Thursday, March 28, 2013

“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

Okay, so Keith put a ring on it and made me his Beyonce. Woo-hoo! It looks like we're throwing together a big ol' wedding shindig in seven months. Am I crazy? Maybe. I'm neck deep in wedding planning. In less than a week, we did all this: Date narrowed down to a specific month! Venue acquired!* Caterer chosen!** Guest list made! My mother is the conductor of this wedding train, and I'm so grateful for her help. She's been Mother of the Bride before, and she knows the ropes. We wouldn't be this far without her. Thanks, Mom! And thanks to Erin, for getting hitched first!

But right now wedding planning isn't nearly as interesting as these gorgeous dishes. Oh my goodness, would you look at these?! It's like a nautical cabinet of curiosities came to life and walked into the middle of your dinner table while singing "Under the Sea." They remind me of everything I like about vintage botanical prints and biology illustrations. And they really make me crave shrimp cocktail!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Um, You Guys? I Kind of Have Big News.

WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!!! Keith proposed on Thursday night, and naturally, I said yes. Well, the truth is that I nodded a lot, cried, and gleefully danced around the room. I think I forgot how to talk for a little while. When I remembered how to talk, I saw this crazy-beautiful thing, and I was rendered speechless all over again! Being engaged is so fantastic, I think it calls for a list.

Jen's 100% Subjective List of Great Things About Being Engaged:
  1. When Keith first said, "My beautiful fiancée," I heard "My beautiful Beyonce." Now he's calling me his Beyonce all the time, and I think it's hilarious.
  2. You get to talk to the people who you love but rarely see because there is too much time or distance between you. I've received congratulations from my best friend in fourth grade, my favorite college professor, and cousins I only get to see once every few years.
  3. Keith's mom called me her future daughter. I needed Kleenex for that one. 
  4. I got to actually talk on the phone with both of my sisters, even the one who lives in Hong Kong. I don't get to do that nearly often enough.
  5. I get to turn around and pop the question to my favorite ladies: "Will you be my bridesmaid?"
  6. We can be as romantic-loveydovey-sentimental as we want.
  7. Those Who Have Gone Before Us, the married people we know, share in the excitement by telling their own stories of how they got engaged. I've loved hearing these stories from my coworkers and learning more about them.
  8. A wedding is a really good excuse to fire up the glue gun and constantly do craft projects for the next 6 months/8 months/year/no, we haven't set a date yet.
  9. CAKE TASTING!!!
Bottom line: I can't wait to marry Keith, and it's really fun to have everyone else sharing the joy!

A lot of people are asking how he proposed...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Google, You Have Made Mr. Darcy Very Sad.

If you're like me and you start your day with coffee and your favorite blogs, then you've probably already heard that Google is closing down Google Reader and Google Friend Connect. That's how practically all of us connect to our favorite blogs, and I'm pretty bummed about it. Google, what are you thinking?! The good news is that the impending demise of GFC forced me to start using Bloglovin'. And I'm lovin' it.

At first glance Bloglovin' is just like Google Reader, but prettier and less cluttered.You add a blog to your list, and every time the blog is updated, the new post is added to your feed. Once you mark a post as "read," it's removed from your feed. And of course, if you're pressed for time and you only want to focus on specific blogs *cough* Vixen Vintage and Sea Field & Tribe *cough* then you can just pick them from the sidebar.

But here are the awesome things that almost made my brain explode: You can click on your favorite blog's profile and see a list of similar blogs. Once you've discovered and started following those, a single click on the sidebar lets you see a list of the most popular posts and/or blogs at the moment. Because blogging is totally a high school popularity contest, amirite?

When you tire of the prom queens and you want to see the coolest band kids, you can change "popular" to "up and coming" and then sort that list by specific types of blogs and/or what part of the world the blogger hails from and ohmygod, I love this so much. Naturally, I immediately looked the the top home decor blogs from the U.K. I mean, duh I'm Jen and what else would I do? Of course, you can also find the best French food blogs, or the hottest up and coming Germany photography blogs, or Australian film blogs, or whatever else your heart desires.


Most of you are probably already big fans of Bloglovin'. If you're already a fan of Bloglovin', rock on and click this! If you've never tried it... click it, then make a profile and play around a while! I think you'll like it.


