Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where to Find My Prints

After my post about the importance of cookies, I got a few comments and e-mails about where people could find my prints. I've had several of these in the past too, and the answer was "nowhere" since I went full time with my writing. BUT I finally got off my butt and opened an Imagekind account as some of my artist friends had been kicking me to do. So here it is, if you're interested.

If you're not interested, go make some more cookies. Well, heck, do that anyway.

In other news, I've been asked 14,000 times in the past two weeks about starting novels. I thought I'd talked about this before, but is anybody interested in hearing me talking about it more?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Win a Writing Critique -- To Benefit Japan

I was going to write a long preamble to this post about how acutely I feel for kids in terrible situations, and how the news about Japan has been absolutely heart-breaking, and how my best friend Tessa Gratton donated a critique through this site because she had lived in Japan and loved it and how events conspired for me to donate a writing critique as well, but I'll just cut and paste from the auction blog with the details.

Basically, you have 72 hours to bid. Leave your bids in the comment on the auction blog post; bidding's open until April 2nd.

Here is the cut and paste bit:

From NYT bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater: a critique. Or perhaps more detailed:

"$50 and under for the winning bid, I'll do a 5 page crit.
$100 and under, one chapter (3000 words).
$250 and under, three chapter critique (9,000 words).
Anything over $500, 15,000 word critique.
$1,000 and over, 20,000 word critique, a signed copy of Shiver, Linger, Lament, and Ballad, and a Linger tank-top."

If the amount for any reason goes obscenely over $1,000, I will continue thinking of things to add to the pot until bidding closes.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Priorities, Priorities

I've posted time and again how important I think priorities are in a creative career. When you set your own schedule, you are the one responsible for what does or doesn't get done in a day. Every time you do something, you are subconsciously saying: "this is a priority."

I think it's pretty clear to readers of this blog what my top priorities are.


Want Company?

That's right. Cookies and tea. These two things have been at the top of my agenda ever since my art days. (that top one is a photo I took, because the only thing better than eating cookies is photographing them; and the bottom is my first colored pencil piece that I made into prints, because the only thing better than drinking tea is lovingly recreating it with pencils).

I'll confess I did a few paintings of tea and cookies. A few.

Want Company IIThe Novelist

Afternoon MunchiesCaffeinated Reflections

The Ultimate MotivatorTable for One

So I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that this morning, when I opened my inbox, I had an e-mail from a reader asking me for wisdom. Not on writing. No. She asked me for my recipe for cookies the size of my head.

I reckon she's talking about these.

Well, dear reader, here you go. One of my four recipes for chocolate chip cookies I have in my arsenal.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (cut it into tablespoons and microwave it for 30 seconds)
1 cup packed brown sugar (and I'm talking nice stuff, not the store brand. Come on, people!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbs vanilla (again, nice stuff. Try this and you'll never spend $8 dollars on McCormick's again)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semi-sweet chips (I like the mini-chips for these)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. You can do this by hand, if you have Popeye arms, or use your handy standing mixer. (I KNOW you have a standing mixer. Everyone has one, along with a favorite pair of jeans and the dark secret of your first movie crush. If you don't have one, sell your couch and get one.)(Can't beat that great advice from a NYT Bestselling author, can you?) Beat in vanilla and eggs until light and creamy. Mix in flour until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips (really, when you're trying to make absurdly large baked goods, the mini chips are better for allowing them to hold together). Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop dough onto the cookie sheet, 3" apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they're golden brown around the edges. They will get firmer as they set up because of the high butter content.

Hold up to your head to verify the size. The end!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yours, Maggie

Just a few days ago, Diana Wynne Jones died. She was one of the greats of children's fantasy. I'm not sure what to say about this, so I'll just paste the letter that I wrote to her here on this blog back in June.

Dear Diana,

I found out yesterday that you'll be discontinuing the chemotherapy you'd been undergoing for your lung cancer and I realized it was time to write a letter. Past due time.

