Monday, January 25, 2010


Blasts from my reading past:

First of all, I apparently thought "stage fright" was an adjective. Secondly, that was so not true--I was totally shy, but really wanted to be a star in spite of this. So I guess I was trying to brainwash myself.

So ambitious/modest! George Bush, Sr. was on the cover of this book, so, no, they are not eighty years old, despite looking that way. I guess paperbacks don't age well.

I was very careful about keeping my books in pristine condition, and demanded this of those who borrowed from me. (I may or may not have just had an unfortunate discovery of one of my precious BSC books littered with food stains, after my best friend let her sister read it.)

A slightly creepy inscription from one of my parents' friends. (But it was Where the Sidewalk Ends, so a great book choice.)

A super-cool collection, with different illustrators and styles for each story. I also had a chocolate cake with gummi bears on it that year. No idea, then, what has me crying in the photos from that day.
So much better than another My Little Pony.

A Christmas present from my fifth-grade teacher. I still love this book. . . .

I've been at my parents' house for the past week, and decided to go through my old room and see what stuff I could give away. The accumulation of stuff (I won't say "junk" because it offends my dad--who asked me, "Do you want to bring any of this twine back with you? I could roll some up for you.") in a big suburban house (and in my bedroom alone) is really just astounding, and it has me wanting to never give or receive any thing as a gift ever again, except for really practical things (like super-cute stationery on recycled paper), edible things (in reusable packaging that you can then pass on to your next friend, rather than throw them out or just let them pile up in your cupboards), or BOOKS!

I really think books are the perfect gift, and the one that keeps on giving. In looking at some of the inscriptions in my childhood books (made both by myself and by others), I was struck with a really fun idea for a new tradition: writing in your name and when you read the book, and then passing it on to your friend, who will do the same, and then pass it on to the next person. . . . Then it would be like when you used to look in the inside front covers of your textbooks at the beginning of the school year and see all the names and dates of the students had used them before you, and feel like you were part of this legacy. Or maybe it was just nerds like me who thought that. . . .
Anyway, this past Christmas a friend of mine had a great idea for our yearly Secret Santa exchange that I thought was just great--we were each to send one of our books that we had read and loved in the previous year to the person whose name we had drawn. So maybe next year I'll suggest that we add my little inscription idea to this new tradition.
- L'Editrice

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spotlight on my peers

One of my clients, Sharon Biggs, made a suggestion for a blog post, and I will happily indulge her (and myself, because it means an easier posting for me):

"I so agree with your blog on words we can retire. You should do one on words and phrases writers should retire. The one I hate the most is: 'I swallowed hard.' I stopped counting how many times Alyson Noel wrote that in her latest book Shadowland. My other favorite is: 'She tossed her head' (where exactly?). 'Chuckling,' 'strolling,' or 'padding barefoot' into rooms should also be axed. Descriptions of eyes as 'liquid pools' of amber/topaz/emerald should also be sent on their way. : )"

Anyone want to add their own writing bugaboos?

Also, I'm going to take this opportunity to make a shout-out to my former colleague Martha Mihalick's blog (and Twitter feed and Flickr stream). (I would have it and many others on my blog roll, if I could only figure out how to post one on here.) It's a charming representation of Martha's personality, smarts, and many talents. (But here's a warning: don't look at her "Crafty" photos if you're on a diet, or trying to save money--they will make you want to eat many delicious desserts and go on an Etsy shopping spree. How adorable are these?)

- L'Editrice

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ode to Estonian sheep gloves

In five years of taking the subway in New York, I never lost anything, but I'm already on my second loss on the MBTA after living in Boston for less than a year. Last March I lost a puffy coat, and while I am still perplexed as to how this was possible (I really remember wearing the coat the whole evening, since it was cold enough to have taken it with me, plus it was kind of a big, noticeable thing that would be hard to leave behind), I'd had it for several years, and was happy with the idea of some cold, coatless person adopting it from me.

But this week I lost my Estonian sheep gloves, which makes me very sad. I bought them from a market in Tallin back in August for far too much (the kroon was very strong), but they were worth it--adorable white gloves with a three-dimensional, fluffy gray sheep embroidered onto each of them, and of course memories of my trip sewn in as well. So far no one has turned them into the lost-and-found, either. My only consolation is imagining some little child with big hands finding them and loving them (since most adults don't have my childish tastes), and then coming up with a great story about the new adventures my gloves are going on.

I try to do that with all the material things I lose, or things I give away--be happy for the life they spent with me, and be even happier for the new lives they are embarking on. Just like with books.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today's guest blogger is Jezebel (and, distantly, Ann M. Martin)

. . . because they're just spot on with this (also love how that post title could also totally be an Onion headline) and this (hey, as much as I love the originals, I don't mind getting a little snarky and academic in analyzing them).

(This is pretty amazing, too.)

- L'Editrice

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Were Meg Cabot and I separated at birth?

I've been catching up on all the blogs I missed when I was away, and saw that Meg Cabot had a post on the inexplicably addictive Lifetime Christmas-movie marathon, too.

Then in this post, not only does she admit to reading quinceaƱera magazines (which is totally something I would do), she also made me feel a whole lot less sheepish about the fact that my TeenVogue subscription won't expire until I'm almost 31, by making it known that the average subscriber is 27. Hooray!

Meg, call me! We'd totally be BFF.

- L'Editrice