Thursday, June 30, 2005
The survey concerned how RWA planned on defining romance. There were two choices, a romance is between a man and a woman or a romance is between two humans.
I'm going to say straight out, that I personally define romance as the love between two people irregardless of gender or color. However, I'm aware that I may be in the minority when it comes to that opinion.
When the board met in New York in March, I was able to attend the open session where they were discussing how RWA plans on defining itself in the future. Several regional directors mentioned that gay and lesbian writers expressed interest in joining RWA but were discouraged because the argument went that the organization really couldn't help them. Of course, they could go off and found the Gay and Lesbian Romance Writers of America, but they won't have the clout of a huge organization like RWA who have more than 9,000 members.
I'm not the only one who is interested in the issue. I've read differing opinions on several different blogs, but the one thing they all have in common, is that people are now motivated to vote.
I realize that the marketplace currently considers romances to be between a man and a woman, but there is a small but growing market for gay and lesbian romances. Does it really matter? Love is love isn't it?
I know who I will be voting on this issue. I'm interested to know how other people feel about the issue, whether or not they plan on voting.
Let me know.
In the meantime, Write On!
Dancing with the Stars Update: So Kelly Monaco made the finals of Dancing with the Stars instead of Joey McIntyre. So offense to Kelly, but what the hell? It just goes to show you that her fan base is obviously much more vocal that Joey's NKOTB fans, plus her skimpy costumes probably helped as well.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
It's Wednesday, which means that it's hump day, you know that day in the middle of the week. It's not quite the beginning, and not quite the end.
I'm still working on the first 100 pages that I need to send to dream agent number 2. After cutting ten pages out of the manuscript, I found that I need to add another 17 pages to send out. Oy, that means more editing. I hope to be able to email it out to her by the end of the week.
I also still need to send partials out to 4 more agents. I'm really looking foward to this weekend, although my plans have now changed. I was going to hang out at the beach with a friend, but I'd forgotten that I promised another friend that I'd help her clean her apartment since she's only got one good arm at the moment.
I'm also still trying to plot out my new chick-lit manuscript, the multi-cultural one. The plot keeps evolving on me, the more research I do. I want to have it in shape so that I can start writing it next week.
Oh, and the cover on the page, that's what I'm reading right now. I have to confess that I hated the first Katie Macalister novel that I read, but I decided to give her another chance, and I'm glad that I did. She's grown on me with repeated reading. I particularly love her young adult novels, and her paranormals, the Aisling Grey series, and the Vampire novels for Dorchester.
I don't know what it is, but I prefer my paranormals to be on the light side. Maybe it's all the gothic novels that I read in my teens. You know the ones, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Susan Howatch. They were all long on brooding heros, and plucky heroines, but there wasn't alot of humor to leven the creepiness.
I think that Buffy and Angel also have a lot to do with it as well. No matter how hard I try, I've never been able to get into Anne Rice's over the top Vampire novels or the Anita Blake series. Chalk it up to the fact that deep down, I'm a wise ass. If I were to come across a Vampire, I don't know if I would be able to take them seriously either or a werewolf. Of course, I have no problem believing that Omarosa is one of the undead. Or Martha Stewart for that matter. Seriously, don't you think she's sold her soul along time ago?
So when I look for a Vampire series or paranormals, I invariably go for the humorous ones. Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series, Katie Macalister, Marianne Mancusi are on the top of my list. My own chick-lit paranormal is full of humor (I hope).
How do other people feel. Brooding dark paranormals, or light, fun paranormals?
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
It's a new day, and I'm feeling way better about things. It may have to do with my cutting ten pages out of my manuscript, and finally figuring out what I need to do to bring more conflict into the story. Or it may have to do with a request from another agent for a partial, making me three for three so far. However, she wants an exclusive, and I already have the manuscript out to two other agents, so I think I have to wait until I hear from them either yea or nay!
It's four days and counting to the release of War of the Worlds. Will Tom prevail over Batman and his new fiancee Katie (Kate) Holmes? Will Brangelina rise and crush them both? Does anyone really care after seeing Tom Cruise's performance on the Today show on Friday. Either this guy is having a total meltdown or he's so arrogant that he thinks that he can just say any ole crap and it doesn't matter.
