Monday, September 21, 2009

I intended only lilies.

Currently Listening To: Tapestry by Carole King
Happy Birthday: Ruth!

Award winning author and all around blog rockstar Jenny B. Jones says it's easier to do a book giveaway using an online random number generator, like she does, than to do it my way. My way is to write names on Post-Its, then fold the Post-Its, then put them in my I Jim Halpert coffee cup, then shake the cup, then spin around in a circle, then draw out a name. I don't see Jenny's logic but I thought I would give her way a try.

So I generated. A number came forth. Congrats to Sarah of sarahwithachance! Email me your address at nat.lloyd[at] and I'll get it out to you this week. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks everybody for adding to the discussion about your favorite book settings. Talking about book towns takes me to such a happy place.

Speaking of a happy place, Margaret (who goes by Poohbonnet in the comments) sent me a really funky looking blog award:

Thanks so much, Margaret! That was super sweet of you. It's always nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks I am funny.

Let's do something truly revolutionary on this blog and discuss a few books! And the Emmy Awards! And macaroni and cheese! And exclamation points!

Scott Westerfeld's novel Uglies was available as a FREE download and I forgot to mention it. Poo. I've read the entire Uglies series.* It wasn't as lyrical as books I typically go for, but I think the concept is really fascinating. When it comes to sci-fi, Scott Westerfeld does such a great job of making a story readable and still forcing you to ask important questions. Uglies, the first in the series, was my fave. Uglies is a futuristic novel about a society where kids are forced to have surgery at the age of sixteen to transform them into perfect hotties. The book has a ton to say about worth, about image, about the sum of your experiences and your scars and how they contribute to who you're becoming. About who has the right to tell you who you're becoming. Those topics always interest me. I don't think they can be talked about too much, and I like seeing how different writers (fiction and non-fiction) take on society's (often creepy) interpretations of beauty. I'm also psyched about reading Westerfeld's new novel, Leviathan, once my library shelves it. I have a feeling the wait list will be long. Any steampunk fans out there? If so, Levithian will really float your boat. Nay, your airship.
(How gorgeous are those illustrations?)

On Thursday night, I read The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. I would go fangirl if I ever met Kate DiCamillo. Her novels consistently blow me away. They make me jealous because I know I will never write that awesomely even in my wildest dreams. They make me cry. They make me laugh. Most of all they just make my heart feel full. The Magician's Elephant is my favorite that she's done. It is dark, hopeful, and beautiful. If there's a writer alive who understands how musical language can be, it's her. Also, the novel is very short. This is a good thing because once I read the first paragraph, I knew I would be awake until I finished. It's that incredible.

The Magician in this novel makes a huge mistake at his magic show. He keeps saying, "I intended only lilies ...". Isn't that so melancholy pretty? Like a line from a poem or something? I couldn't wait to pass my copy off to my mom. We're both dorks for DiCamillo, so I'm excited to hear what she thinks of it. The Magician's Elephant is only $12 at Target. Totally worth it. One of the best I've read this year.

This weekend while the rain came down, I stayed inside and worked.

I took a 30 minute break to watch TV, eat Doritos, throw the tennis ball with Biscuit, and talk to Sarah. Sarah is getting married to an incredible guy this weekend and I'm so happy for both of them. I think he's fab, totally worthy of my BFF. I keed you not, I knew they would get married the first time I met him. I texted her after I left her apartment and said, "I think he's your lobster." Congrats cuties! :) Sarah and I didn't really talk wedding stuff though, as much as we talked about important issues like which restaurants had really good mac and cheese.** When we got off the phone, I worked more. Party at my place.

Later that night, Biscuit and I watched Sweet Home Alabama together. I've seen that movie so many times. I own it, and yet, when it comes on TV I still watch the whole thing. Biscuit barked at the MGM lion. My little bitty dog barked at a lion. Biscuit is a beast! :)

A final thought you writers will appreciate: Dad and I watched the Emmy Awards together last night.(I think Neil Patrick Harris is a doll.) My favorite part of the show was when the writers for Mad Men won. And the guy said, "Moments like this make writing seem really fun. It really isn't." Made me laugh. Also liked it when he said to show some love for those poor writer types at Starbucks, hunched over their computers, toiling away on a masterpiece.

I concur :)

How was your weekend? Psyched about any new shows this Fall? Are you as excited as I am about the new season of How I Met Your Mother?! And finally the question that I truly want an answer to ... who makes the best mac and cheese?

* It was bubbly-making, Tally-wa.
** J. Alexanders makes the most unbelievable mac and cheese ever. There are no words to convey it's splendor.


  1. Oooh, I won! I'd like to thank the academy... Thanks so much, Natalie!

    Sadly, I am not much of a mac and cheese fan. Can I vote Kraft, though? I don't watch How I Met Your Mother either (am I the only one sensing a theme), I don't own a TV, and I didn't have a weekend.
    Okay, I lied about the last two.

    I'm excited about The Hills (just to see if I'll watch the whole season - I might not be able to stomach Kristin and Speidi) and Top Model. I keep meaning to check out Glee and I can't wait for Grey's Anatomy to return.

    Finally, "I think he's your lobster." Best text ever. That's so sweet and my best to your friend and her soon-to-be husband.

    Okay and finally, finally, Sweet Home Alabama *asks* to be watch every time. It can't help it! And neither can I.

  2. Sarah, I gave up on Grey's Anatomy after the first season. I didn't like that George cheated on Callie. I didn't think that was in character for either of them. It ticked me off so I quit. I'm a very fickle fan :) I hear it's still addictive though! Glad you like Sweet Home Alabama too! I love it when he said, "Get the bologna cake out the ice box." Ha! So gross but so funny. Let me know about Glee. I liked the music but I'm not sold on it yet.

  3. Congrats to Sarah!! I will definitley have to check theat book, and the ones mentioned above out. I love love love to read. :)

    I am not a fan of macaroni either. But my mom makes fabulous homemade macaroni and cheese. She makes it every Thanksgiving or Christmas and it is so good.

    I, sadly, don't watch much tv due to the fact that I work and go to college full time. I have DVR though, so I record my faves to watch later. I do love So You Think You Can Dance and Gilmore Girls will always be my favorite tv show. I also really like 18 Kids and Counting (about to be 19!!) :)

    Lastly, Sweet Home Alabama is hilarious. Reese Witherspoon is so fabulous in that movie.

  4. My sister in law, Tessa, makes the best mac n cheese. I will have to get the recipe from her! I can't believe I don't have it!

  5. Steffanie, Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite shows too. If you stick around here very long, you will note I mention it pretty often. Ashley, who comments on here a lot, is also a Gilmore Girls fanatic. She visited the set. She has swag from Luke's Diner. Crazy! :) I'm really impressed with the Duggars. Especially the mom. She is so very calm and collected around her kids. Sweet Home is my favorite Reese movie too. She's a great actress.

    AP, get that recipe! :)

  6. Hey Natalie - So this is really belated, but thanks for the birthday wishes! :)

    Let's see, shows I'm excited about -

    White Collar - Starts on USA October 19th, I think. Stars the guy who used to play superspy Bryce on Chuck...he's a doll. :) The show looks like it has a lot of potential.

    Three Rivers - The only reason I want to watch this show is because it stars Alex O'Loughlin, my favorite vampire detective from the all too short-lived show Moonlight. Love, love, LOVED that's criminal it got canceled.

    Castle - I heart Nathan Fillion. This show is so much fun, have you watched it? As a write I think it should be required. :)