Every movie needs a kickass soundtrack.
Here's ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WALLFLOWER'S.
Because the story simultaneously takes place in 1958 and 2018, I took the liberty of jumping back and forth between the timelines. So not only do we have Little Richard, Doris Day, Buddy Holly, and The Chantels, but also The Flaming Lips, Julia Holter, Perfume Genius, and Holly Herndon.
Each song is preceded by a description of the scene it’s scoring. Beware light spoilers.
1. OPENING CREDITS
Frontispice, for 5 Hands by Maurice Ravel
2. AH, PENNYBROOKE
Everyday by Buddy Holly
3. MA, WHERE ARE YOU?
Vacuum by Pharmakon
4. FIRST DAY AT FREEMAN
Maybe by The Chantels
5. GRAY ROCK
Twilight Time by The Platters
6. THE BURIED LAB
Chorus by Holly Herndon
7. KATIE AND THE ANTS
If I Knew Your Were Comin by Eileen Barton
8. THE DRESS FITS
So Lillies (Live at RAK) by Julia Holter
9. GATHERING GAZES LIKE LAUNDRY STATIC
Rebel Rouser by Duane Eddy
10. HAL v. SHELLEY
I Am Who I Am by The Books
11. WHAT’S DADDY LOOKING AT?
The Supine by Andrew Bird
12. REVEREND MARSH
Concerning the UFO Sighting . . . by Sufjan Stevens
13. THE HAM RADIO CRACKLES
Keep a Knockin' by Little Richard
14. ENOUGH FOOD TO FEED A WRESTLING TEAM
Call Me by Johnny Mathis
A Guy Is a Guy by Doris Day
16. I’D RUN TOO
Have You Heard? by Joni James
17. CALVIN AT THE CARNIVAL
The Gash by The Flaming Lips
18. TALES OF THE UNSPEAKABLE
Dark Parts by Perfume Genius
19. RHODA'S GOT SOME MATCHES
Burn the Witch by Radiohead
20. PHOEBE GETS A HAIRCUT
When I Grow Up by First Aid Kit
21. THE BUNKER
Folk Lonely by mr. Gnome
22. LIKE A PEZ DISPENSER
Star Stealers by mr. Gnome
23. BYE, BYE BETH
Goddess Eyes II by Julia Holter
24. THAT'S THE SCOUT
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman by Ronald Stein
25. PHOEBE BATTLES THE GRAY ANTS
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips
26. THE CHANNEL CHANGES
Orphaned by Max Tundra
Mercury by Sufjan Stevens
28. THE CURTAIN RISES
The Wayward Wind by Gogi Grant
Rest well, Phoebe. See you soon.
Thoughts I had while watching this video:
- I look tired.
- That's cool. I'll bet, like, only 17 people watch this anyway.
- Did I pronounce Sam Bosma correctly? OH NO! I DIDN'T PRONOUNCE FRANCESCO'S NAME CORRECTLY, THAT'S FOR SURE. Ugh. Now he gets one huge favor from me, to be collected whenever he sees fit.
- I hope my inability to come up with actual adjectives for the lovely people who worked on this book doesn't reflect on my writing ability . . . or their loveliness.
Thanks again to John Cusick, Christian Trimmer, Liz Kossner, Krista Vossen, Sam Bosma, and FranCESco Francavilla. You all have my heart.
Find WALLFLOWER on:
That's right! It’s INTERGALACTIC BUY A KID A BOOK DAY! Yessssssssss!
(Okay, not really. It’s just birthday, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.)
The steps are simple:
1. Choose a kid.
Preferably a kid who doesn’t have access to books or is a hesitant reader. But any kid will do.
2. Buy that kid a book.
Consider that kid’s tastes and then talk to librarians/booksellers/bookish parents to try and figure out what story they would most enjoy.
EXPLORE OUTSIDE OF BESTSELLERS. We all love Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling and Eric Carle and the rest of those cool cats, but kids will absorb these stories through osmosis anyway. There are some searingly wonderful stories out there you haven’t discovered yet.
3. READ THAT BOOK YOURSELF
This step is important. Not only will it give you insight into what kids are reading these days, but you’ll also be able to discuss the story with the kid afterward. This is a rad thing.
Also, and I say this with zero hyperbole, but there are puh-LENTY of kids books out there with plots and emotional complexity that are light-years more mature than a lot of the swill we’re letting adults read.
If you want to give the kid a pristine copy of the book, then you might need to buy two copies or head to the library or get purchase silk gloves for delicate page turning.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. And be careful. You might enjoy yourself.
4. Give the book to the kid.
Wrap it if you wanna.
5. Discuss the book with the kid if and when they choose to read it.
Don't be one of those adults who pesters a kid about whether they're using your present or not. They'll read it when they're good and ready. Maybe never. The more research you do beforehand, the more likely they are to pick it up and flip through it.
The steps are so simple! No wonder INTERGALACTIC BUY A KID A BOOK DAY has survived for the last six centuries and didn’t just start today.
Check out my list of book recommendations below, and please PLEASE post your own favorites in the comments.
