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A Very Adventurous Christmas to You All!

I would be remiss in my author-ly duties if I did not point out to you that I was asked to do a Christmas post on some of my favourite things in one of my favourite book blogs, and that post is here.

I show myself to be a person of pretty low moral character, willing to commit murder for Megan Whalen Turner and everything.

I also talk about some of my favourite books of the past year and some in the year to come, and discuss the issue of reading books by people you know, which is something that happens more and more often when you do the writer thing.

You meet people! As for instance this small interlude in a cafe the summer before last.

CASSIE: Hi everyone, Sarah's turned up again, oh cupcakes. Sarah, have you met Maureen Johnson?
SARAH: ... Maureen Johnson...
CASSIE: Do you need me to open that bottle for you?
SARAH: ... Maureen Johnson...
SARAH: *hearts in eyes*
MAUREEN: How're you doing?

I like Maureen's books a lot, okay? As you can see from this small bit of conversation, I am always super smooth when I meet awesome people. (There is one Famous and Acclaimed Author I hit in the head with a breakfast pastry. But I will never reveal which one! NEVER.)

But anyway, yes, reading books by people you know - scary, yet reassuring, sometimes like having a conversation with your friend. Sometimes like being DAZZLED by your friend! It is complicated.

Speaking of conversations with one's friends, I was having an interesting one with Justine Larbalestier yesterday.

Now we all know about fictional couples who we want to get together in books. (Mary and Colin from The Secret Garden got married when they grew up. Yes they did. It is a truth! A truth of my heart.)

But what about fictional couples who get together and who we don't believe in? Who you look at together and go 'Nah... it'll never last.' I've got to say, for me Jane Eyre and Rochester, they are going to break up. (Well, probably not given the time they were in, but I don't think they're going to be happy. Because they have a lot of chemistry, but Rochester is a crazy liar, y'all.)

ROCHESTER: Gosh, I have a crazy wife hidden in the attic who occasionally breaks out and sets fires. And I'd like to bigamously marry my governess. You know what this situation needs?
AUDIENCE: ... what?
ROCHESTER: MORE COMPLICATIONS! I think I'll have a house party and have a fake engagement to a third lady. AS WELL as the secret crazy wife. And the bigamous marriage.
AUDIENCE: ... what?
ROCHESTER: You're RIGHT! I'm not giving this a hundred per cent! What if I dress up as a gypsy woman and tell fake fortunes?

I'm just saying, Jane will come home one day and Rochester will have sold the children to pirates.

Justine believes in even fewer couples than I do. Which fictional couples do you guys think are doomed never to last?

It has been in some respects a tough year (though in other respects a truly marvellous and spiffy and amazing year) so I admit I have had a few thoughts about ringing in the changes in some sort of new and excellent way. So I have this page open which lists awesome cheap flights at all times. But, you know, I secretly knew that I was going to be home for New Year's because I hadn't made any proper plans yet.

Then yesterday I saw amazingly inexpensive flights to Boston. But I didn't really plan to go. I planned to consult with sensible friends.


SARAH: Should I go to Boston?
HOLLY: No, that seems unwise.
SARAH: You are right, what was I thinking? I am such a ninnyhammer.


SARAH: Should I go to Boston?
HOLLY: Yes, good idea!
SARAH: Can I come see you as well?
HOLLY: Yes, I am very valiant and can put up with you! Bring a mask.
SARAH: ... Why?
HOLLY: I cannot reveal that at this time.
SARAH: WOW I SEEM TO BE ACTUALLY GOING TO BOSTON? I wonder what I will do there! Perhaps I will have an adventure?

I think I will have an adventure, you guys.

I have never been to Boston before! I am going to take notes on it for Secret Reasons. Can you, oh wise internet, tell me awesome things to do in Boston?

So my lovely people, I hope you are having an awesome run-up to Christmas! I also hope you will tell me awesome things to do in Boston, tell me about fictional couples you think are doomed, and most of all that you will like the Extra Christmas Bonus Excerpt of Demon's Covenant in my BookSmugglers post. (Oh, Nick. Of all the tall dark heroes in the world, you have the distinction of being the least charming of them all...)


( 132 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 18th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
If you do come to Boston, you must let me take you out for a something. I live in the area and you will love it.
Dec. 18th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
You're very kind, but I am afraid I will be with people for the whole time I am there and not free to meet up with folks - but I would be very grateful if you would point me to some cool things!
(no subject) - blacktigr - Dec. 18th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 18th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mimiambic - Dec. 19th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Things to do in Boston! - (Anonymous) - Dec. 19th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Things to do in Boston! - kinkyfaith - Dec. 29th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Boston! BostonBostonBoston! I wish I could give you advice, but all I remember is stumbling through Boston trying to find people who were supposed to be meeting with me, and then stopping in a park to juggle with a friend of mine and look at pigeons.

