You are viewing caryattwell

[sticky post] It's the welcome sticky!


Why, hello there!

If you're on my LJ, that probably means you've read my novel The Other Guy or at least have heard of it, and I hope you a) have thoroughly enjoyed it, or b) are about to thoroughly enjoy it. (There is no alternative to thorough enjoyment; I'm sorry.)

About the novelCollapse )

Where to buyCollapse )

I'm not really sure what I'm going to be doing with this journal yet, but it's here, and you're here, and that makes me happy. :) Feel free to hang around, say hi, ask questions, etc., and I'll do my best to be outrageously interesting.

Tags:

Updates: Compartmentalized Edition


Cary, in real life: Did I ever tell you guys about my shapeshifting superpowers? It's only specific to certain situations, but happens without fail in scenarios like, oh say, job interviews. That's when I turn from a reasonably well-adjusted individual into a panicked, rambling mess, splattering word-vomit all over the floor. As usefulness goes, it probably ranks somewhere between Aquaman and the Wonder Twins. So that's where I am in my life right now; how are you all doing? Good?

Writing is hard: The good news is that I have about 80K written of a new story, and I don't excessively hate all of it. The bad news is that half of it doesn't quite work, and needs major reconstruction, and the thought of going through all those words makes me want to swandive into a vat of boiling grease. Okay, fine, it's not that bad. But it's still a damn lot of work. Unnnggghhh.

Nerd alert: Everybody should play the board game Pandemic (with expansions). It's a cooperative game where everyone strategizes together to save the world from disease, and I promise it's a lot more fun than I make it sound. Wil Wheaton and friends will tell you:


"A game where the players are the only thing that stands between life and horrible, shivering, puking, bleeding, miserable death" about sums it up



A darling friend of mine has been recommending Bill Bryson's books to me for ages and ages. I finally managed to pick up a copy of Notes from a Small Island at a used book sale (tread lightly, friends; it's a dark, dangerous place that saps your willpower and replaces it with fifteen books you don't need), and what do you know -- she's right and he's hysterical.

There's a passage in Notes about W.J.C. Scott-Bentinck, an eccentric recluse who has since become my role model. He communicated with his servants entirely by written notes, had food delivered to his room using a miniature railway system, and, if a servant saw him by accident, froze like a statue until they passed. After his death, his heirs found a room stuffed to the gills with "hundreds of green boxes, each of which contained a single dark brown wig." He sounds amazing, and I want to be him when I grow up. Failing that, the Simpsons version of Thomas Pynchon.

In other news, I hope you're all having a brilliant holiday season! If that is not your thing, I hope you are enjoying a regular week of the month! Whatever you're celebrating or not, I wish you all light and love and no end of good books to keep you company. ♥

Housekeeping & sundry


Happy summer, everybody! I hope you're getting to enjoy whatever it is you enjoy of this lovely little season. Me, I get to be in school. (Hurrah, said nobody.) So, just a brief check-in today.

Some of you have added me on Google+ or LinkedIn or other things. I appreciate it so much when you guys take the time to reach out to me, and if I haven't responded to these adds, it's not because I'm snubbing you or anything; it's simply because I don't use those tools. I'm only currently active on Livejournal, Goodreads and Twitter. Of course, with my spotty updating record, you are well within your rights to laugh at my use of the word 'active'. (I'm also namesquatting on Tumblr, with ambiguous plans to do something with it if I ever get this next book off the ground.)

In other news, if you were one of the poor, unfortunate souls, as I was, who missed the Neverwhere radio play during its original airing on BBC Radio 4, YouTube has come to the rescue: Episode 1. Take an already brilliant story and add James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer and Benedict Cumberbatch? YES PLEASE.

Today was Seattle's Pride Parade. It was a hot, hot day and I managed to get a nice farmer's tan standing out there for about twenty minutes. Unfortunately, twenty minutes was about all I got to see of the parade, as I had other places to be (I think next year I should make it a point to actually attend rather than seeing a fraction of it by happenstance). Even so, being a part of it for that tiny portion was a pleasure; such a lovely, celebratory mood permeating the whole of downtown. Just beautiful.

Pride 2013 - 09

Tags:

Jesse Eisenberg is my spirit animal


And I would like to be his best friend. Barring that, purveyor of things he writes, so I guess that's where we are today. Mostly this post is an excuse to link you to things I have recently enjoyed on the Internet.

  • Eisenberg's McSweeney's column Bream Gives Me Hiccups: Restaurant Reviews From a Privileged Nine-Year-Old is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, and yet so much more. Simultaneously amusing, honest and heartbreaking. Seriously, I teared up reading the most recent one. (Caveat: I also tear up sometimes at Hallmark card commercials, so use that as your gauge for how emotionally unstable I am.)

  • You've probably seen Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal, but just in case this managed to give your attention the slip, here is, um, Ryan Gosling refusing to eat his cereal. I can't explain why it's so funny. It just is, okay?

  • I tweeted about this some time back, but it's still pretty much my favorite thing ever: Epic 23-Year Game of Tag. Totally insane and so inspired.

  • As mentioned in a previous post, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is only the best book ever on the face of the earth. (You think I suffer from hyperbole, but I do love that book something fierce.) Here, a comprehensive reference guide to Good Omens. Most excellent.

