Monday, September 29, 2008

Why I'm a terrible spouse, #478

To be funny, whenever I mention my husband on my blog I link to this photo. And then he goes and does this.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is that really my book?

My book deal was announce to the trade this week! I was really astonished to read the summary, as I had not known how my agent was pitching it.

Here it is:

"Christy Raedeke’s PROPHECY OF DAYS, pitched as a YA Da Vinci Code relating to the Mayan calendar which mysteriously ends in 2012, in which a teen, with the help of a gorgeous Scottish lad, must figure out her role in a cryptic prophecy while trying to outwit a secret society that will stop at nothing to control her, to Andrew Karre at Flux, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (North America)."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I was pretty bummed about the Andrew Karre news; he was the main reason I signed a two-book contract at Flux. It was announced just a couple of weeks after I signed my contract and I have to admit, I wondered if I were partially to blame. I imagined him waking up one morning and thinking of the work necessary to get my books to print; in my mind he drops his head in his hands and says, “That’s it, I’m out.”

Okay, so maybe it’s not all about me. Maybe it’s because he was offered a bigger job at a bigger house.

Anyway, today his successor was announced: Brian Farrey. My first reaction was, holy sh*t, have things really gone that far south since Roxy Music disbanded? Then I noted the spelling variation. I very quickly put my finely honed web-stalking skills to work and have decided, after just a few minutes of perusing, that I love him already. Here’s what I know: he’s a writer, he was the senior publicist at Flux, and he’s just returned from traveling the highlands of Scotland.

Look at all our common ground: I’m a writer, I worked in book marketing/publicity for years, and the Scottish highlands are one of my favorite places on earth! We’re like twins except he would be the way smarter, way funnier one. He’s probably cuter, too. Alright, alright maybe not twins but I love him like a smarter, funnier, cuter sibling already. I doubt he’s heard of me but I suspect once he gets hold of my manuscript he'll even start kicking my a** just like my real sibling did.

Speaking of getting his hands on my manuscript, after reading a few of Brian’s book reviews for and other sites, I’m a little scared. This guy is the very definition of perspicacious. He’s good in that seems-like-he-has-a-Masters-in-Literary-Criticism-but-also-watches-sitcoms way. He nailed “Mission to America” by Walter Kirn, reviewed it exactly as I would have. (You know, if I could write a really good book review, which I can’t.) Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for academic types who also have their arms elbow deep in the cultural zeitgeist—but it’s one thing to admire that and it’s another to have it unleashed on your manuscript.

This may turn out to be painful but I hope the end result will be much greater for it. Can’t wait to get started.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Blue Like the Sky tagged me with a meme. I haven't done one of these on my blog yet, so I figured why not?

1.How many songs are on your iPod?
Not sure – I gave my iPod to my kids. Am I the only person on earth who doesn’t enjoy listing to music piped directly into their ears?

2. What music would you want played at your funeral?
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, and Chariots Rise by Lizzie West. Why go traditional on such a momentus day?

3.To what magazines do you subscribe?
Others come and go, but I’ve been a long-time subscriber to: Wired, Entertainment Weekly, and Vanity Fair.

4. What is your favorite scent?
The inside of a corn husk.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?
Design a beautiful, totally off-the-grid shingle-style (circa 1910) house and travel the world with my husband and kids for a year while it’s being built.

6. What is your theme song?
I’m Lucky by Joan Armitrading

7. Do you trust easily?

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
Always act before I think. It’s my trademark.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
The insanity of people who still stand behind Bush and his regime. Anyone who cannot see what he has destroyed in the last eight years prefers to keep their head in the sand. We’ll spend decades fixing what has been done.

10. Do you have a good body-image?
I would if I had a good body.

11. Is being tagged fun?
Sure, it helps with posting a bog.

12. How do you spend your social networking (Facebook, etc.) time?
Mostly being a voyeur.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
Coffee, as always.

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Whip-smart, funny, and kind.

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Raisins by the Barenaked Ladies

16. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
A camel-colored cashmere turtleneck. Can’t wait to dig it out of the winter clothes closet.

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Absolutely, positively, yes. Could be reason for answer to #10.

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground?
Pick it up. Glance around. If no one seems to be looking for, it I’d go for dinner.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?
Computer, coffee, a good night’s sleep.