Follow on Bloglovin


Either way, click? Oh yeah. Just one little click. You know you want to!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Happy Room: Mid Century Furniture, Gray Walls, Dinosaurs and Apothecary Jars, and Lots of Sunshine

I've recently made some small changes to the living room, and I'm so pleased: Two weekends ago, I got a new Mid Century end table. And last month, I got rid of the ultra-modern rug. The dogs mistook it for a toilet one too many times, and I was relieved to see it go. *hee hee* I bought it five years ago, before I'd grown into my style, and it didn't really work with the things I accumulated later. Now the mix of fun little oddities and open, uncluttered space make me happy.

Since Keith and all his stuff moved in, I've been reluctant to add ANYTHING new to our place. But when I saw this little end table on Pre to Post Modern's Facebook page a few weeks ago, I got excited. I've been looking for a wooden mid-century end table with a medium-dark finish for a few years now. For far too long, everything I found was either blonde wood, or laminate, or just too darn expensive. I visited the shop, measured the table, and it was exactly the same height as the sofa. I knew I had to have it! Isn't it cute? I like those long, gently curved drawer handles and the pretty wood grain.


The only marking I can find on it is a paper label in the top drawer that says Kent's for Contemporary, but I believe that's a store label, not a manufacturer's label. Apparently that was a store in St. Louis that also sold Milo Baughman... ooh la la! But it's okay that I didn't find any maker's marks, because I was looking for a table, not a museum piece. I'm just glad to have a smaller end table! The previous one was much too large for the space, too tall to comfortably use while sitting on the sofa, and it was black with a glass top. I hate glass top tables! At my house, they always look dirty.

If you want to see the before, check it out under the cut. It's not pretty!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price Has Old People Who Run Like Fast Zombies and Teenage Body Banks. Whoa.

Starters by Lissa Price is a weird book.
Remember the fast zombies in 28 Days Later? 
No? You were too busy admiring Cillian Murphy? Me, too.
Ok, so replace "fast zombies" with "fast scary old people." 
Then add the words "body bank," "rental," and "assassination."
Now you understand the premise.

Callie Woodland is living in a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Less than two years ago, germ warfare wiped out everyone in America between the ages of 20 and 60. In the blink of an eye, she and her brother Tyler became orphans and squatters, fighting for survival in an abandoned building where kids, also known as Starters, will literally kill each other for a cookie. 

Meanwhile, old people, aka Enders, are villains who violently round up children and force them to live in awful institutions and do the manual labor that keeps their society running. Why do old people become monsters the moment all the kids lose their parents? Beats me. That's one of the major problems with this story. It just doesn't make sense for geriatric folks to suddenly turn on young people.

In Callie's world, it's illegal for kids to work. But Callie's brother has a wasting disease, and the only way she can get enough money to care for him is to rent her body to an illegal company called Prime Destinations. At Prime Destinations, old people have their consciousness temporarily implanted in young bodies so they can ski, swim, horseback ride, and do all the other healthy, wholesome things that women do in commercials for feminine hygiene products. Okay, I'm kidding, but it's pretty weird. Presumably, it's all very PG. *cough* Yeah, right. *cough* 

Here's my question: If old people can run fast enough to chase down teenagers and work as carhops on roller skates (No, I didn't make that up), why do they need to rent young bodies to do this stuff? That's another major problem with this book.

Callie gets a makeover, has a creepy implant put into her head, and then she's ready for rental. Three rentals will give her enough money to buy medicine and maybe even a home for her and Tyler. Callie's first two rentals go smoothly, but she regains consciousness during her last rental. Callie pretends to be an old woman in a young body, because she's afraid Prime Destinations won't pay her if they know her rental has gone awry.

Once Callie gets her bearings, she learns that she's being rented by a wealthy old woman named Helena. Callie drives Helena's jaw-droppingly expensive cars, sleeps in Helena's luxurious Beverly Hills mansion... and finds Helena's gun. Helena intends to use Callie's body to murder a Senator! But as Callie learns more, we learn that Helena might not be the villain: Prime Destinations is more evil than Callie ever suspected, and the murder Helena planned could bring them down. Meanwhile, Callie is falling for her target's grandson, Blake. Drama? Drama!

