A Glitch in the Matrix

Oh, Mr. Postman! My new best friend! Delivering books in boxes and crates and padded manila envelopes, all under the guise of my so-called research! Thank you, Mr. Postman, for making today one of those Happy Mail Days, complete with tell-tale beige box with swooping arrow logo from Amazon.com! Joy!

I just ordered Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES series and can’t wait to read it. It’s been on the NYT children’s bestseller list for a while, and *insert NYT super-secret formula (which may or may not represent actual sales) for deriving best-sellers* can’t be wrong, right?

Problem is, I’m desperately trying to avoid all distraction while working on book 2 and its related partial and synopsis (*cringe*). But I keep looking at the UGLIES cover and sneaking in a few paragraphs… Mr. Westerfeld, dude, you’re so not helping.

In an effort to further procrastinate, I decided to go with my America’s Next Top Model strategy and visit Scott’s Westerblog in search of advice. Or at least some sort of loosely connected coincidence that I could pass off as advice while making my own poor decision and justifying it (like I did this afternoon, when Alex and I went to Tattered Cover and passed by the cookie counter, and I suddenly remembered that in my dream last night, in addition to getting attacked by a cobra, I was first in line at a cookie buffet [yay!] which featured *insert creepy, foreshadowy music* the exact cookies now on display at the TC coffee shop, including snickerdoodles, sugar cookies and the elusive colored sprinkle cookie, and of course I interpreted that as a sign from the Universe that I absolutely must get a cookie or risk the complete destruction of the planet. With that kind of pressure, yeah, I got that cookie. You can thank me later).

Back to Scott’s advice… I got what I asked for, all right. He’s just posted two blogs, written on location in Saratoga Springs, NY at the World Fantasy 2007 Convention. The fact that Scott lives in Australia and is visiting my home state in the U.S. is exactly the kind of loosely connected coincidence I was hoping for. But…

The fact that I was just working on a paragraph of my book in which the main character, her mother, and her aunt stop randomly in Saratoga Springs for lunch on their way to Vermont is way more closely connected than I’d planned on, and now I’m even more confused than ever!

Scott, and the Universe, are you telling me that I should ignore my selfish tendencies to work on my own book and dive right into UGLIES? Or are you telling me that I need to stay focused on my book and stop using your books as a handy excuse to avoid writing the synopsis that’s keeping me awake at all hours and giving me a slight unpleasant burning sensation in the esophageal area? I’m always looking for signs, but I’m afraid I’m not very good at interpreting subtleties. Would you mind clarifying in a future blog post?

And also, do you want a cookie?