Monday, August 31, 2009

Home of the street hot dog, real pizza, and a lot of the world's literary agents (including mine)

New York, I love that I can walk down pretty much any of your streets and find nearly anything I would want to eat. Did it slightly disturb my husband that he couldn't figure out where street vendors used the bathroom and subsequently washed their hands? I'm not gonna lie, it did. Okay, more than slightly disturbed him. Every time he saw one he asked, "Where do they go to the bathroom, Kasie, where?" And remember I said you can find them everywhere, so I got this question a lot. But it didn't stop us from eating a few hot dogs while we were there. It was obvious I wasn't from New York, though, because when they all said: "Everything on it?" I screamed out while holding up my hands: "NO! Just ketchup, just ketchup." (Yes, I'm a toppings wimp)

We also ate the best pizza while we were there. Real pizza. New York pizza. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

And of course being in New York prompted my often repeated lines to my husband: "My agent lives here." "Yes, Kasie, I know," he'd say. "Have I told you yet that I have an agent?" I'd ask him. "I think you have, but I must've forgotten because you never talk about it."

The first day I was in New York, when my husband was in meetings, I rode the subway to her office. I stood outside her door with a big smile on my face staring at the plaque with her name on it. Did I feel like a creepy stalker? No, why do you ask? I had emailed her before I went, hoping we could do lunch, but she's on maternity leave and is staying with her in-laws who don't live in New York. They're helping her take care of the twins. So, I had to satisfy the 'fan-girl' crush I have on her by staring at her office door. :) Yes, I really am that big of a dork. It was fun. And, yes, a huge reason I love New York--literary agents, publishing houses, and editors in high concentration. *Happy Sigh*

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cold towel anyone?

Okay, so this doesn't necessarily have to do specifically with New York, but I discovered it in New York so will now always associate the two. The refrigerated towel. Yes, it bears repeating: The Refrigerated Towel. It's heaven I tell you.

So my husband comes into the room the first night, after working out in the hotel gym, and the top half of his shirt is damp. I say, "Uh, ew. Did you sweat more than normal today?" He says, "No. There's a refrigerator in the gym and it has towels in it. Best. Thing. Ever." I say, "What's this? Cold towels?"

Now I hadn't planned on working out on my VACATION. But I figured, what the heck. I need to try these cold towels. (Okay, so I had planned on working out, which is why I brought my work out clothes, but secretly I thought that just bringing them in the "hopes" of working out would be very impressive. And then when said workout didn't actually occur everyone would say, 'well, you were on vacation.' And I would say, 'true. true. It's the thought that counts.' [when we all know in reality it's not the thought that counts because thoughts do not burn calories]) So I worked out then used a cold towel. I was glad I did because they are AWESOME! So refreshing and soothing and amazing. (On top of that I get to say I worked out while on vacation. Proceed to be impressed [It will probably never happen again])

I am now trying to justify buying a towel refrigerator. Then when people come over I can say, "Cold towel? Yes? No? Oh, okay just thought I'd ask."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Free hugs

Much to the horror of some people and the joy of others, I've never met a hug I didn't like. So beware, I'm a hugger. If you ever meet me, hold up your finger crosses if you don't like to be touched because I attack. I should probably have a sign around my neck that says: Beware of hugger. Anyway, I have a point and it does have to do with something I love about New York.

I love Times Square. In my visits to Times Square I am never disappointed by the array of interesting people I find there. A few years back, I got to meet the naked cowboy--a guy who played the guitar in his underwear. He must've retired because he wasn't around this time. But this time, I met the 'Free Hug' guys. They carried around big signs that said, "FREE HUGS" in bold black lettering.

It was a huggers dream come true. Though my fingers were tingling when I saw them, I was willing to go without the offered hugs so as not to embarrass my poor husband. But then my husband called out, "Hey boys, my wife wants a hug."

As I was talking to the huggers, I asked them why they were giving out hugs. And one said, "Because hugs just make people happy." It's so true. Well, at least in my case it is.

(Don't mind the slightly uncomfortable look on his face. Remember, he was the one with the sign. It's not my fault I was willing to give him a real hug. LOL)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New York, New York

This week I’m going to summarize a few things I loved and hated about New York. I will start with my loves. For today, can we say massive transportation system? Hello subway, I love you. Will you come to my town so I never have to drive a car again?

