Sunday, February 27, 2011

Technical Difficulties . . . Again!

Got back from the great state of NC only to find my Internet is a mess again! Who's breaking into my house and screwing things up? If only I knew a gang of girl geniuses who could take the case! And kick the villain's behind.

I should have things fixed soon. And yes, I know the Kiki Strike website is down at the moment. I'm trying to fix that, too! (Why, oh why, do these things happen to me?)

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Illustrated Guide to Red Heads

This one's for you, Martin. (By designer/illustrator Benjamin Douglass, who, given his last name, has a fairly high chance of being a ginger himself.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Music Inspired by The Eternal Ones!

In Another Lifetime by Heidi Sierra

Heidi Sierra just sent me this song that she wrote and performed. She says it was inspired by my book! I am so flattered, touched, impressed, thrilled, amazed, and over the moon. I think the song is incredibly beautiful. And that voice! What a voice!

Heidi: Thank you. This is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. With your talent (and all the good karma you've accumulated) I have a feeling fame is just around the corner for you.

Next Stop: RALEIGH!

Tomorrow I'll be back in my home state for the last stop on the Breathless Books Tour! So come see me, Ally Condie, Andrea Cremer, Brenna Yovanoff, and Beth Revis!

Friday, February 25th, 7PM
Quail Ridge Books and Music
3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh

Gotta Run and Grab My Checkbook Now

I love the works in artist Scott Bain's Micromachina exhibit. (Though I doubt they're in my price range.) I do own a wonderful, somewhat similar piece by another artist. It's a (real) beetle riding a red tricycle. It makes me unbelievably happy every time I look at it. But as you all know by now, I'm a little odd.

Every Three-Year-Old Deserves a Pet Alligator

Okay, here's the story. A woman in Brazil is cleaning up her house after a flood. She sees her little boy disappear behind the sofa. She checks to see what he's doing--and discovers him blissfully patting the head a five-foot-long alligator.

The firefighters called in to remove the beast told the woman she was lucky that the alligator hadn't been in the mood for a snack.

More here. I don't know why, but I have a feeling that kid's going to have an interesting life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Few Good Ideas, Courtesy of the CIA

The CIA has a fabulous photostream featuring pictures and descriptions of some incredible spy tools. Most are obviously a little old-fashioned. But check out the "Letter Removal Device." That looks like something that might still come in handy. And which New Yorker couldn't use a Pigeon Camera? Below are a few of my other favorites . . .

Above: Charlie the Robot Fish, which "contains a pressure hull, ballast system, and communications system in the body and a propulsion system in the tail. It is controlled by a wireless line-of-sight radio handset."

Above: The Belly Buster Drill from the 1950s and early 1960s. "It would drill holes into masonry for implanting audio devices. After assembly, the base of the drill was held firmly against the stomach while the handle was cranked manually. This kit came with several drill bits and accessories."

Above: Love this one. It's the Seismic Intruder Detection Device, which was "designed to blend in with the terrain. It can detect movement of people, animals, or objects up to 300 meters away. The device is powered by tiny power cells and has a built-in antenna. Its transmitter relays data from the device findings via coded impulses." Keep your comments respectable, readers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little Bathroom Reading?

Sara, a fifteen-year-old high school student in NJ, recently posted the photo above. It shows a graffiti-covered bathroom stall in her school. But this isn't just any old graffiti. It's the entire first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I can only imagine the dedication, passion, and total insanity that went into this project. The person responsible is a great philanthropist and a friend of all mankind.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Note to Everyone Who Entered

Thank you. This was a fun contest! (For me, anyway.) Please do not be discouraged if you are not among the winners this time. There were many entries that were highly original and/or beautifully written--but deserved to be part of a much bigger tale. Unfortunately, the contest called for a 250-word story that could stand on its own. Next time, maybe we'll ask for longer stories. You guys certainly have the talent--all I need is more time to read!!


PS: I was totally serious about the rules for voting! ONLY blog regulars, please!

The Other Four Winners! (And One Honorable Mention)



SCI-FI: Untitled

A ship glides through the infinite.

