Friday, September 29, 2006

Still juggling...but fewer balls now

So, I'm still busy, but it's not as overwhelmingly crazy as it was last week and the beginning of this week. I'm surviving and being productive and feeling good.

If you want to get a better understanding of exactly what I've been doing lately, read this post on the Blue Rose Girls blog. Friday's are generally my day to blog, so check there every Friday if you want to read a chidren's book-related post by me. We also have a question of the week at the beginning of each week where we all try to answer a question.

As for me...I'd like to introduce Tanya and Chris's new daughter Annelise. These pictures are from the hospital two weekends ago:
And I couldn't resist posting this picture of "Auntie Alvina" that Antonella took of me and her daugher Alessandra at the hospital. I had no idea what expression she had on her face when I was holding her, and I think her smile is so adorable:

Last weekend was our wonderful, inspiring, rejuvenating Blue Rose Girls get-together where we tried to "get down to the cupcake level" to take a picture, and then realized, geniuses that we are, that we should bring the cupcakes up to our level instead:

I went to Nate and Ingrid's baby shower last Sunday when I got back. Brought Sachin to his first baby shower, which he enjoyed, because it was more Super Bowl Sunday than baby shower.

This week was filled with goodbyes to my roommate Lisa who is moving today to Chicago--so sad to see her go! We had a drink on the terrace one last time on Wednesday. Also went to a cocktail party for that crazy building "Blue" in the Lower East Side which was kinda a bust (badly planned drinks and food) but was worth checking out anyway. Last night was the bachelorette party for Nikki--fun gals, good food and wine at Supper, and lots of cheesy bachelorette "flair." Tonight is happy hour, then Mariko's birthday party, tomorrow night is Don and Nikki's wedding, and Sunday is my day of rest, with Little Miss Sunshine, I hope--finally!

Monday, September 25, 2006

What are the chances...

I'm not sure if this will be interesting to people who don't know Mathieu, but let me try and see anyway, because I love coincidences. Anyway, for future reference, this is me with my friend Mathieu:

He's a Random and also one of the "Frenchies" and back in August he moved back to France. So anyway, last Wednesday Sachin and I went to see a free improv show at the PIT (People's Improv Theater). We got there a bit early so hung out in the little lounge. There were these huge blown up photographs hung around the room like this:

I took a double take and looked at the middle one a bit closer...

Recognize him? Isn't that crazy? How random is that?!?!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mentos and Diet Coke

Okay, I know I'm probably the last one to discover this--I was listening to an old podcast from June (NPR: Most emailed stories) and heard the story of these guys who were recreating the Bellagio fountain show using Diet coke and Mentos! It's so cool:

And for comparison, here's a shot I took of the Bellagio fountain when I was in Vegas this past July:

Which do you like better?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


My friend Heather just emailed these pictures out. I LOOOOOVE clouds. And sky. These are beautiful, thought I'd share.

Jorn Olsen works for the Dutton-Lainson Co. in Hastings, Nebraska, and lives by Heartwell Park next to Hastings College. The other nighthe took these photos. The stadium lights are at the Hastings Collegestadium just east of his home.The clouds are called Mammatus clouds. They do not precede a tornado, or foretell a storm, but are formed when the air is already saturatedwith rain droplets and/or ice crystals and begins to sink. The worst of the storm is usually over when these kinds of clouds are seen.They are quite rare, but really beautiful.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Just got an editorial letter for a Fall 07 novel out last week, struggling to get another one out for another Fall 07 novel by tomorrow and stayed at work till 9 pm tonight but still didn't finish. Right now am reading the manuscript that just came in today of a long nonfiction project (also on the Fall 07 list) so that I can get it into copyediting on Wednesday. Am loving it so far but am only on page 46 of a 200+ page manuscript...need to get to at least 100 tonight and it's past my bedtime. Am expecting a revised manuscript of another Fall 07 novel in tomorrow, and need to turn that around with more edits within a few days so that there's time to do another revision so I can get it into copyediting by mid-October. Next week I should get the revision of the novel I did an edit on last week, and will have to also turn it around quickly in order to keep it on schedule. Inherited a whole paperback series from another editor and am preparing for and leading a big meeting with the owners of the estate on Monday. Updating fact sheets for our Pre-Sales conference this week, too. Getting out jacket copy for my Spring 2007 novels by next week. Sending out two of my Spring 2007 for blurbs. Dealing with reprints. Reviewing final art for a Fall picture book. Waiting for late final art of another Fall picture book. Feeling guilty about keeping authors and agents waiting on promised revision notes for at least three projects. Trying to book my flight to Oregon for the SCBWI conference next month, but having to coordinate with my cousin and two authors out there first. Fielding calls from my mother about our family reunion in Taiwan in November. Fielding calls about submissions sent to me over 4 months ago. Not reading the manuscript in my reading pile. Needing to keep training for the marathon.