And there was food, but I don't remember what kind. Seriously, I was SO sleep-deprived. But I am sure you will have a glorious time!

Also, OH MY GOD, you met Maureen Johnson! I think I would react in exactly the same way. :)
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 29th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
OMG i know that place! it also has great beer, but where in boston doesn't? Across the road is this truly fabulous indian place called Tamarind Bay, its amaaaaazing! Also a Peets Coffee next door. I miss boston ;-(
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Harry and Ginny belong in school. NOT AS PARENTS.
If JK hadn't insisted on writing an epilogue, I would have doomed their relationship to failure. As it is, I hope they last, because otherwise I would feel sad for their kids. :P
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
I think they could make it work, though it would take work! So I presume the epilogue indicates they did do the work.
(no subject) - valkyrieblades - Dec. 20th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
You are brilliant! I have been trying to explain about Rochester and Jane and how they are like that crazily popular vampire couple except that Bella is not going to get her crazily awesome proto feminist ending where Edward becomes entirely dependent on her and she has lashings of money to maintain the ability to just buy a carriage and run away from him. But also Rochester is like the other Edward because he is a loon - especially because of the gypsy costume! So in the book you get that they are 'fated' to be together and so would never, ever split up, but if Rochester was ever real you would be on the phone to a councilling servie asking how you might stage an intervention.

I think the children would enjoy their pirate life though, they'd never live up to Jane's perfection and it's better than living in an attic (oh he would never put the children in the attic you say, but I bet that is what his wife thought about herself).
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Clearly neither Ron and Hermione nor Harry and Ginny will last. I'm also rooting for Jamie to see at least a little Nick action. This might be my bad boy complex speaking.

Where can one find this page of awesomely cheap flights?
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
www.opodo.co.uk is what my bestie used to create it, but I am not CERTAIN of the process after that...

I dunno, I think both those couples could last, but I agree they would need to put work in. ;)

I am as ever pleased by any couple wishes for my book, though I admit to feeling sorry for my Jamie in this scenario!
(no subject) - marie_j_granger - Dec. 18th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brandogirl - Dec. 18th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
I would also commit murder for Megan Whalen Turner. Probably without even thinking very hard about it.
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Seconded, thirded, and fourthed. D: Especially if for some reason it would help her release somewhat more frequently than every four or so years. ;-; I keep doing things in the interim between books, such as moving and being unable to find the previous books so that I can reread them obsessively.

(Regarding the TDC excerpt: Yay! XD Aaand for some reason I'm sure some form of physical violence will follow. 8D)
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Your JANE EYRE conversation made me chortle with delight -- but you forgot that Rochester is blind and lame and slightly toasted on one side, thus unlikely to be declare himself independent of Jane nor quite so frisky as to sell his own children to pirates (although I am certain there would be days in which he would consider it. Heaven knows I have).

And as I have said elsewhere, both your BookSmugglers interview and your Christmas cookie are made of win. I would not enjoy it nearly so much were I not certain that Mae is smart and tough enough to not be cowed by Nick, but since I am, I enjoy!

I may have to read DL again this holiday season. It is calling to me, I swear.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
He regained sight in one eye. You can get up to a lot of mischief with one eye R.J. - TRUST ME. I could sell any number of children to pirates!

Also, *beams*.
(no subject) - rj_anderson - Dec. 18th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
I've always had serious doubts about Marianne and Colonel Brandon. The way it's written, it sounds like she marries him mainly because she feels she should, considering how nice he is, how much her family approves of him and how much she knows he cares for her. Sweet in a misguided way, but possibly not conducive to a successful marriage.

I try to accept a couple will work if the author tells me so, but it's impossible sometimes. Most of the examples that come to mind are from romance novels, most particularly a horrendous book by Mary Balogh called The Devil's Web. The hero makes himself and the heroine miserable for 300 pages. He culminates by raping her and she runs away from him. I could not believe in the tacked on, three page reconciliation scene. Nope, they were going to stay miserable forever.

Then there's Harry and Ginny, but I think that has been dwelt on quite a bit already.

Fairy tales also have a few improbable relationships, especially 'Snow White' and 'Sleeping Beauty'. You have to tack extra bits on to make them feasible, whereas with stories like 'Beauty and the Beast', 'East of the Sun, West of the Moon' and 'Tam Lin' a connection is implied within the story. 'The Little Mermaid' and 'The Wild/Six Swans' (where the king is prepared to burn his wife at the stake) also include silenced women and I think they are perhaps more realistic than love at first sight -> happily ever after.

Have fun in Boston. :)
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Oooh. I agree with you - I liked both the characters, but they didn't even speak in the book. Oh Marianne, I hope you do not regret it!

