What I needed to hear:

The sublime Çetin Akdeniz on baglama, that’s what.

Ah, this song reminds me of driving through Turkey! We went into a music shop, pointed at a baglama hanging from the ceiling and said, “That! We want to hear that!” They let us have a listen to a few discs, but Çetin won, no contest. His ornamentation was lightning fast and he didn’t have a lot of pop or new-agey back-up going on.

The people in the music store all looked at us like we were crazy, and we probably were, a little. Vancouverites out in the hot sun get funny ideas: we like our baglama old-skool.

A few nice things

For a Tuesday, anyway.

My mother-in-law sent me this article (via her sister and niece) about new fantasy novels out this summer. Mine is mentioned in the recommendations down toward the bottom. Thank you for the vote of confidence, booksellers of Austin, TX!

The book has also been receiving a few starred reviews from the trade publications, which is very pleasing. I will put up some quotes soon on the front page, but so far Seraphina has garnered starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, The Horn Book, and – I just learned yesterday – Publisher’s Weekly. Thank you all so much. I am moved and humbled.

Being the mother of an eight-year-old, all these stars of course remind me of Mario Party 8. I’m imagining Donkey Kong himself flying in on a barrel to deliver them, and Bowser plotting ways to steal them back. But don’t worry! I shall distract him with Chump Charity, or Summon the Bizarre to keep him at bay!

My husband, upon hearing about the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly said, “Is that the one where Ed McMahon delivers the oversized novelty cheque?”

Given that Ed McMahon is dead, I really, really hope not. Zombie Ed McMahon is far scarier than Bowser.