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A Bullet-Point Decade

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Here we are, in the final rosy days of the decade, and I thought: it’s time to be introspective. You’re due for another midlife crisis. That requires a proper retrospective. Think about yourself, Stiefvater, I told myself, and what you have done over the last ten years. Who have you been this last decade and what of it do you want to keep and what of it do you want to leave behind?

It was pleasant and terrible and nostalgic and cringy, which I think is probably how it ought to be looking back over your past self. No one should entirely love or hate themselves, or you’re doing it wrong. This decade spanned me being 28-38, which is quality asshole-hero-coming-of-age-adult years, full of potential for memorably good and bad moments.

Here are some of the things that happened to me in this decade, in no particular order. I:

• Published 10 YA novels, 3 MG novels, 2 Short Story Collections, 1 Tarot Deck and 1 Novella

Wrote a TV pilot

Wrote a graphic novel

• Toured 14 countries

• Bought 9 miniature silky fainting goats, 1 horse, and 1 farm

• Took a stunt driving class

• Finished writing a series that garnered more starred reviews from pro journals than any other YA series ever published

• Got a hookworm infestation in my face

• Gave a TED Talk for NASA (I could do better now, guys, CALL ME)

• Did national rally racing in a race car printed with my book cover, like an asshole

• Flew in a helicopter for the first time

• Officiated a wedding (that totally didn’t last)

• Had a midlife crisis, went into automotive journalism, wrote about cars in several different countries for several different magazines

• Applied to grad school, got in with a scholarship, realized I hated school, withdrew my application

adopted three dogs

• Got arrested for criminal mischief

• Let strangers spray paint my car twice

• Met Susan Cooper, an author who dominated my childhood, and made a total idiot of myself by just staring at her for uncountable minutes

• Got a speeding ticket in a Rolls-Royce

• Had two #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

• Learned to play the cello and the Irish pipes, one better than the other

• learned that I was now famous enough for people to invent celebrity stories/ gossip about me online/ vowed to run away from the internet forever

•Was given a set of Bulgarian bagpipes on stage and asked to play them on the spot

• Painted a lot of guitars and gave them away

• Won a Printz Honor and put Printz Honor stickers all over non-book things in my house when they arrived

• Went with a very dear friend to report her rape, got incredibly depressed by the collegiate justice system/ vowed to run away from the world forever

• Reunited with my 3rd grade math teacher, Sister Rose, at a book signing

• was challenged to a race in my suped-up Evo by author John Green, watched him catch fire, gloated, then later caught fire myself, like an asshole

was a clue on Jeopardy

• learned how to milk a goat/ vowed to run away from milking goats forever

• Found out I was related to Glendower (sorry, Great-great-great-great-great-glendaddy)

• said goodbye to my little 15 year old dog who I loved more than both my legs, after she died while I was on tour

• taught 3,000 students something about writing at seminars in three countries

• totally collapsed on tour and got diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency

• ordered a lizard by mail

• learned how to make perfect take-out tikka masala at home

• saw my first rat in NYC

• was asked to do art for an American Library Association READ poster

• Stayed on a houseboat, and in a treehouse, and in a house entirely made of glass

• Had a baby named after me, too soon to say if they turned into a terrible person

• built a music studio and recorded three songs in it

• Learned to make absolutely perfect homemade bread

• Learned I had a gluten allergy

• Was on NPR! classy! wore leather pants to a People Magazine cocktail party! klassy!

• bought a car that came with a 2 Fast 2 Furious DVD in it

• Made six really excellent new lifelong friends, half with the pick up line “we’re going to be friends for life now”

• made this list

• got ready for a new decade

Maggie Stiefvater
Hi, I'm Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night. I live an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dogs. I’m the author of the Books of Faerie (LAMENT and BALLAD); the bestselling SHIVER trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER), and THE SCORPIO RACES.

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Copyright 2012