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Happy November!

First things first: the winner of the fancy Robin McKinley prize pack is... drum roll please... smartie1685 . Please email me with your address at sarahreesbrennan@gmail.com!

So, Halloween: how did you spend yours?

I spent mine moving house. Yes indeed, while everyone else was parading around wearing Saucy Pippi Longstocking costumes, I was pitching face forward into a box full of hangers. (Little bit like falling into a tank of piranhas who love you. Hangers grab hold. Also a little bit like ducking for apples, if the apples were hooks.)

Ah, the endless glamour of a writer's life!

So how did this come about? Well, my tale begins on a night in September. I called out 'Bye, ladies, I am off to see Inception!' Jennet Wilde, my DJ housemate, said 'Could you come in for a minute?'

JENNET: I must give notice. I wish to pursue a life of adventure in London.
DURHAM LASS, MY OTHER HOUSEMATE: London, lovely! I hope you'll have a great time! Sarah and I will just find a two-person house.
SARAH: Er but no, but yes, yay for Jennet and adventure, but I am going to America for a month.
JENNET: Well, I could stay an extra-
SARAH: And then it's Children's Book Month in Ireland and I'm going down to Cork and-
DURHAM LASS: We're going to have to live in a gutter.
SARAH: I can build a house out of books. We'll be safe there. Until it starts to rain. Which in Ireland, okay, will be about five minutes.

We ended up with literally four evenings in which to find someplace to live. It was a panicky time, especially since I also had Work Things I Will Tell You About Someday Soon. We saw some dark things.

PROSPECTIVE LANDLORD: Let me just check if the lights are working.
SARAH AND DURHAM LASS: Oh...
PROSPECTIVE LANDLORD: Nope, they're not!
SARAH AND DURHAM LASS: ... dear.

SARAH: Well, this house is in a slightly dodgy neighbourhood, but it's quite big inside, and maybe-
DURHAM LASS: Let's go.
SARAH: What's happened? Why are you twitching?
DURHAM LASS: I WILL NOT LIVE HERE.
SARAH: There's a wild look in your eye...
DURHAM LASS: I will not speak of what I saw outside.
SARAH: What did you see outside?
DURHAM LASS: I SAID I WILL NOT SPEAK OF IT.

Readers, to this day I do not know what she saw.

At one point we had a mutual nervous breakdown in a pizza parlor. We were approached by a gentleman who was concerned about our well-being, and startled when we asked him for the bill.

Then we found a fabulous new house. It is a little red-brick house near two famous cathedrals in Dublin, St Patrick's Cathedral and Christchurch, and so in the tradition of me giving my homes names for the blog, I am calling it Shadowchurch-on-the-Corner.

Our new house does have a drawback, however. It has no bath. Do not worry. I am not about to embrace uncleanliness as a lifestyle. There is a power shower, but alas no bath. I love a bath. I like to sit swathed in bubbles, like a very foamy mummy, and read.

This meant I took a bath every day for the last week in our previous residence the Cherry Bomb, to the great detriment of my hair. At one point our friend June dropped by to have dinner.

JUNE: Ahhh!
SARAH: I know.
JUNE: Uh. You just look - a little fluffy.
SARAH: I am aware I currently bear a striking resemblance to Aslan, yes.

There was also the problem of moving. Now, the Durham Lass, I have spoken of her before. She looks like Snow White, but with added ruthless efficiency. She keeps me to deadlines, wakes me up with tea in the mornings, and is generally the ideal housemate. I did become a bit scared of her while we were packing, though. I feared I would wake up in a box labelled 'ROOMMATE.'

I am certain that the package would have been delivered to the correct address, though, and I would have missed the expression on the face of the Durham Lass's father. (Both our fathers kindly agreed to help us move.)

The poor man arrived, and saw the boxes piled up in the hall.

DURHAM DAD: I have never seen so many books.
SARAH: There are a few more in my room.
DURHAM DAD: Er, books?
SARAH: Um. Boxes.

His day only got worse. Because we were moving on Hallowe'en. At one point, carrying endless rounds of books to the truck, someone let off a firework down the street.

ROCKETS: Whizz by!
LIGHTS: Burning!
SMOKE: Smoking!
SARAH: AHHHHH! It is the end times! Are we all doomed?
DURHAM DAD: Excitable, the young lady with the book army.
SARAH'S DAD: AHHHHHH! It is the end times! Are we all doomed?

I come by being excitable honestly.

Installed in Shadowchurch, then came The Unpacking: The Book-Shelving, Unpacking 2: Appropriating Cabinets For Further Book-Shelving, and the long-awaited follow-up, Unpacking 3: Any Flat Surface Will Do If I Can Find Objects To Use As Book-Ends.

Now I am sitting writing this, about to make enchiladas, with a fire burning in our floating stone-carving and brickwork fireplace, and my framed picture of the moon and the crooked tree leading to the Goblin Market on top of the Secret Book Cabinet.

And it is November, so it is almost time for the first Book Cookie for The Demon's Surrender. Hence, I have made a POLL.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE ONLY VOTE FOR ONE CHARACTER. VOTING FOR MORE THAN ONE MEANS I DON'T COUNT YOU. AND I DO NOT LIKE TO DO MATHS. DO NOT FORCE ME TO DO MATHS!

This poll is closed.

Who should the Surrender Cookie focus on?

