Honey, I'm Home!

And celebrating minutiae as always. So in the last two weeks:

  • I saw "Avenue Q," which is funny as hell and also uncannily accurate about twentysomething life in New York (especially if it actually involved puppets).
  • I played Super Scrabble for the first time, and won, although I inadvertently played three phonies during the game. Super Scrabble is fun but a bit unnerving, as the board is so big and the tiles and extra-points spaces so numerous that you don't play defensively -- you just try to score as many points as you can. So if you don't mind abandoning strategy in favor of making goofy words, it's a good time.
  • I finished editing So Totally Emily Ebers and sent it off to Lisa.
  • Recipe Discovery of the Week: Beeramisu.
  • My mother, who is a wonderful woman, gave me Milk Chocolate Caramel McVitie's as a late Easter present. The chewy caramel surprises me every time I bite into one, but it nicely balances the crispiness of the digestive biscuit and provides a pleasant variation on the McVitie's experience.
  • Melissa pointed out that I have ascended to the #1 spot in a Google search for "Cheryl Klein," beating at last that Re/Max agent in Savannah, Georgia and the talented MFA lady out in California. Thanks to everyone who helped me on the way to victory! But I must remember, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. . . .
  • My sister and I watched "Dirty Dancing." I had forgotten both how hot and how good that movie is -- when I was in fourth grade and my mom fast-forwarded through the sex scenes, I loved it for the dancing, but this time I saw it as a wonderful feminist coming-of-age movie, especially because of the sex scenes. . . . Baby quite actively chooses to lose her virginity to Johnny and never regrets it, and the movie cheers her on all the way. Curtis Sittenfeld has a spot-on essay about the movie here that I especially recommend to anyone writing girl-centered YA.
  • I bought a pair of elegant black heels that are rather stable as well, so despite wearing them for pretty much four days straight, I have not yet broken my ankle! Hurrah!
  • Lissa and I also went to the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, which was hilarious: They sold a mini-cooler-sized mug called a "Bubba Keg," and also something called a "Jerky Gun," so apparently you can kill your deer and turn it into jerky right there in the woods.
  • Partly because of my vast amusement at these products, my sister accused me of thinking all Midwesterners are hicks. Far from it. Some Midwesterners are more open-minded and thoughtful than some New Yorkers I know, and vice versa; neither region has a monopoly on intelligence or taste. However, it must be said, I do not think one could purchase a product called a "Bubba Keg" anywhere in the New York tri-state area.
  • I found a Hot Minister dress -- brown linen with spaghetti straps and a ruffle around the knee, both completely demure and subtly hot. My sister contended that it's not formal enough for a minister to wear to a wedding; however, with her next breath she asked if she could wear it to her college graduation, so I suspect an ulterior motive. Stay tuned.
  • I hung out with Elizabeth Bunce and Erin Murphy and we toasted "Charlotte Miller."
  • My second-grade teacher, high-school librarian, and very favorite high-school English teacher came to hear me speak at the Missouri Writers Guild conference.
  • I met Lizzy, totally unexpectedly! And she is very cool, as could be surmised from her comments.
  • The "Falling in Love" talk went over really well. The plot talk went okay, though I felt a little off-balance -- partly because it was hard to tell whether the audience was finding it useful or I was just confusing them, and partly because I was giving it barefoot since the heels hurt my feet. Anyway. I think my next talk might bind up the character chart, the plot checklist I developed to go with the plot talk, and assorted other notes and be about novel revision. Or maybe I'll talk about voice, since someone asked me about voice during the Q&A and I found I didn't know what to say. (I'm not yet booked for any conferences in the fall, hint hint.)
  • And I will try to post both versions of the plot talk this weekend.
  • Stephen Colbert completely embarrassed the president.

And three exclamation-worthy events of the day: