danger girl

One last post...

Well, not the last post -- but the last post at Livejournal (unless there's a way to feed new posts into this old blog, and in that case, yay!). I know I'm paranoid, but given the behind-the-scenes rumbles about this blogging platform (perhaps, maybe, having future trouble), I decided not to wait and see, but just jump now. I love Livejournal! I'll miss it! Oh, my icons! But I hope you all don't mind changing your links a little, and following me over to the new blog. Here's the address: http://marjoriemliu.com/index.php?/blog/

I look forward to seeing you guys over there. Don't leave me lonely!
winchester gun

Hailing my gun experts, for a moment.

If a person stumbled upon a rifle or handgun that hadn't been used in twenty years, would that weapon still function -- and if so, would it need some kind of internal cleaning? What would be the risks of using a weapon that old, if any?

And yes, this is for a story.
alice & her cards

I used to love old houses. I think I still love them. From a distance.

I'm learning more about that basement than I ever wanted to. Things live down there! But what did I expect? Things live in the attic, too! I'm surrounded by an army of small furred creatures (not including cats, poodles, etc) who seem to think they own this place. And they do! I feel like chopped liver.

Here, this is relaxing. Just One More Book is a podcast for children's books, and it really is delightful. Check out their discussion of Cynthia Rylant's Snow.

sawyer crap!


"The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense." ~ Tom Clancy

Right. The bathtub faucet started running uncontrollably today, mere moments after I had a conversation about when the water might be turned on at the new house.

Anywhere else, that would not be a big deal, but this old house (which might be feeling peckish because it's soon to be abandoned for the new one up the hill) is about one hundred years old, and that tub stopped draining properly about a year ago. Plus, water tends to run on its own, here and there, in that bathroom. I blame the cats. Or a ghost. Never been a problem before.

But this time the water was gushing uncontrollably. The water was not draining. And when I merely grazed the faucet with my hand, it popped off the wall.

I turned off the water for the entire house (and let me tell you, there's a reason I never go into the basement), went to hardware store to buy a cap for the newly exposed pipe, but when I got home I realized there's a plastic sheath around the darn thing that was probably glued on fifty years ago. Couldn't get it off. Made the pipe too large for the cap. Hardware store closed.

Water still not turned on. Hoping this is not evidence that the pipes froze. Any advice? (Yes, I should call a plumber. And I will.)

On top of that, the street light has gone out, casting the entire front yard in absolute darkness. Walking the dogs felt like a scene from a horror movie with some stereotypical naive chick in her pajamas mumbling to her poodle while a werewolf hunches behind a tree. Rar!
book princess

Reading Rainbow

Taking a short break to rest my brain cells. Aliens is on. Attic creature is stirring for the first time in weeks. Ate some nice greasy pork chops and I'm feeling good.

My schedule is coming together for Comic Con. So far I've got two signings and a panel, but there could be more. Stay tuned. I won't be going to the Romantic Times conference as I had originally planned. I had to make some hard choices about travel this year -- and New York won. I'm so sorry I won't get a chance to see some of you at the literacy signing.

Here, check this out: I've been following LeVar Burton on Twitter. I love him. I watched Reading Rainbow as much as I could when I was growing up, and I dare anyone to find a sweeter, more wonderful show for children. I rank it right up there with Sesame Street. So look at this!

Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2006 (after first airing in 1983), and at some point they had updated the theme song to something I guess they thought would better fit the sensibilities of "today's children". Whatever. It's the same song, but faster, and with more special effects. It's not as sweet as the old version. But then, I'm an old fogie.


I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
~ Honore de Balzac

Still in the trenches. Crazy day. I want chocolate. It is snowing, and I want chocolate. I want these words to flow, and chocolate will make it better. And if the words do flow and I finish what I am meant to, tonight, then I will get my chocolate. Or maybe sweet potatoes. Or cake. Food would be nice.

Which reminds me that I forgot to eat supper. Darn!

Translated through you.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and (it) will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly-- to keep the channel open." ~ Martha Graham

Quick blog tonight, as I'm deep in the trenches. Keep the channel open, people! If you've got a story burning inside you, don't hold it in.
dream universe

For those who trust in words...

John DeFrancis passed away. Many of you may not know who he was, but if you've ever studied the Chinese language, even a little, then chances are you owe a great deal to Professor DeFrancis: adventurer, linguist, and philanthropist. Here is his obituary, and one of his articles: Prospects for Chinese Writing Reform (really, this is fascinating). Below is an old interview with the professor, which is loaded with so much more history and turmoil than what that brief discussion indicates. Agree or disagree with his methods and ideas, he was a good, strong, and brilliant man.

girls luck

Happy Friday to you all!

Congratulations to cranberrysoda! Send me your contact info, and I'll get those books mailed out to you.

What a great week. I love my readers -- for a variety of reasons -- but today, I love you all because you have such rockin' taste in comfort reads (which, of course, is highly individual, though I found myself nodding along with all your suggestions, from Anne of Green Gables to Anne McCaffery, and oh so many others).

I think there must be a secret language between readers who love the same books. All you have to do is say a title or a name, and it's like a coded handshake that no one else who hasn't read -- or loved -- those books will ever understand. So if I say that I adore Meredith Ann Pierce and the Darkangel Trilogy, someone out there will know what I'm talking about, without being told -- and if I tell you that I wish Pat Zettner had written more than one book, a sequel to The Shadow Warrior, someone else will understand why. Maybe not more than a handful of someones -- but one would be enough.

So, anyway. I'm going to snuggle in for the night, have a nice supper, write some words, and watch the series ::sob:: finale of Stargate Atlantis. McKay! Sheppard! Teyla! Ronin! I don't care if you are getting movies! I'll miss you all!
beauty sleep

Where there be dragons...

Congrats to wendyb_09 for winning the Robin Hood gift set! Email me at marjoriemliu@gowebway.com, and I'll get that out to you.

There was an article in the NY Times the other day, called I Wish I Could Read Like a Girl. I have several small problems with the piece (the title being one of them -- and not out of a sense of political correctness), but she does make some interesting statements, like this:

"I miss the days when I felt that way, curled up in a corner and able to get lost in pretty much any plot. I loved stories indiscriminately, because each revealed the world in a way I had never considered before. The effect was so profound that I can still remember vividly the experiences of reading “Little Women”...[a]nd a thousand others. After each, I would emerge a changed person."

I'm sure there are boys who find themselves just as easily immersed in books -- but that's a pretty excellent summary of how I feel about reading: the delight and mystery; a peculiar reincarnation for the mind, where you remain you, but live again and again, in different lives and adventures.

So, here we have another drawing, my friends -- a small sampling of books, new and old, that have taken me away; and that I hope do the same for you: FRECKLES by Gene Stratton Porter, THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by Elizabeth George Speare, INTO THE WILDERNESS by Sara Donati, INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES by Jennifer Lee Carrell, THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett, and FORESTS OF THE HEART by Charles de Lint.

Share the books you love, or just leave your name to be entered in the drawing. I'll pick the name from the hat on Friday.

PS: I forgot to mention that NYX #5 is on sale today!