My expectations for this book were low, but the world building is surprisingly good. Lissa Price creates a complete dystopian culture with its own lexicon and social conventions. I quickly became immersed in it, and it's always a good feeling to tumble head over feet into a book. And there are some surprising twists at the end. YA lit rarely surprises me, so good job on that!

Unfortunately, though, Starters is an action movie put on paper. Readers tend to either love or hate that sort of pacing, and I fall into the latter group. I prefer more introspection. A deep look at the ethics of body rental or extensive deliberation about Helena's plan would've pleased me more.

But if you liked the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and you enjoy dystopias more than vampires, you'll probably like Starters and its sequels. The action doesn't stop, and as long as you don't think about it, it's a heck of a lot of fun.  The moment you actually think about it, it all unravels. Just don't think about it, okay?

Now let's all look at a picture of Cillian Murphy looking gorgeous, shall we?
Oh yes. We shall! Hellooooo, cheekbones!

After spending too much time in YA lit land, I've finally finished the last of the YA books on my nightstand and returned to the world of Books for Grown Folks. If you're tired of YA reviews... Yeah, me too! I'm currently reading Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper. Do you have any recommendations for my next book after that?

Monday, March 18, 2013

eShakti Dresses: Bespoke Frocks are Made of Awesome

Have you ever found a dress that would be perfect for you if it had sleeves, or a shorter hemline, or a different neckline? Me too! I'm 5'4, right on the cutoff between petite and not petite, so finding dresses in the right length is a challenge. I like for dresses to hit just above my kneecaps. Petite dresses are always too short, and regular sizes are too long. Never mind my penchant for sleeves and V-necks! If you can't find dresses that are quite what you're looking for, either, look no further... Shop at eShakti!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Once Upon a Time She Lived Happily Ever After: Why Do I Like These Insanely Girly Rooms?

Maybe it's because I've been watching Once Upon a Time. Maybe it's because I've had to blend my things with Keith's, and now I'm craving a more girly style just becuase I can't have it. But right now I'm so drawn to over the top, girly, glamourpuss rooms that are nothing like my usual style. Crystal chandeliers, heavy floral patterns, velvet and fringe and gauze and throw pillows everywhere? YES, YES, YES! I don't know what's come over me. This is the kind of stuff I loved when I was 14 years old, and I thought I'd grown out of it. 
When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a purple velvet sofa. I guess some things never change? Source
It's heavy, florid, and totally glamorous. It's not at all my usual style, but isn't it compelling? Source
I'm surprised by how much I like this purple paint. And look at the tiny backsplash! Charming. Source
This dark, moody fairy tale of a bedroom is  kind of creepy. I think that's why I like it!
I never, ever would've thought to install shimmering tile in a striped pattern, but I love the effect. Source
Ohmygosh, I could read in here forever! Source
Yeah, when I was a freshman in high school I wanted my bedroom to have a shabby, decayed Victorian look, as if Miss Havisham had been languishing in there for fifty years. I had chipped English porcelain teacups filled with dried rose petals, dusty mauve walls with a textured faux finish (shudder), a fringed gold brocade coverlet, a desk decoupaged with Victorian paper Valentine ephemera, and collections of antique oddities littering every surface. I promise I'm not going to become a junk collector anytime soon, but I suppose my taste for that kind of thing has been slumbering in me all along. Watch out, Keith!

What inspired you this week?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 2013 Ipsy Bag: Ipsy, We Need To Talk.

My March Ipsy bag arrived on Tuesday, and I'm a little confused by it. For those of you who haven't heard of Ipsy, it's a beauty subscription service. For $10.00 a month, Ipsy sends you 4 - 5 surprise beauty products in a cute cosmetic bag. Often, you get real winners that make you fistpump like a champ. Josie Maran Argan Oil and Urban Decay eyeliner? WIN! But sometimes, you get a bag that just leaves you scratching your head. This was one of those months. WTF, Ipsy?!