There are ten passengers aboard, and soon there will be nine. Those nine passengers do not know this, but the tenth does. She stands at the airlock window, quiet, contemplating, counting stars and planets as they float through the dark. The captain's voice pipes through a speaker above her, tinny and cold:

Approaching Planet 16573. Prepare for unloading.

The planet looms into her line of sight as they race towards its atmosphere. The tenth passenger brushes her thumb across a sensory pad and the airlock hatch opens with a quicksilver hiss. She steps into the tiny chamber, the cushioned floor sinking under her bare feet, and the door slips shut behind her. Entering a six letter code into the control pad, a countdown appears in the air before her, seconds rapidly descending. A mechanical voice speaks from nowhere:

Airlock will open in ten. For your safety, please be appropriately suited.

Moments later, the captain's voice comes to her again:

Thirty seconds until entry of the atmosphere. Passengers must be belted in.

The new planet hurtles towards the ship ever faster. Sorrow fills her throat with fire, but there is no turning back now. The countdown reaches zero, and a thousand locks release, the outer hatch slamming open. The tenth passenger hears the roar of the infinite, embraces it, in her last instant.

Her final words are sucked into the vacuum with her:

Desperate are those who try to touch the void.

WEIRD LOVE: Untitled

I'm dumping dirty clothes in the washer when Ben materializes.

"Astrid. Hey. We're on food duty this week."

I kick the hamper behind the machine, hoping he doesn't notice my lime green bra on top, and accept the rather large gun he hands me. I don't bother learning the guns' name, since we'll all be dead soon anyway, but I can handle it well and that's what counts.

Outside, we sprint through the ankle-high dead grass into the van, which provides a.c., a blessing in this heat. The world gets deader, hotter, crispier, every day.

"No Jeff?" I ask once I realize Ben started the van without his usual job partner in the back.

"Not this time." He glances at me. I wonder what he sees. I see an 18-year-old boy—about two years my senior—who is, admittedly, gorgeous in the dark-hair-and-muscles way. His eyes are a stunning green that give my bra a run for its money and he smells amazing.

A crush, me? Well, yeah.

We arrive at the superstore that we usually steal from. There's some intense technology keeping everything inside fresh for survivors like us.

Or any zombies that might get in, too.

This time, we're lucky; we're the only scavengers inside. Out again, with a squeaky cart full of food, we're not so lucky. The parking lot is completely packed with starving undead.

Ben gently tilts my chin up. "In case we die…can I kiss you?"

I hope he's joking about the death thing.


The city had a name, but it is no longer important. The people rushing to and fro along its streets were far too concerned with Matters of Consequence to bother with such unprofitable things as immortalizing the name of their city. Perhaps if they had, it would have had a happier fate. The skyscrapers shone and sparkled as the sun rose and set, but though those who saw them were many, those who looked were few. At the edge of the city, grass grew.

Only the poet watched it, and thought, The wind blows, the grass grows. The city grows, yet there the wind does not blow. The city will last forever, and the grass will die tomorrow...right?

One hundred years have passed. The city has been ravaged by fire and flood and disease. Those who survived left long ago. The city, abandoned, has fallen into ruin. The smooth asphalt streets and concrete sidewalks are cracked; wildflowers have sprung from the cracks and widened them. The streetlights, their glass splintered, have bowed and broken. Throughout the city are shattered windows, doors hanging off their hinges, roofs caved in. The remains of a chain-link fence lie on the ground in a pile of wire and rust. A fallen telephone pole spans a street, decomposing. Tiny pink mushrooms dot its damp, brown surface. The once-shining skyscrapers have died, leaving bare and rusting skeletons of steel. The wind blows softly. And all through the city, grass grows.

HORROR: Unreal



Lately, she hadn’t been able to tell the difference.

Afterwards, those close to her admitted that there had been something different—something odd—something off—about her.

Of course, that was before they started dying, one by one.

It was the most peculiar thing. Unexplainable. Her dreams became particularly bizarre—even more than ordinary—but in a horrific, terrorizing sort of way.

