Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who Hearts Gossip Girl?

Talking Gossip After Dark is turning one, and they want to celebrate by giving out PRIZES! Find out more here.

And sometime in August, I'll be joining the TGAD folks on a podcast episode. Fun times TK!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Spotted: Map of Gossip Girl Locations

One part of the episode guides in Spotted is a locations listing — where your favorite Gossip Girl scenes were filmed. When I went to New York to take photos of the locations for the book, I put together a Google Map so I'd know where I needed to go. And now it all its glory — cleaned up and details added — the map is here for ya. It's not a full list yet, but I'll keep adding locations from seasons 1 and 2, and once season 3 starts (yay!) I'll add those ones too.

View Gossip Girl Locations! in a larger map

A little legend: RED for locations that appear across seasons; GREEN for season 1; BLUE for season 2; and PINK for season 3.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Erin's Round-Up - Inaugural Edition

i have a friend named Erin — actually I have multiple friends named Erin, but this one in particular doesn't have a blog or twitter, but finds a lot of excellent, absurd things on the Internets and in real life, and takes lovely photographs, and is otherwise wondrous. So I've decided to compile her genius and repurpose it for my OWN blog. (How does that sound, Erin?) Here is the first edition of what will hopefully be semi-regular posts of the stuff I've pilfered from her emails to me.

Time to Get Excited!!

A musical theatre version of the The Notebook is in the works!!

Two Fun Facts and One Sad Shortcoming from sTori Telling, the 5 hour and 20 minute AUDIOBOOK version, read by Tori Spelling
1. Her parents were CRAZY. They would buy and plant fake seashells at the beach so she’d find beautiful ones instead of the regular ones.
2. Did you know that Luke Perry used to call Tori Spelling “camel” because of the length of her eyelashes?
3. Sadly, Troop Beverly Hills was given no more than ONE SENTENCE. Devastating! I was really hoping for a first hand account of working with Shelley Long.

An Actual Post on the IMdB Message Board for Abigail Breslin
she's a great young talent; I just hope she doesn't fall into the child actor thinking; "well, hollywood is unpredictable so better go to college for something to fall back on..." College is a waste of time! she's got a great career ahead of her! I'd hate to see her lost for four years, that's how people forget about you
To celebrate the first "Erin's Round-Up" — let us eat cake!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

(500) Movies of Summer

it's glorious summer time, and that means I am overcome with the desire to sit in movie theaters. maybes it's the stink of the garbage strike, or just the promise of 2 hours of stress-free entertainment, but i just want to see everything that comes out. (note: my "everything" doesn't include G-Force.) From best to worst, what I've seen so far...

(500) Days of Summer
If I had to use one word only to describe this one, it would be charming. The soundtrack is genius; it's a movie clearly made by someone who loves movies (the French film spoof was tres funny); and Zooey Deschanel is just the dreamiest. I got the issue of Self with her on the cover (and let's be honest, the cover shot is not traditional; she looks kind of like a normal human being, in awesome clothes). Read her story on 31 things to do during summer; her soup recipe ends with "Serve in bowls. (This is important; soup should not be served on a plate!)" How's that for a movie review? A soup joke.

The Proposal I know, right? But seriously this is the perfect romantic comedy. It is exactly what you expect, with the right amount of chemistry, right number of obstacles, and right background color and characters (Alaska, book publishing, Betty White). I did not want it to end.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
People seem to like this movie? I didn't really. Because it's more of a stepping stone (through a dark lake in a cave) to the 7th and final installment of the story, there's no real epic battle scene, and those are my favorite parts of Harry Potters. The love story between Ron and Hermione successfully stayed away from being nagging & annoying, as it was in the book. But overall, I rate this film a "meh." (Sorry!) And the one thing that I know was intentional and artistic, but drove me crazy, was the decision to keep the focus clear on characters' faces in close-up but fuzz out the rest of them. Draco's shoulder: fuzzy; his face: clear. Or in long shots, the characters would be out of focus, having some epic conversation with the actors likely trying very hard to emote, but you couldn't see their expressions. All you could see in focus was some architectural detail of Hogwarts. A beautiful building, but...

My Sister's Keeper
Why? Why did I see this movie? My advice is if you do see this movie, try to start crying right away. Otherwise, like me, you will feel like you've held it together pretty well, only to break down into uncontrollable sobs — literally uncontrollable — and have to think hard about silly things Cameron Diaz has done in other movies to calm down. And one should never have to think of her in that Mary movie ever hever again.

Land of the Lost
Coulda been good! But it was not. I think, objectively speaking, even if my dad was not my dad, I would have thought him the best and funniest character in the whole thing. (And you can watch him talk 'bout it here, after Anna Friel around 1:30.)