Again and again in interviews, I've listed your books and career as one of my main influences, but I never actually told you directly. So here goes. When I was a young, evil child, I read your books again and again. I'm pretty sure I stumbled on Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant first, during my years living in between the shelves of my public library. Then Archer's Goon and The Ogre Downstairs, checked out again and again. Then I hit on Fire and Hemlock, which I didn't like the first time, partially because I was too young and partially because my sister loved it, and there was no way I was going to be caught dead loving something that she loved. She must feel so vindicated now that I've finally agreed to love it.

All the while I was writing horrible books with overwrought characters and dreaming of being an author.

Then some summer I hit upon Dogsbody and I know I did other things that summer, but I don't remember any of them. Because I read Dogsbody back to back six times. I still remember laying on my bed -- on a hot, muggy, thunderstorming Virginia afternoon -- closing the last page of the book, sighing, and then flipping it back over to the front to read it again, not even getting up to stretch my legs.

And somewhere along the way, I decided, that was why I wanted to be an author. I wanted to be that author who changed someone's life. Not through deep and weight philosophical tomes, but merely by the sheer physical weight of the days spent lost in the pages and mood of the book. So much of my childhood was reading and so many of those books were yours. So even after hitting the bestseller list and getting lovely emails from around the globe, my favorite ones are still the ones that say: "I have reread Shiver or Ballad or Lament 14 times."

Thank you so much for being part of my childhood and adulthood and everything in between. I owe a debt more than any letter sent via e-mail or post could say, and I'm sorry that it took bad news for me to send it.

The other day, I pulled out Fire and Hemlock and reread it for the first time in years. And you know what I did when I got to the end? I flipped it back around and started reading it again.



There are not many people in the world I can point to and say "they changed my life completely," but she's one of them. It would be an incredible thing to be one of those life-changing people for someone else someday, because of her.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Six Things on a Sunday

1. It's snowing. We have two inches. I am offended and outraged, all the while realizing that my offense and outrage is pointless. I would just feel better if I could send an angry letter to someone in charge.

2. I'm working on the book trailers for both THE SCORPIO RACES and FOREVER. (those who know me will know that I did animated trailers for Linger, Shiver, and Ballad) As with all of my trailer-making experiences, the process has involved many things I didn't expect. Like puppets. Why am I making puppets? Also, I'm being forced to google "video of woman picking up dropped keys" in an attempt to accurately depict someone crouching.

3. When you google anything involving "woman," "picking," and "up," you get a million videos which advise you how to pick up women. Or men. Or anything that might kiss you back.

4. Right now, Bologna Book Fair just began, where many many many children's books will be sold into foreign markets in a very short period of time. Fascinating stuff.

5. I have no number five.

6. Teaser rough animation from my SCORPIO trailer! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Tale of Two Mattresses

As I may have mentioned, last week I was in New York City for the Teen Author Festival (which was great, as always). I had set up the hotel myself, because I am a Big Girl and I have Debit Cards and I Can Do It All By Myself!, and I used Priceline, as I am wont to do. I am addicted to Priceline's name-your-own-price feature, because there is nothing like laying on a $250 pillow and knowing that you paid $100 for it.

I blame my Scottish lineage.

I also live in a fear of uncomfortable hotel beds. Is there a word for that? I used to be pretty tolerant of hard hotel beds. I thought things like, well, of course these beds need to be harder. They have to be industrial strength! They have to put up with heavy usage! They have someone sleeping in them every night!

And then I realized that I had just described my own bed.

Now I am less tolerant. So I aim for that expensive hotel bed every time. However, on this occasion, in my almost inexorable quest for fluffy pillows, I ended up booking Lover and I into a room with two beds. See, when you're wielding your price-naming-thrifty-Scottish sword above your head, Priceline doesn't let you specify if you want a room with a single large bed or a room with two doubles. Like a Charles Dickens novel, you take what they give you and you like it because that's all you're getting.

So here we were in beautiful New York City with a fluffy expensive bed. And another fluffy expensive bed two feet away from it. Of course I had slept in twin beds before, but I remembered them being larger. These beds looked tiny. They looked like those 100 calorie snack packs.

bed 1

Lover shrugged. Lover was just glad to see beds. Turning off the light, he accepted his fate without a single Charles Dickens reference.

bed 2

Now, I knew that logic really dictated that we each take one bed and be happy with it. But my principles burned fiercely somewhere in the region of my ear lobes. How dare Priceline be the thing to come between us.