She’d walk down the hallway, under the cover of darkness. The door would creak. The floorboards would moan under her weight. She’d creep up silently, on tiptoe. Draw a dagger from the folds of her bathrobe.

She would awake, safe in the security of her bedroom, to the sounds of her mother’s piercing screams: Her father was lying in bed, the sharp blade of a knife stabbed into his chest.

The following night, her best friend went missing. There were bloodstains on the sheets. The police were bewildered: the doors were locked. No windows were broken. There were no fingerprints. No traces. Nothing.

There were never any traces. Her sister went next. Then her basketball coach, followed by her history teacher. Her brother. Her aunt.

During the day, she was confused and frightened beyond words. She didn’t know what to think—who was she? The mourning friend, or the evil villain? The innocent daughter, or the bloodthirsty murderess? It was far too terrifying to think about.



What was the difference? Where should the line be drawn?

WEIRD LOVE/ HONORABLE MENTION (Because it's hilarious, and you KNOW how I feel about Bigfoot.)

Dear Mary,

I miss you. I miss you so much. Everything I see reminds me of the time we spend together. Every mountain. Every rock. Every little cloud.

The world became gray when you moved to America. Well, it’s not like it has ever been colorful here. But still.

With you, the wind sounded like a beautiful melody emphasizing our love, the hail felt like a cool refreshment on my fur. Without you, the wind sounds like a hollow moaning, the hail feels like a set of icy swords, cutting my empty heart into pieces.

I remember us scaring hikers just by leaving our footprints in the snow. Now it seems senseless. I remember us laughing so loudly that they ran away, they nearly died of fear. Now I don’t laugh anymore. I remember us sometimes “finding“ children that tasted sweet and juicy and wonderful. Now, to me it doesn’t matter anymore if I eat berries or branches or children or rocks. They taste all the same.

I wish, you’d come back.

I love you. I love your laughter. I love your black eyes and the way they looked at me. I love your dark brown fur and the way it waved when you were hunting. I love your mouth, your sharp teeth. How you tried to catch snowflakes. Your huge feet.

I love everything you do. Even that you decided to move away. It just makes me sad.

Love, Yeti

Time for Blog Readers to Pick!

Okay, so we've chosen four winners. (Patience!) But we can't decide on a fifth. So I'm going to ask you to choose a READERS' CHOICE WINNER!


Here are the rules . . .

1. ONLY REGULAR BLOG READERS are allowed to vote. Please don't call your grandma and ask her to vote for your story. It isn't fair. If I suspect such things are happening, I will stop the contest. (And do I even need to say that each person only gets ONE vote?)

2. If your story is one of the six posted below, please don't reveal your identity until the contest is over.

3. Please do not critique the stories posted here. Vote instead.(LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT!)

4. Have fun. This portion of the contest will end at midnight New York time!


I woke to light. Not blinding, but bright nonetheless. It scattered around me like translucent stars. I stared at my surroundings. Baby blue walls, paint chipped in the corner, the stain on the rug to my left from the night the power was out. It was all there. The same as before, but why did it feel different? Why did I feel as if everything had changed? I stared at the clock above my door frame, seconds melting away for new minutes. I wracked my brain for the truth, the right in all of this. I replayed our final moments together before I walked away. He’d wanted my help, I’d wanted him. There had to be an explanation, but it seemed every time I was able to disprove him I fell short. Dreams were just mental images, things I’d made up to make the pain subside. It couldn’t be true. It was my fault though, I’d believed him as I supposedly had in the past. Those letters proved nothing, only his craziness. I rolled out of bed, hearing something drop to the floor. The necklace. He’d given it to me our last night together. Sitting back down on my bed, I stared at the intricate design placed on the locket, feeling the catch on its side for the first time. Opening it I found an old photo of people whom I felt I’d known once. To the left of the photo the inscription read: Until the moon falls behind.

