Archives for September 2009

Thankfully, I will not be doing the translating. :)

So, STAY is going to be a book in Italy too!!!


I still can’t get over the fact that STAY is getting published in the United States, (over six months since the deal was announced and I’m still pinching myself) so this is just . . . amazing!

From Publisher’s Weekly – it’s under Penguin, if you go to the article (which is a great write up of books up for foreign sale at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, btw):

“From Dutton, there’s Allie Larkin’s novel Stay, about a woman who mends her broken heart with some canine love from a German shepherd; the June 2010 title has sold in Italy.”

And, no matter how many times I check the link and read it again, my name is still there.

I have to run to the store to pick up something for dinner. You know I’m going to start crying in Wegmans again. :)

Manticores are kind of scary.

J and I aren’t as cute as Erin and Ted (few people are), and will probably never sing a song for you on camera (unless we’re incredibly inebriated, yet still somehow able to operate the camera and post effectively). But, like Erin and Ted, we have a habit of making up new lyrics to old songs.

Our recent composition came to fruition a few days ago, while we were sitting on the couch with our laptops being nerdy.

To the tune of “You Sexy Thing.”

J: I believe in manticores. Where you from? You sexy thing.
Me: I believe in manticores. But it’s kind of hard, since they don’t exist.
J: (Laughing) I especially like the part where you say you believe in them, but then you admit they don’t exist.
Me: It’s the same way I feel about Bigfoot.
J: Nice.

We go back to work for awhile.

Me: What’s a manticore?
J: I have no idea.


Wordless Wednesday – Queen Anne

I spent an hour stuck in a dress. How was your day?

I’ve been working out a lot lately, and I lost a few sizes. When I pulled out my fall clothes, none of my nice ones fit anymore. This afternoon, I needed a break from my work, so I hit a discount store to shop for dresses. I tried on a grey belted sheath dress that looked really cute on the hanger, but less so on me. The lining of the dress was unreasonably thick and hot, and the air in the dressing room was unreasonably thick and hot. I was so uncomfortable that I felt like I couldn’t get out of that dress fast enough. Then the zipper got stuck.

I tried to pull the dress up without unzipping it, but had to stop short when I realized I was painfully close to getting stranded in a dressing room with a dress stuck over my head. I yanked it back down, and went back to work on the zipper.

I tugged at the zipper pull and it inched down a little, but it wouldn’t go far. I pulled up trying to free it from whatever it was stuck on, but it only managed to get stuck up higher. That’s when the sweating started. It was easily 80 degrees in the dressing room, and I started to feel a little panicky, because, no matter what I did, I could not get the dress off. Of course, the sweatier I got, the less I wanted to step out of the dressing room to ask for help, so, I spent a good 15-20 minutes trying to get myself unzipped from that damn dress.

When, I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t getting out of that dress myself, I ran out to the dressing room attendant and explained the situation. She gave the zipper a quick tug before she gruffly told me she couldn’t help me and walked away. I stood there, stunned. I had no idea what to do with myself. Did she expect me to just pay for the dress and wear it the rest of my life?

I was thinking about asking a stranger, or calling J at work to see if he could meet me at the store to help, when I realized that the dressing room attendant was asking another woman to come help me. The other woman was in the middle of hanging clothes on a rack, so we had to wait for her to finish. And, of course, all this time, I was standing in the doorway to the dressing room in a dress and black socks, purse on my shoulder, making lame attempts to work the zipper with my arm over my head, while everyone who passed by stared at me.

When the other woman finished hanging clothes she came and tugged at the zipper pull. “I can’t pull it down. I’m going to try to pull it up,” she said.

“No no no no no!” I said. “Please don’t pull it up it’ll–“

“Uh oh, now it’s stuck up higher,” she said. “I can’t get it. I’ll have to call the manager.”

“Is she even here?” the attendant asked, like we were all out of options and I was just going to have to live in the dressing room in a sweaty sheath dress from here on in.

“Well, you have to try,” the other woman said, shaking her head.

So they paged the manager. And I stood there, sweating bullets and feeling like the walls were closing in on me. I leaned against the wall and watched wistfully as people exited the dressing room in their own clothes.

“I am totally stuck in this dress,” I confessed a woman who looked my way.

“You must be kind of panicky,” she said, smiling as she breezed out of the dressing room, hanging clothes with non-defective zippers on the rack as she left.

That’s when I really started to panic. It was like she’d given me permission to. I’d skipped lunch. I hadn’t had enough water. I was so very hot. I needed to sit down, but the only seat was occupied by a man who was waiting for his wife. I stared at him, willing him to move. He stared at my legs in a not so PG way.