But it's all good. It will get done (with a LOT of help from my super assistant, Connie).

But I need to stop writing this RIGHT NOW! Back to work.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Training Run #1

I'm doing two training runs in preparation for the marathon--they're great, because my big obstacle to doing long runs is thirst, and these training runs have water and Gatorade stations, mile markers, etc. And this one has 2,500 people running. It's just the Central Park loop over and over again. The training runs go for 20 miles, but you can adjust to your training schedule. I'm going to try to do 17 miles, but if I'm feeling good, will go ahead and do 18 miles, 3 loops. We'll see how it goes. My alarm went off this morning at 6 am and I had no clue why.

Okay, time to the time people read this, I'll be done, so I'll give an update.


I ran 18 miles, even. Finished in 3 hours, 22 minutes, and 11 seconds, and that includes one bathroom stop of 2 and a half minutes. So, I averaged about 11 minute miles...I started out quick, finished slow, but felt good most of the way. Typical moments of Why the Hell am I Doing This, but overall good. Even wrote most of my speech for the SCBWI Conference in Oregon next month in my head. So it was productive in more than one way.

I could have done 19 miles today. I think I would have died at 20, though. But this shows me why most of the training schedules suggest doing two 20-mile runs before the marathon. The first one is going to suck, but the second one will probably feel better, and then you're both mentally and physically prepared for the marathon.

Okay, time to get all the city grime off me and then go to brunch with Rose!

Uh, okay, so while having brunch with Rose, we figured out that I actually ran 19 MILES!!! Sheesh. The training run was actually really confusing, because after the first 6 mile loop they didn't have mile markers, and for some reason I kept thinking that when I finished three loops (one 6-mile, 2 5-miles), I had run 15 miles. Yeah, I was never really good with math. So, well, I ran an extra mile. Better than running a mile less than I thought!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 way!

The television show, not the band.

So, when the new season of Survivor was announced and people found out it was a race war, I think most of the reaction was What are they thinking?!?! I hadn't really formed an opinion about it yet, except that it felt a little strange to me, but as I'm fascinated with all things race-related, I had a mild interest to check it out. I watched the first season of Survivor and enjoyed it, and watched bits of the second and third season and then just lost track of it. Well, tonight I found out another reason to watch. One of my friend James's best friends is in it! Yul Kwon. Check out his profile

I've hung out with James's group of friends quite a bit, gone on ski trips, spent New Year's, hung out on both the East and West coast. I haven't seen Yul in a while, but he's a really nice guy, and I'm curious how he'll come across.

and more exciting news...

I've been feeling for a while now that the text in my blog is too small, but never looked into how to change it. And of course, all it took was changing it from "Normal Size" to "Large."

Don't know if I'll go back and change all of my previous posts...maybe I'll do one a day. Anyway, thanks for bearing with me, hope this is better!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Parenting philosophy

This weekend down in DC for Amy's baby shower (lovely, lovely), the subject came up of what kind of parents we wanted to be. Antonella asked Amy if she's been reading any parenting books, if she'd gotten the Sears books from work, and Amy said no, and Antonella said that was probably for the best. She said she had gotten them because she had access to them, and then thought, "Wait, am I going to be rearing my child the Sears way, just because I happen to work at this company and get the books for free?" It's funny to think about. If she worked for S&S, would she be following Dr. Spock? My friends having babies now are thinking about what kind of parent they want to be. Are they going to let their kids watch TV? Eat junk food? Surf the internet? Date?