STORY #2: Á-entulë (The title is in Elvish; this means, literally, “come back”)

Come with me. Be a guest to my Eternity, where Parallel Universe
unites with camomile field. Amidst the field, someone built a lonely
skyscraper and left the word TRUTH in white paint on the brick wall.
This is probably a shard of the world once forgotten. However, my
shard seems to be alive. I know it is glad to see me return to the
skyscraper's dandelion-covered roof from trips to another dimensions.
There's nothing reminding of the outer world's motley hustle. Just
wind is kneading the grass, butterflies are dancing in the air and
clouds drifting by. Let's ride a cloud and get near the old tower
crane. We can climb down, clinging to the warm rusty boom that was
once yellow. Down there, in the thickets, my guitar is waiting for me.
I will play my songs for you, and maybe you'll recall them. And then,
we can get back to the roof, and just sit on the edge, staring into
each other's eyes, with my heart skipping beats. When you inquire,
“What if one jumps down?”, I'll simply reply “Nothing!”, jump over the
edge, and then climb back.
— Do you realise what this means?
— …I am dead now, right?
You'll remain silent.
— Anyway… could you visit me again sometime?
And I'll be watching the sun until it blinds me, then get it in my
hands and share with you. I'll draw runes on the sand with my bare
foot: “Á-entulë.” Come back soon.
— I will.


A dark ally—great place for a murder scene. Shadows slowly danced across the fence. I turned on my heal unable to breathe. Then I ran four, five houses down stopping at a yellow house realizing I had no idea where I was. The bushes rumbled I hopped the fence and heard a gunshot. I awoke in a cold sweat. A strange man in a charcoal black suit took my hand and the next thing I knew I was in a limo with windows tinted so black I couldn't see out of them. We arrived at a place I can only describe as futuristic and cold. He led me in after blindfolding me for "protection" and I swear he led me in circles for an hour but finally removed my blindfold and I stepped into a black room with a bright light in the middle. I was thrown into a corner and the heavy door closed. I screamed but nothing happened. The light flickered out and I saw a dark figure advance towards me though I didn't see the door open the figure was just my older sister who had been dead since I was seven, no big deal. She told me I wasn't safe here, but it was too late. I fell asleep and never awoke.


It’s him. Even through the hazy smoke of the club, I can see the
glint of a diamond on his finger, the silken bronze hair tumbling
behind his ears, a smile that bathes the room with an eerie glow. His
name forms on my lips, and I run toward him, weaving around drunken
models in sparkling dresses and business men flashing wads of money.
He turns toward me, the girl he has undoubtedly dreaming about for as
long as he can remember, and a recognition forms on his face. I can
see the pain and desire on my face echoed in his eyes, the sapphire
eyes I have always dreamed about.

I have seen no other eyes, looked into no other faces. He is
the one I am destined to be with, forever. Every moment of my dreams
was taken by this mysterious stranger. His name, a mystery. Then, the
eve of my eighteenth birthday, I saw him. His hand waved out to a
taxi, and my heart fell when I realized he was accompanied by two
tipsy blondes. One of them, stumbling in spiked heels, called out his
name as she fell. Coldly, he turned, slinking back into a club
pulsating with music. Abandoning all thought, I ran, dodging limos
with bad tempered mafia bosses and taxis with club patrons spilling
onto the sidewalk. I entered the club. My name on his lips as I run
toward him.

He leans down, and slowly whispers, “I’ve been waiting.....”


Father’s jaw is clenched tight. Orion chatters nervously, like a bird trying to fill the silence. He’s never seen a bird before. Most people in the Third Class of the Columbus haven’t. Maybe, down on the Earth, Mother saw one. Orion drums his heels on the bench. Mother has been gone fighting for five long years, and Orion has forgotten her completely.

Finally, a tired nurse leads them to a bleach-scented hallway and then to a narrow room. Father pulls open the door and collapses in a chair, Orion trailing behind.
She’s small for a soldier, and there’s a foreboding pallor underneath her skin.

