Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Even Butter is Better When It's Deader...and an Editorial Letter



Rhyming! Whoa-ho what great fun. Anyway, the Undead Butter Cookie Recipe page is finally live over at my site. You can check it out here:

http://www.staceyjay.com/undeadcookies.php

I got all cheesly in my directions so hopefully there's a bit of a giggle to be had by reading the recipe, even if you never intend to make your own high calorie horde to munch. (Though I would totally recommend these cookies. They are pretty darn yummy. Yummy enough that I'll be making them for my Christmas cookie tray...without the blood and guts. Okay! You got me. Maybe just a frothing rabid reindeer or two, and a few dozen zombie elves because zombie elves are funny.)

In other news, I just received my first editorial letter from my new editor over at Razorbill. As far as hairy things go, it's probably a pair of legs that haven't been shaved in a week or two. But the legs of someone of Nordic descent, so the hair is relatively fine and blonde and won't take that long to shave. So I'm very, very pleased. Getting a new editor right after another editor acquired the book (and guided the development of the story) is very askeery and I don't wish it on any of you out there in writer land.

Now I just have to wait to hear from my OTHER new editor (yes, I have two...both of whom were put in charge of a book someone else had bought, but which wasn't fully written yet. Fun, fun for all!). I'm going to hope my luck and my sanity hold while I wait to make contact and then get his opinion of that full.

Yawn. So tired. Even though the letter I received yesterday wasn't too bad, I still had a hard time sleeping and was up at 4 am this morning writing emails. That always happens to me right after I get edits. My brain can't quit shuffling story pieces and issues in an attempt to solve the editorial puzzle. Anyone else deal with that? That's why I try to get them done quickly, so my poor brain can get a rest!

Have a great Tuesday,

Stacey Jay

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Looking for an Artist/Cartoonist-Anyone?




Heh heh...funny. I love Wizard of Oz stuff, even the McDonald's toys they're giving out right now. My girls think the miniature Madame Alexander dolls are creepy, but that's exactly what I love about them. They're cute, but also a little creepy. Which brings me to my plea for help...

I'm looking for someone to do kind of a creepy cute illustration for me. I want to have a graphic to put on t-shirts and other promotional items to promote the release of "You are So Undead to Me". I already have an idea for in mind and I think it's fairly simple and straight-forward, but I'm having a hard time finding someone who's comfortable with a kind of cartoony look. (The other artists I've used in the past for one of my grown up websites and another project I worked on a few years ago don't go there.)

So anyone know anyone? Anyone here got talent they want to put to use for a reasonable fee? I'm looking to do something kind of similar to these guys, but with a girl with pom pons:

http://skelanimals.com/meetus

I love the skelanimals! I have the Undead Fox shirt and it actually still fits over my bellah. It's one of my favorite things to wear right now as it still looks like people clothes, not flower puke explosions someone thought would be a good fabric choice for someone smuggling a watermelon under her shirt. (Really, maternity designers, why? Why must you be so cruel and floral? And what's with the no built in bra with all these spaghetti strap numbers? Are you trying to ensure saggage or what?)

Happy Thursday!

Stacey Jay

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Preshush Spawn

Don't you hate it when bloggers are too lazy to come up with an actual blog topic and just post gratuitous pictures of their preshush, adorable offspring? Ugh...it's just so breeder-ish of them.

Um...yeah...so here is my yummy little pirate coloring at the pirate party we went to this weekend. We had an entire "date morning" just the two of us because the girls were having a weekend with their mom and the hubs had Guard Drill. We frolicked with the other little pirates, read library books at the library, did lunch at Chick-fil-A and then ran errands. It was really nice. I think I appreciated it a lot more knowing these days when it's just the two of us will be very few and far between pretty soon, once baby brother makes his way onto the scene. It was also pretty awesome that he told me several times how he likes to "have lunch with mama" and "sit right next to mama".

SUCH a kiss ass. And I love it. Nom, nom, eat it up with a big pink spoon.