About a year and a half ago when I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and found myself starting over at age 31, I had lunch with my friend Paul and he suggested I read a book called Midlife Crisis at 30--not because I was going through a midlife crisis necessarily, but because most women have similar experiences at that age. I've been reading it on and off, and at least one thing I've gotten out of it is that no matter the situation the woman is in, they usually have a feeling that maybe they should have done things differently. So, for example, the women who focused on their careers and now find themselves without a husband or children at age 30 think maybe they should have focused on family instead, and the ones that are married with children at 30 think they should have focused on their career. The women who tried to do both think that maybe they should have focused on just one or the other. The grass is always greener.

Recently I read a passage that surprised me, and fit into the theme of all my friends and cousins having babies (my cousin Melissa and her husband Albert had a second son, Micah, and Jeff and Stacy just had their second son on Thursday, Joshua).
While all parents swear they are going to raise their kids differently than they were raised, studies show that Gen-Xers are twice as likely as Boomers to say they don't have good role models for childrearing.

Besides being extremely vague (and attributed only to an article in the Chicago Daily Herald), I found this surprising. ALL parents swear they're going to raise their kids differently? I certainly think my parents were good role models, although it's true, I would do some things differently. I think the fact that I was deprived of junk food made me like junk food too much, gave me some food issues. But I think eating such healthy food growing up (brown rice, veggies, fruit) made me really enjoy that kind of food. I didn't like brown rice as a kid, and would crave the white rice I'd get in Chinese restaurants, but now I prefer brown rice. And I LOVE tofu. Love it. And spinach. Spinach...mmm. And all fruit (in fact, just tonight while having drinks with another editor and an agent I suggested getting a fruit plate, but they shot me down). But there has to be a balance. (I find that "it's all about balance" is my mantra these days.) It's finding the right balance that's the tough part. If a kid gets a taste of junk food, is that all they'll want to eat? Then again, I won't have to seriously think about this for a while.

We played an ice breaker game at Amy's shower where we each had the name of a famous mother on our backs, and had to ask others yes or no questions to figure out who our mother was. One of Amy's cousins got a Panda mother, I think Mei Xiang. When I was telling Sachin about this later, he said, "Did you hear about the mother panda who accidentally killed one of her babies?"

BEIJING - Staff at a zoo in southwest China are in mourning after a sleep-deprived panda dropped her two-day-old baby and crushed it to death, local media reported on Friday.

So sad! So we started talking about how the problem of pandas and elephants and some other wild animals rearing children in captivity is that they lack the community to teach them how to raise their kids, that it doesn't all come naturally or instinctively. And for humans, it's the same. Even though everyone tells you how to raise your kids, or what you should do, there are so many books out there and it gets confusing, the truth is that you take the information you want to, and form your own parenting style. But the knowlege of your parents or other people with kids is invaluable.

Not to keep talking about running, but, well, yeah, I'm gonna keep talking about running. I haven't really been doing any of my own research on how to run a marathon, but I've found people's advice to be great. I don't follow all of it, but I'm able to cull the advice I think is best for me, and it makes me feel like I'm not running blind, despite my laziness.

Anyway, back to parenting, I'm curious to hear from you parents out there. How did you go about deciding your parenting philosophy? Are you finding yourself raising your kids the same way you were raised? (I'm wondering how many parents read my blog...I guess I'll find out!)

Friday, September 08, 2006

More babies

I'm heading to DC early tomorrow morning for Amy's baby shower. She's due next month. And I'm waiting for a call that could come any second telling me that Tanya's in labor. Her due date was Wednesday, but she'll likely not give birth until after the weekend. Babies, babies.

I found out today that Rich and Doris are officially new parents. Evan Lin was born this morning around 9 am. "Evan's my father's name!" I said. Rich hadn't known. "It's a good, strong name," he said. That it is. I'll meet Evan in December when I go home for the holidays. Can't wait! Congratulations to the new parents.

I have many other friends who have babies, but for some reason, this one felt a little different to me, and I actually felt a surge of emotion while talking to Rich on the phone--maybe it's because I remember Rich most from our carefree days in Taiwan, hanging out, smoking, going to dance clubs, singing Karaoke, living it up. And I've known Doris since 8th grade. Everything's different now, and it has been different for a long time now, but now their lives are changed forever. Whereas I feel that I'm still pretty much living the same carefree metropolitan life. It's funny how different life in NYC is compared to the rest of the country.