I got into bed.

bed 3

LOVER: ngngngngnngng

It was true that I had his elbow wedged in some soft tissue area of my body and my left arm was hanging over the edge of the bed. But the principle of it! I had come to New York City to spend three nights with my lover and I was going to spend it with him, dammit!

bed 4

But I was too cold over in my bed by myself. Without Lover, my sleep patterns tend to look a lot like my awake patterns. And my awake patterns tend to look highly caffeinated, whether or not they are. My only consolation was that surely he was suffering as much as I.

bed 5

Morning arrived. Lover's face bore the unmarked, halcyon countenance of a newborn child. I'd lost five pounds and had eaten two of my pillows. *insert Breaking Dawn joke here*

I'd like to say I've learned my lesson, but I know I haven't. Priceline, you devilish mistress.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still Life with Sunset & Nebraska. Also, 10 Reasons to Read WARM BODIES

I have to apologize for being missing in action for the last week. From Monday through Thursday, I was in Nebraska doing school and library visits, and from Friday through yesterday, I was in New York City eating pastries. Also meeting readers. But mostly eating pastries.

I know all of you non-Nebraskans have been dying to see what Nebraska looks like. Well, because Grand Island, Nebraska was three hours away from Omaha where I landed, I had plenty of opportunities to check it out. Here, I took some photos for you.

1 Hour Away from Omaha

Nebraska, March

2 Hours Away from Omaha

Nebraska, March

3 Hours Away from Omaha

Nebraska, March

Do you see that 75 MPH speed limit sign? Oh, Nebraska, how I love thee.

Now, to cover up nicely for my blogging absence, I'm going to post a review of a book that I loved beyond all reason. Normally it takes me forever to find a book that I love this much, and y'all will recall that I just read SHIP BREAKER, which I also adored. I must just be very lucky with my book choices this spring. So, without further ado (and with some apologies, because it doesn't come out until April):

Warm BodiesWarm Bodies by Isaac Marion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ten Reasons to Read WARM BODIES

1. It is a zombie book. But not like that. In the spirit of honesty, I had this book as an advanced review copy for literally months before I picked it up. It had glowing reviews from Stephanie Meyer, so I figured it couldn’t be that gross, and a glowing quote from Audrey Niffeneggar, so I figured it had to be well-written. But . . . zombies. Hopeless gore. I have a pretty strict disinterest in zombies that I break only for Carrie Ryan’s books. I’m not going to tell you this isn’t a zombie book, because it is -- there is brain eating and arms falling off and shotguns and gray matter and OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO EAT FOR DINNER - YOU!? and all the traditional zombie nihilism. But I will tell you this: it doesn’t feel like a zombie book.

2. R, the narrator. What really makes this book not feel like a zombie book is that it’s told from R’s point of view -- and he’s a zombie. It’s not glorified or toned down, but R makes the book different because he’s different. Somewhere in the core of his zombie brain, there’s a bit of R left, and watching that struggle against the delightfully metaphorical zombiesm is just . . . lovely and agonizing. In a good way.

3. Did I mention metaphor? Well, let me do it again. The metaphor that the zombies stand for is not deeply hidden in WARM BODIES, and it’s equal parts lesson and warning. It also happens to be something I deeply, deeply believe in. I don’t want to say it’s about self actualization, because who even knows what that means outside of a Meg Ryan movie. It’s about living life to the fullest and feeling everything you can and not being afraid. Maybe that does sound a little like a Meg Ryan movie.

4. It’s short. It’s not that I don’t like long books -- I love ‘em. But there was something very satisfying about reading this perfectly paced slender novel in three or four hours. It makes me think I’m going to do it again.

5. The book begins with R saving a girl -- Julie -- from certain death from both himself and other zombies. Oh how easy it would be for this to descend into pure cheesiness. How easy it would be for them to stop being real people. How easy it would be for Julie to be a construct instead of a real girl worth saving. But Isaac Marion veers away from all that. If at some points R becomes dangerously sentimental, it’s noted with a wry smile. It’s all rather delightful at some points. There’s one scene that’s sort of . . . Wall-E with dead people.