It may seem silly that this is the first thing I mention about New York, but really, I adore the subway. I love how it goes everywhere (even under the bay). I love how fast it is. I love how when it speeds by it sends a wave of hot air across my face.

Sure I don’t understand a word the operators are saying, except maybe, “Stand clear of the closing doors.” (repeated 5 times until the girl in front of me yanks her purse out of the doors that have been closing on it for the last 5 tries). Sure the air beneath the streets of New York is just a little bit muggier than the air above. But I feel like the culture of New York exists in those tunnels (and I don’t mean the kind of culture you can grow in a petri dish, although I’m sure there’s plenty of that down there too). I mean the people, the everyday life, the diversity of New York pulses through those tunnels. I love it.

I’m sure my husband hated the way that every time he said, “Which way are we going again?” that I started singing the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”. How does everyone in New York (that is heading uptown) not sing that song at all times?

Anyway, subways, I love you and I have missed you since I’ve been home.

Sorry, friends, that I haven’t been around much. I’ve been traveling a lot and writing like crazy. But I am going attempt to be more present in the blogosphere.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


First, I want to say sorry this took me so long, Michelle. I mean, I know you were dying to be embarrassed, but my computer is being worked on and I finally had to break down and figure out how to use my husband's. So anyway, everyone, this is Michelle. She's awesome. I know I keep saying that about everyone, but really, they all are. She writes adult fiction. To find out more about her books that I got the privilege to hear some small sections of (they were really good) visit her site.

Michelle may seem shy at first, but she has a quiet confidence that soon becomes very apparent. She is thoughtful and mature; deep and caring. This shows in her writing--it's very layered and thought provoking.

On her writing website, her posts are always insightful and full of helpful information. She is supportive and encouraging to her friends and fellow writers. Michelle taught us some really amazing writing techniques at the retreat. She is a great teacher and very patient.

At the retreat, we did this 20 minute "write off" where we were give a character, a setting, and an item/prop and had 20 minutes to make up a story. On the spot Michelle thought up a plot so well crafted that when she was through reading it I wanted more. In twenty minutes! (seriously, I was surrounded by creative geniuses)

Some tidbits about Michelle: *she's an amazing photographer(scroll down and check out some of the pics she took in my post about the retreat) *she likes junior mints too *she writes some really saucy kissing scenes that had us all giggling like school girls (yes, they were good) *she has an adorable daughter *she loves all things shakespearean

Michelle, I'm glad I got to know you better. You are so much fun.

Well, that concludes my spotlights from the retreat. I had so much fun doing this that I might occasionally bring the spotlights out again to highlight some of you. So be careful, I'll be watching (and waiting to embarrass you with shameless praise).

Like I mentioned before my computer is out of commission (again) and I'm slowly dying. I'm supposed to get it back Monday just in time for me to head off to New York for the week. So I'll talk to you all when I get back. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009


Meet Jenn. She's another one of the wonderful girls I met at the retreat. She's awesome. She actually picked me up at the airport and we spent three hours in the car together on the way to the cabin. It was so much fun. Our topics ranged from writing (of course) to Prison Break (not her prison break, but the TV show).

Jenn writes YA Fantasy (do I sense a theme here?) and I get the privilege of being one of her alpha/beta readers (do I sense a theme here?). To learn more about her awesome books, visit her website.

This girl is a people person. Really, people meet her and they love her. And I completely understand why. She's genuine and fun and knows exactly when to talk and exactly when to listen. She's had lots of experiences in her young life that make her wise beyond her years. She's great at giving advice and encouragement.

She writes with determination and dedication and views setbacks as learning experiences. She takes the time to study writing and is good at applying what she learns expertly. She is very good at sharing what she's learned from writer's conferences and books in a way that's to the point and easy to understand.

A few tidbits about Jenn: *She has an amazing voice *She has great taste in music *She rocks out on the drums in guitar hero *Her hair is awesome *She's afraid of heights *She makes some amazing gumbo *She's a speed demon *She's really funny

See, like I said, this is one amazing girl.

And last, but not least, I will spotlight Michelle in a couple days. :)