Thursday, March 31, 2005
When I was a kid, I wore my hair in Princess Leia buns. Later on was the weekly ritual of the hair salon, sitting under the dryer for an hour, my hair on rollers the size of coke cans. Let me tell you, I got a lot of reading done during those years.
In the summer, came the frizz. I swam everyday at camp, so there was no way I could have my hair set. This was in the days before mousse or hair gel, when your only options if you had curly hair were Dippity-doo or Afro-sheen. Needless to say Dippity-doo was my best friend.
When I hit my teens, I learned how to set my hair myself, my hair in smooth waves. It wasn't until my early twenties, that I actually had any idea how curly my hair really was.
Now, I've made peace with it. It helps that almost every company makes products for curly hair. Unfortunately, my hair only loves the expensive hair care products. We're talking the $12-$30 range. Anything less, and my hair is a frizzy curless mess.
My current favorites are Clinique, Biolage, and Redken. I have yet to try Devacurl. I've had my hair cut at Ouidad. There's even a website for us curly girls, Naturally curly.com. I've learned to ask which stylist knows how to cut curly hair. Usually they have curly hair themselves. I no longer suffer from bad haircuts.
Every now and again, I'll take go to the hairsalon to have it blow-dryed. I feel like a completely different person with straight hair. It's almost like it isn't my hair. For one thing, I can run my fingers through it. For another, it reminds me of my Chrissy doll that I used to have as a kid, where you pushed her belly button and her hair was long or short.
People marvel when they see my hair straight. The first thing they mention is they had no idea how long my hair was. Guess what, neither did I! Then they marvel at the color. See curly hair doesn't reflect light, so it's not until my hair is straight that you can see the true color or in my case whatever came out of the box of L'oreal Preference. Right now, it's Medium Light Golden Brown for that J-Lo effect. Last, they marvel at how much hair I actually have.
But straight hair is a lot of work to maintain. Taking a shower is a major effort, just to keep my hair dry. Also any sign of humidity, and my hair will start to curl. Straight hair means sleeping on my back on a satin pillow.
Curly hair on the other hand, is wash and dry hair. Just put product in it and go. In the summer, it's the only option.
Anytime I see a curly haired celebrity, I feel validated which is bizarre but I do. When they go straight, I feel deserted. You know who you are Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Andie McDowell, any American Idol contestant, Susan Lucci, and Laura Wright.
Rachel True is my girl because her hair is natural, Cree Summer. Why is it that only the black girls where their hair the way god intended it? And even then, it's only a matter of time, before they're blow-drying it too.
Straight hair is somehow seen as more professional, curly hair bohemian and wild. Still, apparently more people are getting perms to have curly hair. My mother used to tell me how lucky I was to have curly hair, that people paid good money to have hair like mine. At that time, I didn't believe her.
What idiot in their right mind would want hair like men. The truth is millions of them! Lucky me that mines natural.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
The RITA nominations were announced last week. For those who haven't heard of them, the RITA's are like the Pulitzer Prize of Romance Writing. Winning one or even being nominated can do wonders for your career. This year, several Chicklit writers were nominated not only for Best First Book but also Best Novel with Romantic Elements. Alesia Holliday, Lani Diane Rich and Eileen Rendhal were double nominated in both categories. Huzzah.
The chicks are really ruling the roost this year. Both Lani and Michelle Cunnah were nominated for coveted RT Book Awards as well. Not to mention our unpublished authors like Marley Gibson who just won the Happy Endings contest sponsored by Capital Region RWA and Lois Winston who is not only nominated for another Golden Heart but also is a finalist for the American Title contest sponsored by Dorchester Books and Romantic Times magazine. Who says that Chick lit is dead?
Something must be in the air because my friend Simon was just signed by an agent in the UK, only a year out of drama school, and two friends are pregnant. All this excitement makes me hopeful that good things will happen to my career as well.
To that end, I have just sent off my first 3 chapters and my synopsis to a freelance editor for a critique. If I'm going to do spring cleaning of my house, I should spring clean my manuscripts as well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get really good feedback. Reading the chapters over, I can see I have a lot of work to do. I have an overload of backstory going on that needs to be cut or put somewhere.
Ouch, but that's part of the beauty of Spring cleaning!
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The truth is that women have been involved with younger men since time immortal. Diane de Poitiers was fifteen years older than her royal lover Henri II. Both Jennie Jerome Churchill and Lillie Langtry married much younger men as Mrs. Patrick Campbell. It's only recently that it's become more acceptable for an older woman to be with a younger man. Why? Probably because women are living longer, taking better care of themselves, or just because like men with younger women, there's something about being with a younger man that it is appealing.
To tell the truth, I've always preferred older men myself until recently. Despite the fact that my boyfriend in high school was a few months younger than me, he couldn't really be classified as an younger guy, even though he was in a lower grade then me. In fact, the older the better as far as I was concerned. I once flirted with a 23 year old lifeguard when I was 13, even though he could have been arrested for kissing me.
When I was 14, I had a crush on a 26 year old. Maybe it was the fact that they were older, and had more life experience than me, and I was longing to be older than I was, perhaps that was part of the attraction for me with older men. As I matured, the age difference got smaller, most of my boyfriends were only 3 or 4 years older than me. I did have a serious flirtation with an older Scotsman who was 18 years older than me, but that came to nothing when I realized that Walker was the male equivalent of crack cocaine. You think you can handle it, but before you know it you're in rehab after your friends stage an intervention.
Now that I'm (gasp!) 40, I'm starting to look at younger men in a different light. Whether it's the cute Australian bartender at 8 Mile Creek or the almost normal investment banker at my last temp job, younger man have lots of appeal. They don't have as many hang-ups about age that older men have, meaning that they're not looking for a brood mare. They appreciate that a woman can get better as she gets older.
All of a sudden, they're everywhere I turn. Younger men. Instead of drooling over stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt, I'm starting to notice guys like Orlando Bloom and Matthew McConaughey. Then my friends started dating younger men, and having babies with them. Maybe they knew something that I didn't.
A lot of younger men seem more secure, and they've been raised by a generation of woman who were more liberated than say my parents generation. Still it wasn't until I started going on line at sites like Match.com and Matchmaker that I started thinking seriously about the possibility of dating younger guys. Too many of the guys who were emailing me were in their fifties, divorced with lots of kids. Not exactly what I was looking for.
I'm not looking at my age to drop 3 or 4 kids. If I can have one healthy one, I'll adopt the other. But I do want to have at least one child of my own. Plus alot of these guys looked older than their age. I'm fortunate that I look at least ten years younger, and I guess I'm shallow that I want a guy who takes care of himself.
But the real kicker was when I met a guy speeddating, who was ten years younger than me. He was cute, a cop, and he really liked me. Then there was the guy I met while doing a summer share in the Hamptons, he was three younger than me, but he went on and on, about what a hot body I had, and how it was the body of a twenty year old. It was then I started to think well maybe dating someone 5 or 6 years younger than me wouldn't be so bad.
I don't think I could go 16 years younger like Demi. He'd have to be born before the Bicentennial. I don't want to raise my husband, but it's nice if we have some of the same reference points, like he remembers Jimmy Carter, and Wham, not just George Michael.
Speaking of younger men, I watched The Bachelor last night. I hadn't meant to but I was curious about Charlie O'Connell. I've got to say he probably has the most refreshing attitude of all the guys, and is the most down to earth since Andrew and Byron. Although when Chris Harrison (who must be looking for a way out of his contract now) introduced him as one of America's most eligible bachelors, I had to laugh. Why?