Have a great Tuesday, I've got to get back to the madness that is work right now. Really, way too much happening, as my fourteen year old would say,

Stacey Jay

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pirate Day Funnies

I love me some pirates, second only in my heart to dah zombies. So in honor on National Pirate Day today, some funny:

Pirate pick up line...


Pirate cat...



Pirate chickens...



Pirate Tampons...because NO ONE wants keelhauled nethers, lol.



Have a great pirate day! Roo and I will be headed to a pirate party at the library tomorrow. I'll take pics and share next week. He's an EXCELLENT pirate. Got that whole 'argh' thing down pat.

Stacey Jay

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kids Reads-Princess recs edition

Good morning!

It's Thursday and time for another Kid Reads post (this is like a new thing I've got going where I post recommendations for kids ages 2-6, 7-10, and 11-14...because I've got kids in each of those age ranges and thought it would be nice to share some of our favorite books. I'm sure you figured that out, but just in case I didn't explain myself last Thursday...which I don't think I did...I can't remember...I'm blaming my pregnancy for my forgetfulness...and my crankiness, and my lack of cooking skills lately, and my enormous thighs, and maybe global warming.)

Now a little about Princess: Princess is ten and a little behind in her reading due to several pretty intense learning disabilities, which she is just starting to overcome with tutoring and a lot of extra work on her part. (So her reads might be more appropriate for a 7-8 year old reading level, just FYI.) Princess's taste run to...you guessed it, the princessly. Anything magical, mystical, with lots of enchantment and happy ever after and great clothes (i. e. big poofy dresses) is probably going to be right up her alley. Still, it was REALLY hard to find something she enjoyed reading. Deciphering the meaning of the words was such a challenge that reading was always a chore, not a pleasure...until she found these books this summer at the library.

The new Fairy Hollow series featuring Tinkerbell and all her fairy friends was an instant hit. After her first book, The Trouble with Tink--which is still one of her favorites--she would actually pick up her book without being told it was reading time. And her teacher this year says she always pulls out a fairy book if she finishes her assignments and the class still has time before recess. I still can't believe it. It brings a little joyful tear to my eye to see her enjoying a book. Sniff. sniff. (Pregnancy also blamed for random joyful tearfulness.)

Without further ado, Princess's top two Fairy Hollow books. (I can't really comment on whether they rock as I haven't read them, but the blurbs sound good.)




Tinker Bell is supposed to be the best there is at fixing pots and pans, but when she loses her hammer, her talent goes with it. Tink is desperate to reclaim her skill. But does she have the courage to face up to her past?



It isn't easy for Rani being the only fairy in Pixie Hollow who doesn't have wings. She doesn't feel she really belongs anymore. So she leaves Pixie Holow and goes to the Mermaid Lagoon. But Rani doesn't quite fit in with the mermaids either. So just where does she belong?

Tune in next week for some Big'un Recs. She has widely eclectic reading habits so I should have some interesting things to share.

Have a great Thursday and a Fabulous weekend!

Stacey Jay

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zombie Butter Cookies with Walnut Brains

This is something I've been working on for my website, one of the little "fun extras" if you will. I'm going to upload the recipe and such to the site later, but I just had to share some of the shots I got the other day.

Roo was a BIG help, as you can tell....













Mmmm...buttery, brainy goodness all ready to cook...



















Mama, you should really let me help you with these cookies, you are clearly not decorating them correctly.













Yep, just as I thought...needs more blood...a lot more blood.


















And sprinkles. Blood and sprinkles. (Not sure what the sprinkles are supposed to represent...maybe some sort of flesh eating bacteria? Multi-colored maggot infestation? In any event, he insisted on them and after getting them finally left Mama alone to draw her zombies.)



































And here's how the army turned out! Not bad, if I do say so myself. I'm especially fond of the missing arms and legs and the looks of wordless horror on the faces of the cookies who haven't quite finished the transformation from zombie victim to undead minion just yet.

Great fun and tasty too. I'll be sure to update when I get the content uploaded to my site.

