids, had generators, and felt confident they and their homes could survive “non-survivable” Irma (which we didn’t know was non-survivable).

And . . . we did!

But this was still a bad, bad idea.

Although . . .  not to say anything mean about weather forecasters, since I know they do their best, the storm was supposed to come on Saturday, and on the Sunday before, this was my local weather report:

 

Scary right? I mean, I was totally going to leave.

Then, Monday, the very next day, this was the report:

Oh, okay. So Sunday, it is coming right at us, and Monday, we are halfway out of the cone?

Why go to all the trouble of evacuating, right?

To me, the best solution seemed to be: Board up the house, move in the deck furniture, buy supplies, and wait it out (also, despite what people might be picturing, I live nowhere near the beach. I am a pool girl.  So storm surge was never a worry).

Then on Wednesday . . .

What????

The airport closed, there was no more gas, and the hospital shut its doors!

So we began living what we call

The Cone Life

Photo taken Thursday at Higgs Beach, Key West, day before the Irma

A lot of the time when there’s a hurricane somewhere, you hear people safely outside The Cone watching those on TV struggling to survive inside it say scornfully: “Gosh, why didn’t those dumb people just evacuate?”

Obviously, they should have. But here are some reasons why:

  1. Because they have elderly parents or special needs children or sick pets who can’t be moved.
  2. Because they have a business that might need to open rapidly after the storm (such as: insurance) and needs looking after.
  3. Because the storm intensified so rapidly, they didn’t have time to get out.
  4. Because the airport is closed.
  5. Because there is no gas.
  6. Because the entire state is in the Cone of Uncertainty so there is nowhere safe to go unless they drive 500 miles and they can’t do that on one tank of gas so it is safer to stay where they are.
  7. Because the last time they evacuated, they got trapped in their car and there was no one to help and they nearly drowned.
  8. Because they have been through storms before and everything was more or less fine.
  9. Because there is one last totally excellent party to go to (this is a terrible reason. Who wrote this? Oh, me, never mind.)
  10. Because the last time they evacuated their home/business was looted*

*Sadly, I know people to whom this actually happened.

Honestly, we shouldn’t judge. People lead complicated lives about which we know nothing, and most of us are doing the best we can, and not trying to cause trouble for everyone else. NO ONE I knew who didn’t evacuate ended up needing to be rescued by first responders.

But I will say that on that list, number 3 — rapid intensification — has become a habit of hurricanes this year, and one reason these storms have caused so much damage compared to other years:

Harvey:  Cat 1 to Cat 4 in 24 hours
Irma:  Cat 3 to Cat 5 in 24 hours
Jose:  Cat 1 to Cat 4 in 24 hours
Maria:  Cat 1 to Cat 4 in 12 hours, and Cat 1 to Cat 5 in 15 hours*

*Data from Weather Undergound

Of the people I know who evacuated from Key West, many of them were hit by Irma in the places they thought would be safe! Naples, Tampa, and Orlando were all places evacuees from the Keys were urged to go, and all got hit by Irma.

What made evacuating even worse than staying for these people was that then they couldn’t return to their own home after the storm was over:  the roads in the Keys were impassable for days, and aside from that, there was still no gas!

Nor could these people call or text anyone in Key West to see if their home was okay, because there was no cell service, Internet, or electricity.*

*I actually had power–but no Internet–because we have a generator, and since 9/11 I have always kept a landline, because that is the only thing that worked during 9/11. It worked during Irma, too.

Praise be to the landline. Never bundle. Amen.

Many, many people used my landline to let people outside The Cone know that they were all right. It was also used by evacuees calling in to ask about the condition of their homes and, in some cases, people and pets they’d left behind.

(NO JUDGMENTS. THERE IS NO JUDGING IN THE CONE).

We went on many important recon missions, checking on people’s homes and loved ones.

I hope you never have to experience Cone Life, but since scientists assure us that both the temperatures of the earth and its waters are rising, there is a possibility you might.

Therefore I’m going to make a short list of everyday things you might want to keep handy in case The Day After Tomorrow comes, and you slip into The Cone.

A landline

Don’t bundle it to your other services, like cable or your Internet or cell, because if they go down, it will, too. Your landline is connected to the phone company, not the power company, by copper wires buried underground. It should work without electricity, unless your phone company also goes down, which is unlikely, as it usually has a generator.

Batteries and Simple tools

Obviously, you need batteries to power your radio and flashlights. Even if you have a generator (which I highly recommend, but you don’t NEED one), you need flashlights in case the generator doesn’t work.

Also, your generator need only power the areas of your house you use (lights, refrigerator, AC in one or two rooms), not your entire home. So you need flashlights to see in the un-powered areas.

You need a radio to listen to local news since there might be no Internet or cable.

Never use candles during a power outage. Many deaths during hurricanes are caused by fire.  911 will not respond to emergencies during the storm. That is why you were told to evacuate!

