Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Week in My Cave

I am lucky.
I've spent a week in my cave, just like I promised.
I've had to use several types of weaponry to beat this book into order. I've found the iron fire poker really useful. I beat out the entirety of chapters 50 and 51 with it only yesterday. I hope to finish by Wednesday when I leave for my favorite book festival in the universe.


The Rochester Teen Book Festival.
If you are anywhere near Rochester, NY, you should really come check it out. Fun times. Great company. I will be talking about how to be a superhero. I do not mean this in an Avengers sort of way. I mean it in a daily-real-life-superhero-to-yourself sort of way.

Random thoughts: 

  • I made an origami squid and an origami turtle today.
  • Too much time spent in the cave leads to sore eyes in the sunlight. Seriously. It burns! It burns my eyes!
  • What's with drivers who swerve all over the place? I came across a bunch today on my way to the Exton Mall. It was weird. Like--right off the damn road and then back on again. 
  • I have opinions and sometimes I say stuff that I think.
  • For example, I might describe those road-swervers I just mentioned as dangerous or reckless. While I understand that the driver might not like being called reckless, I also have to say that as a fellow driver on the road, I don't much like the idea of dying in a fiery crash because someone else isn't paying attention while they drive their car. I think some people might call a driver like this a %&^#^* idiot or other more colorful things. I guess some people might even follow that driver home and stalk them for a week. Of course, that's illegal. 
  • Sometimes I speak in metaphors and allow listeners/readers to piece together exactly what I mean. This is how I do things. Sometimes, people don't get me. Most times, people get me. Usually, it's not all that difficult to follow.
  • So, I tweeted about bullying today. I said: Bullying is not "just a normal part of life." It exists because lazy-brained people say stupid shit like this and others nod. I tweet about bullying sometimes. EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS and DEAR BULLY are two books that deal with the subject and I'm invested in talking to people--any age--about how bullying is wrong. Bullying--enforcing your power over another human by repeated intimidating behavior--is wrong. Apparently, my implying that wrong behaviors [in this case, bullying] exist because people are too lazy [or complacent, which was too long for 140 characters] to change those behaviors got all up in some grills. Oops. 
  • Truth: If anyone tried to do to me today what a bully in high school did to me, I could totally call the cops and get them arrested. That should pretty much copperfasten the idea that bullying is wrong. In the adult world, it's illegal. See also: assault. 
  • I don't watch TV. Did you know that? I don't follow news either. It's all bullshit newsertainment to me. And so, when I mentioned to someone today that people I've never met before on Twitter seemed oddly argumentative toward me about this bullying = wrong + could be stopped if we gave more of a shit equation, I was informed that bullying has made it into our recent news cycle due to a political race. This kind person deduced that maybe my comment about bullying was mistaken as a political statement. 
  • Fact: I don't give a shit about politics. Not even a little, tiny shit. I do care about bullying, though. And up until today, no one ever had their panties knot over my saying that it's wrong and we could do more about it. (And seriously? Some political story could actually reverse your morals that wildly? Dudes, I don't care who did what to whom. If Abe Lincoln had been outed as a bully, I'd still think bullying is wrong and saying it's "just a normal part of life" is lazy-brained horseshit.) (And I love me some Abe Lincoln.)
  • Recap: bullying = wrong. I still think laziness (and nodding) is a huge part of why we allow our world to stay the way it is. (Proof: read your history books. Too busy on your smartphone for that? Yeah. I know. Everyone is.)
  • "Science may have found a cure for most evils but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all-the apathy of human beings." --Helen Keller
  • Helen Keller was born blind, deaf and mute and she did a lot of cool shit.
  • I have opinions and sometimes I say what I think. 
  • So does Judy Blume.
  • I am reading (really really really really slowly) Andrew Smith's PASSENGER, and posse, it's amazing.
  • Andrew has opinions too and sometimes he says what he thinks here on his blog
  • A bison and a squid walk into a bar.
  • Next week while I'm in Rochester is the week of the awesome Nebula Awards. I am so sad I can't be there. As a seasoned sci-fi fan, and as an Andre Norton Award nominee, I am beyond sad, really. But, we make dates, and I've got a date with Rochester and so, wish EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS some luck. 
  • I'm going roller skating for mother's day. If you lived near me, you could totally come with me.
Hey! If you didn't come out to the Exton Mall today, you missed me. Here I am with the awesome Laura. Her t-shirt is the shizz.

