also, today is my half birthday & i should really have half a cake

As you may have noticed, I was in NYC for the past few days.

I met my agent and my editor in person for the first time. They are, in fact, actual people and not just lovely disembodied telephone voices.

I drank a lot of wine with my sister. I got snowed on in Times Square. I met the resident kitty at the Algonquin.

I generally felt like I’d wandered into someone else’s life.

It’s going to take awhile for this to fit on me properly. Like breaking in new boots.

And then last night, while I was on the train back to Boston, my Google alerts kind of exploded with the Summit film option announcement.

I’m thrilled about it, of course. It’s not helping that whole endeavoring to become more of a believer thing, though. Every time I think this whole journey might get less surreal eventually, things like this happen and I’m reduced to blinky-eyed deer in headlights mode and I say “yay” a lot, because I’m articulate like that.

Oh, and since some of the announcements have mentioned it as such, I should probably clarify that The Night Circus is not a young adult novel. It will probably have a lot of appeal for teenage readers & fans of YA, but it is indeed an adult-market book.

Home now, with kittens who claim not to have missed me. Fluffy little liars.

knights & orchids

On Saturday we went to see Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, which was enjoyable for about an hour and a half and then boring and badly paced for the last hour. And when the credits started I immediately turned to the boy and said “Today we have learned that a good director can elevate a mediocre screenplay to something decent but cannot salvage a final scene as horrible as that one.” Really. Love the direction, love the look of everything, love Luna, love Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe has some brilliant comic timing, but that screenplay was awful.

On Sunday we found out someone has been using my debit card to go on a spending spree in the UK. Bright side: some card monitoring place called to alert me, plus froze the card for me. According to the bank I need to go fill out fraud paperwork. There’s some confusion at this point as to what charges went through and what didn’t, but it’s several hundred dollars, at least. Joy.

In better news, I finished the Phantomwise Tarot Knights today. They’re up in the gallery on They were rather difficult, but I’m pleased with how they came out. Only 8 cards left, which is just crazy. Since I started in October of 2006 I’m thinking they’re going to end up finished almost exactly at the 3 year mark.

In other news I’m toying with multiple writing projects in hopes of finishing a draft of something by the end of the year, I just got these bracelets from Bullfinch & Barbury on Etsy and I’m in love with them, Tessa is in love with the huge cardboard box, and I’m going to go make dinner now.

In closing, here is a photo of the gorgeous orchid the boy got from his office, apparently they raffle off the old flowers when they replace them and he got this one. We’re trying not to kill it.


I am a Pixar junkie. I don’t always love their films (I hated Cars, I really did) and I maintain that the comparative lack of female characters is annoying, but for the most part I love most things Pixar.

When the teasers and trailers for UP first came out, I was nonplussed. I thought the balloons were pretty but it wasn’t really doing it for me.

But it came out today, and it’s getting really good reviews, and the boy had today off, and sometimes Pixar films are surprising when compared to their advertising campaigns. So we went to see it this morning.

And within 15 minutes it made me cry.

It is, indeed, much deeper than just a story about an old man and a little kid floating off in a house carried by countless Technicolor balloons. It’s thoughtful and touching and genuinely funny. I don’t know if it surpassed Ratatouille as my favorite Pixar film, but it is definitely up there with the best of them. We saw it in 3D, and the effects are wonderfully subtle. Mostly it just adds depth to the gorgeous scenery.

And it made me cry within 15 minutes. It might have been 10, I’d have to watch again and time it.

Loved it. Maybe even moreso because I didn’t think I was going to. And Partly Cloudy, the short that runs before it, might just be my new favorite Pixar short.

Go. See it. Bring Kleenex.

to boldly go

We went to see Star Trek this morning. Going in pretty skeptical of all the rave reviews, I was pleasantly surprised. It is really, really good. It’s not flawless, it’s not perfect, but it’s really, really good. 

I had some problems with the plot, I thought the first half was stronger than the last, and I’m rather annoyed that Uhura started out kick-ass and then got relegated to love interest. But overall I was impressed. I grew up on TNG and I don’t know my classic Trek as well but I’m pretty well-versed in a general sense. 

It’s the first time, I think, in any Star Trek, that I could see the step between modern present and Star Trek future. That was my favorite part, really, that this universe didn’t seem so distant. The design and aesthetic of it was brilliant.