Happy Tuesday,

Stacey Jay (Who put off the cartooning post. No time this morning, but when I finally get it up it's going to be good, people, so stay tuned.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kids Reads-Roo recs edition

Just in time for Fall, I've got my first Kid Reads post-Roo recs edition ready to go.

Roo is my four year old, a big reader (or being read to-er), and has great taste in books. His choices run to the cutely macabre, goofy, and occasionaly even goth light, which makes me just prouder than punch. I honestly enjoy reading with him every night because he always has a fun request and doesn't usually make me reread any given book more than three or four nights in a row. (Usually.)

This first Roo Rec is an exception, however. We've been reading it every night for almost three weeks and it. Is. Not. Getting. Old.



















"Hush Little Dragon" by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Hush little dragon, don't make a sound, Mama's going to bring you a Princess she found...

And so begins this little gem about a mama dragon raiding a medeival castle in search of yummy, people-type treats for her sweet little dragon son. Roo LOVES this one. He thinks it's hysterical, and enjoys doing the voices for each of the baby dragon's snacks. A la "help me help me!" "don't eat me!" "my biscuits are burning" (this last said when the knight's bottom catches fire from Mama dragon's flames).

Luckily, no actual eating is shown during the writing and illustrating of this book, so it's safe for those without mine and Roo's taste for gore. All the munching and crunching is inferred and the day ends with Mama and baby running from the attacking knights and snuggling up to sleep in a tree.

A little off the beaten path, but this is really a great book for a mom to read to her little boy. I get a little choked up at the Mama cuddles close her darling son part every time.











"Three Little Ghosties" by Pippa Goodheart, illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone

Three little ghosties sat on on their posties, eating burnt toasties, telling big boasties...

This book is perfect, not so scary pre-Halloween fare, but we enjoy it year round. Even little kids like to be scared...but only a little scared and this book delivers just the perfect amount of mild, spooky thrills. We follow the tails of three little ghosts bragging about their spooky conquests, but the tale ends with a twist when these kiddie spooks get a scare of their own.

Great fun, fabulous word play, and a nice, empowering ending that makes kids feel better about being alone in bed--win this book a Roo rec and a Mama rec as well.

So that's it! Tune in Tuesday to laugh at my lame attempts at cartooning and next Thursday for some Princess' recs if we aren't all washed off the road on the way to Dallas this weekend.

Have a great weekend!
Stacey Jay

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Meme and Melancholia


















So...first...the melancholia...

I've lost yet another editor. This is the third time I've had an editor acquire a book...only to have them leave before we actually start editing the book they bought. This time before I've even turned in the full. It makes me want to cry. Sniff, sniff. But I won't, because there is no crying in baseball or business or whatever. It just stinks because I really liked this man, and felt he'd do good by my book. Now...I must wait and see and hope for the best. Again. Blechk! But, still, happy for said editor who is moving on to a new and exciting job. (But not really. Really want him to stay and edit my book because I am a selfish, pregnant lady!)

And, in other news, I've been meme-tagged. (This thing was going around like a bad zombie virus and I was beginning to think I was a huge loser for NOT being tagged. So thanks Dawn!) Without further ado, the answers:

1. What are your nicknames?
Sugar foot (given by family and now tattooed on my ankle). And Stace. (Also scummy Stacey or spacey Stacey in grade school, but we won't talk about that.)

2. Have you ever had a dream involving a celebrity?
I sometimes have nightmares that I'm married to Tom Cruise. I think I chewed my own ankle to escape captivity a couple of times.

3. What was the last novel you loved?
Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton. It's for like 8 year olds but I read it and die laughing. Something about this dude's voice speaks to my inner middle schooler.

4. What is your favorite scent?
Honeysuckle and ocean and my husband's skin right after a shower. Nom nom. I want to eat him.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?
A part time nanny for my littlest and a vacation at a spa, but I'd really like to take the hubs along.

6. What is your theme song?
Mission Impossible sung by Elmo. Or maybe "I'm in over my head", that one always strikes a chord.