Father takes her hand. “Bellatrix?” he whispers.
“Take me home…” she murmurs plaintively.
“You’re home, Bella… on Columbus,” he explains.
Her eyes snap open. “No…” Her shaking hand gestures at the porthole. Orion gazes at the ball of green, blue, and white.
“Earth…” Bellatrix rasps. “I need… we’re meant… to be there…”
“There’re savages,” Orion says shyly. “That’s why we’re fighting, see?” Her eyes wander until they find him, her only son. Tears roll down her emaciated cheeks.
“Orion…” He nods, terrified of the desperation she exudes. “Promise me… you’ll go home…”
“I promise, Mother,” he swears softly, tears clouding his vision. Her breath rattles painfully in a sigh, and she turns her haunted gaze to the porthole.

Father taps his shoulder, pointing to the door. Orion wrenches it open and breaks into a run. He has no mother. She stayed on Earth with the savages.


When I was little, legends circulated all around town, whispered between the children. We whispered about dolls. They were all the same: pale porcelain skin, red velvet dresses, glossy brown hair, innocent brown eyes. They were beautiful, really. Beautiful and deadly.

After the first death, the legends ceased. Nobody dared speak of the dolls anymore, lest they hear us.

The dolls were given as gifts, usually, by ignorant parents, for their children’s birthdays. Birthdays became dreaded occasions. I remembered the first death, the girl I’d found lying on the sidewalk, looking like she was sleeping. But she hadn’t been. That could be me.

“Don’t give me a doll for my birthday,” I kept saying to my parents. “Please.” If only they knew.

On my sixth birthday, my nightmares came true. My parents had somehow gotten the idea that my warnings had actually been hints. I saw a present sitting on the table, wrapped in satiny blue paper. Shuddering, I walked toward it, eyes wide and alarmed. It couldn’t be. I’d told them not to.

With trembling fingers, I removed the wrapping paper. Inside was one of those perfect little dolls. I knew that as soon as I turned away, it would kill me. So I stared it at, at its curious, knowing smile. I blinked, once, twice, but nothing happened. I wondered if it was one of those defective dolls. I turned around.

I barely even had time to scream as I felt its fingers closing around my neck.

Happy Birthday (and an update)

Happy Birthday, Some Lost Melody!!! May you always STAY DANGEROUS!!!

Contest update. Okay, no entries will be accepted after 9am NY time. Boy do I have a lot of reading to do!!! As I said earlier, I'm very impressed with the submissions. Here are some of the guidelines my fellow judge and I will follow when picking the winners.

1. We will look for a mix of genres. There were A LOT of space/sci-fi entries! Which is awesome (Beth Revis would be so proud), but we'll want representatives from the other genres, too.

2. We will look for stories that feel "complete." In other words, we want entries that aren't just the beginning of a story or a passage from the middle. The 250 words should work on their own.

3. The contest called for stories written in English, which isn't totally fair, since many of this blog's visitors come from other lands. So we will overlook minor grammatical errors when reading entries from overseas.

Questions? Comments?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wanna Be a Peeping Tom?

I love this. Artist Ryuji Nakamura created a tiny house (with furniture!) that fits over the built-in camera on a laptop computer. Snap a photo of yourself, and you look like a giant peeping tom. How hard would it be to make something similar? (Probably far more difficult than I imagine.)

More pictures here.

News from the Animal Kingdom

Okay, here's the question of the day. Would you rather . . .

A. Provide a nightly feast for malaria-carrying mosquitoes?

or . . .

B. Live in a house that reeks of smelly socks--and share those quarters with the beast shown above?

Believe it or not, this may soon be a question that millions of people will be answering. Scientists have discovered that the mosquito-eating East-African jumping spider (above) is attracted by the odor of stinky socks. People who invite a few of these lovely arachnids into their homes may run a lower risk of contracting malaria. (I'm gonna have to think about this one. I have a real problem with spiders.) Read more here.

Next up . . . Australians are being warned to be on the look-out for cassowaries--giant (six foot tall) birds that can kill a person with a single kick. Their habitat was destroyed by a cyclone, and now the birds are wandering into human territory. Yikes! You Australians have really had a tough time of it lately!