Recommended books for kids:
This year's theme is graphic novels. What better way to hook reluctant readers?
1. Roller Girl by Victoria Jameison
2. Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson
3. El Deafo by Cece Bell
4. Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
5. Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack
See you next year!
(And probably before then.)
You know those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night, realize it's your first book's paperback release, figure you should probably do something about it, and then do the first thing that comes to you?
Shut up, ME TOO!
Yes, there's something weird on my shirt. No, I can't stop staring at it either.
In order to prep everyone for video game rehab, I have compiled seven of the most interesting video gamey things I stumbled across during my research.
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 1: How Gamers Will Save the World
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 2: Not all violent game players are violent (as beautifully demonstrated by this boy singing over Call of Duty):
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 3: Video game music is getting rill rill good.
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 4: There are V-habs in China . . . and they are intense:
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 5: This day was horribly tragic, so I dedicated it to LGBTQIA characters and difficult experiences:
Video Game Rehab Prep Day 6: Sexism in video games as examined through strategic butt coverings:
And on Video Game Rehab Eve . . .
The finest video I've seen on game addiction:
Welcome to V-hab, everyone.
Cure for the Common Universe is out today. :)
Here's the thing. I only want you to read it if you REALLY want to. I think we should all be reading the books that challenge us, but more importantly, the ones that keep us reading. You can read some professional reviews and a synopsis here. Or you can check out some opinions on Goodreads. You'll know if the book is up your alley.
My goal for CFTCU is to get it to as many kids like the boy pictured as possible CURE meant a lot to this kid. So much he could barely find the words to tell me about it. So long as I know that the kids who could use this book at least know it exists, then this will have been a success.
So how can you help? Yes, you can go review the book on Goodreads and vote for it on the lists you see there. You can rate it on Amazon (apparently CURE won't show up on Amazon's radar until I have fifty reviews). You can ask your local library if they have a copy (or eight). But mostly you can recommend it to someone whom you believe would love it. Send a link to a kid who loves video games. Or someone who's interested in addiction. Or someone who gets lonely. (Okay, the umbrella's getting a little too wide now.) Any way you can help the book find more readers like this kid would be so greatly appreciated.
So long as there are kids like the one above reading CURE, I'll be happy. So long as you are reading the books that inspire you, I'll be happy.
And, of course, I'll always love your collective guts.
Hearts and thanks you's.
Before we commence with the interviews, the CFTCU music playlist, haunted foxes, a pajama party in the labyrinth, comic reviews from bed, and one mass reader intervention . . . I thought I'd tease the final version of my book while critics flatter the insides.
Feel free to play this sexy music while you scroll your way to ecstasy.
"Heidicker’s debut crackles with twitchy energy . . . a fun, absurdist romp through gaming culture, populated by zany characters and a quest narrative worthy of its own game." -Booklist
"I know actual teen readers who need this novel in their lives. CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE is more than just a great story, a fantastic, relatable protagonist, or laugh-out-loud gamer humor; it’s also a life-affirming look at what makes our lives truly epic, both inside and outside the gaming world." -Courtney Alameda (author of Shutter, librarian extraordinaire)
"It's funny, but waxes philosophical. It alludes to every great video game ever developed, but doesn't shy away from current problems in the gaming community (read: sexism). It dives into the typical YA romance, but happily lets that subplot take an arrow to the knee. It's got everything [from my list] of Things I'd Love Combined Into a Book One Day ™." Brooks Benjamin (author of My Seventh Grade Life In Tights)
"A plugged-in young adult comedy about the pain of unplugging . . . perfect for teen gamers and readers who are fans of Jesse Andrews and John Green." -School Library Journal
". . . by the time the book ends, you'll have a completely different outlook on what you've just read . . . You feel [Jaxon's] pain, but at the same time the book subtly interrogates the whole awkward heroic nerdboy trope, until you finally find yourself asking, hmm, why is he the hero again?" Rahul Kanakia (author of Enter Title Here)
"I loved this book so much, for its irreverence and humor and cultural relevance, but also for the way it manages to have something really worthwhile to say about taking a hard look at yourself and tackling the difficult challenge of growing into a better person without ever being preachy. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ll burn through the whole thing in one or two sittings with a big smirk on your face and only a subconscious awareness of the profundity of the message. I genuinely cared about the flawed main character Jaxon, and I have to say the resolution to his story has an integrity that is matched by very few young adult novels." -Andrew Brumbach (author of The Eye of Midnight)
Welcome back, scavengers! Glad you survived that crazy, pixelated city.
It would be exhaustive to list everything discovered on the CURE cover, so I’ll just name the top ten things I didn’t even know were on there (and a few that made me chuckle):
1. “Six barber-pole swords”
2. “A man reading a love letter written with invisible ink”
3. “A lucha libre parade float falling in the street” alternately “Just the sweetest, fattest, blue-haired little baby chubbo that better end up on a t-shirt or I'm going to scream and cry at the same time. Scry? Cream? Hmmmm.”
