Monthly Archives: September 2013

in which I protest taxation without representation

Last Saturday, a group of Bostonians1 dressed as Mowhawk Indians snuck aboard the British ship The Eleanor and dumped over a hundred crates of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of unjust taxes without representation.

Here’s photographic evidence of the event:

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Okay so what actually happened is that the Shark and I went to the Boston Tea Party Museum and got to reenact the Boston Tea Party. Including the part where you throw crates of tea into the harbor while causing a ruckus. We were really good at that part. We were also really good at the part where we were asked to vocally show our support to Samuel Adams’s speech about the tyrannical British rule. There was much foot stomping and pew banging and shouting of “Huzzah!” and “Fie!” in turn.

I haven’t done a lot of touristy things here in Boston. I keep waiting for someone to come visit me so I have an excuse to do them. But the Tea Party Museum was the Shark’s birthday gift to me, since we have both been insanely curious what was going on every time we walked by the harbor and saw tourists throwing tea into the water.

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The Boston Tea Party Museum is awesome. Mostly because it is not the sort of museum where you walk around quiet galleries and read long signs and look at artifacts you have no context for looking at. It is the sort where you get to attend a Sons of Liberty meeting, put feathers in your hair, board a replica of the ships that were in the harbor, and fling crates of tea overboard2. It’s living history, which is the best kind of history. If you find yourself in Boston anytime between now and the end of the world, you should go to the Tea Party Museum and take part in a historic event. It is well-worth the treason charges and possible hanging.

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Saturday was such a good day, for a lot of reasons. Before we went to the museum, the Shark and I got lunch on the waterfront. While walking around with our sandwiches, we stumbled upon one of the many colorfully painted pianos located around Boston3. We ended up sitting by the water and listening to this handsome young man play the most beautiful song while people gathered around him and little kids danced. And the sky was blue, and the sun was on the water, and it was that perfect fall sort of warm, and my sandwich was delicious, and I was just completely overcome with how wonderful the world was in that moment.

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This month has beaten me down a little bit. I’ve fallen hard-core in love with Boston, which has been great, but there’s been a lot of disappointment, and a lot of things didn’t go as expected. It’s been a little discouraging. But this moment, this beautiful moment and the whole lovely, mad day that followed, was a peculiar sort of answer to a prayer. The sort of moment that makes you wonder how you could be sad in a world so bright and lovely.

 

  1. Mostly tourists and non-natives.
  2. And at the end you get to sample the types of tea that were thrown overboard by the Sons of Liberty. All I will say is it was good that I was not a Colonial tea drinker. Those things would clear your sinuses with a sip, they were strong!
  3. This is exactly what it sounds like. Pianos are released into the wild around the city and anyone can play them.
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in which I have a perfect weekend

Oh look, I have a blog!

I forgot I have a blog. As you might have noticed. Because it’s been a while since I posted.

The weeks since the return to Boston have been good but busy, hence the lack of blogging. I started school, started a new job, started working on my thesis1 with my advisor, celebrated a birthday, went to an epic twenties murder mystery party for said birthday.

And then this past weekend, I went to New York.

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The New York trip has been in the works for a while. It was originally meant to include a bunch of Simmons friends, but one by one they dropped out, like we were touring Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. In the end, it was just me and a friend of mine who I don’t think has appeared on the blog before, so let’s call her Milton.

Milton and I went to New York this weekend with an agenda that included various children’s lit shenanigans. So I knew it was going to be great.  I did not realize it was going to be the Most Perfect Weekend Ever.

Here are the three reasons my weekend in New York was the Most Perfect Weekend Ever:

1. The Children’s Literature

The primary reason behind this trip was going to the New York Public Library exhibit on children’s literature. Which was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Not only were the artifacts on display super gorgeous2, Milton and I kept geeking out about beautiful the exhibit itself was. You could tell it was created with a lot of love and care by people who really love children’s books. There was a tower of banned books, a recreation of the room from Goodnight Moon, and even a giant wild thing!

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We also got to attend the Brooklyn Book Festival, which is the largest literary festival in New York and one of the largest in the US. It was amazing. We got to hear amazing authors talk, including David Levithan, Meg Cabot, Lauren Myracle, Katherine Applegate, and Jasper Fforde. Of course, I got to bulk up my signed books collection and just sort of bask in the awesomeness of so many awesome and creative people in the same place.

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2. The Theater

I saw two shows this weekend. First was Once, which has been playing for a while but I hadn’t seen until this weekend. I…liked it with reservations. It had some issues, but overall was still a beautiful and moving theatrical experience. I had very good seats that were purchased for much cheaper because they were last minute, and, as I do almost every time I’m at a show of that caliber, I just felt lucky to be there.

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Then Milton and I saw Matilda, which I have been waiting to see for years, ever since it opened at the RSC just after I left England. I am an avid fan of the novel on which it is based, and just a great lover of Roald Dahl in general. This musical was made for me. Tickets right now are bleeding expensive and hard to come by, so this took a bit of planning ahead of time to see3. And in spite of that, we were still in the nethermost regions of the topmost balcony. It sort of felt like watching the show from a low-flying airplane. But none of the mattered because OMG MATILDA!