Take a look at his credits on Internet Movie Database. This guy hasn't worked as an actor in 3 or 4 years. He was introduced as a 'real estate developer.' What does that mean? He has a real estate license? Still, despite that, he seems like a fun guy that you can hang around with, and the dates last night were pretty low-key. Going to a dive bar, dancing, and playing beach volleyball at an indoor gym.
The girls however are a different story. They are the most competitive women I've ever seen, and for what? Jerry O'Connell's little brother? He ain't all that and a bag of chips ladies! But women were pushing each other out of dates, backstabbing, climbing all over him, taking off their bra, showing off their tattoos and belly rings. Oy! And I wonder why I'm single.
One of the women was totally uncomfortable by this and walked out. I applauded her guts for doing so....until she walked right back in. WTF? You leave because this isnt' your scene and Charlie isn't your type and then over night you change your mind? He ain't that cute! I have no idea what was going on in her little mind but she should have stayed away because she ended up not getting a rose after all that drama.
Next week, the girls get even bitchier, if that's possible, and I'll be cruising Match.com for my own personal younger man. Wish me luck!
Monday, March 28, 2005
Yeah, Desperate Housewives is back and living on my TV. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see a new episode last night. At first, I wasn't even sure that I would remember what happened before since it's been over a month since the last new episode. Thank god for the flashbacks in the beginning to remind us of what had gone on previously.
I thought this was a great episode. Edie was back, trying to be a friend to Susan in her own bizarre Edie way. The mystery surrounding Mary Alice was deepened with the news that Mrs. Huber's sister knows something about Paul and Mary Alice. The storyline with Rex and Bree was continued with the reveal that Rex was one of Maisie's clients, adding more conflict to their marriage, plus what is the pharmacist giving Rex that he's not getting better?
The best sub-plot was Gabby and her husband not having enough money to pay to fix their plumbing. Gabby stealing a porta-potty was priceless and having to do laundry in the jacuzzi. As usual Lynette's story-line had the most reality with the knowledge that her kids were being blamed for a head lice epidemic.
I would love to see Lynette either get a part-time job or have her husband lose his and Lynette have to go back to work. Imagine Tom spending time in the park with the other Mom's or carpooling or hanging out with Mike, while Lynette wheels and deals. It would be fabulous. Or Lynette becoming a Mary Kay cosmetics rep, and trying to get that pink cadillac!
So Brad and Jen are getting a divorce. I don't know why this depresses me. It's not as if I even know the two of them. Maybe it's just the sadness of another marriage ending, and wondering why. Irreconciliable differences, the most over-used term for ending a marriage. Two people who don't know how to compromise is what it really means. I wonder if a year or two from now, they're going to regret the fact that they didn't take care of their marriage more.
Oh well, c'est la vie!
On a writing note, I'm working on the synopsis for my recently finished chick-lit romantic comedy paranormal. Trying to make sure that I get it under 11 pages. Feels great to know that I can whip out a 439 page manuscript in 2 1/2 months. Granted, it's only the first draft but it gives me something to aim for when I start working on the next manuscript.
Took the big step of sending off my first three chapters and synopsis to a freelance editor. I know that there's a book in Nearly Famous just waiting to come out. I just have to find it and I can only do that if I have fresh eyes who can tell me where I've gone off the rails. I already know that I need to cut at least 150 pages out of this puppy, and the first 6 chapters have to be 3 chapters. I have a lot of backstory going on right now. In fact the whole first 3 chapters are nothing but backstory.
I had originally started the book with the defining incident and then was told I needed to make the audience care about Julia before the defining incident, but now I need to do that in a shorter amount of time. I need to start thinking of this book in terms of a three-act structure like a play and figure out what goes where. Alot of stuff has to happen in the first 100 pages, and right now it doesn't.
Cutting this book is going to be like cutting off a limb but it's necessary surgery unless I want gangrene.
Revisions can be a bitch!
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Friday night, I schlepped out to Brooklyn, which I jokingly told a friend took as long as does to get to Scotland, to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to see a dance piece by Matthew Bourne who directed an all male version of Swan Lake a few years ago. You may have seen it at the end of Billy Elliot. This piece was based on a 1960's film The Servant which starred Dirk Bogarde. I've never seen the movie but I'm curious after seeing this piece.
It was actually pretty cool. The show was triple cast, so there were three scenes going on at one time, and you have to keep moving your focus around to see what was going on. The music was a kind of cool and jazzy, and I really dug the vintage costumes that the women were wearing, back when the average woman wasn't trying to be a size 2.
The Harvey theatre where the piece was done, is an old theatre that been redone, but they've left the building in a kind of decomposed state, which really worked well for the piece. We were sitting up in the nose bleed seats, but that was okay because we had an excellent view of the stage. The seats were high stools with backs, so that you felt comfortable, even though you were sitting high up.
Afterwards, LK and I walked over to this groovy wine bar that I read about in the program, called the Stonehome Wine bar. Outstanding, good food, good wine, very mellow vibe. The place was done up in golden wood with a curvy bar. It's not very big but the service was exceptional. I think we had like 3 people serving us. I would definitely go there again after a show. LK had the crabcakes, while I had the portobello mushroom pressed sandwich with goat cheese, and carmelized onions. Yummy.
Needing some more culture, and because I'm an orphan on holidays, I head over to Manhattan Theatre Club to see a new play called Moonlight and Magnolias. I had hoped to pick up a ticket at TDF but unfortunatly it wasn't listed which meant I had to shell out $60 to see this play.
Normally, I would balk at spending that kind of money, but the play was about the making of one of my favorite movies, Gone with the Wind, so I had to see it. Yes, I adore GTWT, which I've often felt guilty about, being a woman of color and all that. How could I love a movie, set in the deep south, with a heroine who is basically a selfish self-centered bitch for most of the film? We all know that GWTW is Margaret Mitchell's ode to a south that died during the Civil War, but in reality was dying anyway as the country moved further away from being an agricultural nation to more of an industrial nation.
I'm sure there are some people who put GTWT up there with Birth of a Nation, in terms of films that depict blacks in a demeaning light. I've never felt that way since Mammy is the only character who can make Scarlett see any kind of sense at all. She's the voice of reason. Hattie McDaniel lent Mammy a dignity and a grace that she might not have had with a lesser actress but I digress.
Anyway, I love the film even though I hated the book. Scarlett is twenty times bitchier in the book than she is in the movie. I guess it's the relationship of Scarlett and Rhett that draws me to the film. Scarlett spends 3/4 of the film pining after a man she can't have, when the only man who is a match for her, who can stand toe to toe, and not let her get away with any of her crap is Rhett but she doesn't realize it until it's too late. Rhett's her soulmate and Ashley is the dream of the man that she thinks that she should be with. A man who will bow beneath her strength and let her get away with murder. A man that she can never really respect precisely because he gives in to her.
I first saw the movie on television, one of those two part events that were so prevalent in the 70's when miniseries were king. I also had the privilege of seeing the movie several times on the big screen, the first at the old Regency theatre on W. 67th street (sorely missed) which showed revivals of classic and foreign films.
I was a little obsessed with learning everything I could about the making of the movie. I had the original screenplay by Sidney Howard, many, many books about the making of the film, several biographies of Vivien Leigh. When the sequel came out in the 1990's, I bought it and was disappointed to find out that the author had written a sequel to the movie not the book. Frankly Scarlett was a piece of dreck and clearly was only written to make money.
