It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and other stories

Yes, I know that's a movie title. Fair warning: I've never seen the movie, and this post has nothing to do with it.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I leave on a road trip (for which I still have not begun to pack.) Today, you get the Wednesday and Friday blogs rolled into one.

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Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe RingsCurrently Reading: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe-Rings

I looked down and wished I had a moron stick to beat myself senseless with, since all the time I was grinning like the village idiot, I'd had a death grip on his Dooley's Drugs bag.

"Oh!" I said, handing it to him. "Sorry."

"That's okay," Luke said with a grin.

"That. Bag. Yours." I pointed dumbly.

Sheesh. Such a firm grasp on the English language. But that only made Luke smile wider. Was he mocking me?

Author: Helene Boudreau

Synopsis: Jade thinks it's bad enough to get her first period while trying on swimsuits, but it's worse to run into cute Luke Martin in the feminine hygiene aisle. Still worse is to fall asleep in a bathtub full of Epsom salts and wake up with a tail. Of course, the discovery of the genes Jade inherited from her mother raises a key question: how the heck did a mermaid drown?

Notes: I don't really have a long review of this. It was cute; it made me laugh out loud several times. I liked Luke, definitely enough to wish he would have been more involved in the story. And I liked Jade, her dad, and her best friend.

And I have to give a thumbs-up to a book that includes a recipe for five-minute microwave chocolate cake in the back. Oh, that looks so good.

Recommendation: Read it for laughs, and then go make the cake.

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Months have passed since I last let anything on the internet upset my life, but this week has been strangely dominated by the WSJ piece and responses mentioned last Friday. My inbox holds somewhere between 120-150 emails related to the controversy. The later comments on my Hog's Head post have turned into a brawl, and a mean one at that. I started journaling some thoughts in response to one well-known author's rant, paused to go make dinner, and wound up crying so hard that I could barely see the saucepan. My writing time and trip preparations have gotten short shrift.

Some friends and I are finishing up a post that hopefully will hit the web soon, voicing our unified ideas on the subject. In the meantime, one of those friends—Mr. Pond—has posted a piece on the reason this has become such a Big Deal: reason itself has been sadly lacking from the debate.

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Writers' link of the week: Pete Peterson's Truth in the Guise of Illusion.

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Music of the week: From the very gifted Ryan Seiler, another of the Ministry of Magic boys who has put together some great stuff on his own.

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Funny of the week: When a week has been this emo, nothing will do but cry-laughing over the best of DYAC. As it's hopelessly obscene, however, I'll link you a clean one that made me laugh—best shopping list ever—and the not-so-clean one that did actually move me to tears of mirth.

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JuNoWriMo Tally:
Week 1 hours: 10
Week 2 hours: 5.5

We'll see how many hours I can fit in between packing and cleaning up and all that, but since week two ends at midnight tonight... oh well. Maybe I can make up for it in a future week.

In the meantime, I'm going to think of that which is cheerful. Say, getting to see MissPhotographerB tomorrow evening!!

Happy rest-of-the-week and weekend, everyone....


  1. Jenna,

    Sorry to hear about the internet argument and it's effects! Not being a fan, writer, or reader of YA fiction, I didn't even know there Was a controversy, let alone a major dispute (silly me!) I did read the discussion on your other site and was kind of surprised to see how very personal it became, very quickly..(at least to an outsider :) ) I hope your weekend off gives you a chance to re-charge and recover. It's sad when online discussions get so frustrating they distract from life.

    Have you read "The Hounds of the Morrigan" by Pat Shea (or O Shea, I'm not sure) It's more a kid's book than YA but I think you'd like it, it's really, really good.

  2. Masha, unfortunately, there's some history going on at the other site between various commentators. And even though I didn't think my comments over there were personal, I saw how they could be taken that way & apologized for them.

    Anyway, the short answer is, yes, it's a big topic among many & two, there's a context to the scuffle over there that might not be obvious to an outsider. We're trying to cut down on those things so that the site remains welcoming to people.

  3. George~
    It was fascinating to read, like a story where you only get half the background, if that isn't too objectifying to the participants. :) I didn't mean for my response to come of as in any way a negative judgment on the commentors, just as an expression of understanding re: Jenna's frustration. I actually had an overwhelming urge to join the site, just to join the argument, but not knowing anything about the entire topic, it would have been completely unhelpful :)

    Thanks for the clarification :) I hope the scuffle clears quickly and cleanly.


  4. I, too, am sorry to hear that you've been personally affected by the brawl at the Hog's Head, Jenna. You are such a gentle and intelligent person and don't deserve any nasty mail or messages.

    Thanks, revgeorge, for the brief back-story (I've only been a member for a year). I had missed a couple of days over there on account of visiting family, but when I saw the brawl I missed the beginning of and watched the rest unfold, I stayed far away from it. I didn't think you had anything to apologize for, by the way, but I understand why you wanted to bow out.

  5. No problem, Masha. I didn't mean to come off as so defensive, it's just I've been sharing the same frustration with Jenna & in particular over some of the same commentators. ;)

    Anyway, feel free to jump into the subject even though you know nothing about it. Isn't that the way we do things here in America? :)

  6. Thank you, Carrie-Ann. I certainly didn't think my comments were off topic, as was alleged, but I did realize upon reflection that they were poorly phrased & perhaps more pointedly personal than I meant to make them.

    Anyway, I'm hoping Jenna's having a nice, relaxing getaway. :)

  7. The YA conversation thread at THH isn't representative of most discussions there. Problems usually come up when some want to make the conversation more about themselves than the topic. I didn't read George's comment in a negative way at all and understood the point he was making. I was sorry to see such an important discussion derailed. Occasionally this will happen, alas, but please keep coming.


  8. Well, thanks for the invitation, George & Arabella. I have to agree with everyone else here, George, in that I thought your comments were fantastic, and I was pretty sad to see you retract them, I thought they were very relevent, clear, and to the point. But not being "in" on the personal relationships, I assumed you'd probably fought that battle before, and decided to work for peace overall. :)

    I think there are issues, and underlying issues that bring up the defensiveness of anyone, and really all we can do is try to recognize our own, and work to avoid allowing that defensiveness to come out in those discussions - try to really see what the other person is saying and allow it to affect us without making assumptions about the other person and rejecting their words out of hand. It doesn't mean we'll agree, it just allows us to have a discussion with a person, instead of an idea.

    But don't worry, drama never keeps me away - I'll be back, at least as a spectator. Thanks for the welcome!

  9. Thanks, all of you, for your support! I just got back from road trip and taking a few days off was quite refreshing. :)

    I do hope you'll all stick around The Hog's Head. George is right about there being some history with the direction the discussion took and some of the commenters involved. Things don't usually get that nasty! Besides, I thoroughly enjoy each of your thoughts.

  10. Well, now this is a sad day! Yes, please, remain at THH, all. I've been a very absentee landlord of since my writing career got "professionally" started, and I'm working hard to fix that and try to bring things back to the kind of calm and civil discussion we used to have.


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