I have seen a lot of theater over the course of my life. Matilda is easily in my top five4. Maybe top three. Just absolutely the most beautiful theatrical experience ever. I was definitely predisposed to like this show as it is a fusion of the two things I love most in the world, theater and children’s literature5. But seriously, it was just sensational. Blew my mind. Loved every minute.

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3. The Perfect Timing

Something about this weekend just made everything go right. Little things, like me coming out of the subway right at the same time as Ariel, with whom I was again lodging, so I didn’t have to wander around Brooklyn in the dark. Having the exact right amount of money on my metrocard. The fact that twice Milton and I had very specific cravings and they both manifested within minutes6. Weird things like that just went right. It’s amazing for a trip to go off without a hitch, and this one actually went off better than that. It didn’t just go as anticipated, it went better.

It was also perfectly timed because the last month has been sort of rough. Starting the new job has been hard and exhausting, working on my thesis has been hard and exhausting, working on the other project with my agent has been emotionally draining, and just moving in general and readjusting to Boston has left me beat. I really needed a win this weekend. I really needed a perfect weekend.

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  1. Which one minute is giving me writer’s high and the next makes me want to Sherlock-style throw myself off a building.
  2. Secret Garden manuscript pages! PL Travers’s umbrella! Original illustrations from Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland!
  3. And a small nest egg.
  4. Hamlet at the National Theater, Pippin at ART, Eastland at LookingGlass, and Romeo and Juliet at the RSC. If you were interested.
  5. And it even falls in that weirdly specific category of children’s lit and theater I like, which is dark whimsy.
  6. Number One: “I want frozen yogurt…oh look, there’s a woman handing out coupons for Orange Leaf.” Number two: “I want Panera French onion soup…oh look, there’s a Panera on the next block.”
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in which I pick a giveaway winner

First of all, thanks again to everyone who participated in Four Book Friday either as reader or poster or innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. I’m so glad so many people enjoyed the series.

And on that note, we have a GIVEAWAY WINNER! Guys, this is my first giveaway. It was so exciting!

And now, thanks to the power of technology and random number generators, our winner is….

Krista Van Dolzer! *throws confetti* *pops crackers* *generally goes nuts*

Congrats Krista! The Gryffindors are cheering for you. (Remember her totally awesome Four Book Friday post? I’m kind of obsessed with it.) I will email you for which of the Four Book Friday books you want to make your own.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. And to those of you who are not Krista, better luck next time!

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in which I bid farewell to the Friend

Before we begin, don’t forget to read the Four Book Friday Wrap Up and enter my very first GIVEAWAY where you could win one of the Four Book Friday books and a $10 gift card! Click here to enter. 

As of last Tuesday, I am back in BOSTON!

It’s taken me a while to get this news on the blog because I have been occupied by the actual act of moving to Boston and getting things in order here. But I’m officially back on the east coast and excited to be here.

But before we talk about the return to Boston, we have to talk about what happened before the move back to Boston.

So you may remember about five months ago, I posted my “big news” about getting an internship with The Friend Mormon children’s magazine. And if you’ve been hanging around the blog at all this summer, I’ve told a few stories about working there. A few, but not too many. When I was first offered the internship, I was pretty excited, mainly because it meant I could save money while living at home and not have to cook for myself all summer, and I wouldn’t have to battle the humidity in Boston. That’s it. Sure, it would be cool working on a magazine, but I’m not a super churchy person, so I wasn’t excited about that. Honestly, I didn’t think working for the Friend would be particularly different than my other internships I had—a few months of some interesting work that doesn’t leave much of an impression. I especially didn’t think it would be life changing.

Surprise—it was.

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Part 1 of the amazing parting gift the staff made me–a fake copy of the magazine with my picture on the cover!

Working for the Friend ended up being the most all-around amazing thing I’ve ever done. I got to do real work—not just usual intern work that could be screwed up with minimal consequences. Every day I got to throw myself into projects that directly contributed to the on-time publication of a magazine with over one million readers worldwide1. And I got to work on them with the most talented group of people I have ever worked with. I was in daily awe of these people, and equally amazed by their intelligence and their dedication to quality children’s literature.

I did not have a bad day at the Friend. I hardly had a bad moment. I had four months of hard work and happiness that I would never have guessed were coming my way on that rainy night five months ago when I got a phone call from Salt Lake City.

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Part 2 of amazing parting gift–the back cover!

I’ve been staring at this open Word document for like ten minutes because it really is just impossible to put into words my experience at the Friend. All you have to know is that when it was all finished, I went home and just cried for a while. I’m crying a little bit now as I write this because a part of my heart is still back in the corner cubicle on the 24th floor. The Friend gave me so many things, some of which are too personal to write about here, but mostly confidence in myself and my work, validation that I am in the correct field, and an arsenal of people on my side to which I wish I could offer some eloquent gratitude, but the only thing I can think to say is “I’ll eat you up I love you so.” And I think they’ll recognize what that means coming from me.

Thank you to the Friend and its marvelous staff for an outstanding summer, for letting me work on things I was passionate about and allowing me to bask in your brilliance. Here’s hoping some of it rubbed off on me.