6. R’s so nice. No, really. He’s like . . . nice. If he wasn’t dead, I’d be all, what a nice boy you are, playing Sinatra for your girlfriend.

7. Pretty prose bonus round! “I dream my necrotic cells shrugging off their lethargy, inflating and lighting up like Christmas deep in my dark core. Am I inventing all this like the beer buzz? A placebo? An optimistic illusion? Either way, I feel the flatline of my existence disrupting, forming heartbeat hills and valleys."

8. There’s a Mercedes convertible in it. As if we even NEED reasons 1-7 or 9-10 anymore.

9. No, really, really, it does not read like a zombie book. Your mom would read it. Probably. Well, it really depends on your mom. Back up. Have I steered you wrong before? No. No, I haven’t.

10. You’ve been looking for a book where you finish it with a smile on your face, haven’t you? I know it. Well, this is it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Maggie Has Vanished

I'm sorry I'm behind on all my blog, twitter, and facebook comments. This weekend I had one of those sudden attacks of needing to leave the house so my family and I vanished for some peace, quiet, and novel research. Evidence:

I'm afraid I'm likely to be absent again this week as I'm just packing for Nebraska school and library visits and then off to NYC for the Teen Author Festival (please come see me if you're round!)(I'll be reading from FOREVER!) and a signing at Books of Wonder.

So now I'm disappearing again. This time into a world of packing and google directions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

On Characters, Knowing Them

So I've realized that I have to make a conscious effort not to start every single blog post with "so." No, seriously, if you look back through my blog archives, I suspect I have more so-ing than a farmer. Considering that I'm not exactly sure "so" used in that context even has a meaning, that's impressive.


I was thinking last night that I really ought to talk more about what I meant about knowing characters, because I had this sudden image of dozens of blog readers starting on long and involved character histories including hair color and back story and parental jobs and how many fingers they had on each hand.

This is not what I meant about knowing my characters.

Oftentimes when I start a novel, I have no idea what a character looks like. I might not know if they work. I might not know if they live with both parents. I might not know their last name, exactly how old they are, whether they have a dog named Snookie or a hamster named Chainsaw. Of course, I'll figure these things out as I write, but before I start, the things I need to know inside and out about my characters are only the things that bring them into conflict with the plot and other characters. I need to know what they want out of life so I can deprive them of it. I need to know what their mortal flaw is so they can struggle to overcome it. I need to know who they love so I can turn that person into a wolf and laugh meanly.

A lot of times, this has very little to do with eye color or whether or not they need to wear platform heels to meet the height requirements on most roller coasters. I need to know them on a deep, thematic level.

*maggie searches for an example*

Okay, I have one. So when I started Shiver, I knew that the big conflict for Sam was that he was losing his humanity, and in order to make it an interesting story, I needed him to be a very HUMAN human. I wanted him to be in love with things that people did that animals couldn't. Something creative, something that would make the reader genuinely disappointed that he couldn't pursue. I knew all this about Sam before I started writing.

I figured probably I'd make him obsessed with movies.

Yeah. Well, so obviously I didn't go that route. But it's worth pointing out that something that is hugely important to Sam -- his music, his lyrics -- wasn't something I knew going in to the book. That doesn't mean, though, that I didn't know what drove him. I just didn't know the specifics. It's better that way than the other way around.

I guess what I'm trying to emphasize is that, as a writer, our job is the big picture. The wire coat hanger skeleton. You can always change the color of the clay you stick on the arms later. It's the skeleton you need, so you know how many limbs they have and whether they walk on two feet or all fours (as a werewolf author, maybe this is a bad metaphor to make). So if you're out there frantically checking out play-doh colors after my advice to know your characters, put the lids back on and go get the coat hangers instead. Big! Think big! It's really easy to get enmeshed in the details while both writing and editing. Big swathes first, then refine.

Wipe on, wipe off.

