Princess of Snail Mail

Earlier this week, my dear friend Mary Robinette Kowal got a PO Box. It’s something I’ve put off for a long time. So when Mary mentioned the ease of procuring said PO Box, as well as her surprise that the costs were not nearly as high as she’d imagined, I kicked myself in the butt and clicked over to the website to fill out my application.

It really was that easy, and there was no wait at all for my PO Box. Things I did find out beyond Mary’s helpful list:

1. When you apply online, enter your address and it will automatically generate the closest post offices to you within a set-mile range. You will be a.) surprised to find that there may be closer post offices to you that you did not know about and b.) costs per box vary WIDELY based on location. The price for a size #3 PO Box at the post office closest to me was three times what it was at the main post office ($50). This screen will also tell you if the boxes are available, or if there is a wait.

2. You must bring two forms of picture ID with you to the post office (as well as a print out of your application with proof of payment) to pick up your keys. If you have listed anyone else as legally having access to the PO Box, they also need to be present, with two forms of picture ID. You can give your extra key to whomever you want, but for them to be on file, they need to present their IDs.


And that’s it! I now have a mailbox that you all can use to send me presents. The box is big enough to accommodate a magic wand, but not fairy wings or a unicorn. I’m sure the lovely post office folks will hold any fairy wings for me, though, should I receive any. They might have issues with the unicorn.

If you would like to send me books to sign: please include the book, a note telling me to whom you would like it inscribed, and a check for return postage. (You may want to include another envelope too, if you suspect that your own envelope will not withstand repacking and shipping). If you include your email address as well, I will happily drop you a quick line to tell you I’ve got it.

Without further ado, my fabulous magical new address is:
Alethea Kontis
PO Box 2024
Ashburn, VA 20146

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Oh, Nothing

(Remember that whole list of warnings about dating a writer? This should totally be on that list.

September 29, 2010 5:45 am
(FGB comes back from the bathroom and gets back into bed. He checks his phone.)
Princess: You’re awake? What time is it?
Fairy GodBoyfriend: Like quarter to six.
Princess: Whatcha thinking about?
FGB: Nothing
Princess: That’s always fascinated me.
FGB: What?
Princess: People who can think about nothing. I read this book as a kid called How To Be A Perfect Person in Just Three Days, and one of the things you had to do on the last day was Nothing. All day. You couldn’t do or think of anything. The point was that nobody’s perfect…but every time someone says they’re thinking of nothing, it reminds me of that book.
FGB: I meant nothing of importance. That’s what people usually mean. There’s always random junk going on up there.
Princess: Oh. Oops.
FGB: Oops?
Princess: So the other day when I told you about how poetry magnets made me wonder what your old house would look like with the kitchen wall knocked out…you didn’t actually want to know that?
FGB: Well sure, if it was important.
Princess: It wasn’t that important. I didn’t realize the question implied a level of importance.
FGB: Oh.
Princess: If it was important, I wouldn’t be quiet about what I was thinking. I would tell you.
FGB: Maybe you’re thinking about something you don’t want to tell me. Maybe my feet stink.
Princess: So why do people always ask what other people are thinking? They’re really desperate to know some horrible thing about themselves?
FGB: Dunno.
Princess: And it’s a tradition that’s gone on for ages!
FGB: Mmmhmm.

(There is a moment of silence as I snuggle into FGB’s shoulder. He puts his arm around me.)

Princess: Hon?
FGB: Mmmhmm
Princess: How does the internet work?

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I Have Book Trailer Envy

Major, major envy.

Jim and Janet are so freaking lucky. And in turn *I* am lucky, because they are my friends and I love them. Isn’t it awesome how that turns out? Like clockwork.

Have you preordered Return of the Dapper Men? I’m gonna do that right now.

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An Interview with Percy Parker

One of the many reasons that I admire Leanna Renee Hieber is because she does things like this: dress up as her main character, win a costume contest, and then proceed to give a live YouTube interview as Percy Parker. Watching this sparks all kinds of mischievous things in my imagination. If I could dress up as a character in one of my novels–and give an interview–who would it be? What would I wear? What mannerisms would I affect? What would my voice sound like? What sorts of things would I say?

If you had to choose, who would you be?

