Impending Library Talk! And also…On To Cambodia!

Man, I know it’s blog day, but y’all, I’m working on SEEKERS BOOK THREE!  Don’t you want more bears even more than you want more pictures of Sunshine?  ;-)  Maybe think carefully before you answer that question. 

So I’m writing about bears, and the crazy challenge I keep running into is trying to avoid anything too human-y.  Did I already tell you about the funniest editorial comment ever, which I got on book one?  I think I’d written something like "hundreds of flat-faces."  (If you haven’t read the book, can you guess what flat-faces are?  Considering how a bear’s face is shaped…I imagine ours look pretty flat to them!)  And when I got it back, that phrase was circled with a note beside it saying, "No, no, bears can only count up to ten."  HEE!  I think that’s hilarious, especially the matter-of-fact "come on, everybody knows that, Tui" tone of the note.

But so there are all these odd things I have to watch out for, especially when I’m just sailing along writing descriptions.  Last night I started to write: "Lusa’s big saucer-like ears" and then I was like "oh FNAR, they don’t know what saucers are!  this metaphor does not work for bears at all!"  (simile? hides sheepishly from the English teachers)  So then I have to go find another similiphor that does make sense for bears, but nothing is really as right as "saucers" here.  Except, you know, "satellite dishes", but that doesn’t help me either.  Must I leave it at "big ears"?  I’m afraid I might have to.  But first I must think about it for at least half an hour. 

So you can see why this might be taking a while.  🙂

But!  I do have an announcement!  If you’re anywhere near Ridgewood, New Jersey, on Thursday, you can come hear me talk at the Ridgewood Library!  Woo hoo!  That’s July 31 at 7pm at the library.  :-)  Check it out, I’m on their homepage and everything!  SO exciting!  And I imagine I’ll be talking about bears, since my head is so very full of bears right now.  Come with questions!  I love questions!

I’ll also be talking about Avatars and my new upcoming series Pet Trouble and whatever else you’d like to hear about. 

If you’re very, very lucky, I might even bring pictures of Sunshine.

Who, me? 

Sunshine, by the way, started her Canine Good Citizen class tonight!  Yes, we already know she’s a very good citizen, but at the end of this class she’ll take a test and hopefully earn a certificate proving that she is, so that (ulterior motive alert!) I can take her WITH me on my five-continent giant publicity tour for Pet Trouble, which I figure the world will be clamoring for once they realize I’ll be bringing the famous Sunshine along.  Right?

Mwa ha ha!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  Wouldn’t you be ten times more likely to come to an event if there were a fluffy canine good citizen there?  I figure that just makes sense.  Now all we have to do is convince the bookstores and libraries.  Whee!

So far this class is basically a lot of sitting and staying.  Sunshine’s like, dude, where are the hurdles?  Set something on fire and let me jump through it already!

OK, I’m going to close with some pictures from the Cambodia part of our honeymoon — I was glancing through these last night and realizing how many there are, and considering how long I’ve taken to show you all the Thailand pictures, I figure I’d better start now with these, since soon there’ll be a whole bunch of India pictures too!

Lookit!  I’m on a Cambodian temple!  In CAMBODIA!

One thing to note about Angkor Wat is that there’s more than the one big famous temple; there are actually approximately three quazillion temples temples around Siem Reap (rough estimate).  And we were only there for two and a half days!  That’s about seven squajillion temples an hour!  

La, la, just a temple…a temple with a GIANT HEAD!

OK, OK, we didn’t have to see millions of temples.  There might be millions somewhere, but a lot of them are still covered in jungle right now, so we focused on the ones that are open, which is quite sufficient.

Who you callin’ giant?

The awesome, awesome, AWESOME thing about these temples is that you completely 100% feel like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft (yeah, she was here!) because they’re still in the middle of the jungle and they’re all old and ruined and mysterious-looking, so when you walk up to them it kind of feels like you’ve just discovered them yourself.

Intrepid!  That’s us!  Stand back, jungle!  Er, further back, please.  And take your insects with you.

Of course, instead of snakes and bad guys and booby traps, the only thing you really have to fight your way through is a horde of horribly adorable Cambodian seven-year-olds who are each more skilled in the art of psychological manipulation than any of the best car salesmen in America.  And they wield postcards!  And bracelets!  And guidebooks!  And many other things you definitely do not want but will almost certainly end up buying because they are horribly adorable and also they will literally tell you that you are going to make them cry if you don’t buy their merchandise, and then if you try to get by there is desperate wailing and gnashing of teeth, and dear Lord, isn’t it just easier to buy the freaking two-cent postcard?  YES IT IS.

Hide!  The adorable children are coming! 

But once you get to the temple itself, it’s relatively peaceful, at least at most of them, and if you go at the right time.  

That is clearly not a tree.  That is CLEARLY an alien life form blobbing out to eat the whole temple.

(Fascinating fun fact:  Microsoft Word has no problem with the word "blobbing."  What on earth does it think it means?)

‘Sup, yeah, I’m just hanging out at this here temple, whatevs.

Anyway, I don’t have time right now to figure out which two temples those are, but there you go, those are the first ones we saw on our first day, so woo hoo!  Temples!

Guarding the king’s private bath.  Oh, I’m not kidding.  

Many more to come where these came from!  :-)  Wait until we get to the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING!  I am not making that up!  And after that…MONKEYS!  And then I really need to figure out how to post videos, because if I can’t show you baby elephants dancing, really the whole trip will have been wasted, don’t you think? 

Yes, much excitement ahead…just as soon as I finish…BEARS!

Remember, come hear me talk at the library!  OR if you’re not close enough to Ridgewood, save your questions for the Online Chat with All the Erin Hunters — that’s right, all FOUR of us at once!  For the very first time!  Madness!  The chat is August 16th (more about that closer to then), but you have to register with the site before August 9th if you want to join in, so check it out and do that soon!  I am SO SO SO excited to get to do this with Vicky and Cherith and Kate, oh my GOODNESS!  Yay!

Quote of the Day:
The Operative:  That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship. She is an albatross, Captain.
Captain Mal: Way I remember it, the albatross was a ship’s good luck, ’til some idiot killed it.  [to Inara]  Yes, I’ve read a poem. Try not to faint.