None of this stuff totally sucked. Okay, I'm lying. Receiving an empty compact made out of cardboard totally sucks. If I want to carry an empty compact, I'll carry one of the compacts I bought during that weird 7th grade phase where I collected vintage makeup compacts from antique stores. They're like little works of art, I tell you! But I digress. The cardboard compact is stupid. And I'm a little leery of the wipes, because they're chock full of parabens. On the whole, this bag just doesn't have the WOW factor that other bags have had. Or the dollar value. Check it out:

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, 1.0 oz.: $3.26
(a full size bottle is $22.00 for 6.75 oz.)
LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes, 8 per pack: $1.99
Two Yaby eyeshadow pots in Seashell and Azalea Petal: $6.58
Empty Glam RX Palette: $3.00
(I'm guessing on the price; they don't actually sell empty palettes. But a larger palette with four makeups is $16.50)

Total Value: $14.83
Ipsy Cost: $10.00


IPSY, YOU'VE SPOILED ME. The other bags I've received have been worth at least $39, so this is underwhelming.

Want to know more about the individual items?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tamara de Lempicka, the Glamour Queen with a Paintbrush: "Among a Hundred Paintings, You Could Recognize Mine." You tell 'em, girl.

Tamara de Lempicka is my favorite painter. In the 1920s and 30s, she painted glamorous, larger-than life women who dominate the canvas like hulking goddesses, arms akimbo, dresses shimmering, and eyes glowering like five star generals. They embody extremes of masculinity and femininity at once. They're like the heavenly host: They're not pretty, but they're radiant. They're a little scary, but they're breathtaking. Look!
"Eye contact? Please."   *
"Yes, I look good in pink. Now put more bonbons in my hand, Jacques." *
Best of all, she took all the geometric goodness of Cubism and softened it, making it more beautiful and less jarring. Her subjects look like faceted jewels brought to life. A reviewer at The Economist says, "The texture is metallic as much as celluloid, conjuring up the sleek gleam of cars in the age of speed." As pretentious as that sounds, it's spot-on. Tamara de Lempicka's work is the epitome of Art Deco fabulousness, and I absolutely adore it. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Music can noble hints impart, Engender fury, kindle love, With unsuspected eloquence can move, And manage all the man with secret art." Or, Even a Metal Show is Romantic with the Right Person.

by PatiHomeDecor on etsy
On Saturday night, I found myself completely out of my element: I went to a metal show with Keith. You're probably thinking Jen? Jen the librarian who loves nothing more than sipping wine while watching Downton Abbey and ogling paint chips went to a metal show?!?! And you'd be absolutely right. But guess what? I loved it, because it was so much fun to see a side of Keith I'd never seen before. I watched in fascination as he sang every single word to songs I've never heard. His happiness was infectious; I couldn't stop grinning.

The testosterone-heavy atmosphere turned him into a bit of a caveman, all Rawr! I'm here with mah woman! The crowd was a little crazy, so he was very protective. He kept his arms wrapped around me all night. Does he act like that at an indie show? Um, NO. This music brought out a completely different side of Keith, and it made him surprisingly sweet. It got me thinking about other couples I've known, and how similarly unromantic dates predicted the course of their relationships:

Exhibit A: When Drew and Shelley were married a few years ago, their best man's toast included a hilarious story about watching them dance together at an awful redneck karaoke bar. And we're not talking cheesy ballads, ohno. Their best man said, "I knew it was meant to be when I caught them slow dancing to a pig farmer singing Welcome to the Jungle." Awwww? Yeah. Awwwww!

Exhibit B: Randy and Andrea went to Bonnaroo together. When the Tool show began, he ran into the mosh pit with a bunch of his friends and left her alone. In the middle of a crowd that would've made a pack of rabid dogs look look like a My Little Pony tea party. On her birthday. I tried to cheer her up, but she was inconsolable. Are Randy and Andrea still together? Um, NO.

A metal show is like the litmus test of love.

Hey, now I'm going to show you something unbelievable. A long, long time ago, like in a previous life, Keith was in a metal band called Destroy Destroy Destroy. Let's play Find the Keith! Hint: HE'S THE ONE WITH THE LONG HAIR. I'm putting this behind a cut, cuz it's not pretty. It's TOTALLY BADASS, sure. But not pretty.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"The rose upon my balcony the morning air perfuming, was leafless all the winter time and pining for the spring." Yup, just like me.


