Saturday, January 29, 2011


Check out the rest. Love the comment from the Discovery channel assistant.

Kirsten's Travel Schedule

 (Above: Kirsten on a good day.)

I rather enjoy referring to myself in the third person.

Please come see me on the Breathless Books Tour! And if you aren't interested in seeing me, please come see the four fabulous authors with whom I'll be traveling! (Yeah, that's right. Five authors traveling together. It's going to be non-stop debauchery.)

Ally Condie (Matched)
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade)
Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement)
Beth Revis (Across the Universe)

If you want to know more about these authors, the first three have been interviewed right here on this blog. And all three books were reviewed last year, by ME! I'm looking forward to reading the fourth book soon. I've heard it's awesome.

Click here to like the Breathless Books Tour on Facebook!

New York, NY
February 9th, 6PM
Books of Wonder
18 W. 18th Street
New York, NY

Minneapolis, MN
February 10th, 7PM:  
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Dr.
Minnetonka, MN

Denver, CO
February 11th, 7PM
The Tattered Cover
9315 Dorchester St. #H-101
Littleton, CO

Salt Lake City, UT
February 12th, 2PM
Salt Lake City Public Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT

***February 25th, Raleigh, North Carolina appearance is still being scheduled***

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Never Trust a Weatherperson

15.3 NINETEEN inches of snow. (In Central Park. Who knows how much there is in my Brooklyn backyard, shown above.) That's TWICE the amount that was predicted. I WILL GET YOU WEATHERPEOPLE. You are now my enemies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Okay, it's a gorilla. (And no, they're not supposed to walk like that.) I'm starting to wonder what talents the other apes/monkeys are hiding.

PS: I'm happy to see that so many of you are keeping an open mind when it comes to Bigfoot. As for the three of you who know where to find him/her, you'll be getting a call from me soon. I'm putting together a little expedition . . .

Come See Me!

I will be traveling a bit in February, making stops in MN, CO, UT, and NC. (The schedule will be posted here soon.) But the first stop on the Breathless Book Tour (as they're calling it) will be right here in NYC.

Authors Ally Condie, Andrea Cremer, Brenna Yovanoff, and Beth Revis will be joining me at the fabulous Books of Wonder book store (18th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues) at 6pm on February 9th!

More later, but mark your calendars now!



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Extreme Planet Makeover

(Above: Planet Hawthorne by superNova K. Found--along with a lot of cool stuff--here.)

I don't have time to play this NASA-designed game. But it looks pretty amazing. (Although that opening music is driving me nuts.) Oh, all the fun I must pass up to write insane novels featuring girl masterminds and snake handlers!

Snakes on the Brain

(Above: Awesome statue of Dacian king Decebal.)

Here's what I learned from this article in National Geographic:

1. Two thousand years ago, at the height of the Roman Empire, a rich and mysterious people called the Dracians populated the land now known as Transylvania.

2. We know very little about them. Except this: They liked snakes. A lot.

3. Authorities recently recovered a cache of priceless Dracian gold bracelets (below) that had been looted from an archaeological site. All of the bracelets were shaped like snakes.

(I've been thinking quite a bit about snakes lately. Why? Just glance to your right.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Boulder's Mysterious, Insomniac Sculptor

A resident of Boulder, Colorado, recently woke to discover that a large, bizarre, solar-powered sculpture had been erected in her front lawn overnight. That's not even the weirdest part. This is the SECOND time it's happened to the very same lady.

I love the fact that she thinks it's "kinda cool." Just one more reason I wish I had a front yard. Here's the question of the day. Let's say you discover a statue in your front yard one morning. Then you hear that your neighbor's security cameras may have captured the artist on tape. Would you watch the footage--or enjoy the mystery?

Out of Place Object, Number 214

Not far from the South Pole, in a part of the ocean where few people dare travel and compasses refuse to work, wildlife watchers spotted something rather unusual. A large, rectangular block of wood resting on top of a pristine iceberg.

It doesn't seem that strange--until you start to think about it. Then, without warning, it blows your mind.

(BTW, I saw that reader of the original post was reminded of Frankenstein. If you know why, give yourself a big pat on the back.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You'll Never Have a Mouse Problem

If you're in the market for a new home, there's a bargain to be found in Rexburg, Idaho. You can purchase this five bedroom/two bath home (also shown in the video below) for a fraction of its original price! It's a real bargain--if you don't mind sharing your space with thousands of garter snakes.

The house has been infested since it was constructed. The humans who built it moved out a while back, and the sellers are having a difficult time finding anyone willing to move in. Oh come on, people! Garter snakes aren't even poisonous! (Though they do secrete a rather foul-smelling fluid from their anal glands. But still!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Imagine Seeing a Smile Like This Coming at You in the Dark

According to the New York Times, LED "fronts" that give wearers glowing, multicolored smiles are a huge hit with Japanese teens. (I'm not sure how much faith I place in the Times' trendspotting.)

