Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I'm over the fur-lined boots and the down coats and
the fuzzy hats and the New York City slush. I'm over everyone sneezing on the subway and me shivering under my covers at night.
Around this time of year, I always start to lose my patience with winter. And March is simply cruel -- there's hardly any relief there. Last year, I went to LA at the end of March, and the year before that, to Paris, but this year I won't be traveling anywhere because I have a tight-tight deadline to finish my latest novel for Scholastic (just titled!The Year My Sister Got Lucky. Cover to be posted soon).
So all I can do now is dream of summer. Sultry mornings and iced lattes and flip-flops and the hum of air conditioners. Last summer, I took a trip with my sister, her husband, his brother, and their baby to a small lakeside town in upstate New York. That's me, by the pool, with my nephew (can you tell I'm obsessed? I posted another picture of him once before!). I remember feeling so carefree that day, with no writing to crank out, no heavy scarf to wrap around my neck, just the question of what chilled white wine to pair with dinner that night.
Since last summer was all about the lake, I'm thinking I want this coming summer to be a beachy one. The Hamptons are such a scene, but Montauk is quite lovely. Of course, I should be writing now, but a little long-term vacation planning never hurt anyone... :)
Saturday, February 24, 2007
It's amazing how beautifully European women dress. There's a sense of style here that blows me away. It's not like they're all bopping down the via this or via that in Versaci or Fendi or anything. It's more the accessories--a scarf here, a leather bag there, a gorgeous pair of earrings--that separates them from a mere fashion mortal like myself. (Of course the guide book, camera, and black diesel sneakers are also a dead giveaway that an American is in their midst).
I hereby vow to accessorize more when I return home--it'll be my way of beautifying the streets of New York.
Arrivederci for now!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Yay, free books!
Here's what you have to do to win...
Email me at erin @ erindowning.com and tell me something funny, embarrassing, or sweet about your prom (keep it short...no novels necessary). Haven't been to prom yet? Make up a short story - your story can be either fact or fiction! The cleverest five people will win a signed copy of either Dancing Queen or Prom Crashers...it's your choice!
Send me your stories by March 15 and have fun!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
This happened to me just the other night, with a full-blown movie dream full of fantastic special effects and a dandy plot. Unfortunately I always realize I'm dreaming -- and begin to exert conscious control -- before my subconscious has a chance to end the dream on its own. When you know it's a dream, it's hard to keep dreaming, right? Sometimes these gift stories don't fall into a genre or format I can conveniently use, but I dutifully write them down anyway. Then I feel guilty if I don't put the dream to use. Of course, I might need that idea ten years from now, or it might morph into something completely different and more practical. I'll be interested to see if that's the case with this last one.
I can't be the only crazy writer who listens to dreams, so I'll end with my favorite quote about those vivid messages from the subconscious mind. Unfortunately, I can't remember who said it, but here it is:
"Dreams are real while they last. Can we day more of life?"
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Yes, it was romantic (and yes, I have a little bit of a tummyache this morning). But does that mean that we're not allowed to be romantic with each other for the rest of the 364 days in the year?
Noah says of course not. Which is a huge relief, because Miss Bridget Jones really does look adorable in her red Valentine's sweater.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Do we look like we're having a great time, or what? This pic was taken by David Levithan (and if you haven't read his books, you should!) From left to right, this is Nancy Krulik, me (Niki Burnham), Aimee Friedman, Micol Ostow, Erin Downing, and Suzanne Weyn. (Tip: to see a bigger version of this pic, just click on it.)
We all read from our books, answered questions about our upcoming projects, then signed books for everyone there. If you missed the signing but live in the area, check out the table at the bottom of the escalators--we all signed a ton of books and put them there after the event ended. There should still be plenty of copies available.
And yes, that is a ton of Reese's peanut butter hearts on the table. And (like this is a big surprise) at the end of the night, they were all gone!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Speaking of adorable romantic gestures, check out the lovely little Valentine that Noah created for our reading and signing Monday night. I'm so excited to meet other ro com writers from the area! And we will raise a box of chocolates in honor of everyone who can't be there...XXOO
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
But the sweetest thing a boyfriend ever did for me was this. When we were seniors, I’d been dating Joey for a few weeks. I was drum major of the marching band, but he had to miss our halftime show one Friday night because he was working at the grocery store across the street from the stadium, restocking the produce department.
He was friends with the guy who dressed up as the school mascot, a wildcat. During third quarter I was surprised to see the wildcat sauntering up through the band bleachers. He handed me a love note from Joey, scribbled in Sharpie on a lettuce leaf.
I fell in love.
Sadly, Joey and I broke up a few weeks after that. It took us thirteen years to get married.
What’s the sweetest thing your boo ever did for you?
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I went to San Francisco last week. My daughter lives there and she was having surgery to remove a tumor from her leg. So, not the greatest reason to go to SF, but still, coming from snow and cold, it was something to look forward to.
My youngest sister also lives in SF, so she picked me up from the airport. I spent the first day at her condo in Marin, chilling (and revising the upcoming book SHE'S A WITCH GIRL, out in August). Then I went into the city proper to stay at my daughter's totally cute apartment. She was only three blocks from the hospital so we got up at dawn and walked to the hospital for her 6:00 a.m. call. Her part of the city felt totally safe to walk through and I am vastly relieved to know that where she is living is safe (where her job is moving? ...eh, not so much).
Early a.m. conversation between daughter and me as we watched interns and nurses swirl around at a very busy hospital:
DD: Just so you know, I have $50,000 life insurance.
Me: I can't handle this convo.
DD: Still, just in case.
Me: Good to know. You're going to be fine. Are you cold? (She was wearing hospital gown, but had no blanket.). If you're cold, it's okay to put a blanket around you (She did...we were both instantly warmer).
They pumped her for info, then pumped her full of drugs (two IVS!), then took her away. I went to regular waiting room, and then to Starbucks (I'm a Starbucks slut). My sister joined me about 10 a.m. and we shortly thereafter went to hospital waiting room. Dr. called me (seriously, on the waiting room phone...wtf?!?) He shared a name with a famous horse...but I shall not say more because he did a miraculous job on my DD's leg. Tumor is gone, no numbness, no drop foot. There's an 8-inch scar, with Frankenstein like staples, but that will heal.
I'm home now, and my daughter is going to be on the short end of the 3-4 week recuperation (she's my mother's problem at the moment :-)
I love SF. It's warm (for winter) and cool (for summer). Sausalito is the bomb for late evening strolls and in SF there are doctors that give reality to the dreams of young women who would like to walk the eminently walkable San Francisco without pain.
Only downside? It's cold at home.
I wish I was back in SF.
Thursday, February 01, 2007