Forgotten Christmas decorations still hanging around this time of year are so sad. I'm all, What's the story behind the battered inflatable Santas and lonely candycane wreaths? If those neighbors had the mojo to decorate at the beginning December, what tragic thing happened a few weeks later to rob them of that energy? Maybe their daughter ran away to join the circus, and they're so grief-stricken that they don't care! Or junkies broke in and stole all their Christmas presents, and now they're so sad they can't bother! Oh! Or the husband was having a torrid affair with a cocktail waitress at Chili's named Misti, who wore awful lime green eyeliner. And when the wife found out, she was so embarrassed that she left town! And he's still too busy messing around with Misti to worry about the decorations!

I get a little carried away. *grin*


Still, I can trump the whole oops-forgot-to-take-down-decorations thing: The autumn wreath on our front door was bumming me out last week. So when I found this minty aqua yarn in my stash, I knew it was meant to be a new winter wreath. That nasty yarn is acrylic, and it knits up horribly, so I didn't want to ever cast on with it again. I had felt squares, a few old silk flowers, and a sparkly floral pick in the stash, too. The only things I bought were the wreath form and ribbon--not bad! This project was meant to be.


Speaking of glittery ribbon... YEAH, GLITTERY RIBBON! I was so excited when I found it. I think it looks icy, and that's why I chose it for this project. I think there needs to be a style of decorating based on ice and snow that isn't directly related to Christmas. The post-Christmas, pre-spring months are so melancholy. They need decorations, too! Think pale blue, white, lots of sparkle and glitter, and maybe a pop of color to jazz it up. Yeah? Yeah!


I finished the wreath on Wednesday night during a craft/wine/gossip fest with some of my favorite ladies. I woke up the next morning with uncontrollable sneezes and a nose running like a faucet. I was useless all day. I hugged the Kleenex box, snuggled the dogs, and had a sad, sniffly Once Upon a Time marathon. As of this writing, I'm miserable. Even my teeth hurt. I really don't want to be sick all weekend. We have tickets  to see Clutch on Saturday, and Keith is so excited about this show! I don't want to ruin it for him. Meh.

What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Parallel by Lauren Miller: Just When This Book Has You Thinking It's Some Dumb Sweet Valley Crap, It Goes All Awesomely Quantum Mechanics On You.

Parallel by Lauren Miller comes out on May 14, but a friend with impeccable taste lent me her advance reading copy to review. This is my first advance review, and I'm pretty darn chuffed about it! I hate to say this, but Parallel didn't make a good first impression on me. The first thirty or so pages seemed like insipid chick-lit. The main characters are effortlessly, superlatively perfect, and I kind of hated them all for it. Especially when they made fun of a girl who has to work out to stay slim! Just when I was ready to put the book down, it started to explore free will, parallel dimensions and parallel selves, and the impact of even our smallest choices. I was hooked. This is good sci-fi dressed up to look like Sweet Valley High. And the author knows exactly what she's doing; she calls it sci-chic. She takes all the best elements of a genre that isn't exactly known for being popular with women, and creates something smart that girly-girls can call their own.


Have you ever wondered how your life might be different if you'd made just one different choice? For three years, I was obsessed with becoming an attorney. I was in love with a guy who showed no sign of ever being able to support himself, and I figured that going to law school would give this English major a shot at being a good breadwinner. So I lived and breathed LSAT practice tests and Princeton Review. The day after I broke up with that guy, I woke up and thought Now I don't have to be an attorney. I can be a librarian! Y'all, I didn't even know I'd wanted to be a librarian until that moment. That morning changed my life, and I have no regrets. But sometimes I wonder how I'd be different if I'd gone to law school instead of library school. Imagining myself carrying a briefcase and wearing a power suit is pretty hilarious. If I think about it too hard, I start to wonder Who is that girl? 

This book asks the same question: If you made choices that led you down a different path in life, who would you be?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Color Inspiration: Seafoam and Scarlet. Crimson and Mint. Aqua and Poppy. Tiffany Blue and Red.