Johanna Edwards has a really good description of what goes on in Scientology here. Her descriptions remind me of the crap that we had to go through in my acting classes my freshman year at Syracuse. It makes me wonder if L. Ron Hubbard ever studied at the Actors Studio or with Sanford Meisner. The whole 'do birds fly' thing is a perversion of a classic Meisner technique.
I'm very excited because night ABC is rolling out Empire which from the previews looks like Gladiator crossed with a big chunk of Velveeta.
The plot is that just before he died (after being stabbed numerous times) Julius Caesar manages to entrust his nephew Octavius to Tryannus, his bodyguard/gladiator. There's also something about a Vestal Virgin, that confused me, but you get the drift.
The handsome hunk pictured here is Jonathan Cake. He plays Tyrannus. He also has the distinction of playing the hero in the TV movie of Diana Palmer's Diamond Girl on Showtime. A movie that had very little do with the actual plot of the book. I think they just kept the hero's name.
I actually had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Cake in London a few years ago. He was appearing in Baby Doll. My impossibly handsome British friend knew him from Cambridge, so I thought here was my chance to make a personal connection. I sent him a note backstage mentioning IHBF, and suggested that we get together to chat. I wasn't really expecting more than that. I was still with ex-sweetie pie at the time.
Still, I wore my green leopard print Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, and sexy black sandals. I didn't want to show up looking like a drudge! I was feeling particularly good that day. My waiter at afternoon tea had brought me a whole tray full of sweets, because he told the chef I was pretty, and a waiter had chased me up Charing Cross because he thought I was pretty.
Well, it was a bust. When I met Mr. Cake after the show, and mentioned that I had sent him a note, he told me that he was confused because he'd never actually known Simon's last name, so he had no idea who I was talking about. And then he walked off, leaving me with egg all over my face.
Still, I plan to park myself down in front of the TV tonight, with my summer cocktail, a Midori Melon Ball (vodka, Midori, and Orange Pineapple juice) to watch Hollywood's latest version of Ancient Rome.
Monday, June 27, 2005
I won't go into the details, but I'll just say that this person didn't get what they wanted, and decided to spew their bile all over me. It was vicious and immature, and I didn't deserve it. Now, of course, I'll feeling extremely paranoid, and questioning all my decisions over the past few months, not to mention my behavior, to see what I could have done to have prevented it.
So, to cheer myself up, and you all since I've just been a complete downer, I'm posting this picture of the cutie Tyler Christopher, star of General Hospital and TNT's Into the West.
The title of the posting refers not only to the Geri Halliwell aka Ginger Spice CD of the same name but to how I feel about my writing career.
I made the decision to try and be more business like in my approach to my career, which means keeping track of my submissions, stepping up my writing schedule, and starting this blog. However, I wonder now if I'm in danger of shooting myself in the foot.
I write muliticultural chick-lit as well as romantic comedies, and paranormals. Confused yet? Well, not all my main characters are people of color. Some of my characters are bi-racial, African-American, caucasian, latino. They're like a rainbow coalition of characters. Some of my stories concern interracial relationships, some don't.
Eventually, I'd like to write historicals as well. I've always been interested in the reign of Charles II but I often wonder is anyone going to say why is the brown chick writing about a white king? I mean the only people of color back then were slaves, dwarves, and Indians. I know of only two historical romance writers who are black. One writes about black characters, the other about white characters.
I've often thought that I'll need to use a pseudonym for both sides of me. One for the chick-lit, and one for the straight romance and the paranormals. I worry that readers won't know what to expect of me, and get confused. That writing across genres is a mistake, but then again, there are writers who write both YA and romance or chick-lit. Meg Cabot wrote historicals, YA, and now chick-lit.
Are other writers writing in two genres or more? What are your thoughts?
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Aah! Isnt' the putty tat sweet. I watched Shrek 2 again this weekend, and I loved it even more the second time around. (FYI-Is it just me or do other people actually pay attention to the 'Be Kind, Rewind' tag on the videos? I can't tell you how many videos I've taken out of the library or rented that people haven't rewound. Come on, it doesn't take that much time, people!)
So, since I haven't been tagged by anyone, I'm tagging myself.
Total number of books I own: Heh... Erm. A lot. 6 bookshelves at hhome at the moment. I used to have more, but they were destroyed when the special house my father built for them at our house upstate, collapsed after a snowstorm. 8 garbage cans full of books destroyed. I wept for days. Consequently, I try not to get too attached to my books anymore.