Anyway, I need to get up around 6:30 tomorrow morning, so am off to bed now. Since I'm out of town, I ran 10 miles tonight. And in record time (for me): 104 minutes! It was a beautiful night for a run, and I felt good.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Love Story

I knew they had met in NYC at a Taiwanese singles Christmas party.

My father was looking for a wife. He knew he wanted to marry a fellow Taiwanese, and he wanted her to be strong, independent, and smart. And she had to believe in Taiwan independence, too. He was living in Atlanta, Georgia at the time, but friends recommended that he go to NYC to look, so he did. His plan at this Christmas party was to dance with every woman there, rank them in order of preference, and then starting from his top choice, work down the list and ask each woman out until one of them said yes.

"What number was mom ranked?" we asked him when we were kids.

"Number one, of course!" he said.

As a child, I had always pictured a Jane Austen-esque party of hundreds of people, fancy gowns, and formal ballroom dancing, and wondered how my father managed to dance with every woman there. But of course in reality it was a smallish party, with 10-12 women.

What I knew: they met, three months later got engaged, three months after that they were married. And they're still married today, over 36 years later.

What I didn't know until their visit this past week: they got engaged on a rock in Central Park.

On Labor Day Monday, my parents and I walked from my apartment to Central Park on a beautiful, mild summer day. Our destination was my office, and then lunch, then the MoMA. My mother told me to take my usual route, but we took a few detours, checking out the remote-control sailboats, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, Bethesda fountain. Then we walked through the Mall, and tried to find the rock that my father had proposed on so many years ago. They didn't know exactly where the rock was, but they knew that it was near the street, because they had gone to the Park after a dentist appointment that my mother had. Of course, she didn't remember where her dentist's office was, but I guessed it was South of the park. My father went to a cluster of big rocks off the Mall, but my mother didn't think that was right. Then I took them to the rocks above the Trump ice-skating rink, and my father said it seemed right. My mother wasn't convinced, but they sat down on the rock next to each other, and she seemed content to believe.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

15 miles and counting

I'll tell you one thing. It's sure harder to run a long distance when you don't have 4,000 people running with you and bands playing and people cheering and water stations and mile markers and a medal when you finish.

Decided to run 15 miles this weekend, because what the hell. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday in NY after a solid day of rain? Yeah, I can think of better ways, too...but I'm panicking a tiny bit about training before the marathon, because this whole Spring and Summer I was like, Oh, I'll really ramp up my training in the Fall after the half marathon. And now that time is here, and I'm looking at my schedule, and almost every weekend is booked in some way. But I'll just have to be more vigilant about planning ahead for the long runs.

Today I planned to run the big Central Park loop (6 miles), then another loop but with the lower loop cut off (5 miles), and then just the inner loop (4 miles). All added up it's...15 miles! I knew math would come in handy. Anyway, I ran the first two loops okay, although my mind was groaning, "Wait, I have to do two more of these?!?!" and I kept getting random ABBA songs stuck in my head. I was also tired and dying of thirst, so after 11 miles I stopped and bought a bottle of Gatorade. Orange-colored. Man, that Gatorade was just about the best-tasting thing I've ever had in my whole life. I gulped down a quarter of the bottle quickly and kept running, but I had lost momentum and now had this bulky, sloshing bottle of liquid that I had to hold. So after another mile or so I decided to walk and finish drinking the Gatorade. Walked for about a half mile, chugged down the drink, threw out the bottle, and was on my way. But very very slowly, because now I had the Gatorade sloshing around in my belly. I'd never wanted to walk more while running until then. But by then I only had 2 miles left, how could I walk? It's all a mind game, really. So, I guess I didn't really run the full 15 miles, but it's still progress. I'm still moving forward.

Cheesy slogans kept popping into my head while running. I kept thinking, Hey, that Nike slogan is actually very fitting! Just do it. Yeah. Just do it. Those guys are geniuses. And kinda like Jane Yolen and "Write the damn book." I'm doin' it! And I also thought of that saying, "No pain, no gain"--gee, I must be gaining a lot.

Anyway, I think I may take a nap now. My parents are coming to NY tonight for a conference and a visit, staying with me two nights. It should be fun, especially now that the weather is nice. Yay! Yay for sun, yay for parents, and yay for long weekends.