Margaret Mitchell never intended there to be a sequel to GWTW, the ending was deliberately left ambiguous, so that the reader could imagine whether or not, Scarlett got her wish of reuniting with Rhett. Frankly, it would take several sessions with Dr. Phil to make that a reality.
Well, this play is about the week that Ben Hecht spent with David O. Selznick, the producer who has gambled his entire reputation and fortune on this one book, rewriting the script, after Selznick has fired the director and the screenwriter. Although I doubt that Hecht spent a great deal of time, lecturing Selznick on how to be a Jew, the play did give you a feeling for what it was like for these pioneers of the film industry who were mainly Jewish but who thought of themselves as Americans first, although most people didn't.
The play really gives you a feel for what it's like to be a creative artist, forced to make compromises but still fighting for the integrity of their art. Loved the fact that Hecht apparently was the only person in the world who hasn't read GWTW.
Performances all uniformly excellent, especially Douglas Sills as Selznick. He certainly proved that he was more than a singer in this role.
Great play if you love film, and you love writers.
Friday, March 25, 2005
It was really hard to narrow it down to just ten guys. There were some guys I had to eliminate: Russell Crowe (used to be a favorite, now I just think he's an asshole), Rupert Everett (I've loved Rupert since Another Country, but I can't forgive him for starring with Madonna in that awful movie, The Next Best Thing) Colin Firth, another love from Another Country days, Sean Bean (Sharpe), and Ioan Gruffud (Hornblower). Not to mention Julian McMahon, so delicious as Cole on Charmed.
Many of these guys are British, what can I say I'm an Anglophile. I have a weakness for British men, particularly Scotsmen. Something about a man in a kilt, that's just indescribable.
The list could go on, and on, but I finally narrowed it to these ten men that I would be proud to be there girlfriend, or wife, or love slave. I'm willing to negotiate. I tried not to let the fact that some of these men are actually married get in the way, after all it's a fantasy list, so in my fantasy, they're not married and free to play with me.
My celebrity boyfriend list:
1. James Purefoy - He was in Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon. Just yummy. Sexy, sensitive, but you can tell there's a bad boy lurking within.
2. Clive Owen - King Arthur, just yummy. Another Brit. Rough around the edges. Another bad boy.
3. Matthew McConaughey - good ole boy Texan. (I was torn between Dennis Quaid and Matthew, but I had to give it up for the younger guy, although Dennis is still looking good).
4. Ingo Rademacher - an Australian love god, plays Jax on General Hospital, international playboy.
5. Lance Armstrong - yes, I know he's dating Sheryl Crow, but I admire any man who can beat cancer and win 6 Tour de France championships, and pissing off the French while doing it.
6. Elvis Stojko - Canadian skating god. Two-time Olympic Silver Medalist, 4 Time World Champion.
7. Hugh Grant - Need I say more? From the first time I saw him in the Merchant and Ivory film, Maurice, I've had a little thing for Hugh. Even after the whole Divine Brown thing (who knew he had jungle fever?), I still kept the faith. After all, he did have the good sense to have a girlfriend named Elizabeth, she of the Versace dress and furry eyebrows. Reinvented himself as the bad boy, Daniel in the Bridget Jones movies. Gave his best performance in About a Boy.
8. Anderson Cooper - son of Gloria Vanderbilt, jeans queen. CNN Anchor. Got that grey hair, blue eyes thing going.
9. Jon Stewart - love him, love him. Smart, funny, and Jewish. My weakness.
10. Gerard Butler - Phantom of the Opera, Scottish. Beautiful blue eyes. Made me forget Michael Crawford in the orginal production on Broadway, which I saw 3 times. Still hasn't broken out in a big way yet.
Who would be on your celebrity boyfriend list?
Thursday, March 24, 2005
What was even worse, was that she was dragging Tiffany down with her! I'm not the biggest fan of Tiffany either, but at least she knows that this is her chance to be more than just a single mom. She's worked on herself, her anger problem, and seemed to be making progress. Until last night, when she got drunk, and then later on when she reamed out the other girls for getting on Brandy's case.
None of these girls are really rockin' my world to tell you the truth. Last season, there were so many outstanding girls, Toccara, Ya-Ya, Anne, Norelle, Amanda and my girl, Eva the Diva. This year, we have one girl who looks like Janice, a female wrestler with a skin disease, Ms. Goody Two-Shoes, Rebecca, Lluvy, nicknamed SUV by my friend Marley, and Tiffany who looks like Olive Oyl.
None of them seem to really want to be America's Next Top Model. Where is the hunger? The ambition? Only Brittany, who had been criticized for looking like a porn star, has seemed to really improve. She's working hard to project a softer image. The rest of them, go figure!
After Beverly Johnson lectured them about how hard some photographers can be to work with, and how you just have to suck it up, and deal with it, the producers threw the girls into the exact same situation. Apparently, they didn't hear a word Beverly said, because most of them acted like snotty brats.
Maybe it's reality burnout, or these girls don't feel they have to work, just be handed the prize, but it's getting on my last nerve.
Speaking of getting on my last nerve, I'm about to scream at this one woman that I work with. SKW for some reason feels the need to bother me on a constant basis, whining about how much work she has to do, and begging for my help. Hello! There are two other assistants in this group she could ask, plus the mailroom assistant but no, just because I'm the temp, I get dumped on and I've just about had it with her.
She's annoying to the max to say the least. She can't just explain something, she has to over explain and then treat me like I'm an idiot instead of a professional who has been working as an Admin for almost twenty freakin' years! I don't need anyone to tell me how to do my job, thank you very much.
She plays the 'oh, I have MS card,' constantly whenever she feels like it. I can't wait for them to hire someone so that I can get out of this job. I can't believe I even took a pay cut to work here! I knew when I interviewed for the spot, that she was going to be a pain in the ass, and she's proved it every single frickin day.
Yesterday, she demanded that I set up the conference room for her meeting! She claimed that I said I would do it, but what I said was that I would help her, which is what she originally asked for. Then she claimed that wasn't what she said. I decided not to argue the point, just to set up the meeting, and then clean up afterwards.
This is part of the problem of being a temp. You get treated like low man on the totem pole. Like anyone can dump whatever crap they want on you, and you're just supposed to shut up and take it. Sort of like the whole deal with the photographer on ANTM.
It can wear you down sometimes, man, it really can.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Picked up my laundry last night after work. I love the smell of clean clothes, particularly since somehow else had the privilege of doing my laundry instead of me. Everything was all nice and neatly folded, including my socks. All I had to do was open the bag and put the clothes away. Thank god the days of beating your clothes against a rock are long gone, at least in this country.
After my lovely meal of a crabcake and sweet potatoes, I settled in for an evening of Reality TV, starting with American Idol. Tonight's episode was Billboard's Top #1 songs. Can I just say that this crop of American Idol wannabe's have absolutely no taste? 1,000 songs to choose from and we get The Partridge Family, Taylor Dayne, Chaka Khan, George Michael, and Phil Collins songs.
My Nadia almost blew it with a really horrible rendition of Cyndy Lauper's Time after Time, and the mohawk she was sporting was positively frightening. Anwar Robinson has proven that he's totally limited, and is one of the few African Americans with no rhythm whatsoever. It was totally embarrassing to see this dude try to dance last night. I haven't seen anyone that off-beat since I watched an Abba video.