Because I just had to get one more analogy in there.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Novels, On Starting Them

I reckon this must be the time of year for starting novels, because I've gotten asked about ten times in the last month how it is that I get going with my novels. I thought I remembered posting something about it before, and I had: here and here. I read back over them, trying to see if they would have helped me back before I'd written a novel, and I guess they are sort of lacking in the practical nitty-gritties that I would've wanted. So I'm going to try again. I'm in the beginning stages of another novel right now, myself, so I'm going to try to pick apart my current process. It's weird to think that this will be published novel #7. One would think I'd be quite handy at this by now.

Okay, I think I have what I want to add.

1) Are you telling the right story?

I can hear the gritty sounds of millions of eyes rolling in their sockets now, but come on, bear with me. Before you sit down and drive yourself crazy in front of the computer, I want you to be sure. I want you to be in love with the story. I want you to be unable to stop thinking about it. I want you to be on fire with the desire to write this story. Because if you aren't, save yourself the trouble and stop now. Before I ever write a single word of any of my novels, I spend days brainstorming about them -- the characters, the plot arcs, the villains, the ending. If I can't bring myself to spend a week doing nothing but contemplating the possibilities behind the idea, then I'm writing the wrong story. It's like getting married. If you aren't in love with it now -- and I'm talking the sort of love that is so overwhelming that it annoys onlookers -- it's not going to get any better.

2) Do you know the ending?

I have dozens of unfinished novels from my teen years. I would zoom off the mark like a crazy person, pounding out tens of thousands of words, and then . . . fizzle. The aliens would come and kill them all. The characters were turn on each other and die in pools of blood. It was ugly. It took me a long time to figure out that I needed to know the end of the story before I started, or they'd always end in travesties. And by "ending", I mean a final(ish) scene. I don't need to know how everything works out, but I do need a concrete destination point.

3) Do you know your characters?

I can't start my novel until I know what my main characters need and want (often two very different things). I need to know why they don't already have these things. I need to know how they're going to change from beginning to end. Because I have to signal all this this subtly to the reader -- if not in the first scene, then pretty darn close. If readers don't know what the conflict is going to be until halfway into the novel, I'm in trouble. My mom's kind enough to give me that long to build up my story, but no one else is.

4) Do you know your setting?

If your answer is "in a suburban town somewhere," you haven't done enough homework yet. Setting counts as a character, and that means that it deserves as much brainstorming time as your people. Why does your story take place there, and why can't it take place anywhere else? Setting often requires hands-on research for me. That's why I was so insane in visiting every set of cliffs I was anywhere close to last year. You never know when you'll be standing on location and a great idea for your novel will hit you.

5) Are you ready to stick it out?

I generally swing from wild elation to deep depression with my story in the first 10,000 words -- I don't know my characters as well as I want to, I don't know if the pacing is working, I haven't gotten to the first big switch on a switch, everything is slow and uncertain. I need more chocolate and tea than should be humanly possible to keep my spirits up. But for me, 10,000 words is that magic switch. That's when I hit my stride. Until then? It's only the knowledge that I've done this before that keeps me going.

If the answers to 1-5 are yes and why yes and of course yes and double ja, then take one of the following options:

A) Find beginnings you like and pull them apart.

Back when I first started, I did this a lot. I would pull five of my favorite books off the shelf and study the first pages to see why it was I found them so compelling. And then see if I could apply those broad principles to my writing. You'll notice I said BROAD. I'm not talking about reading a chapter about a dead body and then putting a dead body in mine. I'm talking about picking apart where in the timeline a novel starts, what sort of character voice pulls me in, how much action or inaction I see working in a novel.

B) Have the whole first scene in your head before you start writing.

Basically this is the same thing as having the end of your novel in your head before you begin. I don't need to know everything that will happen in a scene before I start, but I need to know the purpose of it.

C) Make absolutely certain you chose the correct narrator.

Sometimes your story isn't at fault. Sometimes you just picked the wrong person to tell it or the wrong side to look at it from, and this is hard to change later. So think about these things now.

D) Write until you don't know how the next scene will end, then stop.

If you push forward in a frenzy of delighted word-count-checking, you might end up traveling quickly to places you don't know how to get out of. I like to use the end of scenes as stopping points. If I know my story three scenes in advance, great -- that's what I right. If I know one and a half scenes ahead? I'll write one. If I know half? I brainstorm more.

