follow me on Twitter
  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.

Archive for September, 2009


Posted on September 25th, 2009 by annakjarzab

Okay, so listen: I could do the schpiel where I say “I’m such a bad blogger!” and “OMG so long since I blogged!” but you guys are tired of that, right? I should think so. I mean, I do it EVERY WEEK now–sometimes not even that often!

So instead, something new and different! Not so new or different, but whatever. My thoughts on TV plus a boring personal story. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Obviously, Glee is the best show on television right now (and I say this EVEN THOUGH Gossip Girl is rocking my world because Chuck and Blair are doing the relationship thang and it is so so so amazingly cute, obviously). I mean, come on, musical television? It’s not an easy thing to do–ask the writers/actors of Viva Laughlin or Cop Rock (see what I did there, Tony? Stole stuff right from your trivia night). But Glee gets it right because it’s a high school show, so it gets more leeway for ridiculousness, plus it’s got some hyper-realism going on, like Ugly Betty or Pushing Daisies–everything is brighter than normal, everyone has a heightened personality, the jokes are more extreme, etc. You get that you’re in another world, and you buy it. Plus, the music, a great blend of show tunes, glee club standards, and pop/hip-hop, is to die. I’ve downloaded many a song from Glee that I’d never had any interest in before the show–and I’d rather listen to the Glee versions than the originals.

What does this have to do with me, other than I like the show? SO GLAD YOU ASKED. (Although you won’t be, in a second.)

See, this week (if you haven’t seen it, spoilers ahead, sort of), Kurt joined the football team to make his dad proud/cover up his flamboyant behavior. Except, through Will’s interference, he ends up teaching the entire team the “All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” dance, supposedly because they need to learn rhythm and fluidity, to loosen up and relax on the field, or whatever. Mostly an excuse to play “Single Ladies” 87 times! But anyway, Kurt was like, Hey, what a good intimidation tactic–nobody’s going to expect you to bust a move on the football field, to Beyonce no less! And eventually the team comes around, and that’s exactly what they do, and then they WIN THE GAME BECAUSE OF IT. Behold, the McKinley High School football team dancing to “All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”:

I lost my mind when I watched that the first time, and again every subsequent time (I’ve watched it a lot). I mean, pure joy. What’s better than that?

Anyway, the reason I felt it was necessary to blog about this was that when I was a senior in high school I moved to California and transferred schools. I was a competitive swimmer in high school, so I joined the swim team when I got there. Now, my old swim team was huge, disciplined and super competitive. The caliber of talent on the team was so fierce that I was never on varsity, even though I was a decent swimmer. We did morning practice three days a week and every day after school, on holidays and over breaks, and we won most of our meets.

But my new school, though it had a swim team, was not competitive at all. I was on varsity, which should tell you something, and was one of the best swimmers on the team. We lost all of our meets except two, and one of those was a forfeit. You see what I’m saying? Not so great. The thing was, I had an amazing time on that team, and I was basically miserable on my old team. My life revolved around the SHS swim team, and we worked so hard, and people were so self-centered and awful in some ways. It was just really difficult and stopped being fun, but it was my entire world so I could never imagine quitting. But the DHS swim team was so fun, because nobody took it too seriously–nobody planned on competing in the Olympics or winning state or getting a scholarship. We were just there because we liked to swim.

And we decided that, if we weren’t going to be good, we were going to be memorable, so one of our JV boys swimmers choreographed a dance to a very special song. You may have heard it, and if not, after you do, you’ll never forget it:

Yeah. We started out every meet by dancing to “Tunak Tunak.” It was so awesome, and still one of my favorite things about high school. We just looked totally crazy. Good times.

Poor attendance

Posted on September 18th, 2009 by annakjarzab

Oh boo. I’m afraid to look and see how long it’s been since I posted something, so let’s just go with IT’S BEEN A WHILE. Sigh. Oh well! As I told you before, I’ve been busy getting a life and working and stuff. And reading! Always reading.

I put aside CH for pretty much no reason except I got sick of working on it and missed GR, so I’m back on that train. I know I always said GR was going to be a big book, in terms of how much work it was going to take to accomplish what I want it to be, and probably in terms of pages as well, but I don’t think I ever realized HOW big and HOW much work it was going to take until pretty much the last week or so. Because I spent five days drawing the floorplans of a house. FIVE DAYS. Let me tell you, I did not miss my calling as an architect. If I didn’t know for a fact he’s busy with school and everything, I’d call my friend Scott, who goes to SIARC and just have him do it for me, but alas.