2. Last book(s) I bought: Susan Kandel's new Cece Caruso mystery: Not a Girl Detective, Enchanted by Shanna Swendson,
3. Last book(s) I read:
SNOBS by Julian Fellowes, Nemesis by Peter Evans, Sex, Lies & Vampires by Katie Macalister, Spin Control by Nikki Burnham.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me: Do I have to choose just 5? Well, apart from Charlotte's Web, and The Chronicles of Narnia, these are the books that had the most profound effect on me growing up.
Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder (the first book I ever read in first grade)
The Diary of Anne Frank - profoundly effected me. I cried when I found out that she hadn't survived the concentration camp. Made me aware of man's inhumanity to his fellow man.
Go Ask Alice - this book scared me straight when it came to drugs.
Forever by Judy Blume - I've never been able to the name Ralph the same way after reading this book.
Madame Bovary - by Gustave Flaubert (words cannot describe how much I disliked Emma Bovary and my feelings haven't changed)
Katherine - by Anya Seton (started my love of historical fiction)
Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (the first historical that I read that had sex in it )
5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog? Vanessa Virtue! Lani Diane Rich, Michelle Cunnah, Mary Janice Davidson, Liz Maverick.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
For example, I had received a rejection letter from one of my dream agents stating that the stakes were not high enough for my main character, that there wasn't enough conflict. Sure enough, I read a book this weekend, that had the exact same problem. The stakes were not high enough. I won't mention the name of the book, but the plot involved two sisters and the youngest sister's six-year old daughter. At the beginning of the book, the youngest sister is newly divorced, her much older husband having left her for an older woman who runs a raw food restaurant. The sister is worrying about getting a job, but at least her daughter's expensive private school tuition is paid for by her parents, and her apartment was also bought for her by her parents at a low insider price, so her maintenance payments are small, plus her husband does pay child support. Okay, so what are the stakes for this character? She needs a flexible job, boom, she gets a job as a tour guide. That doesn't work out, boom she gets a job working in the MET gift shop. She hasn't had a date since high school, boom she meets a hunky fireman when she runs into a burning building to save a child. Everything in this book was resolved like a sitcom within a few pages. After awhile, I found the book hard to read, because nothing was happening.
So why did this book get published. Well the author has a track record, this is her fourth book. 2) The writing was good, the three characters were distinctly drawn, and some of the incidences were amusing. 3) books about upperwardly mobile parents in New York trying to out do each other with birthday parties, and getting their fetuses into the best schools are very popular right now. Think the Ivy Chronicles and The Nanny Diaries. Also, it had a cute premise, the book was narrated by the two sisters and the little girl. The book was very similar to the Kate Hudson movie that came out last summer called Raising Helen, although that book actually had conflict and the stakes were raised for Helen.
So what does that mean for me? Well, I need to make sure that the stakes are high for my character, and that I keep raising the stakes in the book, increase the conflict. I can't worry about what has already been published. I just have to write the best book that I can. Sure, I was a tad peeved, but I'll get over it.
Like Roseanne Roseannadana used to say on SNL "It's always something."
Friday, June 24, 2005
You Belong in London
A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.
What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)
See, I knew I was living in the wrong city, that I belong in London!
Again this is a quick, quick blog today. I just got back a critique from a friend that really kicked me in the ass. He totally nailed what was wrong with the manuscript. Thank god! Now, I totally know where to go with it. I was guilty of having way too much backstory, and not making the stakes high enough for the main character. I know that my writing is good, and that I have a really good voice, but raising the stakes is always been my problem.
Now, I know what to fix, and I think that I can cut at least 2-3 more pages out of the manuscript, getting the first 3 chapters down to under 50 pages which is cool. Received an email from dream agent #2, who wants the first 100 pages, so this weekend will be spenting editing another 50 pages to send to her on Monday. I already know that I can cut at least 8 pages out of it which is exciting.
But before I sign off to go back and edit, I wanted to mention an article that I read in the New York Daily News yesterday called 'Prada Placement". You can read it here.
Basically the article is about the trend of a certain type of fiction that sprinkles brand names among the story. They mention Plum Syke's Bergdorf Blondes as starting the trend, but now it's taken to a whole new level. Alison Pace got Theory to throw parties for her because she mentioned their pants in her new book. Actually Fay Weldon was paid by Bulgari to mention them in one of her novels, and Carole Matthews also wrote short stories for Ford escort.