7. Do you trust easily?
Yes. But if you betray me three times I will NEVER forgive you and will cut you out of my heart with a ruthless efficiency!! Don't cross the Scorpio. (But I do give three chances so I think this is fair.)

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
Usually act before I think. Most certainly speak before I think.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
I am a huge fat pregnant woman and am so over it. I'm ready to take repossession of my body. Also, my editors all leave before we edit books (see bitching above). Also my commute to kindergarten kind of sucks. But other than that, I'm quite grateful for the relative quiet in the house since a month or so ago when things were very unsettled around here.

10. Do you have a good body-image?
When I'm not pregnant, yes, usually. Right now, not so much. But I am 8 months pregnant. Not a pretty time for me.

11. Is being tagged fun?
Yeah. Gave me something to blog about! Thanks Again, Dawn.

12. Where can you find photographs of Marshmallow Peeps getting experimented on?
HERE is one:
http://flickr.com/photos/kevinburman/450639267/

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
The X-files, but we just finished Season 9 :(. I miss my fix already.

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Cool and very productive and bloginteresting, unlike yours truly. (The blog interesting part anyway.)

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon theme song. Hellish. Just hellish.

16. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
Any underpants that fit. There aren't that many left...

17. Would you steal a Krispy Kreme donut from a baby?
Yes. And I would eat it right in front of the baby and tell him/her they deserved the pain for putting their mother through hell in utero (I'm pregnant, this is not a good question.)

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground?
Pick it up, look around, call half-heartedly to ask if anyone lost some money. Think about taking it...then put it back down and avoid making such a morally ambiguous decision.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?
A bra. My breasts are huge and scary and things could get lost beneath them if they aren't properly corralled.

20. What should you be doing right now?
Reading night night stories. Going to do that right now...(written last night :))...now I should be getting kids up and fed breakfast.)

Okay den, that's all. Not going to tag anyone because I am a meme killer. Have a great day everyone!

Stacey Jay

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Review! "You are So Undead to Me"



"...a cross between Stephenie Meyer and Joss Whedon.....high school angst with more than a dash of otherworldly danger" -Kidliterate Reviews

Read the full thing here: http://www.kidliterate.com/?p=30

Not bad, eh? I'm pretty pleased. I've never read Stephanie Meyer, but hey she's the biggest thing since Potter so I'll take it. And Joss Whedon is god, though I didn't know he was god until after I'd written "You are So Undead to Me" and my husband and I finally got around to watching Buffy on DVD. Until then I was positive I wanted no part of watching Sarah Michelle slay vamps. Now I am a die hard fan (Buffy and Spike 4ever). Just goes to show you shouldn't judge.

In other reviews, my soon to be fourteen-year-old (in 14 days, gah I must go shop!) said the book was "actually funny" in a surprised voice and seemed more pleased than before that the final, non-galley version will be dedicated to her awesome teen-aged self.

A rousing endorsement if I ever heard one.

Tune in next Tuesday when I'll be blogging about shattering children's dreams!! I was going to blog about that today, but I'm running late and a good dream-shattering blog entry takes time, you know? Off to make some words on my Flux book.

Happy weekend a day early!

Stacey Jay

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Old news, but big news!



This is old news to everyone but me, but I just found out about it last week so I'm going to post the link. Because I CAN! And my life is BORING! And I've been sick for over a week and a half and can think of NOTHING else to talk about except how tired I am of coughing or how freaked out I am that I likely only have 7-8 weeks to finish one more book before the babino makes his appearance.

So here you go, the link!!

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6587962.html


It lists "You are so Undead to Me" as one of Pubisher's Weekly's Kids Galleys to Grab for Spring 09. Whoot!!! I kept that on my desktop and peeked at it a lot on Thursday while I was cutting 9,000 words from the sequel before sending it to my editor. (I just get carried away with the words, can't help myself.)

So have a great Tuesday and remember Hello Kitty wants brains. (She probably wants my brains because I just packed Hello Kitty fruit snacks in the girls' lunch.)

Stacey Jay