Monday, April 30, 2012

Adventure #7: Giant Dead Bugs Make Great Art

You guys worry too much! Every time I take a little break from blogging, readers seem to assume I'm dead. So I'm going to make a promise to you today. If I die unexpectedly, you'll know. I've asked a trusted to associate to post all the details--no matter how boring or gruesome. Now relax.

Not only am I still alive, I've been working on a little present for you. Yes, you. Since the first Kiki Strike was published, I've received countless emails from readers planning trips to New York. What should I see? Where should I go? How do I break into the Shadow City? Unfortunately, I'm usually several weeks behind when it comes to answering emails, so I don't always get the information to people in time. That's why I've decided to write a little book I'm calling The Irregular Guide to New York City. I'm afraid there will be no mention of the Statue of Liberty, FAO Schwartz, or Rockefeller Center. My New York is a bizarre world filled with hidden houses, secret cemeteries, abandoned subway stations, subterranean tunnels, and ghosts. And I'm going to tell you exactly where to find them. Before the end of the year, The Irregular Guide to New York City will be made available. And the price will be $0.00. That's right. It's gonna be free!

It will take a little while to get my guidebook in order. Until then, I shall try to have more adventures. This past Saturday, I learned how to make shadowboxes like the one shown above. The pictures aren't great (my camera was stolen, so I had to use my phone), and beetles don't photograph all that well. So in case you're wondering what that is in the box, it's a giant bug holding a butcher's knife and preparing to cut a piece of cake.

Ordinarily, I would have chosen a more morbid theme for my shadowbox, but this was a present for a bug-loving kid, so I had to play it safe. Still, I'm thrilled with the results. This was the best adventure so far.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cornered: 15 Stories of Bullying and Defiance **GIVEAWAY**

Last year, I was asked to contribute a short story to the book shown above. Cornered: 15 Stories of Bullying and Defiance (edited by Rhoda Belleza) will be published this July, and it features the work of fifteen talented YA authors.

I am extremely proud to be one of the fifteen. I learned a great deal about bullying during my freshman year of high school. I know how it feels to be teased, threatened and tormented. I also know there are kids out there who’ve experienced far worse than I ever did. I survived, and I honestly believe that the experience made me stronger. But I would never, ever wish it on anyone else.

My story, “Nemesis,” isn’t about a victim. It’s about defiance—and revenge. There’s absolutely no shame in finding yourself the target of a bully—most people will at some point in their lives. The people who should feel ashamed are those who once tortured their schoolmates for sport. The heroine of “Nemesis” believes she’s found a way to see justice done. She won’t allow the bullies of the world to ever forget their crimes.

I have an ARC of Cornered to give away. (I'll even sign it if you like.) If you (or someone you know) could use a book like this, just send a note to (I'll update the post when the book has been given away.) **GIVEN AWAY! MORE GIVEAWAYS SOON**

Sunday, April 1, 2012

You Are What You Eat

No, I was not the victim of a fatal window-washing accident, but I do appreciate all of the notes I received over the past three weeks. (Most of them went a little like this . . . "If you're dead, will The Darkness Dwellers still be published?") And I just want to assure you all . . . Kiki #3 will be published whether I kick the bucket or not.

I had to take a little time off from blogging/adventure in order to finish a project. Now that I'm done, I plan to resume my daredevil lifestyle. I've already signed up for a class on constructing "Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowboxes." (How cool is that?) I'm also going to spend a weekend throwing seed bombs around my hood. And I still need to have that seance I've been planning. (My ghost showed up again the other day. More on that later . . .)

But first I wanted to call your attention to the subject of pink slime. (Seen above, in all its glory.) It's made by "grinding together connective tissue and beef scraps normally destined for dog food." The mixture is then treated with ammonia hydroxide (usually used for cleaning floors) and blended into hamburger patties.

McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Burger King have already announced that they will no longer be adding the gunk to their food. But don't worry, pink slime fanatics! You won't have to go without your favorite meat-like treat! You see, there's one organization that still purchases the product. The US Government. What does the government do with the tons and tons of delicious pink slime it buys every year? Two words . . . school lunch.

More here.