It was kind of cool to design a house though, especially a crazy house with lots of secret passages and hidden doorways and enormous ballrooms and stuff. I was ridiculously proud of it and actually showed it off to my friends at the bar yesterday, just because I really can’t put it up here for you guys to look at and I’ve got no one else to foist it upon. I also made a nice family tree, which was an unexpected detour on Tuesday night but fun all the same. This is the stuff I like best, you know. The prep work. The stuff nobody really sees unless you whip out your notebook and keep a vigilant watch on your friends as they handle it, lest they accidentally set it down in a puddle of Bud Lite (drink responsibly!).

So things are moving. I’m working on the GR synopsis, which, while far from completion, is significantly farther along than I ever hoped it could be (mostly because I never worked on it before now).

As for my other books, I’m still waiting on an editorial letter for MB, which is sort of a relief. I thought I’d have it this month, and I was dreading it, because I’m exhausted and I know it’s going to be a lot of work. I’m sure I’ll be happy to work on it when it comes, though. MB has a special place in my heart because I am, in my bones, a funny, light-hearted person and secret romantic–AUT is dark and sad and serious, and while I like writing all of that, MB is sort of like a vacation in a lot of ways. I’m back to dark in GR, so it should be a welcome project when it comes along. It can’t be sturm und drang all the time, you know?

AUT is, predictably, resting in a cocoon for the moment, although I did get an exciting piece of sales news today that I’m sure I can’t share on the blog (and, truthfully, don’t wholly understand so I wouldn’t even attempt to explain what it means, but my editor seems pumped!), and I found out who my publicist is, although I haven’t talked to her yet. So the whole being published in January thing isn’t a dream! I was worried. I’ve been having some pretty vivid dreams lately.

I know I’m behind on emails, and ARC requests, and I’m honestly sorry about that. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’m busy? Which, we are all busy, I get that. I will get to them eventually, I promise. I actually have many things to get to that I haven’t been able to do in a while, so please bear with me, my life has been undergoing some rearranging and–fun times!–I’ll be moving soon. Just to a new apartment, probably in the same general region of Manhattan, if not the same neighborhood, but still. Moving in New York is a bitch, and I have yet to find a new place to live. So fall will be pretty stressful and busy, but it’s mostly exciting stuff, so I’m happy about it. Posts might be a bit thin on the ground, though (is that a thing people say?), I warn you.

Checking in

Posted on September 8th, 2009 by annakjarzab

Ugh, sorry for being so MIA. Lately, there just seems like so many better things to do besides blog. And, I mean, go me for experiencing the outside world, stepping away from the computer and living life, but seriously, WHAT ABOUT MY LOYAL READERS?!

Anyway, what have I been up to? Writing, if you can believe it, although I’m in one of those writing valleys where I’m putting a lot of words on the page but none of it seems to be going anywhere. I talked about how I’ve gotten a lot of CH written, only to decide to rewrite it, only to decide to delete the last scene I wrote and just go on from there, which is going okay, although I haven’t touched it in a couple of days. I don’t know. I really should plot things out, I know this about myself, but plotting seems so hard to do when you just want to get into the thick of writing. I get really overwhelmed by all the possibilities offered without at least a rough outline, and then I get paralyzed, and then I don’t write. As my roommate would say, bad mojo.

This past weekend, I mostly worked on GR. I KNOW! I haven’t talked about that book in forevs. Because I haven’t really worked on it in forevs. But I started to write it again, albeit slowly and with trepidation, AND I decided to really go ahead and write myself a full outline for this one, even though I’m already about eighty pages into the actual manuscript. This book is going to be so rough to write. I haven’t got everything figured out yet, and I’m still puzzling out a lot of the most important details, which is stalling any real progress. But I feel oddly confident about it right now, like it might actually get written and not be terrible, which is odd for me right now but I’m going with it.

Other than that, I’ve just been hanging out with friends, working and reading. Lather, rinse, repeat. I feel so much better about living in New York than I have for the past almost two years now (which: hasn’t it only been two seconds? or two decades?). About a month and a half ago, New York suddenly clicked into place for me–I feel like I belong here, like I’ll be here long-term and rather than being sort of depressed about that, I’m happy about it. Which is cool, because this is a hard city to live in if you don’t really commit to it, and I was feeling the strain of trying.

Also: Matryoshka Monday! On Tuesday!

5333_dRussian Doll Squishy Keychain from