I urge you:
Get to the Rochester Book Festival.
Have opinions and say what you think.
Call the cops if anyone ever follows you home or stalks you. Or assaults you.
Pay attention while driving.
Don't assume everyone else watches the 24/7 news cycle.
Have a sense of humor.

Now, back to the cave. I have things to beat.


Matthew MacNish said...

Those drivers were probably drunk or high. I watch some TV, but not the news. Never the news. It's almost as bad as Marbury.

A.S. King said...

#1 reason for the swerving drivers = texting. I watch them do it all the time. (More of them are my age...shatter the myth that only teens do this.)
Plus, after all my years delivering pizzas on NYE, I know a drunk driver when I see one.

Yes. The TV news is pretty bad. I saw some at a hotel once while eating really lumpy oatmeal for breakfast. It disturbs me how all hotel lobbies, breakfast nooks, restaurants and bars have TVs now. And airports. All running this "news." Has no one read Orwell or Bradbury?

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Hope you had a great Mother's Day, Amy! My son took the train all the way down from Boston, so it rocked! Even though we didn't roller skate.

I never watch the news. (admit to an occasional tv show, coughlostcough).

Those people were probably swerving because they were on their bleeping cell phones. Sheesh! When will people learn to be here now and concentrate on ONE THING AT A TIME. I do believe multitasking is a myth. And even though I now own a smart phone I have never ever so much as peeked at it while driving. I shut it off while driving. Driving's scary enough without a phone to distract me.

A.S. King said...

I did have a great Mother's Day, Joanne. I outskated my entire family and was still going after two hours. They finally begged me to go home. Sounds like you had a great day too--that's a nice kid, coming all the way from Boston.

If I watch TV, I watch old shows. I'm presently on a journey through the original Star Trek series thanks to Netflix. But the so-called news is terrible. First of all, there are two sides--how can that be news? And then, there's the fact that both sides suck and aren't accurate. And again--how can that be news?
We should just call it spin.
The 6 o'clock Spin.

And YES. Cell phones. Geez. I see that all the time. I love the people in the huge SUVs who are so busy holding the phone to their ear that they can't turn with one hand and so they go wide and almost take out a bunch of cars waiting at a light...and they act as if this is just normal driving.

Anonymous said...

thanks for giving us a peek into your brain with the random thoughts. i also learned a new word - copperfasten - love expanding the vocab.

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm a huge fan of your books, but I have a bone to pick here. You don't give a shit about politics, but you clearly give a shit about some issues. Since "Ask the passengers" features a protagonist suffering from her inability to safely express her love for another girl, I assume you care about the rights of gay people to be treated equally. Well, there will be two presidential candidates to choose between this November. 1. Barack Obama, who ended the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the American military, and who has (belatedly) endorsed same-sex marriage. 2. Mitt Romney, who opposes same-sex marriage and who goes around assuring Christian fundamentalists that his beliefs mirror theirs. (If you did follow the news, you would know that one fundamentalist minister recently told his congregation - jokingly, he said - that the way to deal with a gay kid is to beat it out of them.) That's only one example of how politicians have the power to affect our daily lives. You may not give a shit about politics, but I can assure you that politics give a shit about you, for better or for worse. I don't watch TV either. I read the newspaper, though, selectively. It's a good investment of one's time.

A.S. King said...