Beauty and the Beast is true love forever I believe! But I may be biased by my great love.
(no subject) - anna_wing - Dec. 19th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greenfaeriedust - Dec. 18th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
PLEASE go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum- it's hands down my favorite place in Boston- it's a GORGEOUS 4 story indoor garden with an art museum full of women doing feminist things like being awesome in it. Really, it's a must-see.
Have fun and happy holidays!
Dec. 19th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Seconding the Gardner Museum! A wonderful eclectic collection in a beautiful setting.

I really like Trident Bookseller and Cafe - a delightful cafe inside a well-stocked independent bookstore - and afterwards you can dig through consignment shops on Newbury Street for barely worn finery.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
I am usually quite satisfied with the person that someone-or-other ends up with. I usually trust authors to sign-post things properly and treat relationships sensibly, and so I follow these signs and end up satisfied.

HOWEVER! There are exceptions, mostly the following one:

Fitz and Molly.

I consider it to be a travesty, Sarah :(

People suitable for Fitz to end up with: Kettricken (this would have made me a happy panda); the Fool (this would have made me a happier panda).

People NOT suitable for Fitz to end up with (long-term, at least): the childhood sweetheart who he knocked up, treated terribly, and had nothing in common with at any stage, what with him being an assassin-cum-adventurer embroiled in court life, and her being a candle-maker who had to leave court after falling pregnant, and who then had a happy settled life having lots of babies with Burrich who was basically Fitz's surrogate father. HOW IS THERE ANYTHING HERE THAT MAKES THEIR RELATIONSHIP SEEM AWESOME AND NOT HORRIBLE? It's like, weird and quasi-incestuous and based on Fitz having his teenage (stupid + hormone driven) emotions returned to him.

Dec. 18th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
It is sad, for I truly loved seeing a childhood sweethearts thing not work out in a messy, painful but realistic way. However I am glad you reminded me of it, for I had forgotten the Glory of Kettricken and shall now spend some time contemplating it...
(no subject) - thethirdbar - Dec. 19th, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rue_avalon - Dec. 20th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
Boston! I lived there!
History research: Walk the Freedom Trail for a day. Remember that the Boston Tea Party was not done by Indians, but by a bunch of drunk thugs dressed up as Indians with the backing of the Founding Fathers. Americans do not like to pay taxes; bribes are another story. For older history and people in costumes, you can go to Plimoth Plantation. It is more difficult to get to without a car, but they give several suggestions.

Fun, flavorful stuff (but could possibly be research): Go to Pandemonium Books in Cambridge. They are very easy to get to via the T (local train service). Go to Harvard Square and wander around; the area used to be a little bit quirkier and some of the best stores have closed or moved away, but it's still one of the best-known areas. The MIT Museum is a must-see for geeky people, but YMMV. The New England Aquarium is another good way to kill several hours.

Food: Boston has lots of good food. Shabu Zen is my favorite. Hit up Yelp if you want way too much information.

Survival tips: It will be cold and wet. It may snow, or sleet, or hail, or just be really damp and unpleasant. Or you may luck out and have some freakish balmy weather, although that usually happens closer to February. Bring all of your cold weather outerwear and lots of extra socks. Boots are not optional. Watch out for black ice.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Boston! I lived there!
Thank you, you are extremely kind!
Re: Boston! I lived there! - dancing_crow - Dec. 18th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
The Harry Potter exhibit is at the Museum of Science in Boston right now! Or at least I think it is still there. It was pretty cool, especially for the gift shop.

Also, if you want to do the tourist thing, you should do a duck boat tour. Amphibious bus tour! Quacking at people! You can't go wrong!

And as for doomed relationships, I think a lot of the couple that hooked up when there was a lot of intense end-of-the-world drama will have definite issues. Because it seems to me that a relationship in normals times is a lot different, and they may find that they are not as ... compatible as they thought? The couple that comes to mind right now is Jace and Clary, but I know there are lots more. This is part of why I like Katniss so much. She is having all these conflicting emotions, but she knows that this is not the time for that kind of thing.

Also, thanks so much for the new DC excerpt! I love it dearly. Nick, definitely not charming. And if I didn't understand how his ind worked better, I would probably not like him as much.
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
I love Katniss!!! She is so level-heaed and wise. As much as I love Peeta and think she would be happy with him, I like that she is unsure of her feelings and knows she has to work hard to seperate what she feels and what the Games made her feel. And of course Gale is also awesome. Cannot wait for the last book!
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
There is a duck bus tour!

It is a vehicle designed like a duck which drives through the city, and then into the water and sails like a boat! I've never been on it, but I hear it is quite exciting.

Also, fictional characters... Drake/Aisling, from that romance series that I forget the name of. Mostly because Drake could be so misogynistic it made me cringe, and Aisling just would not put up with that!
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Mary and Colin from The Secret Garden got married when they grew up. Yes they did. It is a truth! A truth of my heart.

Not just yours--the first movie version I saw of that, aaaaaaaaages ago, had them meeting again as adults and getting married. Made of yay. =)

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( 132 comments — Leave a comment )


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