While I don't mind reading books that are filled with designer names, I personally try not to do to much name dropping in my novels unless it's appropriate. Most of my main characters don't have the kind of money to spend on Gucci unless they find it at Loehmann's or Century 21. And I can't see mentioning a designer, just to see if they'll throw me a party when the book comes out, although I can see that it's a great marketing tool, if you don't have the money to spend on a publicist.
What do other people think? When you read chick-lit or the new trend of 'gossip fiction' (where do they come up with these things?), does it bother you if the author spends as much time listing the brand names, as they do telling the story? Or does it matter to you at all?
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
In the meantime, I'll just post a short review of the movie Bewitched which I saw last night at a special advanced screening through Entertainment Weekly.
Cute poster huh? Too bad the movie wasn't quite as wonderful as the poster.
I loved Bewitched as a child, it was one of my favorite TV shows. I used to spend hours trying to twitch my nose like Samantha or rubbing it like Tabitha, to no avail. I wanted to be magical and have adventures, and have a wonderful, understanding husband like Darren (personally, I liked Darren number 2 better than Darren number 1. Darren number 1 was a little too goofy for me). So I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. I like Will Ferrell, I even like Nicole Kidman now that she's come out of Tom Cruise's shadow. She was really funny on Oprah.
Unfortunately, I didn't really like the movie. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea they conceived of not doing a straight forward version of Bewitched was an inspired one, but somehow it didn't really work. Nicole Kidman seemed to be channeling Meg Ryan from her When Harry Met Sally days. She spent the movie talking in a really high cute voice the entire movie. However, I did think that she captured the innocence and naivete of the character, who apparently has never lived in the mortal world without using her magic. She just wants to be a normal human being for once. However, we're not given the reason for this desire. What sparks her off?
Will Ferrell's character is a little more problematic. He starts off as a has been actor forced to slum it doing a remake of the Bewitched TV series. He finds Isabel and figures that since she's an unknown with no acting experience, she won't overshadow him. He's egged on by his egomaniac agent (the ultimate cliche), even though Will's character is written as a fan of the original TV series. He acts like a jerk to Isabel, cutting her lines until she's basically mute. Isabel retaliates with the help of her Aunt Clara.
This is where the movie seriously went off the rails for me. Aunt Clara was one of the best characters in the TV series, and having her be a real life character in Isabel's life who acts just like the one in the TV series was just weird. Then there's the addition of Uncle Arthur, played in a really bad Paul Lynde impersonation by Steve Carrell from the Office. Only he's not real, he's a figment of Jack's (WF's character) imagination. Plus (SPOILER ALERT), Shirley Maclaine's character of Iris who stars off as an over-the-top actress, turns out to be a witch, which is never explained in the movie.
Michael Caine is totally wasted as Isabel's father. The secondary characters are generic. David Alan Grier, a fine comic actor, is completely wasted as generic director on the series. The movie just doesn't hang together, although Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman definitely have chemistry, and you believe their relationship.
All in all this movie was a huge disappointment, and I'm glad that I didn't have to pay $10.50 for the experience.
I give it two cherries out of five.
Two Bedrooms/Two Bathrooms, Soaring 16' Ceilings in LR & Master BR, Full Height Mezzanine BR Overlooks Dramatic Living Room which Opens to Large Private Patio Garden. Nicely Renovated Double-Sided Kitchen with Corian Counters and Glass Cabinetry. Nice Potential to Create Additional Mezzanine area above Master BR. Totally Peaceful Quiet Home with Southern Light. Building Features 24 Hour DM, Common Roofdeck, Bike and Storage Rooms. Very Solid Financials. Great Building Staff.
Sounds great, doesn't it? All this can be yours for the princely sum of $949,000 with a monthly maintenance of around $1,200.
I should be working on the revisions for Confessions of a Horror Queen, to send out to my top 5 agents. I have the letters all written and ready to go. Instead, what am I doing?
Procrastinating by looking at Real Estate Porn.
What is Real Estate Porn you may ask? It's the act of looking at apartments and townhouses you can't possibly afford for fun. Cruising the real estate ads in the NY Times, glancing at the listings in the windows of Real Estate agents, which seem to be on every corner here in Manhattan, it's insane. I used to think that I was the only one who did it, my dirty little secret, but I noticed when I was walking down Columbus on Sunday, that everyone was perusing the listings. Real Estate Porn gone mainstream.