Nick (I will take my surrender with a side of demon)
162(27.2%)
Alan (the thinking girl's crumpet)
140(23.5%)
Mae (all is darkness without the glow of her pink hair)
97(16.3%)
Jamie (we're all just so sorry about his face)
188(31.5%)
Another character is necessary, you will EXPLAIN in the comments
9(1.5%)

Comments

( 84 comments — Leave a comment )
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elucreh
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
While I am thoroughly amused, as always, by your update, my immediate question is: but did you ever get to see Inception??
sarahtales
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, I saw it. A fine movie, kind of dude-heavy but very smart, gorgeous concept, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ellen Page should have kissed more but he looked excellent in those suits. It was no Easy A, which may be my favourite movie of the last five years, but it's a strong contender for the place of my second favourite of the year. (I hated that Eames guy, though.)
(no subject) - elucreh - Nov. 1st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Nov. 1st, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shachi - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elucreh - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spinfrog - Nov. 1st, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fadedbluejeans - Nov. 1st, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Nov. 1st, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
uninv1ted
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I spent much of my day packing up my house. And being mauled by sugared-up children.

(By the way, can't wait for the next book and Mae is awesome. I can't decide who I want her to end up with. Also, a friend and I love the series so much we've made up pet names for each book: The Demon's Legs Are Gone, The Demon's Covernote, and The Demon's on a Bender.)
thegreatmissjj
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
I am always for Mae, who is my favourite character in your books. (But I fall hard for the Girl Who Keeps It Together.)

Ah, house-hunting. A good bath is crucial for me too and unfortunately, my bathtub isn't suitable. It's clean, but the enamel is also chipping, so I don't, uh, want to subject any other part of my body to it aside from my feet. Thankfully my parents have a magnificent bathtub in the guestroom back home. With jacuzzi jets. I will be indulging in this everyday over the Christmas holiday.
sarahtales
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
I am very happy someone is for her, since she is slightly horrifyingly getting half as many votes as any one of the boys. That makes her my favourite for the day, as I am a contrary and fickle soul. ;)

I envy you those jacuzzi jets!
(no subject) - thegreatmissjj - Nov. 1st, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Nov. 1st, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - contrariety - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pionie - Nov. 2nd, 2010 11:57 am (UTC) - Expand
sdskuld
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Well, now you have a new condition to add when you negotiate about book tours: hotel room MUST HAVE BATHTUB. I lived for six years with only a shower, but when on business travel I had a bath every night.
mcollinknight
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, moving house - my current house of roommates moved in two separate waves, and relied heavily on our army of Friends Who Own Cars And Who Are Beholden To Us As We Are Dating Them.

After the last laundry basket of hooks (I know of what you speak) made it inside the new house (dubbed 'The Embassy' because it is right next to several embassies. I am hoping this means we can just pop over to Switzerland to ask for a cup of sugar if need be. However, we had to ask friends not to party in the backyard and throw things over the fence into Venezuela lest Hugo Chavez become mad at us), we presented the friends with this cake:



I hope you fall in love with your new house, bath or no!
sarahtales
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Man, our fathers wish they moved for you. ;) We couldn't even find the chocolate biscuits for those poor men...
(no subject) - mcollinknight - Nov. 1st, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
citiesfalling
Nov. 1st, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
I have moved four times in the past year, and I must say: Moving is terrible. I also attempted the mammoth task of cataloguing my INSANE book collection. I got to 17 boxes, 573 books before someone else came in and packed a bunch of my stuff while I was out, so now I have to start over.

There's solidarity in moving pain.
r_hayburn
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
*facepalm* I thought enchiladas were some kind of small mammal.

It's possible I was thinking of chinchillas...
wendyzski
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh. My.

Can't. Stop. Giggling..
(no subject) - r_hayburn - Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wendyzski - Nov. 2nd, 2010 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - r_hayburn - Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
madhatterpan
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
It is a noble thng to possess many, many books. They can be used to kept out the cold!

(Also, SO MUCH JAMIE LOVE PLEASES ME.)
dgjamie
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Ah the joys of having a flat mate who is a competent human being. Mine is one of those, they are odd wonderful creatures. We moved a month ago, and without her we would not have coucil tax, TV, internet, or even power. Not to mention a place to live in the first place (let alone a place where my bedroom window overlooks a massive London Graveyard and a weeping Angel Doctor Who Style) and it would not be filled with electronic entertainment. Meanwhile I've just faffed along for the ride and attempt to not leave shoes in the door or lose my keys in the lining of my coat on the way back from Tesco's too often.

And I vote Mae, because of the hair obviously and because I will always stand by the girl in a pack of boys!
zumie_ashlen
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Aaaaa, I feel so bad for not voting for Mae, who is my favorite--but I really, really miss seeing Nick. (and Alan. And Jamie. And LIANNAN. Oh, I will be happy no matter who the cookie has)
mywholecry
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Jamie and Mae just had to, like, death battle in my head, and even though I feel Mae would have more realistically won an actual battle to the death, I still love Jamie just a fraction more. A tiny, tiny fraction.
azurelunatic
Nov. 4th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
They would have a BATTLE OF DANCE.
yasaiya
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Sin! She's darling and adorable, even though she'd punch me in the face for saying so.
sarahtales
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
She was not in the poll, because she is in every single scene, due to being the POV character. Sin is inescapable!

I am glad you like her. ;)
(no subject) - yasaiya - Nov. 1st, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shachi - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
mizkit
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
You can come borrow our bathtub sometime if you want. My sister does. Not that I'm suggesting you should borrow it at the same time she does...
altogetherisi
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
GERALD. The answer is always Gerald. I thought we'd covered this previously.
sarahtales
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
1 vote for Gerald!

... He may be slightly behind...
(no subject) - azurelunatic - Nov. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - azurelunatic - Nov. 1st, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
nutty_moo
Nov. 1st, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
I votged for Jamie because I need to know what is happening with him. He gives me big sister sentiments. But then MAE MAE MAE MAE. Because I love how you write her. She is brilliant. She is so wonderfully human
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