Unpub, I really appreciate your comment. I dig that you wanted to pick this bone with me. But I think you may have interpreted 2 sentences that I wrote a with a little less tongue in cheek than required and slightly out of context. As I said in the blog, sometimes I speak in metaphors and I’m not easy to follow. My apologies. But to clear this up…

My comment was: “Fact: I don't give a shit about politics. Not even a little, tiny shit. I do care about bullying, though. And up until today, no one ever had their panties knot over my saying that it's wrong and we could do more about it. (And seriously? Some political story could actually reverse your morals that wildly? Dudes, I don't care who did what to whom. If Abe Lincoln had been outed as a bully, I'd still think bullying is wrong and saying it's "just a normal part of life" is lazy-brained horseshit.) (And I love me some Abe Lincoln.)”

In context to the fact that complete strangers were arguing me about the fact that I said bullying was wrong (which was what that part of the blog was about), what I meant to say was: I don’t care WHO was in the [political] news and WHO was caught out bullying. I still would say it’s wrong. Or another way to say it is: “People are so tied up in politics these days they think EVERYTHING has to do with politics.” Or, another way to say it, which I think I said, was “This was not a political statement.”

And it wasn’t. I can’t lie. My abhorrence of bullying has nothing to do with politics. I’ve picketed things since the 1980s, I’ve been reading the newspaper since the 1970s, and I’ve written many letters to my congressmen and women. (Probably over 50 this last year alone.) Heck, I even used to send Jessie Helms really hilarious art back when he was the head of the NEA. But I don’t talk publicly about politics. That’s what I meant when I said I don’t give a shit about them. I don’t pick my friends based on political party. I don’t argue politics. I write books. And I’m very glad you know what ASK THE PASSENGERS is about and are so strongly motivated to speak out about your political views regarding those subjects.

I am very aware of who is running for president. I am very aware of where they stand on many issues that are important to me. I vote. I vote in primaries AND general elections. I voted via absentee when I lived overseas. I am very serious about the 19th amendment. I am a very socially motivated person (have you been to the blog before? You may want to look around) and I dedicate many hundreds of hours to community work. My politics? Are in my sweat and in my vote.

My point in those two sentences that seem to have been picked out here, in context to the piece, was that I didn’t care who was caught out bullying…just that it’s wrong no matter who does it. And oddly, it was politics that had many people react rudely and impulsively as if I’d made some political statement…which is EXACTLY why I don’t talk about politics. I don’t like rude or impulsive statements that make sweeping judgments about my personality, my intelligence or my politics from a 140 character tweet…or from anything, really.

It’s my choice to not want to discuss politics (or religion) on my blog or on my twitter stream or wherever I am. I would rather talk about issues and how I feel about them. I do not think discussing those issues has to spiral into a political discussion. If it does, it’s my choice to say, as I learned after many years in Ireland, “Sorry. I don’t talk about politics or religion.”

Thank you for assuring me that politics give a shit about me. All I usually get are lame replies from my congress people who try to keep my vote even after they vote against my rights and my daughters’ rights and my sister’s rights.

Thanks again for visiting the blog. Hope you come around more often and join in our other conversations. And thanks for saying you’re a fan. That was nice!

And re: the newspaper being a great use of one's time, you may want to check out my Printz Honor speech.

Unknown said...

Wow. I obviously haven't done my homework, have I? I'm sorry for taking your comments out of context - as you can see, you happened to make a tongue-in-cheek comment that pushed my buttons, and I kind of went off on you without justification. I totally respect your decision not to discuss religion or politics publicly. If I were a public figure, as opposed to an unpublished YA author, I'm sure I'd feel the same. But, just to prove that I really am a huge fan of your work and not just a crazy stalker, here's my recent bog post about the two of your books I've read so far:;postID=5166092343297082159. Thank you for your response. WRITE ON!!!

Anonymous said...

Also, I bought a print of that awesome shirt that Laura is wearing and gave it to my Schmoopy for our anniversary this year.