The attendant was gone, and I worried that if I went back to my dressing stall to sit down, when the manager came she’d think the problem was solved and leave.

I saw the attendant from across the room. She didn’t look at me. Maybe the manager wasn’t in the store. Maybe they’d forgotten. Maybe she’d go on break and I’d have to explain it all over again to the next person, who would end up pulling the zipper up even higher. I wanted to call out to the attendant, but I couldn’t bring myself to. What would I yell? “Hey, over here? Remember me? Stuck in a dress?”

I started getting lightheaded. I took a step toward the man on the bench. I didn’t want to, but I was desperate. I wasn’t sure if I was going to ask him to give up his seat or help me with the zipper, when suddenly, the manager appeared.

“Would you like to go back in the dressing room, so you don’t have an audience,” she said, smiling.

I nodded.

When we got around the corner and out of view, she pulled at the zipper. It didn’t budge. “What if I pull it up?” she said.

“No no no no-“

“Huh. Now it’s stuck higher up.”

“Uh huh.” I realized I sounded kind of crabby. There is no need to get crabby with anyone in a position to help you when you’re stuck in a dress that is starting to feel like it’s made of hot lead. So, I smiled and said, “I’m so embarrassed.”

“Don’t worry about it!” she said. “I’m so relieved. Usually when I get called for a stuck zipper, it’s because someone tried to squeeze into a pair of pants that were waaaay too small. I was happy for a dress that fits with zipper at the back.”

After a few minutes of tugging, she realized that the zipper was actually sewn in wrong and the only way to get me out of the dress was to perform dress surgery.

She grabbed a pair of scissors and after a few snips I was free. I thanked her, sprinted to the dressing stall, pulled the dress off at lightning speed, and vowed to myself that I will never again try something on without testing out the zipper first.

In case you’re wondering, I bought a sweater dress. It’s super cute, and it doesn’t have any zippers.

Wordless Wednesday – Grapevine

No Dogs Were Harmed in the Making of This Photo

Well, I’ve finally got my author photos. It was a month long fiasco that ended with J taking my pictures (and doing a wonderful job). We wanted a few with Argo in the shot. Argo, however, wanted to chew on sticks, run around the park, and herd other dogs. After trying (and failing) for an hour to get him to sit nicely next to me and look at the camera, he flopped over and let out a huge sigh, like we were frustrating him and not the other way around. So I flopped over on him, joking around, and J snapped a picture.

This will not be my author photo, since it kind of looks like I’m squishing my dog, and that doesn’t seem to be in the right spirit of things. It is, however, one of my favorite pictures of me and Args, and I’m very happy to have it.

I spent some time over the weekend playing around with J’s camera and taking some pictures of my beautiful dogs, like this one of Stella:

And this one of Argo:

Um. . . okay, that one isn’t so much beautiful as hysterical and awful. I caught him mid-sneeze and it looks like the stuff nightmares are made of, doesn’t it?

In case you need to cleanse your visual palate now, here’s a photo of Argo cuddling with his Frisbee for good measure.

Little Road Trips

On Thursday morning, my friend M called me from Chicago. She was in the airport on a stopover, on her way to Buffalo, when she realized the person she was meeting wasn’t coming in until later that evening. She was going to be stranded in the Buffalo Airport for several hours. No one should ever been stranded in Buffalo, so I threw some great CDs in the car, and drove out to pick her up. I got to gush over her gorgeous, gorgeous new engagement ring and hear all about how her adorable fiance popped the question (does it get much better than hearing about how a dear friend is going to marry the love of her life?). We had a fabulous chat in the car and a fabulous lunch and it turned what was going to be an ordinary Thursday into a great little adventure.

On Friday, The Other 1/4 and I met up at the outlet mall that’s equidistant from both of us. Neither of us like to shop. Both of us feel that the clothes we buy should feel like clothes we already own. We’re obsessive about finding things we absolutely love and not buying anything we don’t need or won’t actually wear. We are the perfect shopping companions. There’s no irritation if the other person wants to try on the same pair of shoes four times before ultimately deciding not to buy them. And, goodness, it was good to spend time with The Other 1/4! It just feels good to be around her. She’s a huge part of my past and still major part of my present. She’s the kind of friend you can say the most bizarre things to and she just automatically gets it.

I’ve been so serious. So bogged down with everything I have to do and everything that’s been left undone for too long, and it’s left me tired and overwhelmed. Ending last week with two little road trips and time spent with dear friends was exactly what I needed. This week, I feel recharged and ready to take on the tasks at hand. Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to give yourself some time to off.

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