I justify it to myself by saying that I'm doing research, you know making sure that my characters have the appropriate places to live in, for their budget and taste. The great thing about the internet is that you can look at Real Estate Porn in every city and country in the world. If I wanted to write a book set in Miami, all I have to do is look at the real estate listings in that city. That way I don't make the mistake that one writer did, having her heroine who makes $50,000 a year living in a studio in one of the worst neighborhoods in New York, East Harlem.
I fantasize about what I would buy if I won the lottery. Of course, since I live in New York, it would have to be MegaMillions, since a million ain't what it used to be in New York. That fireman who won Survivor knows what I mean. He's keeping his job.
But if I had say $10 million dollars, I could buy a lovely duplex garden apartment in the Village or Chelsea or even Brooklyn Heights, and then another flat in London. Heck, I could have flats in Paris and Venice as well. I have a friend who is lucky enough to have real estate all over the world. She has an apartment in New York, a cottage in Cornwall, a flat in London, a cottage in Grenada, Spain, and now she's looking for a flat in Venice.
Real Estate porn allows me to imagine how the other half lives. Last week on Kept, my other guilty pleasure, Jerry Hall took her men to spend the weekend at Hever Castle in Kent, Anne Boleyn's former home.
Can you believe someone still lives here? If you've been to England, and never been to Hever, run don't walk. It's beautiful. Not quite as lovely as Leeds Castle but gorgeous. Jane Seymour owns a 16th Century home near Bath, called St. Catherine's Court. For a mere $16,000 a week, you and 10 of your friends can stay at her house, being waited on by a staff!
Sigh! I'm getting all excited just thinking about it. I think I need to lie down.
In the meantime, Write On!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
I was watching Behind the Music last night on VH-1, dancing in his powder-blue and orange shorts, and fingerless gloves, singing 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'. Color me clueless but how did I not know that he was gay? I mean I suspected it, but I think I was hypnotized by the site of his perfect butt in the 'Faith' video. Let's face it, that video is virtually an homage to his ass! Dana Carvey once did a Saturday Night Live skit playing George Michael, talking about his butt, that was hilarious. My born-again Christian flatmate, Katie, bought me the Faith cassette for my birthday (it was actually released in the UK on my birthday) despite the fact that she disapproved of the song 'I want your sex'. I still think the album is one of the most perfect pop albums ever made, and 'Father Figure' probably the sexiest song about an Electra complex ever created.
Listen to the lyrics. "I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in my mind, I will be your creature, teacher, anything you have in mind. I will be your Daddy. I will be the one to love till the end of time." Who didn't want George Michael to love them till the end of time in 1987?
Speaking of clueless, my exercise instructor Jason is completely clueless sometimes. I'm one of those people who like having exercised, but not the actual process. So why do I exercise? Simple, I like cake. Plus, I'm vain. Really. Once you've tried on a size 0 pair of pants, and they fit, you will keep exercising. So I take this class called NIA which means non-impact aerobics, but is really a dance class. Now I really like Jason, but he seems to forget that most of us are women in his class, make that all of us. He does this shimmy thing, which is great if you're a guy, but a woman has breasts, and have a minute of shimmying, they hurt. I don't care how small your boobs are, shaking it like a polaroid picture is not pleasant even with a sports bra. But there's Jason, shaking like he's having a fit, while the rest of us are shimmying at 25%.
Happy Summer Solstice everyone! Yes, it is now officially summer, and to celebrate, it's going to go up to 90 something degrees today. Now, I know some of you thought it was already summer, starting with Memorial Day, but I'm sorry to say, that summer doesn't really start until the Solstice. Blame the druids or the Celts.
Who else is clueless in Manhattan? Well, the people who ignore the sign on the door of the exercise room that says take of your street shoes. Clueless are the Scientologists who are now standing on street corners in Times Square handing out cards. I got handed one yesterday by a guy who looked about 12. I probably shouldn't have ripped it up, and thrown in the garbage can in front of them though.
Clueless are the IT people at my new job, who still haven't fixed my login, and the plasterers who came to my house yesterday, moved everything in my kitchen and bathroom, and then left without putting stuff back. Don't get me started on Bobby Flambay on Food TV, using his pasty white foot in his probably filthy mandal to open the grill.