Who blew me away? Carrie Underwood singing Heart's Alone. Who knew country girl could sing an Annie Wilson song and rip it up? Not to mention the big hair curly 80's hair. Pretty much everyone else sucked. I can't get excited about Scott Savol who looks like an axe-murderer, Antony Federov who is a bad combination of John Stevens and Clay Aitken or Mikalah Gordon who is Fran Drescher at 17 if she were Italian. Bo Bice, the rocker, unfortunately confused a ballad with having absolutely no energy whatsoever.
Hey guess what? After all that, the numbers that were flashed during the show were wrong, and they have to do it all over again tonight! Please god, these singers take the criticism seriously and kick-up a notch, or I'm just going to pull out my Kelly Clarkson CD's and listen instead.
I had planned on continuing my Reality TV evening with Project Greenlight but my cable was funky. I don't know what other people pay around the country but in New York, Time Warner Cable, we're talking $50 or more a month, and that's just Basic and Standard Cable. No Direct-TV, no HBO, Showtime, or Cinemax. Can you believe that crap? If I could get RCN or live without TV, I would save so much money but unfortunately I'm addicted to VH-1, and the Food Network, plus Project Runway is coming back this summer. Will Heidi Klum get the designers to work up a maternity wardrobe for her?
Oh, and great news, James Marsters is back on our TV screens with dark hair no less in a TV movie. For those who dont' watch Buffy, James Marsters played Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He was the sexiest Vampire ever to hit TV. There are people who preferred Angel with Buffy but I loved Spike. Who doesn't love the Bad Boy who is changed by love?
The news is that Spike maybe hitting the small screen in a series of TV movies. Perhaps with his sidekick Druscilla. Now that is must-see TV!
Monday, March 21, 2005
Since Spring is here, I decided to celebrate by kicking my work-out up a notch by taking a different class at my gym. I've been taking Pilates and body sculpting for the past year, but I'm bored, so yesterday morning I got up early and took a NIA class. NIA for those who dont't know, is Non-Impact Aerobics. In this case, a dance class. At the earlyish hour of 9:00 a.m. yesterday I was bouncing around the studio pretending to be a member of Riverdance. Now, I haven't taken a dance class since I took Swing dance a few years ago, but this was something else entirely. For the first half-hour we didn't stop moving! I was exhausted, I was sweating, I thought I was going to throw up, I was so tired. It got my heart rate up however and I actually had fun in an exercise class for the first time in a logn time, which has been missing from my work-outs lately. Not much fun in lifting weights or doing sit-ups. It's like eating broccoli, you know it's good for you, but it's not fun.
This morning, my body is sore as all get out. My legs are stiff, my lower back hurts, and I'm exhausted. Jason warned me but I didn't know it would hurt this much. Not enough to put me off going back to class next week. Summer will be arriving before you know it, and I'd like to be able to wear a pair of white jeans without looking like a water buffalo.
It didn't help that I had strange dreams about deer, thanks to the guys of Blue Collar TV, like Jeff Foxworthy who kept doing routines about deer hunting. So I had a dream that a baby deer was living in my house for some reason. I don't know what it means, Freud would probably have a field day.
I don't have a problem with hunting per se, if you're hunting for food. I do have a problem if you're hunting just to have a trophy to put up on your wall. Animal heads should not be used for decoration. It's gross and unbelievably creepy. I feel the same way about people who have animals that have been stuffed (taxidermy). Ewww! Don't even get me started on fox hunting which is absolutely pointless. You can't eat fox, and I don't agree with wearing fur, so the whole practice is positively barbaric and cruel to the animals. There are other ways to do pest control if you think you're having a problem with foxes stealing chickens from hen houses. But fox hunters are just doing it for sport, and frankly it sucks.
Now that I've ranted on the subject of hunting, I did go to see the orchids at the New York Botanical Gardens.
I've never been to the Botanical Gardens even though I'm lived in the city my entire life. Maybe because it's such a schlep to get there. You can either take the D train and then a bus, or you have to go from Grand Central to the Botanical Gardens station, which is conveniently located across the street from the Botanical Gardens.
Despite the fact that it was raining out, the trip was worth it. I love flowers and have since I was a child. My mother told me that she used to have to physically restrain me from picking flowers whenever we went to the HoJo's in Kingston, because I would make a beeline for them. Growing up, my grandmother had rose bushes in her back garden, and we had a lilac bush at our house upstate, so I grew up surrounded by flowers. Even now, if I had my way and the budget my apartment would be filled with flowers at all times. Unfortunately, I have a black thumb when it comes to growing things, otherwise I might have been persuaded to purchase one of the beautiful orchid plants that were for sale at the Botanical Gardens.
The exhibition was amazing. I had no idea how many species of orchids there were, despite having read Susan Orleans remarkable book The Orchid Thief. I'm now reading a Silhouette Bombshell by Sandra K. Moore called The Orchid Hunter to continue the experience. I was surprised that Silhouette didn't have copies of the book at the exhibition. It would seem a great tie-in for the author.
I just managed to get to the Botanical Gardens before they closed, which gave me an hour to see the exhibition.The exhibition is only running through next weekend, which is a shame. A month was really not enough time for an exhibition of this beauty. Normally, I complain about how much museums are charging these days, but I thought that $15.00 which included everything including the Orchid Show was quite reasonable. I thought it was interesting that Tiffany was the main sponsor! The only problem was on the way back. The Metro-North trains only run every hour on weekends, so I had to wait a half-hour for the train back to Grand Central. Next time I go, I will plan more time.
I had just enough energy to finish watching Red Dragon when I got home. Another creepy scary movie that is best watched early in the morning. I understand that Thomas Harris is possibly writing another Hannibal Lecter novel. I would suggest that he not, since at this point the character is becoming a bit of a caricature or that may just be Anthony Hopkins performance of the role. I hated the movie Hannibal and I refused to read the book.
I'm almost done with the W.I.P. although I'm so tired, if I make my ten pages today it will be a miracle.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Robert Blake, a good actor who hasn't really worked in years, gets taken in by a con artist who manages to get pregnant with his child. He marries her because that's the kind of old-fashioned guy that he is. He falls in love with his child, but not the woman that bore her. He wants to get rid of her, but keep the child. So he arranges a hit or did he? Someone obviously wanted Bonny Blakely dead, and there was a whole list of suspects. The woman had been married 8 times, and had been quicking around Hollywood looking for that big score. Why she chose Robert Blake is beyond me.
Of course Robert Blake didn't help matters by explaining to the cops, he wasn't in the car because he forgot his gun in the restaurant. Huh? Did he take it out while he was eating? Did it just slip out? How do you forget a gun?
Whoever killed her had to have been very good, because if Blake didn't do it but hired someone, they haven't been found. I find it hard to believe that he was going to ask two stunt men with drug problems to do the killing. Blake doesn't appear to be that stupid. Stupid enough though to openly say that he wished that she were dead. Also having played mainly low-lifes and criminals didn't help either.
The jury took nine days to decide that he was innocent, that there was no conclusive proof that he did it, or conspired to kill her. Now, Bonny's daughter is going to bring a wrongful death suit against Blake. What does she hope to get out of it? The man is completely broke. A civil trial doesn't mean that Blake will go to prison. If all she wants is a jury to say that he was responsible, that's going to cost her a lot of money. If she's smart, she'll try to move past this and go on with her life.