Here is the interview — I’m sorry that the sound quality is so poor, but happily Percy’s dialogue has been closed-captioned for the hearing impaired (ie: everyone).

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Princess Alethea’s Sharktopus Review

I had some of the most fun I’d had in a long time last night. It was a veritable MST3K SharktopusCon on Twitter. Up-to-the-minute popcorn passing up and down the Eastern seaboard as we all tried to outdo each other’s cleverness and summarily died in fits of giggles. My favorite part might have been when Sharktopus himself replied to one of my tweets. Because of course the sharktopus should be Live Tweeting…why not?

Eddie told me he was looking forward to my review….but how could I reminisce about something that’s so once-in-a-lifetime? And, for that matter, something I’ve already Twittered about? The answer is simple. Here, for your reading amusement, are my Tweets From Last Night. (If I had time I’d splice Joe’s in too, but my stomach still hurts from all the laughing and I do need to actually pretend to be social today.)

The premise of SHARKTOPUS, if you couldn’t guess, is that the Navy gene-spliced together this killing machine (a team led by Eric Roberts and a daughter he calls “Pumpkin”). The navy loses control, Sharktopus goes on a killing spree, and both bad acting and horrible special effects awards ensue.

Thank you to everyone who was tagging #sharktopus last night. I’d watch a cheesy movie with you guys any day of the week.

(times are approximate)
9:00pm — Hellooooo, sharktopus!
9:05 — No actual sharktopi were harmed in the making of this movie.
9:07 — LoL! RT @tomokato: Underwater Sombrero would be a great band name.
9:13 — What accent is Pumpkin trying to play, exactly? (She was trying to be British and failing worse than Kevin Costner in Robin Hood.)
9:17 — A magnificent bird is the pelican…
9:21 — This MOVIE is armed and dangerous.
9:27 — I really hope that chick was paid per giggle.
9:31 — Damn! I was tweeting when she took her hair down and glasses off. That was quick.
9:35 — Burning question: are Stacy’s boobs as real as her eyelashes?
9:40 — You’ve got legs. Go get your own dinner.
9:43 — Punch bug WHITE!
9:50 — Remembering high school biology… So does #sharktopus have two mouths and no… EW!
10:00 — #sharktopus is a ninja AND a pirate.
10:05 — Now where did I put those boat keys?
10:10 — Am disappointed that Pez’s head did not pop backwards.
10:13 — “Delivery for a Mister…Sharktopoulous?”
10:17 — For Sale: Gently used jet ski.
10:22 — “Don’t let his death mean nothing.” Like everyone else’s…
10:25 — …and now #sharktopus has pirate radio equipment. Score!
10:27 — Santos was a virgin?
10:30 — I think #sharktopus needs a laptop.
10:31 — RT: List of things that does not stop #sharktopus 1) automatic weapons. 2) yelling NOOOO! (even if you have abs)
10:32 — Huh-uh. The choreographer is SO fired.
10:37 — My stomach hurts. I’m still laughing about the horrible dancing. *snarf*
10:38 — RT: Guess what, dude: yes, it CAN hide. It lives in the ocean. And the ocean is BIG. Like really REALLY big. Also, you’re an idiot.
10:45 — That Man has never shot a gun in his LIFE. Hahahahahha
10:46 — #sharktopus has been taking human anatomy lessons. Well done!
10:49 — I am still unsure as to #sharktopus ‘s motivation.
10:50 — We’re going to need a bigger…river?
10:51 — RT@sharktopus2010: @AletheaKontis My only motivation was to kill all the people who were trying to frame me as a killing machine. #CHOMP #TeamSharktopus
10:52 — LOL #sharktopus just answered my tweet. Best. Movie. Ever.
10:54 — But will #sharktopus find love? And have babies?
10:55 — Pumpkin is still talking and not wearing a bikini. WHY?!?!
10:56 — Because there are so many OTHER kids in the river yelling “Mooooom!”
10:57 — No shirt = BUSINESS.
10:58 — Dude the password is pumpkin.
11:00 — Aaaaaand I’m spent.