February and March are my least favorite months. Gray skies are driving me nuts, freezing drizzle is making my hair perpetually flat, and the novelty of scarves and boots wore off a long time ago. I CAN HAZ SPRING? I want to forget winter and surround myself with these these clean, bright colors. They bring to mind so many fresh, happy images: Strawberries and mojitos made with fresh mint, crabs scuttling through the surf, cardinals flying through clear blue skies, a shiny red manicure accented with seaglass rings, and blah blah blah I could go on forever! But I'll shut up now and let you enjoy the pictures. *grin*

Is that red ivy? F'realz? It looks like the entrance to a magical garden!
Beaded statement necklace with vintage enamel flower by Bean&theSprout on Etsy
I  want to dress up a plain black tee and jeans with a big honkin' piece like this!
Kind of Scarlett O'Hara, kind of awesome. Seen at The Rock and Roll Bride

Hellooooo, 50s sci-fi gadgetry! I don't even have an iPhone, and I want this case by Andrekart on Etsy.
Mmm, glass tile! Modern bathroom design by Gast Architects, seen at First Home Dreams
Um, can I take this to Bonnaroo? I WISH. If you're in the U.K, the Constance camper is available for rent from Snail Trail.
Pinup chic, seen at Humans of New York 
I never imagined that mismatched earrings could look this good. By MiaMontgomery on Etsy
How was your weekend? Despite the dreariness, I honestly just had one of the best weekends I've had in years. On Saturday, Keith and I went to Nashville Public Library to hear Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi and Beatrice and Virgil, speak about his work. The event was so full, a huge number of people were diverted to another room to watch the speech on a monitor. But we unexpectedly got rockstar front row seats. I sat two seats away from Mayor Karl Dean. And I got to ask a question that's bothered me about Beatrice & Virgil for over a year! But I've already told you about that...

After the book event, Keith treated me to a surprise romantic dinner at Morton's Steakhouse. Their Secret Garden cocktail is subtle but delicious--cucumber, elderflower liquer, and fresh thyme... yum! We ended the evening with good friends at Mercy Lounge. Wild Cub was my musical discovery of the evening. On Sunday, we went horseback riding at Juro Stables. I love riding, and I hadn't been in the saddle in years. I was lucky to get a frisky horse who cantered whenever he had room to move.

So, I'm feeling inspired. I'm going to make something in these colors tonight. Hmm, what to make? I'm SURE I can think of something!

Yann Martel Came to the Nashville Public Library (and I actually got to stand up and speak to him!).

On Saturday, Keith and I went to Nashville Public Library to hear Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi and Beatrice & Virgil, speak about his work. The event was so full, many people were diverted to another room to watch the speech on a monitor. But we unexpectedly got rockstar front row seats. It was one of the nicest things that's happened to me this year! I sat two seats away from Mayor Karl Dean. Faaaancy!

Image source includes super juicy literary world gossip.
Want to know the magic formula for winning the Man Booker award? Look no further!
For those of you who haven't read the book or seen the movie, Life of Pi tells two stories. I promise, no spoilers. But one of those stories is fantastical and asks the reader to believe the unbelievable; the other story is ordinary and unimaginative, but horrible. Martel said he intentionally made the ordinary story so terrible that the reader would choose to take a leap of faith and believe the magical story. Martel said that living a live of cold rationality turned him into "a dry husk of a man." So embracing magical thinking and accepting the idea that some parts of life have a greater meaning than what we see on the surface is a good thing. It enriches one's life and invites a fuller sense of wonder and joy. I agree wholeheartedly, and I hung on every word.

Other things I learned:

1. Richard Parker was originally going to be a juvenile elephant, not a tiger. But the image of an elephant weighing down one end of a small boat was too silly, so Martel scrapped the idea.
2. Then Richard Parker was almost a rhinoceros. Most people don't know anything about rhinoceroses. That would let Martel make up anything he liked about the species, and readers would believe it all. But rhinoceroses are herbivorous. Can you imagine Pi collecting and drying algae to feed the rhino? Boring!
3. Martel collected so much information about rhinos, he really wanted to write about one. So he decided to put a rhinoceros in his next book. Stay tuned!
4. Martel's writing process is unusual: He prints hundreds of pages worth of research before he begins writing. Then he grabs scissors and cuts these pages to separate the different ideas and concepts. He then takes envelopes--one for each chapter--and puts all the little pieces of research into the proper envelopes. When he's ready to write a chapter, he grabs the corresponding envelope, refers the pertinent research, and he's ready to go. Nice process!
5. Yann Martel was not invited to the Oscars. He was invited to a viewing party in Los Angeles. It wasn't glamorous, but he met some nice realtors there.

This is not the Richard Parker you are looking for! *