I admit I have no patience with the clueless, but I'm trying!
In the meantime, Write On!
Monday, June 20, 2005
Yesterday was Father's Day, and even though I'm now technically an orphan, I still try to remember my Dad and what a wonderful person he was.
My father was an older father. I was born when he was 49 and my mother 45. I'm not sure why they waited so long to have me, but my mother had 3 children from her previous marriage, and I think they both wanted to make sure the relationship was going to work out before they brought more kids into the equation. So, that made me my mother's youngest, and my father's only child. Is it any wonder that I was spoiled?
Daddy was a WWII veteran and he was very proud of that fact, even though he didn't talk much about the war. I didn't even know he'd fought in the Battle of the Bulge until after he died. He never talked about how difficult it had been to be part of a segregated army, or what it must have been like for him doing basic training in the South. He did mention that he could have become an officer, but he turned it down because he had no intention of making the army his career. I do know that he was one of the elite few that served in both Europe and Asia during the war.
After he passed away, I found photos that he'd taken in France during the war, that I treasure. Leave it to my dad to take pictures like a tourist in the middle of a war!
My father worked two jobs most of his life. Even after he retired from the Post Office, he took another job as a security guard at Bergdorf Goodman. I feel like such a slacker since I only have one job. He and I were alot alike, both stubborn, we even looked alike, the same dark hair, brown eyes, and slight build. He was often caught between my mother, me and my grandmother, and I often saw him sitting amused as he listened to us argue.
He wanted me to go to Harvard, Yale, or another Ivy League school, but he didn't complain when I went to Syracuse instead. When he came to visit me at school freshman year, he impressed everyone. My friend Gwenne even made the comment that my father was a fox! Not bad for a guy pushing seventy at the time!
My dad wasn't much for travel. Although my grandparents took my uncle and my dad on a trip to Barbados to visit relatives, my father considered his traveling days over once he came back from the war. He was content to sit on the front lawn at our house upstate, reading a book, or hanging out with his friends at the VWF club house. I think we only took two trips as a family, once to Montreal for the Expo, and again to Salem when I was in high school. He never quite understood my wanderlust, but he let me travel to England by myself when I was sixteen to spend the summer (although I had to pay for it out of my savings!).
He didn't always understand me or what made me tick, but he was always proud of me. He emblazoned my name on pencils, even a case of the worst wine in the history of wine making.
Although I know that he's in a better place with my mother, I still miss him. It's been 5 years since he passed away, but sometimes it feels as if it were yesterday.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy! I miss you!
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Isn't he dreamy? I just watched six hours of Pride and Prejudice on DVD this weekend, including scenes that were cut when it was shown on A&E. Since I don't have time to re-read P&P at the moment, the mini-series had to do, and watching Colin Firth is never a hardship.
Do you ever look at your TBR pile, and wonder if you'll ever get to the books that are lying there, just waiting for you to open them, and see what lies within? I do. Right now, my TBR pile is in danger of falling over on me, so that I can't get up!
At the moment, I'm reading:
Nemesis by Peter Evans (Did Ari Onassis conspire to kill Bobby Kennedy?)
Enchanted Inc. by Shanna Swendson
Wonder Woman down to Earth
Brian Trust by Christpher Golden and Rick Hautula
The BAP handbook
No Plot, No Problem
At the top of my TBR pile are:
The Lawless Decade - A pictorial history of the 1920's
Jewish History and Culture
If Andy Warhol had a girlfriend by Alison Pace
The Break-Out Novel Handbook
Fire Me Up by Katie Macalister
This list doesn't include the 15 books I listed earlier as my summer reading. I just read in Entertainment Weekly, that John Berendt, who wrote one of my favorite books, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, has a new book coming out this fall set in Venice, one of my favorite cities. Bastard!
Nick Hornby has a new book out, Candace Bushnell also has a book coming out. Every month, I open my copy of RT, and nearly swoon from the number of books reviewed. I'm totally behind on my Nora Roberts reading. Do you know it would probably take you around 3-4 years just trying to read her backlist? I have to limit myself to her single titles and her J.D. Robb books. Then there are the writers in my chapter I need to read, not to mention my chick-lit friends who have books out. Some of these wonderful women (Lani, Alesia, Marianne, Liz) have more than one coming out this year! I get tired just thinking about it.