Scott Peterson, as far as I'm concerned is scum. Whether or not he's scum that should be put to death, I don't know. I'm not too keen on capital punishment. If that makes me a wimpy liberal, so be it. Perhaps if this were the 19th century, I might feel differently. Back then, if you committed a crime, there was no sitting in prisons for years, they took you out and hung you. Now, Peterson will sit in prison while his lawyers file appeal after appeal.
Truthfully, I don't know what his parents were thinking of hiring Mark Geros. If he couldn't get Winona Ryder off a shoplifting charge, why did they think he would be good in a murder trial? They would have been better off hiring Johnny Cochran. I personally think that he did it. He was clearly a serial adulterer, who felt trapped in a marriage with a child on the way, and instead of divorce, chose to murder his wife and then lie about it to his mistress.
Very dumb, Scott. He's shown absolutely no remorse at his wife and child's death. No emotion whatsoever.
It bothers me when defendants don't take the stand at their trials. How am I supposed to believe that you didn't do it, if you are not willing to get up on the stand to testify? If your lawyer thinks it's a risk to put you on the stand, that's not good.
Lil Kim, not the brightest bulb on the planet. Should never have lied to the police, but she comes from a background where trusting cops doesn't come easy.
Dominick Dunne just goes to prove that you have to be very careful what you say about someone on television, particularly during an investigation into a murder. It'll come back to bite you on the ass.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
If you've learned to speak fluent English, you must be a genius! This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. Peruse at your leisure, English lovers.
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought
it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? Is it an odd, or an end? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
P.S. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"?
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I have the same problem with exercise. I got bored with yoga, now I'm taking Pilates, Body-Sculpting and Belly-dancing, as well as practicing yoga. I have to mix-it-up. I change my hair color all the time too. Now, I'm trying for a nice caramel brown instead of the mahogany that I'm been dying it since the first gray hair arrived in my twenties.
Hey, Eva Longoria says that thirty is the new twenty! And forty is the new thirty they say. Tell that to all the forty year old men looking for 22 year olds.
A little bummed out that Desperate Housewives isn't coming back until the end of March. Damn these sweeps months. Instead of just showing all 22 or however many episodes are shot every year, the networks have to dole them out slowly over the November, February and May sweeps months, to get the big ratings. Meanwhile we're stuck with repeats or new series that the networks hope that we'll watch. For example Jake in Progress, the new John Stamos show. First it was shown in Desperate Housewive's time-slot, now it's moving to it's regularly scheduled time of Thursday, at 8:00. Sorry, John, I'll be watching my sweetie Adam Brody on the OC at that time.
I don't know how high the network is the show, if they schedule it for Thursday's at 8:00. ABC hasn't had a successful series in that timeslot since the 80's. Certainly not a sitcom. I don't know why they don't just add it to the Friday or Tuesday line-up. It's going to get killed up against the OC, CSI, and Joey.
Now I like John Stamos, I remember him fondly from his days as Blackie Parrish on GH ,singing in the band with Frisco Jones, and I was really sorry when his marriage broke-up to Rebecca Romjin, but really did anyone believe that the relationship between Uncle Blackie and a supermodel was going to last once she started making movies, and he was reduced to replacing better known stars on Broadway? He closed two shows on the Great White Way, Nine and How to Succeed.
ABC is doing him a disservice by giving him a deadly timeslot but they're riding high on the ratings boom they've gotten from two hit shows, LOST and Desperate Housewives.
I'm just glad I have America's Next Top Model and American Idol to look forward to.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
However, my apartment is filled to the brim with books, and I literally have no room to put new ones, so I rely on the library. The NYPL is one of the best in the world, and I urge you, that if you don't have a library card to get one. It's not the same as owning a book, but you can save yourself a lot of money, which you can put towards rent, or food.
For example, I just went to the library and picked up the following books:
V for Vendetta - a graphic novel by Allan Moore, author of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. I had just read that they are plans to film it with James Purefoy and Natalie Portman, so I'm curious to see what it's about.
Ransom by Julie Garwood, one of the few Julie Garwood books I haven't read. Since I had to put down her latest Murder List, because I couldn't get through it, I'm a little trepidatious. However, it's set in Scotland, and there's no one like Julie Garwood when it comes to a good emotional read.
Body Language by Millie Criswell. Millie Criswell's contemporaries are hit and miss with me. I loved her historical novels but her contemporaries for Bantom, Annoying Annie, and Miserable Mia,plus the others I couldn't get through. I found most of the characters to be stereotypical and alot of the humor forced. This is her first book for HQN, so we'll see.
I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the Tristan and Isolde Trilogy. I read the first book, The Queen of the Western Isle, which I adored. I devoured this book over the weekend. I've never read Rosalind Miles before, and the Tristan and Isolde story is one that I'm not as familiar with.
She's also written a trilogy about Guenevere, Arthur's Queen, which I may have to read. For me the two best books about Arthur will always be, Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and the Once and Future King by T.H. White. However, since this trilogy is told mainly through Guenevere's eyes, I may have to give it a chance.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Okay, let me get this straight. Osama bin Laden is sitting in a cave somewhere watching Gladiator on video and decides that he wants to kidnap Russell Crowe. I have two problem with this. First of all, Russell Crowe is Australian, and wouldn't it be up to the Australian government to deal with Osama if one of their own was taken, along with Interpol and the CIA? Secondly, who in their right mind would want to kidnap Russell Crowe? Have they ever heard him interviewed or read an interview with him? The man is probably one of the most talented, and yet most annoyingly obnoxious actors on the planet, second only to Sean Penn in his hubris.
I guarantee you, that after a week in Mr. Crowe's company, Al Queda would either have shot him, or let him go. He just wouldn't be worth the trouble. He was a pain in the ass for the FBI to deal with, when they were trying to protect him.
I'm sure that Mr. Crowe would like to think that he's important enough for Al Queda to contemplate kidnapping. Even the CIA refutes Mr. Crowe's story, and now Russell has denied that he ever said it.
Friday, March 11, 2005
The weekend is almost here. I have 40 more minutes before I'm out of here. I'm feeling better so I'm going to risk meeting my friend to run errands.
I have Pilates tomorrow, and then a fun weekend of watching two potentially bad movies, Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy and High Spirits, with a very young Liam Neeson. Why am I watching two movies I've already admitted are going to be pretty wretched? Well, I need some ideas for the ole WIP (Work in Progress).
My ghost idea is very sketchy and I need to make it funnier. Right now, the humor is not coming from the ghost story, that's pretty serious. If she's going to be haunted by a ghost, the ghost had better do something. Right now, she's a spector who can't speak.
I've thought of having her possess my heroine, so that she can make love to the hero, which could be funny, but the book is written in the first person, so I'm not sure how that can work.
I've got a funny spiritual medium, and a funny housekeeper, a smarmy villain to add some tension to the love story. My tarot card reader said that it would be hysterical if she drank rum, and talked in french or something like that.
I have great ideas, but do I have the technical skills as a writer to pull them off. Ah, there's the rub. I don't know if I do. That's what writing is all about discovering your strengths and weaknesses, and what you have to work on.
I still haven't rented the movie Maxie with Glenn Close yet to add to my list of research. I love the idea that I can write off movies as necessary for my career.
Ah well, it's only the first draft. I can make as many mistakes as I want, because they will all fixed in draft two (I hope.)
I'm also supposed to be working on my novel. I made it to page 350 yesterday, and I want to make my ten pages. I felt like crap yesterday and still managed to write, so I should make it. I worked on my President's Letter and my blog article, to get me started.