E) Ignore all these rules.

This is really my process, and it's not a lot like my critique partners' process, and their process is not like mine. It's good to start somewhere, but if you feel like you're being cramped by one of these rules and something else is working, don't be afraid to follow the muse.

I'm not sure if that's helpful or merely more, but there you go. Feel free to ask me more specific questions in the comments.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ten Reasons To Read SHIP BREAKER

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ten Reasons to Read SHIP BREAKER.

1. The packaging is fantastic. I know this is shallow of me, but the rusty, oily cover effects on the hardcover? Completely won me over. And after reading the book? Loved it even more. The only way it could’ve matched the mood of the book any better was if there had been some gross water damage on the pages. Also, I thought I understood the title when I began, and then I thought it stopped being relevant, and then suddenly it was much more relevant than it was to start.

2. It has effortless world-building. How effortless? In 326 pages, I felt like I knew exactly how this incredibly different future America worked and what it looked like, and it felt horrifyingly plausible. That sort of world building should’ve taken twice as long. Somehow this book has done the literary equivalent of getting your husband to bring the groceries in from the car for you, and I’m not entirely sure how. But I like it.

3. Boys who act like boys who aren’t dicks.

4. Girls everywhere. Doing everything. Being a girl gets you no favors in this world, but that’s just the way it is. Equal opportunity crap.

5. A plot tighter than Richard Simmon’s abs. When our dear Paolo places a smoking gun in chapter one, you can be darn sure that he’s going to use that gun in a surprising and satisfying place later. And I’m not just talking one smoking gun. I’m talking five or six smoking plot points that “I went, huh, that is Interesting, I wonder if he’ll . . . “ at, and guess what. He did.

6. Invisible prose. With the exception of “blossoms of pain” which seemed everywhere in the last few chapters, the prose is fantastic in the way that Hunger Games’ is. It gets in and gets out and nobody even knew it was there. Just what this sort of story neded.

7. This world is subtle and scary. It looks plausible -- and the attitudes are recognizable even from this side of the printed page. I’m going to go recycle everything in my house right now.

8. Hope. I love reading dystopic fiction, but I hate hopelessness. This is a subtle, scary world where people are trying and there’s hope for the characters. My mom might read it. She’d give me squinty eyes afterward, but she might read it.

9. Tool. Just read it and find out.

10. Just a neat and satisfying package, all in one. Incredibly well written. Do yourself a favor and read it . . . slowly. This isn’t a book to be eaten in a night, though it could be done.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Secret Novel's Title Released!

So readers have let me know that Secret Novel has appeared on Amazon for pre-order (you'll notice how in the loop I was on that). Which means that the title is now public! I reckon that the description will probably follow sometime in March or April.

Here tis on Amazon.

And on Goodreads.


This is my favorite novel I've ever written, so  . . . SQUEE!!!

Contest Winners!

Man,  I'm sorry I'm late posting this, guys. I started reading the entries at 7:30 (there were nearly 500) and didn't finish up until just now. So, that said.

1) I'd love to give everybody books, because the entries were all really, really lovely.

2) That is not a real copy of FOREVER on my shelf. It is a giant shiny sales display for the UK edition and it is merely cardboard. So don't get excited.

3) Yes, I love my desk, too. No, it's not an antique. Actually readers on Twitter helped me pick it out last year, so thanks for that.

4) The shelves are the cheapest damn shelves I could find at IKEA.

5) I'm sorry that so many folks didn't realize my blog is also mirrored over on Blogger. I should've shouted it louder! Here's where I am: 

Goodreads (only my favorite books on here)
Shelfari (every book I read on here)

6) The winners are:

Adult stack: its_susanne (from Blogger)

YA Stack #1: Adeline Taylor (LJ)

YA Stack #2: Alex_rockstar27 (LJ)

e-mail me with your mailing address, please! And be patient, if you could, because it'll be sent media mail.

7) I'd also appreciate it if I could get mailing addresses from Jamilla Jones (LJ), OHSLibraryLady (Blogger), and Starlily37 (LJ).

As always, a huge thank you to everybody for making space for my link on your blogs and twitters and facebook.

Now, seriously. Go vacuum.
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