The adult in me thinks this doesn't look terribly healthy--or attractive. The girl mastermind in me thinks a set of glowing teeth could really scare the socks off people who don't follow Japanese fashion trends.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This Is What Genius Looks Like

As a student, industrial designer Kaylene Kau was asked to design a prosthetic limb. Her inspiration came from a rather unexpected source. But her creation is simple, elegant, and extremely functional.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Home for Friendless French Girls

(Above: Orphan Girl at the Cemetery by Eugene Delacroix. What do you think she sees?)

What did I take away from this fascinating article on the fabulous blog Ephemeral New York? That the Jeanne D'Arc residence hotel in Manhattan is run by nuns and was once known as a "home for friendless French girls."

Oh the things my imagination might do with such a place! Sometimes that's all it takes--just a five word phrase.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Major Discovery in Brooklyn's Lost Tunnel?

You may recall a post I wrote two years ago about Brooklyn's Lost Tunnel. No? Well here's a quick debrief. Beneath Atlantic Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Brooklyn, lies an enormous, abandoned railroad tunnel that was forgotten for over sixty years. It was rediscovered in 1981 by a nineteen-year-old kid named Bob Diamond.

Before 1981, few New Yorkers would have believed there was a tunnel to be found. Bob proved there was. Few believed Diamond when he insisted that there might be a perfectly preserved steam engine in an unexplored section of the tunnel. Now the New York blog Gothamist is reporting the following:

We heard from a reliable source that during a recent late night excursion to the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel area, a 19th century LIRR [Long Island Rail Road] steam locomotive was discovered. . . The roughly 175 year old machine is said to be in its original state, and the "only one of its kind in the world."

Wow. Not only is that amazing, it almost makes you reconsider one of Diamond's more bizarre claims: That hidden somewhere inside the train might be the lost diary of Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. (There have long been conspiracy theories that claim Booth didn't act alone. A diary might shed new light on the assassination--or put the theories to bed forever.) It still sounds a bit nuts, but hey, Bob was right about the train!

The Chinese Kiki Strike!

Over the holidays, I received a package from my Chinese publisher with copies of Kiki Strike and The Empress's Tomb (which were published simultaneously over there). I gotta say, of all the foreign editions, these may be my favorites. They are FILLED with amazing illustrations. (One shown above. I'll try to post more, but I'm having some trouble.) I know there are a few blog readers out there who speak Chinese (or whose parents would like them to speak Chinese). So I would be thrilled to mail copies of both books to the first person who sends me a note at

UPDATE: Wow, that was fast! I had a half dozen emails in about 2 minutes! I'll be in touch with you guys. But I'm afraid the books are all gone now!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Next Best Thing to a Vespa

(Photo from the Daily What)

Apparently this really works. I'm not sure I'd ride it through New York City, but I'd admire anyone with the courage to give it a shot. Then again, who knows if it's meant to stay on the streets?

90-Second Newbery

"A Wrinkle In Time" In 90 Seconds from James Kennedy on Vimeo.

I happen to know that quite a few (future) directors, actors, and screenwriters read this blog. I have a message a message for you guys. I think you should film a movie and enter it in this festival. And I want you to kick some serious butt. (PS: My favorite Newbery book is The Westing Game.)

If you'd prefer to make a video featuring six delinquent girl scouts and an underground city, I would be pleased to present it here on this blog. (A blog, I should point out, that has only sickened nine people so far!)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Best Street Art of 2010

(Above: Photo of a ROA Brooklyn squirrel by Jake Dobkin of Gothamist.)

There are a lot of slide shows out there, but I love this one from Luna Park! (Since most of the photos were taken right here in NYC.) I'm particularly fond of the cat-eating girl. (Call me sick if you'd like.)

Here's another cool one.

My New Year's resolution is to take more street art photos of my own. There's an amazing work about a block away from my house, and I haven't gotten around to take picture of it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

One New York Spot I've Never Visited

(Above: All photos from The Kingston Lounge.)

I've always been fascinated by the many small islands in the waters that surround New York City. Today, most are deserted and many are off limits to the public. But for much of the city's history, these islands were used to separate New York's "undesirables" from the rest of the population. Some islands were home to criminals. Others were home to the poor, the mentally ill, or the dead. And for many years, New Yorkers suffering from contagious diseases were sent to North Brother Island in the East River. (Only a couple of miles away from Manhattan.)

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, if you developed typhoid, smallpox, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, or leprosy--and lacked the funds necessary for private treatment--there was an excellent chance you'd end up on North Brother Island. ("Typhoid Mary" Mallon did. She died there in 1938.) The conditions on the island were deplorable. Few who made the trip ever made it home.

In the mid-20th century, North Brother ceased to be a quarantine island, and the buildings on the island were used for a variety of purposes until the island was finally abandoned in 1963. Few people have been there since (as you can see from the photos above).

The Kingston Lounge blog has dozens of photos of North Brother Island that are well worth a look--along with a fascinating account of the island's history. (There is a photo of a rather crude word scribbled on a wall. If that sort of thing disturbs you, please stick with the PBS video posted below!)