I was reading the testimony from the young boy in the Michael Jackson trial. I've been thinking about how I feel about Michael and this whole thing for awhile now. I watched the documentary on VH-1 and the piece on ABC Prime-Time by Martin Bashir who was called as witness by the defense, a reluctant witness mind you, despite the fact that his interview with Michael is what started this whole thing.
I'm basically cynical when it comes to things like this. I believe that O.J. and Scott Peterson killed their wives, and that Martha Stewart was guilty, but I have a hard time believing that Michael Jackson in guilty of child molestation.
I believe that he's guilty of poor judgement. The one that the VH-1 documentary emphasized was that Michael Jackson's childhood was stolen from him by his career. Now there have been other child stars who have turned out okay like Brooke Shields, and Melissa Gilbert. Unfortunately, if you don't have parents who can guide you, and keep you safe, you are not going to turn out okay in this crazy business.
Michael's father saw his children primarily as a meal ticket, a way to escape his dreary life in Gary, Indiana, and to make some serious money. Also to have the singing career that he never had. Michael was taught from an early age to lie about his age, he was forced to watch his older brothers bring groupies back to their hotel room and have sex while he was still in the room. He's retreated into this child-like existence at Neverland where he's Peter Pan.
I truly believe that all the plastic surgery and the whitening of his skin is to make him look more like the Disney cartoon version of Peter Pan. It's scary to me that of all the characters he could pick, that it's Peter Pan. I've always felt there was something sinister about the character of Peter, that lurked just under the surface. The refusal to grow-up, to stay in that child-like state of a pre-teen boy. The fact that children stay in Neverland only until they are a certain age and then they have to return to their families, is echoed in Jackson's own behavior. Once a child reaches puberty, Michael is no longer interested in him.
He has very few friends his own age, he spends little time with his family. He's surround by synchophants who do whatever he tells them to. Other people have advised him after the 1993 case that he has to change his behavior. Witness his marriages to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe. It was his way of saying "Look, I am normal, I'm married." But neither marriage lasted.
Lisa Marie was clearly a publicity stunt, and Debbie Rowe was a brood mare, paid to have his children and then to disappear from their lives. Does anyone think this is normal behavior?
Michael clearly needs psychiatric help. Whether he will get this help is debatable. He's clearly shown that he knows how to manipulate people. I doubt that any psychiatrist would be able to get through to him unless he's admitted to a facility.
I blame the parents of these children as well as Michael. Was the allure of being taken care of, and free trips, worth it? Didn't you think that it was odd that a grown man would spend so much of his time surrounded by just children? Weren't you aware that your child was sleeping in the same bedroom or bed as Michael Jackson. What made you think it was okay? That he was a celebrity. Any parent would think that it was odd that a grown man would spend so much time with children that weren't his own.
I'm not denying that Michael Jackson had done a lot for children and that he loves them sincerely. But I think that something is warped in his head, mentally in many ways he hasn't progressed beyond the age of twelve.
I don't know if it's just arrogance or a child-like desire to keep at bay anything that is difficult to deal with instead of facing reality. I think it's a measure of both with Michael Jackson.
He's a talented artist who I've had the privilege of seeing perform twice when he was still with the Jackson 5. I still play his CD's, but I play them with a heavy heart. I find it hard to seperate the artist from the man who is accused of being a child molestor.
I hope and pray that Michael gets the help that he needs.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
I have my monthly President's letter, Calendar of Events, Market News, and this month, Part One of an article on blogging. So far, I have finished the Calendar of Events, and the Market News, still working on the article and have just barely started my President's letter. Mind you this has to all be finished by March 15th. Beware the Ides of March indeed.
It's ironic that I'm writing so much for Keynotes now, when I'd never written for the newsletter before. I'd been asked to write an article on collaborating with my ex-bestfriend but we never got around to writing it. Over the years, I would think about writing an article for Keynotes, but it was just that, a thought.
Being President of a writer's organization has been harder but yet more rewarding then I thought it would be. It certainly has been alot of work. I have a great board though. Unfortunately, our past president decided that he couldn't renew his membership, which is a loss. I could get into the other reasons why but I'm not going to. Suffice it to say, it was a blow.
I can't fault him for leaving but I can fault him for the way that he did it, which was a slap in the face to the board and to the friends that have supported him.
All this plus finishing my work in progress. So far, I've been on target with the number of pages I hope to produce this week. It's Thursday, and I've written 31 pages. I hope to write 50. That's my goal. I'm near the finish line. Next week is the final stretch to wrap everything up.
I plan on taking a break before starting the second draft. I'm still planning on one last push on Nearly Famous to get it ready and then I'm going to let it go. I still have the goal of writing two more manuscripts this year.
I'm even thinking taking the radical step of having a professional writer and editor look at the book before I start submitting it to agents again. That means of course, no more Starbucks for months as I attempt to come up with the money to pay for it.
I've put on reserve, Chris Baty's book, No plot, No problem at the library before I start the final 2 books, I hope to write. I also have other books to read, Donald Maass "Writing the Breakout Novel" workbook, and "No More Rejections" by Alice Orr.
I feel really close to getting the call. I have a strong feeling that this is the year that I get an agent, and hopefully an honest to god book contract at the end of it.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Soap fans are incredibly vocal and incredibly loyal. We'll follow the career of our favorite actors even after they leave the soap, and we have fond memories of the ones who have left and made it big, like Julianne Moore and Marissa Tomei. We despise actors who put down their soap roots as if it were a dirty little secret or something they had to do to get ahead, the equivalent of having a porn background.
I've been a GH fan since the age of ten. I fell in love with the character of Leslie who was the major heroine of the show, then with her daughter Laura who was the young heroine. Anna, Robert, Robin, Duke, Sean Donely, Tiffany, and Lucy Coe were characters that made me laugh, made me cry. Love stories like Luke and Laura, Frisco and Felicia, Anna and Duke, and then rekindling her love with Robert.
GH right now is the Sonny Corinthos show with special guest appearances by Emily Quartermaine. They are the only two stories right now on the show. Sonny Corinthos, the tortured anti-hero criminal, and Emily Quartermaine, the sanctimonius, sweet as pie, put-upon heroine. Right now Sonny's kids have been kidnapped and the show revolves around his pain, and trying to put him into prison. Carly, his ex-wife, the mother of two of his children, has had pretty much no support apart from her former lover, Lorenzo. Her father is no comfort, he's too busy trying to nail her husband and her mother is MIA, despite the fact that Michael might be dead.
Below is the letter that I sent to Anne Sweeney, head of ABC daytime.
Dear Ms. Sweeney and Mr. Wallau,
I am an unsatisfied ABC daytime viewer, with remote in hand. I am aiming it at another network (CBS), reluctant to switch channels, for now. As each day passes, ABC daytime, specifically General Hospital, offers me little reason to remain loyal. I am a long time General Hospital viewer who can remember when Leslie and Monica were romantic rivals not wallpaper. When the hospital was front and center, when there was more than one storyline to the show. In the past few years, the show has deteriorated out of all recognition to what it once was.
I am hoping you will take our message seriously as Brian Frons has repeatedly chosen to ignore us, and in some cases, mock us. We simply will no longer tolerate this. Are you even aware of what is happening, what has been allowed to happen, to General Hospital on your watch? On Mr. Frons' watch? General Hospital used to be the flagship of ALL soaps on daytime. Under the inept direction Mr. Frons, Mr. Guza and Mr. Pratt, it barely leads the pack on its own network. We are more than tired of "the boys club' mentality that ABC shows in the direction and writing of General Hospital. We seek a "Return to the Basics" not only for General Hospital, but also for all OUR shows on ABC daytime.