  • Joss Whedon was the commencement speaker at his alma mater Wesleyan this year. His speech is, quite simply, beautiful. Let's all aspire to be like him when we grow up, yes?

  • And we finish off with more Eisenberg. He's also a regular contributer to The New Yorker; recently he did a short script entitled Marv Albert is My Therapist. And then they got him and Marv Albert to perform it, to a nation's delight.

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!


If I had a quarter for every time I could quite clearly hear someone's music even though their earbuds were jammed into their earholes, I'd never have to scrounge for laundry money ever again. Ever! And while having unlimited laundry funds would be awesome for me, irreversible hearing loss is awesome for nobody. With the risk of hearing loss increasing in recent years, especially in younger populations (TIME), education and prevention is key. It's never too early to start, as with this video-book aimed at the littluns:



And the next time you see a loved one making their inner hair cells sad, perhaps some gentle accosting wouldn't go amiss. They'll thank you for it later. (Probably. I mean, I totally would.)

Conversations: Julie Bozza


A conversation between Julie Bozza, author of The Apothecary’s Garden, and Cary Attwell, author of The Other Guy. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed conversing!

In which we natter on and on :)Collapse )

And if we haven’t already talked you senseless, you can find us here:

• Julie Bozza on Goodreads
• Julie’s blog
• Cary Attwell on Goodreads
• Cary’s blog

Inner child ahoy


Whoops, haven't posted in a good long while. Who knew grad school would be so stressful and time-consuming? Oh, everybody ever? Okay then.

Having zero brain power at the end of the day means most of my bedtime reading is limited to large-print, children's books. Not that I say this in a particularly plaintive way, because children's books are awesome. I've been dipping into my well-loved, aged collection of Enid Blytons recently, which are not only greatly imaginative but also come with the delightful memory of my older sister reading from The Banana Robber to me.

There's just something so comforting about going back to books from childhood, for the same reasons so many of us have a favorite fuzzy old sweater or a tatty stuffed animal that Goodwill probably won't even accept. (Not that I would ever give my Cheer Bear away.) It's a reminder that there's a place where life can be simple for a little while, where fairies exist, happy endings are guaranteed, tears always dry up, and everyone gets what they deserve.

What are some of your favorite things to fall back on when you need time away from the nonsense life throws at you?

Here comes the science bit


In which I back up the wild claims Emory and Nate make in TOG. With science! And some other stuff.

1. Where the popcorn comes into play is that the properties of its questionable flavoring in some of the microwaveable varieties may actually have a hand in causing dementia. -- Chapter One

Afraid some enthusiastic microwaveable popcorn lobbyist might read my book and accuse me of besmirching popcorn's good name, I did consider taking this part out -- or at least sprinkling the word allegedly throughout the sentence with a liberal hand, but I really like little bits of throwaway trivia. And at the time of writing, I had just learned about it so I was itching to share (and ruin everyone's quintessential film-watching experiences, naturally. You're welcome.)

To be fair, eating butter-flavored popcorn probably isn't going to give you dementia. The study referenced regards food industry workers' chronic exposure to the flavoring ingredient, diacetyl, during the manufacturing process. Researchers found that the ingredient increased the risk of toxic damage to brain cells similar to the way proteins clump together in Alzheimer's disease. Which is still not to say that diacetyl definitely does link to dementia, but that it's a possibility.

Source: Science Daily

2. "Maybe," I said smoothly. "But Aristotle once said that people with curly hair can't be trusted, so..." -- Chapter Two

I first heard about this on QI, a wonderfully funny and informative British comedy panel quiz show, on their Fingers and Fumbs episode (S6E7). Apparently Aristotle was super into physiognomy, which reads a person's character or personality from facial features. He wrote a whole book on it, The Secrets of Nature Relating to Physiognomy, in which pretty much every facial feature signifies something horrible. Of the curly-haired: "He is by nature proud and bold, dull of apprehension, soon angry, and a lover of venery, and given to lying, malicious and ready to do any mischief."

So my characterization of Emory? Nailed it.

Source: Project Gutenberg

3. "Hi, Mithter J," said Abby, smiling the untroubled smile of five-year-olds everywhere. -- Chapter Five

This one isn't really a wild claim by either Emory or Nate; I just wanted to talk about it. Abby has a frontal lisp here, doing a 'th' for an 's'. Though this has no relevant impact on the storyline at all, in my mind she actually has a lateral lisp. However, dialogue with a lateral lisp is very difficult to spell. I'll let this lovely little girl from Horrible Histories demonstrate what that sounds like*:



Incidentally, Horrible Histories is a brilliant, award-winning historical sketch show for children, and everyone should watch it.

The difference between frontal and lateral lisps, other than, obviously, tongue placement, is that the former is a typical developmental error that could potentially resolve on its own with maturity, while the latter is not a typical developmental error and almost always requires speech therapy, regardless of age.

Source: My school learnin's. (If you really want, I'm sure I can scare up some actual references for you.)

*=Not a diagnosis; that's just what it sounds like to me.

4. "No one can resist the face of a Lhasa Apso; it's been scientifically proven." -- Nate, Chapter Seven

Okay, this one Nate pulled right out of his shapely bum. But I mean, come on. Have you seen a Lhasa Apso? They're adorable.