Monthly Archives: October 2013

in which I celebrate Halloween

Hello, I know I have been MIA for the last month, and I will do my best to be back to regular blogging soon but no promises. This thesis is sucking all my writing energy!

But I just wanted to say Happy Halloween to everyone from the crew of the Serenity.


This is the most proud I’ve ever been of a Halloween costume. I made that tshirt. MADE IT. Not as in wove and stitched it. As in bought the grey shirt from Urban Outfitters and then put that lettering on it. STILL IMPRESSIVE!

If you do not know who I am supposed to be, leave immediately and go watch the 14 glorious episodes of Joss Whedon’s scifi masterpiece, “Firefly.”

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in which I examine my google search history

In order for me to become a master in May, I have to complete a thesis over the course of this year. This thesis is a novel-length piece, which I write and work on under the direction of a mentor from the wide world of publishing.

So my life for the past month and a half1 has been consumed by my thesis. This is partially me just informing you of this fact and partially explaining why I haven’t been blogging with any sort of consistency.

I have been absolutely eaten up by this project. Obsessive in a way I’ve never been with any other piece of writing. I think about it all the time. I dream about it2. I plan scenes in my head while shelving books at work, while riding the train, while watching television3. I’d rather be writing than almost doing anything else. I’ve been sort of acting like a real writer lately, and it’s been fun.

When I tell people that I’m working on my thesis novel, the inevitable next question is “What’s it about?” I’m still really terrible at talking about my own writing. Worse at giving an elevator pitch of it. Even worse where this particular project is concerned, because it’s just really hard to explain with any sort of brevity or sanity.

So I thought I’d let my Google search history explain it instead. Sometimes I think that being a writer is just an extended game of “The Weirdest Thing I’ve Ever Googled,” and I have been definitely winning with this manuscript.

Here is an eclectic list of my most recent Google searches relating to my manuscript:

  • Miles between Geneva and Lyon
  • Recipe for spiced wine
  • Paradise Lost quotations in Frankenstein
  • French pastries
  • Slang for cyborg
  • Regency winter wear
  • How long does it take to dig a grave?
  • Victor Frankenstein childhood
  • How to tell if a cut is infected
  • Parts of a bridge
  • Can a bullet go through a steel plate?
  • “Make me a willow cabin at your gate” full quotation
  • Swiss surnames
  • What color hair did Mary Shelley have?
  • Regency underclothes
  • How much does it snow in Oslo?
  • How to say “shut up” in Dutch

I now leave it up to your active imaginations to guess for yourself what exactly my manuscript is about. Anyone care to speculate? If you need more clues, here’s a Pinterest board to help.


  1. Actually, since January really.
  2. Last night I dreamt that I was staring in a staged version of it. My subconscious is weird, man.
  3. Which I don’t do anymore, because I’d rather be writing.
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in which a portrait is painted

Right now there is a great thing going on in Boston called We Art Boston. It is a coming together of a bunch of amazing picture book illustrators to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

I am all in favor of helping hospitals and children, but mostly I’m in this because OMG PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATORS!!!!!

The latest in a series of events happened yesterday at Porter Square Books. The general public of Boston was invited to bring their children and their children’s favorite stuffed animals to the bookstore, where those stuffed animals could be sketched as a memento of childhood to be treasured for years to come.

I have no children, but I am in possession of a once-white-now-dingy-brown stuffed Snoopy, affectionately named Noopy, that I purchased at the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California many years ago1. Noopy has gone all over the world with me. I love him very much, and have cried many tears and spilled much Diet Coke into his fur2. He’s a little worse for wear after so many years of love and adventuring, but more than worthy of a portrait commemorating our time together. So yesterday, I took him on the train with me to Porter Square Books, and had his portrait sketched by Barbara McClintok, author of Adele and Simon, among other adorable picture books.


 photo courtesy of Porter Square Books


Isn’t he a beautiful boy? And the portrait itself is very Ernest Shepard, don’t you think?

It was one of the most fun things ever, and fun to see all the kids coming out with their beloved animals3. Noopy is very pleased with his portrait4, and so I am. It shall be prominently displayed in my home5.


  1. Though it was after the age it was probably appropriate for me to still love stuffed animals that much.
  2. I was also once advised by the MT not to use him as a means for transporting drugs when I went to college. She clearly had a high moral opinion of me.
  3. And fun elbowing them out of the way for my turn.
  4. It made him feel like a Victorian gentleman to be sketched so.
  5. It should be noted I have no pictures of any members of my family or friends displayed in my apartment. But a portrait of my stuffed dog—you bet.
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