Sunday, September 18, 2005

News 'n' Notes

  • There's still time to join the Carleton Race for the Cure team or contribute to my personal fundraising goal. Thank you very much to all who give or participate.
  • I will be speaking at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI fall conference October 8-9, and they interviewed me in conjunction with that here. My talk that Sunday is called "The Rules of Engagement: How to Get (and Keep!) a Reader Involved with Your Novel," and while I've been thinking about this vaguely for months, at the moment I'm feeling that inchoate panic that all writers feel facing the blank page, especially when there's a deadline ahead. Aya. Well, it'll get done.
  • While I'm in Colorado, I'll be missing Open House New York, an awesome event that opens various houses, monuments, museums, and other architecturally interesting structures to the general public for tours and education. Two years ago I climbed to the top of the Jefferson Market Library tower in the West Village and the top of the Highbridge water tower in Washington Heights as part of OHNY, and last year Rachel and I ventured to the top of the memorial at Grand Army Plaza, which offered a fantastic view over Prospect Park and Brooklyn. This year's site list will be announced Sept. 21. Go, people! It's completely cool.
  • Speaking of cool New York things to do, I went kayaking in the Hudson yesterday as part of my Resolutions. It was a gray, windy morning, hovering on the edge of rain, and when I arrived at the Downtown Boathouse, I was one of only two people there. The other woman showed me how to paddle and set me in an open-top kayak off the pier, and it was completely lovely: easy, swift, rhythmic and meditative, with the city behind me, the gray vistas of Jersey City across the river, the sun skimming sleepily through the clouds, and the swells and my own strength carrying me along. Forty minutes passed; it felt like ten, and I definitely want to go again. Free walk-up kayaking is available at Pier 26 every weekend through October 15.
  • Then today, also as part of my Resolutions, I went to Montauk Point. A slight planning snafu meant that I ended up walking about nine miles instead of six or seven (I, um, failed to look at a map, so I set off on the wrong road and had to get directions from a kindly biker, deli store clerk, and marina lady), but it was a beautiful day to be wandering through the countryside, and I felt a huge rush of satisfaction and accomplishment as I came over the last hill to the lighthouse. After I climbed to the top of the tower, I rested on the little beach you can see on the website picture for an hour or so, then caught a taxi back to the train station and came home. I think I am now one of the very few people in the world who can say they have been to both the southwesternmost and northeasternmost tips of Long Island. (I imagine I am also one of the very few people who care.)
  • Happy belated birthday to my sister Melissa, who turned 21 on September 15. Yay kid! You're legal at last!
  • Because a few people have asked: Chavelaque (pronounced shah-vey-la kay) is a construction that I made up in college, a sort of bilingual pun on "Cheryl K": "Chavela" was my name in high-school Spanish class, which a few friends adopted as a pet name, and "que" in Spanish means "What?", the randomness of which appealed to me. And this blog is called "Brooklyn Arden" because I live in Brooklyn and "As You Like It" is my favorite Shakespeare play.
  • Technical questions: Can someone tell me how to do cut tags, please? Particularly to pictures? (And then can the pictures just be on my hard drive, or do I have to upload them to Flickr or something? I have Picasa, will that do?) And also, do the labels in gmail actually do anything or are they just pretty little green words next to certain conversations?
  • I recently cooked this fantastic Curried Peach Pork for Katy. Right now is the time to get fresh peaches, and like Cranberry Chicken, this is excellent served over white rice with white wine.
  • In return for this fabulous dinner, what did Katy give me? A Bible Bar, which boasts on the label, "Nutrition God's Way!" I'm sorry to report that I found it a little too sickly sweet and sticky to be fully satisfying tastewise, but apparently it's quite healthful both physically and spiritually. ("All Things Considered" did a story on these once.) Check out the entire list of Foods of the Bible here.
  • Just finished Idoru by William Gibson and started an absolutely delicious bonkbuster called Riders. (Rachel lent me her British edition, which has the trashiest cover ever; there is no redeeming literary value to it whatsoever, but my lord, I'm enjoying this book.) I need to get back into Midnight's Children or The Brothers Karamazov for my Resolutions, and read Meg Cabot's Ready or Not for my YA book club. After that: V for Vendetta; 13 Little Blue Envelopes; and Diana Abu-Jaber's The Language of Baklava.
  • I think that's all for now. Hope all's well with all of you!

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