Away We Go
This movie may have ruined John Krasinski for me.

This movie was worse than a movie that may have ruined John Krasinski for me. I enjoyed Borat; I felt sick afterward, but I had laughed and couldn't believe some of things people did and said. This one? Lame, dumb, obvious, and juvenile. Really and truly stupid. I kept trying to think how this was somehow excellent social commentary, that there was some clever point he was making by simulating sex over and over and over again. But guess what? Nope. It's just the same "shocking" joke again and again. Which, frankly, is not shocking at all. This film gets a chorus of boooooos from me.

And for the rest of the summer:
Star Trek (I still haven't seen it...eep), The Ugly Truth (I know, I don't want to see it, but I know I will), Fifty Dead Men Walking, Adam, Julie & Julia (!), Bandslam, District 9, Time Traveler's Wife...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two Awesome Things

From caltrib

(thank you Jameson!)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


trying not to
walk across the street to the movie theatre to see My Sister's Keeper tonight & all by myself. bad idea, right? oh man...i am in the mood for a cry festival of cheeztastic proportion! it's probably because i'm...


  • New Moon. yes. as in Twilight book #2. i got to the much-discussed part where the passage of time spent without Edward is marked by pages empty but for the name of the month. oh so glorious. no one knows pain like Bella. no one.
  • the other YA series I got into recently was Generation Dead by Daniel Waters -- loved the first book. the second was less than stellar...and had a really really bad cover.
  • up soon on the reading list are books written by women I've worked with: Emily Schultz's Heaven Is Small and Lauren Kirshner's Where We Have to Go
  • the manuscript of Nikki Stafford's Finding Lost — Season 5 book!

listening to
waiting for
So You Think You Can Dance to start...

annoyed by
milk going sour before its due date. seriously, argggh. (don't cry over spoiled milk.)

excited that

I will hold my book in my hands in a few short weeks. Oh man. I am scared and a little unbelieving that I actually got it done and it wasn't in crazy-language. Did I tell you this? When I was in the final days before handing in season 1, I was worried in my crazy-overworked state that I had somehow lost my mind and written the whole manuscript in what looked like proper English to me, but was actually gobbledy-gook. And I'd give it to my editor and she'd be like, Um, I think the file is corrupt and/or you are mentally unsound.

but that didn't happen. I totally wrote Spotted in English. Mostly. A few made-up words.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

the final countdown

My book is written! And it goes to the printer this week! I sorta cannot believe it? It will be very cool to hold it in my hands. If I have the strength to hold it. It was supposed to be a 240 page book, sized the same as Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl books. But then somebody (me) kept typing and typing and typing and now it's 360 pages and a little bit bigger in trim size. Whoopsy! It's not my fault that there's just so much crammed into each episode of Gossip Girl, right?

so the very last things to do are:

get an author photo...
Normally this would've been done months ago, but I needed the time to practice smiling with my eyes and being ugly-pretty, not pretty-pretty or ugly-ugly. (Must make Tyra proud.) In the meantime, I've been using this photo. And no, that's not a fabulous Valentino headband I'm wearing, but a ribbon from a Christmas present. Someone told me I look like I'm 4 years old in this pic ("but in the best way"). So today I'm getting a proper photo taken with the genius Lee Weston! I will try to follow the guidelines outlined here in 10 Ways to Take a Bad Author Photo (it gets funnier as you read thru it). Wish me luck! I am feeling a bit nervy about the whole thing.

Proofread the cover!
Just yesterday we got the "best proof" of the cover -- a high resolution output of what the cover should actually look like when it prints. So we check the text, and make sure nothing fell off the cover (sometimes a layer hides behind another and an author's name disappears. if it goes to print like that, it's what we call a "disaster"), and then we revel in its glory. Or, well, that's what I do for this one! I love the colors and the skyline. The cover designer is Dave Gee, who's done some amazing covers for ECW and other publishing houses. Sometimes he blogs about them! And when he sent this mock-up to my editor he signed his email "Dave (OM)G." So ya. He's the best.
Spotted: Omfg! It's the proof of my book cover! on Twitpic

Dance Break!

("Good Girls Go Bad," featuring our Leighton Meester)

write some stinkin captions
Who knew that the one thing I would have the most trouble with would be captions? i have about 5 left to write — and seriously should be doing those now and not blogging. Especially since the typesetter/designer Melissa (who's waiting for them) and Jen the Editrix will know I'm playing on the internets instead. Oops. (Promise to have 'em done by 9?) If/when I ever write another book, I am going to think about captions a little earlier, before I'm completely and utterly burnt out. Actually let's blame this on Melissa — she added in dummy captions and they are just so charming that I don't want to replace them!

happy canada day!