Loved the cast, love the idea of actually rebooting the universe. Loved the Slusho reference. Curious to see if they can maintain this fresh, new energy through another film, but I can wait until 2011 or whatever to find out.

It was fun. We hadn’t been to the movies in awhile, either. Lousy previews, except for 9 which I am really looking forward to. Need to make a list of upcoming things to see, really. Up should be next, I think.

on boston and watchmen

The boy had Friday off from work so we took the train into Boston to see Watchmen and go out to lunch. It was still snowy but not terribly cold, which was nice. (Yesterday was downright tropical. 60 whole degrees!)

I’d been eagerly anticipating Watchmen for awhile. Not nearly as long as most people who read the graphic novel years ago since I only first read it recently, but longer than I usually anticipate film releases.

I loved it. Really. Really really loved it. It’s not the book, but no film can ever really be the same as a book. They’re two different experiences but I think it does a lovely job of capturing the essence of the book and you can feel the respect for the source material on the screen.

The opening credits are brilliant. The 80s-ness of it hits just the right notes, without looking silly or dated. It just kind of seems classic and a little bit retro and timeless. The slight changes to the plot make sense in the context of the film, and I think they work very well and didn’t feel forced or disingenuous. And at almost 3 hours it didn’t feel long at all. Really, it got to the last act and my first thought was “we’re here already?”

The casting was spot-on almost across the board. Having seen both Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children I was a teensy bit skeptical (particularly of Wilson, since the Nite Owl is my favorite and he usually looks very golden-boy) but they were both wonderful, and the hair & makeup team did an amazing job on both of them and several other actors in making them look exactly like the pen & ink versions.

Have I mentioned that I loved it? I did. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews but I really think it’s impressive and I struggle to imagine how they could have done it better. Two thumbs up, lots of stars, I may need a Nite Owl action figure, this film is Erin-approved and all that jazz.

After the movie we went and had black&tans at Ned Devine’s and wandered around town a bit. We walked through the North End and spotted all the stores and restaurants and cafes that had changed in the year and a half since we left. I don’t miss it, really. I miss aspects of it but not the whole. I’m glad we lived there for as long as we did but I’m also glad we moved.

I did take the opportunity to use my new(ish) Canon PowerShot while we were walking around. I like having a smaller camera to keep in my bag to catch random snapshots and such. Some of the better ones are up on my Flickr photostream.

This birdie was hanging out with the seagulls in Christopher Columbus Park.

I like being close enough to Boston to visit, still. I’ll like it better when it’s even warmer and has less snow.

Home now, with books to read and work to do and coffee. MacBook was fixed yesterday by nice Apple Geniuses. Going to bake banana muffins later.

the mouse circus alone is worth the price of admission

We went to see Coraline this morning. I have been looking forward to this for ages, I adore the book and I adore Henry Selick so the combination of the two made me downright giddy with anticipation. (I even painted Coraline-inspired art while I was impatiently waiting for the film to be released.)

It is only playing near us in 3D, which I was somewhat concerned about. I have rather wonky eyesight so I don’t always see things in 3D and such all that well. Remember those Magic Eye posters that were all the rage years ago that looked like abstract patterns but had images hidden in them? Never saw a single thing in those, am somewhat convinced that it was a big conspiracy.

But despite mild reservations we decided to give the 3D a whirl and I’m glad we did. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I could see a lot more of it than I’d expected to and it gave everything a glorious depth. I spent most of the film baffled by the artistry of it, the animation is downright amazing. And it’s a testament to the skill of the creators that I kept forgetting that it was all done by hand, the film is that absorbing.

The level of detail is astounding, the Scottie dogs and the mouse circus and each and every button. The characterization, especially of Coraline herself, is wonderful. Have I used enough favorable adjectives for you to tell that I adored it? I kind of did.

It’s definitely a different animal than the book. But I’m rather fond of cases where the book and the film are distinct, separate pieces of art. A book is not a film and a film is not a book, after all, and I think this is a very good example of a film that isn’t exactly like the book in a number of ways but still successful in its own narrative and form.

There are some teensy changes that I wasn’t entirely pleased with, but most of them were minor. Really, I was too mesmerized by the world to be bothered much by passing bits of plot. I loved the aesthetic of it, the feel of the film as a whole too much. I played on quite a bit when I got home, just to stay in that world a bit longer.

Highly recommended. And I’d recommend the 3D version, too, it definitely added a dimension to the experience.