The City Concealed: North Brother Island Bird Sanctuary from on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Fix What Isn't Broken?

(Above: Pac-Man Skeleton by Le Gentil Garcon)

Well I'm thrilled to see that only one person (so far) has been sickened by the new blog format. That's what I call progress--my other creative endeavors have sickened hundreds, if not thousands! Kidding (hopefully).

So why did I decide to change things? Here's a list of my reasons:

1. Ananka's Diary (the Kiki Strike blog) used a five-year-old template that wouldn't allow me to do some very cool things.

2. I write two different book series. Until now, that meant two different blogs. Which meant A LOT of work. Which was preventing me from doing my day job--writing books. So I needed to simplify my life. Going forward, there will be one blog. MY blog.

3. You probably know by now that I'm a little strange. I also happen to be a world-class neat freak. Clutter disturbs me. (And I mean disturbs in every sense of the word.) My weirdness can only flourish in the right environment. I think this neat, clean template may allow me to reach levels of eccentricity that I've rarely achieved in the past. (Yeah, it's gonna be GOOD.)

So here's what you'll be getting from the Bank St. Irregular blog . . . The same weird and wonderful stuff you've been getting from Ananka's Diary since 2006. Plus book reviews, author visits, tour information, and a whole lot more. (I've already added some super cool stuff from the Eternal Ones blog, so take a look around!)

At the top of the blog, you'll find "Who Are You?" parts one through four. This was a "game" I played on the Eternal Ones blog. Volunteers sent in pictures, and I told them who they were in their previous lives. (The Eternal Ones is about reincarnation.) It was a lot of fun (for me, at least). But as you'll see, I ended up writing enough to fill a book. (OK, half a book.) That's why the game must come to an end. However, I think you'll enjoy reading all the entries. They'll certainly keep you busy!

And finally, one quick note about content. I am very proud of the fact that Ananka's Diary could be enjoyed by people of all ages. (And it was.) This blog will continue that tradition. While the The Eternal Ones series is not recommended for readers under the age of 13, I will not post anything on this blog that isn't suitable for everyone.

So that's it! Hope you enjoy the Bank St. Irregular blog!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well Hello There

It's been a while, hasn't it? Some (but probably not all) of you may be wondering what I've been up to for the past few weeks. Well here's a little list (‘cause you know how much I love lists):

1. I've been working on Kiki 3, The Darkness Dwellers. It's almost finished. Every day I receive emails asking WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE OUT?!?!? I must admit that I don't know the release date yet, but I will post it on this blog THE SECOND I find out what it will be!

2. I finished the sequel to The Eternal Ones, which will (almost certainly) be called All You Desire. Right now, it's looking like it might be on shelves in August, but once again, I will post the release date when I have it.

3. I read the Hunger Games trilogy. I only intended to read the first book, but I devoured the entire series in four days. I thought it was amazing (and I hear I'm not alone).

4. I watched True Grit. I've always steered clear of westerns—whether movies or books—so I wasn't aware that the hero of True Grit is a fourteen-year-old girl. Smart, savvy, and a good shot, Mattie Ross is everything a girl should be. In fact, she reminded me of Luz Lopez (one of my seven favorite Irregulars). The movie is quite violent, (though The Hunger Games makes it look like Mary Poppins). If you're cool with blood and guts, I think you might enjoy it.

5. I’ve been contemplating some improvements to my blogs. (Yes, I have more than one. That’s the problem.) Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll start to see a few changes. Don’t worry, though. I’ll keep posting about all the weird and wonderful subjects that have captured my imagination. (And I’ll be posting MORE OFTEN than I have in the recent past.) But the blog’s name might change, and there will be more ways to access it. I’ll also be on Twitter, so you can follow me there (or on Facebook) if you prefer.

BTW, I have a new name in mind for the blog. But if any of you have a suggestion, feel free to post it in the comments!

So that’s about it. The next time I disappear for a few weeks, this is where I’ll be.

Monday, January 10, 2011

On a Lighter Note (Maybe)

All I will say is this: I was truly touched by this video. And I wonder how many works of genius are hidden away in storage facilities across the US.

I Hate Snow

(Above: A lighthouse in Ohio, completely encased in ice.)

I'm going on the record. Yeah, I know it's pretty (for a little while). But I'm sick to death of snow. Did you hear about the blizzard that hit New York the day after Christmas? (Yes, I know it hit other places, too.) It took THREE DAYS for the city to plow the street in front of my house. And thanks to Brooklyn's dog population, most of the snow was neon yellow by the time it was finally cleared away.

Now there's another snow storm headed in our direction. My parents, who live down south, just had 18 inches dumped on their doorstep. (I'm glad you're enjoying it, EQ.) I can't even imagine what's in store for New York.

OK, Canadians, this is your chance to tell me that I'm being a ninny. (Goodness knows I got enough grief when I posted about the Brooklyn tornado.)

Oh well, maybe I'll just go outside and make an "Oscar-worthy video" (see below).

Idiot With A Tripod from Gothamist on Vimeo.