If you have a generator, do not use it INSIDE your house. 8 of the people who died during Irma died of carbon monoxide poisoning from using their generator inside their house.

You need a few simple tools to put shutters up over your windows, such as a hammer, a wrench, and pliers.

First aid kit

You need a first aid kit because you will probably injure yourself using the tools, since you are a crazy writer. 😉

Also, there will be sharp things on the ground after the storm. People will step on them and need first aid after coming to your house to use the landline, and the hospital won’t be open right away. Alcohol, band-aids, and some antibacterial spray/ointment will work. Remember, YOU are 911 now!

Buckets and towels

It doesn’t matter how new or old your house is, during a hurricane, some part of it will leak.

A towel at the bottom of the bucket will keep you from going insane at the sound of the “drip…drip…drip” during the storm.

Water

It is important to have a large stash of bottled water in the house during a storm. We had even more than pictured above. Ignore the beer, that was not mine.

After the hurricane, your town’s water supply may be compromised (ours was) for a little while, so you will have to drink bottled water. And you will long for ice like Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway. Ice becomes rarer than diamonds after a storm!

Fortunately, we got some ice from a local Key West restaurant, The Brewery. How I love you, The Brewery! Key West restaurants were fantastic about donating food and drink before and after the storm. Shout outs to The Brewery, Baby’s CoffeeDantes, Azur, B.O.’s Fish Wagon, Kermit’s, Eaton Street Fish Market, and probably many more I’m forgetting, who really saved the day for many Keys residents by giving food away FOR FREE to those in need.

Which reminds me:

Food

Don’t forget to stock up on non-perishable food items!!! Probably more high-protein food than this, but you may not feel like eating anything except stuff like this anyway.

I also recommend your neighbor’s cooking! Getting together with neighbors during storms to clean out your fridge and eat all their yummy perishables is the best part of storms. I’m fortunate that one of my neighbors is the Key West Spice man! Get some today, and support Key West! (I like the Southernmost Blend ground fine and sprinkled on popcorn.)

Pets

Don’t forget your pets! Make sure you stock up on plenty of food and water for them, too! Obviously, Allie is pictured here with my secret stash of food, not hers. She had plenty of her own, though, along with medication in case of emergencies.

Tornado Bed

Tornadoes are a real possibility during hurricanes, so it’s best to camp out during the worst of the storm in a ground level room of your house, the one that has the least windows (and in which I also happened to have moved all of my outdoor furniture).

Your pets will enjoy this fun adventure and so will you!

AFTERMATH

After the storm is over, the hardest part of Cone Life begins:

Is this my beautiful house? – The Talking Heads

After the storm, when everyone comes outside, blinking and shell-shocked, it’s easy to let depression and despair sink in, especially if your home/town has suffered significant damage, or even if you just listen to the news. Words like “devastation” and “disaster” get mentioned a lot by journalists and even our political leaders.

And as we now know, we weren’t even supposed to survive this event!

“It will take YEARS to get back to normal . . . if ever!” said someone official in Key West.

No one wants to hear things like that . . . especially since it isn’t true. Human beings are amazingly resourceful and resilient, especially when we work together.

What IS true, however, though most people don’t know it, is that the majority of injuries occur just after storms, during cleanup, from stepping on downed power lines, hidden nails, attempting to cross storm surge, being hit by fallen trees, getting infected bug bites, dehydration, and things like that.

So this is the time when Cone Life is riskiest, and also the most depressing.

But it doesn’t have to be!

We Can Do It!

Because if no one listens to the forecasts of doom and gloom, and everyone works together (while staying hydrated), it won’t be years before their town is cleaned up . . . .

To The Rescue!!!

. . . but weeks or in some cases even days!

By keeping a positive attitude (and employing a little hard labor), people can do anything. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Above is a photo of St. Mary in the Grotto at St. Mary Star of the Sea church in Key West, where many people go to pray before hurricanes. It’s said that as long as the grotto is standing, a hurricane will never destroy our little island . . . and so far, one never has.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, especially up the Keys, but Key West is open again for business. I’m off to New York for a signing at Comic Con next week, where I’ll also tell everyone I can to COME TO KEY WEST FOR THEIR NEXT VACATION. You’ll find me taking part in the

From a Certain Point of View NYCC Panel on Saturday, 10/7; 11:00am-12:30pm

Location: Hudson Mercantile Building

For tickets, click here
PLEASE NOTE: A ticket to New York Comic Con is not required in order to attend this event

The book goes on sale everywhere October 3!

If you’re interested in helping victims of ALL the terrible hurricanes we’ve had lately, including Puerto Rico, donate to One American Appeal. This is the organization put together by our past presidents, or as I like to think of them, The X-Presidents, although this image below needs to be updated to reflect them all:

Remember, we’re all in this together . . . and together, we’ll get through it!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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