4. “A camouflage helicopter blasting David Bowie music (obviously)” alternately “the Quad City DJs copter blasting tunes to the neighborhood”
5. “1/10 of a robo-squid”
6. “The bottom of someone's leg, wearing a purple-striped sock. This person must be a giant.”
7. “Two happy green tripods talking about the upcoming presidential election (they're both rooting for Trump).” alternately “A couple of gleeps having a sweet convo”
8. “A rather muscular wrestler standing under a purple umbrella with his favorite child (everyone has a favorite).”
9. “A potted succulent on a balcony.”
10. “That yellow dog head is totally licking its own eyeball.” alternately “A dog-head sculpture. Maybe it's a vehicle... If people ride in these, do they stick their heads out the window?”
And, of course, they can all by seen now, by you, in full, on the no-longer-pixelated CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE cover:
Add on Goodreads [LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23656453-cure-for-the-common-universe].
Preorder on Amazon this weekend.
This eye candy of a book was pitched by John Cusick, bought by Simon & Schuster Teen, edited by Christian Trimmer, and designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy. I feel obscenely lucky to work with such talented people and to have such a jaw-dropping luscious cover. I only hope the words inside live up to it.
As my friend Korey Hunt, who actually came up with the idea for a story about a video game rehab in the first place . . . MISCHIEF SCAVENGED.
But that’s not why you’re here.
You’re here to see if you won one of our five elite prizes, which, to remind you, look like this:
Ooh, look! The cover isn’t blacked out anymore!
Our five Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt winners are . . .
1. Krys McCintyre
2. Yamille Mendez
3. Annette Weed
4. Alicia Van Noy Call
5. Tim Campbell
The Cotton Floozy will get stitching and Simon & Schuster will get printing and we’ll hopefully have your stuff out to you by December.
Thank you for hunting. I hope you enjoy the inside of the book as much as I enjoy the outside.
See you in June,
Christian McKay Heidicker
P.S! Thanks to all of the bloggers who participated: Christian Trimmer, John Cusick, Elana Johnson, Jennifer Bardsley, Valynne Maetani (friend and agent-getter), Brooke Lark (who designed my website and shot the prizes!), Carol Lynch Williams (who taught me a thing or eight about writing), and finally, Marie Davis Brian, The Cotton Floozy, who made the embroidery-posing-as-cross-stitch that elicited just as much drool as the cover, and whose company I misspelled several times throughout the blog because I’m not accustomed to using the word floozy.
Editor’s note: Both spellings (floozy and floosy) are acceptable, but there’s only one acceptable place to order top quality embroideries: www.cottonfloozy.com
LET’S GET SCAVENGING!
This is it, folks. This is your chance to easily win the CURE prize package:
An ARC of Cure for the Common Universe and an embroidery of ‘Nobody Puts Princess in a Castle’ from The Cotton Floozy!
Just participate in the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win.
Oh look! There's a pixel now!
For every three things you send, I’ll put your name in the hat (or my jeans pocket) again and again and again, and then I’ll draw five names out of the hat (pocket) and send prize packages to those people.
Go! Get started! Win it! Win it all!
(I hope you’ll take some time to explore the amazing blogs.)
(I also hope this means that more than just my mom will participate.)
Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’ve won!
Go check out the book on Goodreads!
Prepare to be cured June 2016.
WELCOME TO THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE COVER REVEAL AND SCAVENGER HUNT!
Whew. That’s a mouthful. Let’s try . . .
MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT!
You may be asking yourself, where’s the cover? I came here to see a cover.
Okay, first, have I told you how nice your hair is looking today?
And second, the cover isn’t here.
CURE’s cover art is a little intense to take in all at once, so for everyone’s safety, I’ve divided it into nine pieces (er, pixels) and spread them across the internet.
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO US?
To make a scavenger hunt, of course. What’s the use of a book about a kid going to video game rehab if there isn’t some gaming first?!
Also, this will be your chance to take in all of the juicy (potentially scandalous) details of the cover before it’s fully revealed.
The art is reminiscent of books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo, so this scavenger hunt will work just like that . . . except instead of finding a cats eye marble or some seemingly friendless chump in a red and white striped sweater, you’ll receive ACTUAL PRIZES.
Five lucky winners will receive a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (cover obscured for obvious reasons) AND an embroidery of one of the phrases from the book, hand stitched by the extremely talented Cotton Floozy.
GAH! I WANT THAT. HOW DO I WIN?
For every three things you discover hidden in the nine pixels and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook, I’ll enter your name again . . . and again . . . and again. (There’s a lotta stuff on that cover.)
Subject: Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt
1. A puppy made of garlic cloves
2. A bottomless bowl of undercooked breadsticks
3. A Christmas tree wearing lipstick
4. Amelia Earheart’s monocle
5. A bottomless bowl of overcooked breadsticks
6. A Who*
*(Objects not actually on cover, but no less interesting than what’s really on there.)
So, no, the cover is not here. But fear not! Tomorrow, I’ll be posting their whereabouts. (You can also follow them with #cureforthecommonuniverse and #manicpixel.)
Tomorrow, the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt begins!
In the meantime, go check out the book on Goodreads!
Prepare to be cured, June 2016.