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I <3 Seth Green

Hillery, my BFF down under, sent this video to me. You might have seen it before. I am going to share it with you on this fine Sunday morn because:

1.) It makes me smile. Hopefully, it will make you smile too.
2.) I am a geek girl
3.) I am a gamer girl too (tho not as much as I used to be)
4.) I miss Final Fantasy 7.
5.) There is a dual-lightsaber in my closet.
6.) I freaking LOVE Seth Green, and I will probably watch this video 1700 times just to see him rap.
7.) If you are a geek, you will appreciate the cameos.
8.) If you are a boy, you will appreciate the costumes.
9.) If you are a girl, you will completely understand. Unless you’re not a geek. In which case, how the heck did you stumble onto this blog? (Except for you, Mom. You can come here whenever you want because we love you.)
10.) I want to think of me when you’re humming this in the shower three days from now.

Hope you’re having a great weekend, everybody.

Geek and Gamer Girls Song – Watch more Funny Videos

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And the 2010 AlphaOops Award goes to…

…the San Francisco Chronicle, for their lovely review of Althea Kontis’s AlphaOops: H is for Halloween.

I get it, I do. It’s not totally their fault. Spell check nowadays will actually correct “Alethea” to “Althea” when you’re not looking. I forgive the folks who spell it wrong in emails (even though they’ve somehow managed to spell my email or Facebook address correctly). I also have no problem correcting people when they pronounce it wrong in person (even if I’ve known them for several years). After a few decades, a body gets used to it.

It happens so often, I even have a Google Alert out for “Althea Kontis”. You’d be surprised how many items pop up in that search. She’s quite prolific, this Althea chick.

When the original AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First came out, folks were misspelling my name all over the place. I grumbled as much to Orson Scott Card. He told me as long as they got the title right, it really didn’t matter. Especially if they were saying nice things.

In truth, there is one thing that matters slightly more than the title. Publisher’s Weekly (the 2007 AlphaOops Award winner) spelled the title right but got the ISBN wrong in their review, which led to all sorts of confusion since reviews are usually database cataloged by ISBN. Ingram fixed it, but I’m still not sure it ever showed up on Amazon.

I’m rather surprised that praise for Althea Kontis’s Halloween book hasn’t popped up sooner. Word of my famous SF Princessness must be getting around. At least, that’s what I choose to believe. That’s the sort of thing we princesses do.

In the meantime, I would like to thank the San Francisco Chronicle on behalf of Althea Kontis. I’ll be sure to tell her you said there was “plenty of humor amid the colorful chaos.” It will make her smile, I know. She and I are like *this*.

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I wish…

We all make wishes. On lots of things. Ariell and I were just discussing this the other day. We came up with an incredibly long list of things — not that we wish FOR, but things we wish ON. It makes me wonder exactly how much time I spend a day wishing on things. Because, of course, I wish on them all.

What I can remember off the top of my head (and things I’m adding as they come in from the site comments, FB, and LJ):
Falling stars
first star
Birthday candles
four sneezes
Dandelion fluff
Full moon
lucky pennies
wishing wells
necklace clasps

What else do you wish on? Please put your answer in the comments. I’m curious…

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Seeking Norton Candidates

I’m not eligible for this yet. But I will be, someday… It’s a dream I have.

(And yes, I am a proud member of SFWA.)


LOS ANGELES – The jury for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy is actively reading works published in 2010.
The 2010 Norton Award jury members is chaired by Sherwood Smith. Publishers and authors may contact for submission information.

The Andre Norton Award for an outstanding young adult science fiction or fantasy book was established in 2006 by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. The award is named in honor of the late Andre Norton, a SFWA Grand Master and author of more than 100 novels, many of them for young adult readers. Norton’s work has influenced generations of young people, creating new fans of the fantasy and science fiction genres and setting the standard for excellence in fantasy writing. Any book published as a young adult science fiction/fantasy novel is eligible, including graphic novels with no limit on word length.

About SFWA
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.

Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,700 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals.

Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

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Here They OK Go Again

Why, yes, I do find OK Go’s videos fairly brilliant. The songs are catchy too. Have you seen the new “White Knuckles” video? You can’t just watch it once, because the first time through you’re too busy asking yourself “How the heck did they get those dogs to DO that?”

Of course, once I had my fill of this one, I had to go back and watch my favorite video from back in 2007 — four boys from Granbury High School performing the “Here It Goes Again” treadmill routine flawlessly.

Awesome kids ROCK.

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