One more question. Would you rather . . .

A. Have your home swallowed by a voracious vine?

or . . .

B. Have it invaded by stinky bugs?

If you live in the Southeastern US, you might not have a choice in the matter. More here. Come to think of it, another kind of stink bug has invaded Brooklyn. What's going on here?!?

And finally, I give you blanket octopus!!! This rarely-seen creature was snapped off the coast of Florida recently. Beautiful--and kind of terrifying.


Hi. So here's what's going on. At this point, I have received stories from around fifty readers. (Some entered more than once.) I will be reading these entries and then passing them along to my guest judge, whose identity must remain secret. (Because it's so fabulous.) We will pick FIVE finalists. I will contact these finalists by email.

Then, the stories will be posted on the blog. (Probably late Monday or early Tuesday.) There will also be a poll so that readers can choose their favorites!

Good luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Technical Difficulties!

Wondering why I haven't been posting? Well, my Internet connection is a mess right now. But I have been getting my email, so I have been reading all of your contest entries. And let me just say, I am sincerely impressed! Any of you up for writing my next book? Heh heh.

Anyway, I have a big backlog of weird stuff to post as soon as I can get online for more than five minutes at a time. And Monday is going to be awesome. I plan to post the winning entries on the blog, so if you have a problem sharing your brilliance, you should let me know now!

Stay tuned!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Didn't Catch the Tour?

The awesome Squeaky Books Blog has a bunch of videos from the Salt Lake City appearance!

Thanks, Enna!

CONTEST! Win a signed Breathless Books poster!

You asked for a contest that requires some skill? Okay, here goes.

In some ways it's harder to write a really great short story than it is to write a novel. So imagine how hard it is to write a really great SHORT short story!

Here's the challenge. Write a short story that's 250 WORDS OR LESS. (Longer entries will be appreciated but disqualified.) And you must choose from one of the following "Breathless" genres:

1. Horror
2. Science fiction (preferably set in space)
3. Dystopian
4. Weird romance

Entries are due in ONE WEEK. I must have them in my email ( by 9AM EST, FEBRUARY 21. There will be FIVE WINNERS. Each will receive a poster signed by all of the best selling Breathless Books authors--plus a little bonus from me!

Good luck!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the Road!

I gotta say, this tour has been a lot of fun. My fellow authors are extremely entertaining. And I can't WAIT to read Beth Revis's book Across the Universe. She calls it a murder mystery in space, and that's EXACTLY what I've been looking for. Unfortunately, I have a ton of work to finish before I read anything.

I want to send a big thanks to a few people . . .

Kai, I can't tell you how great it was to finally meet you after all this time!

Rachel, you have the coolest grandma in the world. And so chic! Hope you like the books!

Minneapolis girl with the cool hat (sorry, I was soo tired and forgot your name), you are exactly the kinda girl I had in mind when I imagined the Irregulars.

And last, but not least, Narrator. I am so touched and thrilled that you came to see me (while rocking the greatest shirt of all time). Thank you for the entertainment. It will come in handy on my loooong flight tomorrow morning!

For those of you interested in the RALEIGH stop on the tour, it will be 7 pm on FEB. 25th at Quail Ridge Books and Music!

On Monday, I'm gonna figure out a way to give out the signed posters, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Breathless Books Tour Starts TOMORROW!

The tour kicks off tomorrow night at 6PM right here in NYC! So stop by Books of Wonder at 18 W. 18th Street to see me and my four fabulous fellow authors:

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

After we finish signing books, we will be setting out into the night to fight the forces of evil.

Here's the rest of the tour schedule!

Also, I have ten tour posters signed by all five authors! I gotta figure out how I'm going to give them away, but it's a pretty amazing prize. I might just keep one for myself. MORE LATER!

Monday, February 7, 2011

If I Ever Mysteriously Disappear, Talky Tina May Be Responsible

The Talky Tina doll shown above was featured in a Twilight Zone episode that I watched at the age of ten or eleven. I think she may have inspired my fascination with deranged, creepy, homicidal dolls. She may also be the reason I still sleep with a light on.