20. What should you be doing right now?
Putting my children to bed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I’ve always been suspicious of dusk, a deeply unsettling time of day. When the light fades, diurnal animals settle in but nocturnal animals don’t become active until later so there’s an eerie quietness. It feels as if energy is suspended and life is waiting for the scale to tip, for darkness to fall.

To me, Autumn is the seasonal equivalent of dusk. This time of year I always become agitated in the same deep, primal way that dusk affects me. Most people love Fall; the colors, the crisp air, the interesting light…blah blah blah. I don’t get it.

I put my lamps on electric timers that flick the light on in late afternoon so that I never have to deal with the murky light of dusk, but there’s no electric timer equivalent to help me get through Autumn. I just have to wait it out.

The New Pet

Although we live within city limits, we do have a lot of wildlife cruising through our property. Usually they just mosey by, snack on the prettiest flowers, and then head back to the woods. But this guy (whom the kids have given the highly original name of “Bucky”) won’t leave.

All day long he nibbles at the orange berries off the pyacantha hedge, makes his “deposits” all over our lawn and then goes to the backyard to bed down under the mountain laurel.

The kids love him. When Bucky wakes up to start his day my son goes out on the porch to greet him. He no longer flinches, just looks over at us with his big brown eyes and then turns back to the berries. The cat hates him; in her dementia-addled brain I think she thinks he’s an unusually big dog and I fear one day I’ll find her dangling from his neck like a pendant, all four claws set tightly into his skin.

Eeek! He just walked by my office window as I'm typing this—I still can’t get used to seeing his fuzzy horns amble by. Must be time for his nap. Maybe I should follow his lead…

Monday, September 15, 2008


I haven't stopped thinking about David Foster Wallace since I heard the news yesterday. I think I may be one of the few people who has never even once contemplated suicide, so it's incredibly difficult for me to understand.

"Infinite Jest" came out in 1996, just after I'd left Microsoft and was contemplating fiction writing. After devouring those 1000 pages, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It remains one of my favorite books to read for pleasure and the highest bar as a writer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

C'est la vie, c'est la guerre.

I must refer to Marcia's last post from our writing group's blog, The Lithia Writers Collective. I laughed, I cried, I felt her pain...and then I wanted to read more. How could you not when she ends with this:

Then our house burned down.
I’m glad it did.

So, here it is for your enjoyment:
The Socket is Void - Marcia

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Not Such A Great Day...

The whole reason I signed with Flux was for Andrew Karre.
And now, this news.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Storage Units and Self Loathing

In 1999 Scott and I left Seattle for Ashland. Our first house here was a massive old Craftsman that we wanted to restore. House restoration was something we loved to do before we had kids; now, with two, it seems unimaginable. When we had finished the remodel and the installment of the world’s largest residential pool and the half acre of landscaping, we decided to move. I had just had our second child and was overwhelmed by the upkeep. In that state I didn’t want cavernous rooms with heavy Craftsman furnishings; I wanted small spaces with sleek, modern furniture. I blame it on Real Simple. They should put a warning label on that magazine: DO NOT READ WHILE HORMONALLY IMBALANCED.

We decided to simplify. Scale down. Fortunately we sold while Ashland prices were some of the highest in the state. On the flip side this meant that there was not much out there to buy—house inventory was at an all-time low. We found a cute little house on an amazing piece of property and decided to buy it as a rest stop until we found the perfect house. We moved the basics in and got a massive storage unit for the stuff that couldn’t fit.
It’s now been four years and we’re still in the “rest stop” house. We love the smaller footprint, the way you can clean the entire house in an hour or two, the lovely private yard, and the emotional closeness that physical closeness begets. The only problem is the damn storage unit. It looms. So, we finally decided to have a garage sale to deal with it.

Pawing through piles of stuff is depressing. It’s like a massive exercise in decision making over and over and over again. You look at something and say, “Sell it—I don’t know why I ever bought that in the first place,” or, “I’ll never sell that! It’s a full set of Villeroy & Boch china!” And each reaction has its own emotional baggage: self loathing for buying something you didn’t need or self loathing for keeping something you do not need and don’t have room for.

It’s a lose/lose situation and it won’t be over until Sunday when the Garage Sale is finished and we’ve moved what we absolutely cannot part with into a smaller, more reasonable storage unit. I’m hoping this downscaling will scale down the self loathing as well.