We respectfully request, one LAST time:
·Writing for the entire cast, instead of focusing on a "star" or a "core" of the same characters. "Soaps" are all about "ensembles." Instead what we get is the Sonny hour with special guest appearances by Nikolas and Emily Cassadine.
·A return to the formula of "Front Burner and Back Burner" writing, utilizing the entire cast, with timely revolution of those "burners"
·Back-stories and character development for ALL characters. Who is Ric Lansing really? He must have had a life before he came to Port Charles. Let’s find out about his past pre: Port Charles. What does it really mean to be a Cassadine prince? Or to be a working mother with a baby? Throw us a bone here.
·Honor the history of the show. Stop rewriting it to explain the writers narrow minded and unpopular vision. Currently GH is written for an audience of two- Guza and Pratt. Allow this to continue, and that will be your ratings...2 people. The recent storyline of Lucky on life support barely utilized the people in his life who should have been involved. Namely Leslie and Bobbie. I saw more of Emily and Elizabeth than Lucky’s own family. Where was the conflict? We never saw either Bobbie or Leslie testify in court against Luke.
·Curb the overwhelming abuse of female characters and make the shows more appealing to WOMEN and MEN alike. The recent rape of Emily Quartermaine is a case in point. The character has been on a roller coaster ride of pain since her return to the show, starting with the botched breast cancer storyline.
·Stop making a mockery of the police. On Port Charles, the police are treated as little more than buffoons or idiots. And since when does the DA order the Police Commissioner around the way Ric does?
·More diversity in the cast. It’s 2005, and I see more diversity on the evening news than I do on ABC daytime. Give us more than the token Latino or African American character. One upon a time, there was the Ward family. Mary Mae, her grandson Justus and Keisha. Not to mention Taggart, and Simone Hardy. Now Justus is seen once in a blue moon, and the only black cop is an idiot.
·More family and romance. Stop the "hit and run" musical chair love stories. ABC used to be the network of ‘Love in the Afternoon.’ Now it should be called, ‘Violence in the Afternoon.’ Give us a teen storyline that moves us, not one that involves something stupid like Viagra.
·Introduce the next generation, but not at the expense of the previous one. Use the vets to bring them in, and cultivate them. Stop using them for fillers! Shelves are for storing items and materials, not veteran actors. Stop bringing on the same boring character that didn’t work the first three times. I’m referring to Stone, I mean Juan, I mean Diego, the wanna be Latino mobster. How long before you have him singing?
·Hire a continuity person. Port Charles is in New York State. You cannot get a divorce without showing cause, and it takes a year from filing the papers till the divorce is final. You cannot fly from New York to Italy and back in one day. If you open the show with a scene between two people (i.e. Carly comforting Courtney) we should see the rest of the scene. In one episode, I counted at least 3 missing scenes. Bobby calls Carly, says it’s important that she sees her, and then we never see the scene or find out what was so important! John Durant opens the door to someone, who obviously was able to get past Sonny’s guards, and we don’t know who it is. And what ever happened to the Outback?
·More substance, less hype. Give us something to watch. The Fast Forward button is wearing out on our remotes. I have yet to watch an episode of General Hospital where I don’t fast forward through at least half the show.
·Stop the writers from ripping off Hollywood and prime time. If they cannot be original, perhaps new writers are needed. If they absolutely must rip off other work, why not take a look at "ER." No more American Idol on daytime unless you plan on following it through. Brooke Lynn’s career was dropped like a bad penny, and hasn’t been referred to since. After all the show is called General Hospital not General Sopranos. Better yet, pull out old tapes from the Labine and Monty era. THAT IS GH.
The list may look long and daunting, but all you have to do is go back prior to Mr. Guza and Mr. Pratt's tenure as Head Writers and Brian Frons involvement in general, you will see that what we ask is exactly what used to be delivered. Today, we seem to be getting a parody of what was once a great show.
We are making one last effort to reach YOU to fix what Mr. Frons and his head writers went out of their way to break. We, as viewers with remotes in hand, have other options. We hope you will take us seriously in order to prevent us from exploring those options.
Thank you for any and all consideration in regards to this matter.
Elizabeth K. Mahon
A concerned ABC fan.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Diane Sawyer had a company representative, as well as a Doctor who kind of looked like the doctor from Celebrity Fitness on VH-1. The DNA Direct representative was tolling the virtues of her company's product. Before the actual interview, there was an interview with a woman, who didn't want her identity known, who had found out that she was predisposed to breast cancer and had scheduled a radical masectomy and plastic surgery to reconstruct new breasts.
Dr. Katz, the VH-1 Doctor, was not to happy with the DNA Direct woman. He felt that having this information without proper couseling or a doctor's advice could lead people to panic and either not seek treatment, or choose the radical option that the unknown woman had chosen.
I agree with Dr. Katz. Knowledge is Power, but a little knowledge can also go a long way. If you don't really know what the DNA information means, it can lead to all sorts of problems. If you know that you have certain health problems in your family, it behooves you to talk to a doctor, or do your research before you are tested. You should already be taking care of your health if you know that, for example, obesity runs in your family.
Be prepared for both scenarios. Don't go into doing the DNA test blind. And have the results checked by a doctor. Don't just rely on what the lab report says. Mistakes can be made. Better yet get more than one opinion before you make any decisions that are irrevocable. Know that just because you are genetically predisposed, that doesn't mean that you will develop the disease. Just like not every smoker develops Cancer or emphysema, there is a possibility that you won't develop whatever disease you might be disposed to.
With all the new developments in science, we have to be careful. Common sense should not be ignored.
Monday, March 07, 2005
We were supposed to have a program by one of our members, Kathleen O'Reilly (see above link)speak to us on creating loveable characters. Unfortunately, Kathleen was sick and unable to come but we had Dr. Charley Ferrer, a sex therapist and Dr. of human sexuality come and talk to us, on short notice.
Dr. Charley is the only Latina who has a doctorate in human sexuality. She is so fabulous that I have to write a book about her. It's the only story that I can ever see myself writing for Blaze.
We learned about tantric sex, the g-spot, what really goes on in the S&M world, and how to write an effective sex scene. Her talk made us all rethink the love scenes in our book after that.
She even brought toys for us to play with including chocolate. Nothing like having an interactive workshop! We even joked around about having our group outing at Paddles, which is a local S&M club. (I'm not sure if we were really serious about this, however I will admit that I'm beyond curious to see what goes on. I wonder if Harlequin would actually let me include a scene like that in a book?)
I was stimulated, which is pretty amazing considering how sick I've been for the past few days. I immediately came up with new and more creative ideas of writing love scenes. Charley reminded us that if the scene doesn't arouse us, it's not going to arouse the reader. Also, don't worry about the editor or the audience, write the scene the way that you think it should go, it can be edited later.
The biggest piece of advice was don't censor yourself when you're writing, don't worry what your parents might think, or the people you went to high school with. If they can't separate you from the characters, they shouldn't be reading.
Also, know your characters sexual history before you write. Just like you know what their favorite foods are, and how they got the scar on their chin, you should know who they lost their virginity too, and what the sexual relationships they've had since been like. Good, bad, indifferent?
This was something that I hadn't really thought about until lately but it will be in the forefront of my mind when I do the rewrite of the current book I'm working on now.