Soon, Talky Tina replicas will be for sale. Just pull the string, and listen to Tina's five loving phrases . . .

"My name is Talky Tina, and I love you very much."
"My name is Talky Tina, and I don't think I like you."
"My name is Talky Tina, and you'd better be nice to me."
"My name is Talky Tina, and you'll be sorry."
"My name is Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you."

Unfortunately, Tina is only appropriate for kids 13+ (really?) and those willing to fork over a lot of cash on a sinister piece of plastic.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Three Second Rule

(Above: Laughing, too? Statue by Yue Minjun.)

This is just a wee bit creepy. Apparently, science (SCIENCE!) has shown that human beings do almost everything in three-second bursts. Hugs generally last three seconds. Goodbye waves last three seconds. Each of a baby's babbles lasts for an average of three seconds.

Life, it seems, may be a series of three-second windows. And we're not the only creatures who obey this rule. So do giraffes, pandas, and kangaroos.

Read more here. But I think we're gonna need to test this.

The Dark Days

The photos below show London in the 1880s--a London that no longer exists. They give you a little sense of how much darker and dirtier life was back then. If you look closely, you may spot Jack the Ripper.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maybe a Little Slush Isn't So Bad After All

What are all those little gray specks in the beautiful blue water off the coast of Florida? Oh, just thousands and thousands of SHARKS.

So How's the Weather?

Yes, I have something against snow. It's called SLUSH. Most people in New York don't own cars. Which means we walk a lot. And since December, I've been walking through slush. Brown, gloopy slush that isn't just water and ice. (I'll leave the list of ingredients to your imagination. Think of the most disgusting stuff on earth. Yeah, it's all in there.)

You guys in the midwest will be experiencing it soon. (If you aren't already.) But for now, let's just appreciate the pristine Chicago snow captured on camera by blog reader Rachel. Isn't it lovely? Click here to see what it will look like in 24 hours.

UPDATE: Thanks to ATF for this fabulous SNOW SQUIRREL!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Take a Look!

(Above: My brother the day he and I broke into a Mayan temple and saw THE MOST AMAZING THING OF ALL TIME. I don't think anyone in our family has ever believed our story.)

My awesome brother, Spike, just created a little website for me. I needed an author site that links to all of my various blogs and book sites. It's super simple for now, but we'll be making tweaks and improvements as time goes by. I luuv it. Tell me what you think!

Lies, Lies, Lies!

Who will stop these terrible little creatures from spreading cruel untruths?

Both Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil have predicted an early spring! During an ICE STORM! They're trying to lure us out of our cozy burrows so we perish in the arctic cold. Then they will take over the world!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Send Me Your Bunny Horror Stories

Here's a short list of all the cute, fuzzy creatures that I believe to be evil. Squirrels (that should go without saying), hamsters, guinea pigs, groundhogs, and bunnies. I was planning to focus my attention on groundhogs today. (Since tomorrow is February 2--the dreaded Groundhog Day.) But then I came across a terrifying story in the Wall Street Journal.

As you may know, Thursday is China's Lunar New Year. Over a billion people will be welcoming the Year of the Rabbit. And it seems most of that billion have celebrated by purchasing bunnies. WITH DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES.

Take the tale of Ms. Li Keija. She was recently given a rabbit, which she named Xiao San. That's when the horror began . . .

In the first few weeks after Xiao San arrived, Ms. Li's life was turned upside down. The rabbit gnawed through the 26-year-old Beijing-native's cable-TV cords, devoured her shoes and ate a résumé. Ms. Li, a customer-relations manager at a restaurant, found herself forking over money from a modest paycheck to buy new equipment and gloves to protect her fingers.

So please, whatever you do, don't let a bunny near your resume, your cable cords, your fingers, or your soul.

UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE!!! Video evidence that bunnies are, in fact, evil! Thanks, S! (BTW, I'm a long time fan of this artist/animator. I own the evil squirrel t-shirt!)

Tune in tomorrow for groundhog-related terror.