 

  1. I also got to spend a fair amount of time on Pinterest and read a lot of picture books. Seriously, dream job.
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Four Book Friday Wrap Up

It has been a great summer of reading and life changing and Four Book Friday! Thanks everyone who participated, and thanks everyone who sent so much positive feedback about the series! It was really fun to read everyone’s answers and the comments they inspired!

The end of the summer does not necessarily mean the end of Four Book Friday—they may still pop up, and if you want to do one, please get in touch! It just won’t be a weekly series anymore, since it was intended to last only through summer.

To wrap up our series, here are some of the awesome thoughts from our guest posters! And if you read all the way to the end, you might just find a giveaway.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)The MT
“To me, the Harry Potter series are like a close friend who has always been there for me. I read Harry Potter when I’m feeling scared, or stressed or angry, or even when I’m happy.”
Read more of her thoughts on Harry Potter, as well as The Silver Linings Playbook, The Mark of Athena, and The Watchman’s Rattle

Rebecca Wells
“The circumstances by which I make my way back to these familiar pages don’t matter — in every encounter, Walk Two Moons makes me feel less alone in the world. And isn’t that what extraordinary books are supposed to do?”
Read more of her thoughts on Walk Two Moons, as well as Snow White, Blood Red, Sabriel, and The Truth About Forever

Hope Was HereTracy Marchini
“To me, Nancy was fearless — the kind of teen I wanted to be. “
Read more of her thoughts on Nancy Drew, as well as Chatty Chipmunk’s Nutty Day, A Treasury of Fairytales, and Pride and Prejudice

Mariah Manley
“Everyone is flawed and everyone carries a burden, but flawed people banding together in a single cause are capable of great things. I believe in the power of community because of Hope Was Here.”
Read more of her thoughts on Hope Was Here, as well as How Green Was My Valley, The Grapes of Wrath, and Fanny’s Dream

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Lisa Palin
“Watching Anne struggle to be herself and to be worthy of love, only to learn that they were one and the same, taught me that wishing and wanting are fine, that doing (even with mistakes) is better, and that being me was okay because people who are worthy of me were the ones who would love me for it.”
Read more of her thoughts on There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, The Grounding of Group 6, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Greg Batcheler
“Beyond the descriptions, within every book I found a new cast of characters in that old, familiar world that captured my imagination. These everyday, unlikely heroes stood for epic and noble causes. I cheered when they won, I cried when they were defeated, and I cheered again when they persevered.”
Read more of his thoughts on Redwall, as well as Frog and Toad, Animorphs, and Star Trek

The Little PrinceCaitlin Jacobs
“As I cried over the last chapter, I wondered how Cassandra had grown so much without anyone even noticing. It made me realize how much growing I could do, even if it didn’t look to anyone else like anything was happening.”
Read more of her thoughts on I Capture the Castle, as well as In Defense of Food, Mistborn, and The Name of the Wind

Smatt Read
“What had meant to be a short literary foray turned into several hours of adventure and quiet revelations. The Little Prince gave me solace during a confusing and emotional time and made it possible for me to see a little more clearly the beauty there is in life.”
Read more of his thoughts on A Little Prince, as well as Black and White, Maze, and Trumpet of the Swan

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)Jenny Kaczorowski
“I think this is the book that taught me to look for magic in the every day.”
Read more of her thoughts on A Little Princess, The Complete Beatrix Potter, Twilight, and 1916

Katy Upperman
“If I Stay one of the few books I’ve reread, and I still recommend it often. It’s the novel that made me long to write, to craft a story that might impact a reader as profoundly as this one impacted me.”
Read more of her thoughts on If I Stay, as well as Blubber, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and the Face on the Milk Carton

Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)

Krista Van Dolzer
“I didn’t spend a ton of time in high school trying to fit in, but Stargirl made me wish I could go back and do it over. I thought I had to be effervescent and exciting to be of any worth in high school, but really, I didn’t have to be. I could have just been myself.”
Read more of her thoughts on Stargirl, as well as The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Quiet

Hannah Thompson
“After hearing one too many horror stories about rude students, school shootings, and unhelpful administrators, it’s hard to forge ahead in the education program with a positive “I can make a difference!” attitude. Thanks to Will Grayson, Will Grayson…I feel more confident heading into the classroom armed with knowledge and faith in my subject.”
Read more of her thoughts on Will Grayson, Will Grayson, as well as Rumble Fish, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Stotan!

Will Grayson, Will GraysonClarissa Hadge
“As a writer, I strive to create strong female characters like Alanna, characters who stick to their convictions, and who are not only as capable in harrowing situations as their male colleagues, but that are even tougher and better.”
Read more of her thoughts on Alanna, the First Adventure, as well as A Wrinkle in Time, North to Freedom, and Mi Revalueshanary Fren

Thanks for joining us this summer for Four Book Friday! And….oh yeah, I did promise you a giveaway if you stuck around until the end….so HERE IT IS! The giveaway I actually promised at the beginning of the summer, now officially online!  Just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link to be entered for a chance to win one of the Four Book Friday books as well as a $10 giftcard to Barnes and Noble!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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