Not one to just write about my own experiences, I decided to ask for my friends opinions as well. Several writers that I know have web blogs along with their websites. I've asked my friend MG, who writes a blog on this site, as Vanessa Virtue, a character from one of her novels.
Several writers have banded together as the Literary Chicks at www.literarychicks.com to blog as well. It's a phenomenon that's been growing for several years now. I blog to jump start my writing day, and because I have things to say that I don't feel like boring my friends with. They've heard me rant and rave from time to time on Reality TV, but on the blog I can talk as long as I want.
At first, when DK, suggested the article, I thought she must be out of her mind. But now that I think about it, it's an article that needs to be written, and since I'm actively promoting my blog, by including the address in my email signature and on business cards, it's self-promotion for me. I'm even hoping that I can extend the article in two parts.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Well, one myth that Sex with Kings dispels is the notion that being a royal mistress was a great thing. Yes, you had the love of the king, ministers would court you for favors, and if you played your cards right you ended with titles, estates, royal bastards, and money. But the price of being a royal mistress was high.
Eleanor Herman effectively demonstrates that being a Royal Mistress meant that you had to constantly be on your guard against younger rivals, enemies who would like nothing more to take you down, and put a more malleable mistress in your place. Madame de Pompadour is one the best example of a woman who wanted nothing more than to maitress en titre but then ended up in an early grave from the toll that it took on her life. Not only was a mistress at a kings beck and call, but her life was not her own. She couldn't show grief, fear, or illness. Madame de Pompadour wasn't even allowed to grieve the death of her only child or her mother for fear of displeasing the king. She ignored health problems because the king disliked illness of any kind. She couldn't leave the king alone to retire to her estates for fear of being supplanted. She lost her looks from the ordeal. Dying was literally her only way of freeing herself from the prison that she created.
Other mistresses fared less well. Dorothy Jordan, during the twenty years she spent as mistress of the Duke of Clarence, exhausted herself bearing him ten children, and keeping constantly on the road to support them and him since his allowance barely provided for himself. Her reward was to be summarily dropped by the Duke, when it was deemed necessary for him to make an advantageous marriage. Nor did he lift a finger when she had to flee England to escape her creditors.
The only mistresses who seemed to have emerged unscathed relatively from her relations with royalty were Diane de Poitiers and Nell Gwynn. Diane de Poitiers knew her duty, the king must have an heir, so she would arouse the king, and then send him off to make love to his wife to beget an heir, earning the undying enmity of Catherine de Medici who had a long memory. While Henri II was alive, Diane was literarlly the Queen of France in everything but name. She was on the Privy Council, she signed documents, she made appointments. Henri gave her the magnificent chateau of Chenonceaux which was decorated with their initials. After his death, however, Catherine seized the chateau and banished Diane from court. Still she had the knowledge that she was the one true love of Henri II's life.
Nell Gwynn had no illusions about who she was or her position. A low-born orange girl at Druty Lane who rose to be an actress, her position as mistress was far from perfect. Unlike other well born mistresses, Nell had to fight for titles for her children and their just due, which she did fiercely, but she also entertained the King, and made him laugh which was no easy thing. Legend has it that when Charles II was on his deathbed one of his last thoughts was for poor Nell Gwynn.
Eleanor Herman does a remarkable job of detailing the lives of these women from Agnes Sorel down to Camilla Parker Bowles. The book is a must for everyone who likes a little gossip with their history.
I particularly love the picture of the author in costume on the back inside flap.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Speaking of the Oscars, how nice was it that the show ended in approximately 3 hours give or take a few minutes! The show was a little boring, as there were no surprises or upsets. Part of the problem of all the awards shows, is that the Oscars are almost an anti-climax. Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank had won several major awards prior to the Oscars, so who didn't know that they were going to win? I still wanted to see Annette Bening win, because I thought her performance in Being Julia was just delicious or Imelda Staunton finally getting a movie role that showcased her instead of always being the comic relief?
I really wanted Virginia Madsen to win Best Supporting Actress. After years of toiling in bad B-movies, to pay her mortgage and provide for her child, she finally had a movie role that proved that she could act.
What was up with Beyonce singing 3 songs on the show? They couldn't get Celine Dion or Faith Hill? I'm appalled that the producers wouldn't let Minnie Driver, an Academy Award nominated actress, sing the song from Phantom of the Opera. It was her voice at the end of the movie while the credits were running. Or sweet Emmy Rossum could have handled the French song, or even Josh Groban. Beyonce looked nervous and out of place. Heck, even Barbra Streisand could have sung one of the songs.
I've included a link to an article that had me steamed over the past few days. Joe Queenan, who I usually like, wrote an article for Men's Health on romance writers. Unfortunately he missed the point of writing romance or of writing chick-lit. He lumps everything that isn't a strict romance under the title chick-lit, which it isn't. I have a feeling Men's Health will be getting several rude letters in the next few days.
As for me, I'm ten pages away from hitting the 300 page mark. I'm hoping to have the book finished in two weeks. Then it's time to write the synopsis and start figuring out what goes and stays in the second draft.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
In this case, Jen Schefft, played the entire ABC viewing audience as a fool. I had reservations when I heard that she was going to be The Bachelorette. It seemed strange that she would go on another reality TV dating show so soon after breaking up with the fiancee that she met on a reality dating show. I should have been suspicious when I heard that she had dated Bill Rancic after Andrew.
It appears that our little Jen got quite the taste of being in the spotlight and wanted to continue her fifteen minutes of fame, but without the baggage of a fiance with a well-known name, so she signed herself up for the Bachelorette.
From the beginning, Jen didn't seem to be into any of the men on the show, apart from Jerry. Still even when she was kissing Jerry, her heart didn't seem to be really into it. Several times, I noticed that she turned her head away rather than let Jerry kiss her on the lips. If you are really into a guy, you don't do that.
Her advertised meltdown seemed to be more about the fact, that she had to choose a guy, when she didn't really want to. The fact that her friends told her that JP was in love with her, but Jerry wasn't should have been a clue. For the record, I thought that what Jerry said, about not wanting to tell them that he was in love with Jen before he told her was great. Why should he tell her friends? He must have known that they were going to report right back to Jen. How high school is to have your girl friends tell you that a guy is in love with you?
Even when Jerry showed up for the final rose ceremony, she didn't seem all that excited. Why even let these guys propose, if she knew that she wasn't going to say yes to anybody?
Note: how many people noticed that JP picked out the exact same ring as Jen?
Then the fiasco of After the Final Rose, when she told Jerry she just wanted to be friends. I'm gathering that neither Chris Harrison or the producers knew that this was coming, despite all the rumors in the papers and on the internet that Jen and her pick were kaput.
I hated seeing Jerry have to sit there with ring, and get dumped on national television, whether he knew before or not, just because he signed a contract. No one, man or woman, should have to be put through that. And then, Jen didn't give a coherent explanation for why it didn't work out.
It was a painful half-hour for all concerned. All the hype about Jen being America's sweetheart. Who decided that? I would have rather seen Trish, America's whore from Bachelor 5, or Kristen from Bachelor 3 then Jen. She had her chance, blew it with Andrew, she shouldn't have been asked to do the show. Estella would have been a better choice. People felt for the way Bob treated her.
I wonder if this was a ploy to get Andrew back or for a TV career. Either way, it sucked.
As for me, I'm done with both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The previews for the Charlie O'Connell version, look like Bob Guiney Vol. 2. I'll pass.