I still have books from two Nationals ago that I haven't read yet. THe one good thing about missing National this year, is I won't be dragging home a suitcase full of books. Of course, that's also one of the reasons I'm upset about missing Nationals. The free books!
Then there are all the classics I haven't read yet. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wharton, James to mention a few. I've read some of their books, but I haven't touched the surface. And what about the poets?
I want to read them all, but I just can't. Not to mention all the stories bouncing around in my head ready to be written. Excuse me while I have a lie down from all the effort.
Anyone else about to be swallowed whole by their TBR pile?
Friday, June 17, 2005
The only thing wrong with this issue, is there aren't any addresses or phone numbers, so how am I supposed to start stalking these guys? (Just kidding!)
I think the best part of this issue was the section called Going to Extremes for Love. You have a guy who was making a documentary about going on blind dates in all 50 states until he ran out of money after date 12, a guy who started a National Dinner with Marc tour chronicled on his website I need to stop soon.com.
Another guy si offering $10,000 to anyone who can find him a wife. I'm serious. His name is Rod Barnett and he lives in St.Louis. He actually has a website called 10K4awife. Can you believe it? I was thinking that I should try to hook him up with my friend Natalie. If he proposes to her, we could then split the ten grand!
But the best is this 64 year old guy named Richard Roe who is planning on taking potential soul-mates on all expenses paid trips to Africa, the Amazon and Tahiti. His website is Senior Bachelor. He's asking for a photo and a 3 minute video detailing why you should b echosen to go on a trip with him. Clearly I'm going about this dating thing all wrong. I should set up my own website to get people to date me. I can call it the Anglophile, and invite Brits from all over the world to write in for a chance to date me.
And now for the beefcake. This is Bradley Cooper, who was on Alias and is now going to be playing a character based on Anthony Bourdain, the Executive Chef at Les Halles in Kitchen Confidential on Fox.
Not bad huh? Now this is the real Anthony Bourdain.
A little bit of artistic license wouldn't you say? Apparently at one point Brad Pitt was supposed to play him in the movie. I read in New York Magazine, that Bourdain's current girlfriend Paula Froelich from Page Six of the New York Post auditioned to play his girlfriend in the show, but sadly didn't get the part.
Is it wrong that I think less of Anthony Bourdain, now that I know he dates Paula Froelich?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
My new guilty pleasure is ABC's Dancing with the Stars. I love this show! That's Joey McIntyre from NKOTB and his partner Ashley del Grosso, a professional ballroom dancer. What I love about this show, besides the dancing, is how brave these celebrities are. They're really putting themselves on the line. The show is live every week, not pre-recorded, and they only had a week to learn either the tango or the jive. It took me 6 weeks to learn just the basics of the lindy, so kudos to these dancers. Who knew that Rachel Hunter and John O'Hurley could really dance or that you could do the tango to a Britney Spears song?
What makes it even more impressive, besides the fact that the show is live, is the fact that the judges are professional ballroom dance judges. It's hard enough to take on the challenge of something unfamiliar but to do in front of the world and professionals, that takes guts.
It made me wonder about criticism. Some of the judges were incredibly harsh on the dancers, considering that they're amateurs. Even though Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsey can be entertaining, we have the safety of not being the ones up in the host seat. Simon professes that he is doing the singers a favor by being so blunt but is he really?
I've had the experience of having some really good critiques of my work (Thanks Bev, KMJ, MG, RY, SRN) and I"ve had the opposite experience of having critiques that were so harsh, it's a wonder I'm still writing. My first experience with the Simon Cowell school of critiquing came courtesy of RT's manuscript evaluation service. For $85, I could have my synopsis and first 3 chapters critiqued by a professional writer.
Cool! I had just had several 'dear author' rejections from agents, and I wanted to find out aht I might be doing wrong. I sent off my check and my work and eagerly awaited my critique. Well, what awaited me in the return envelope was nothing short of character assasination. The writer was a fairly well known historical romance writer. She ripped my work to shreds, and called me morally irresponsible for having one of my characters smoke.
How I kept my head out of the oven I'll never know. Did I learn anything from her critique? Not really, apart from some grammatical errors. The second, almost as devastating occured in my first workshop with the Queen Bee. I read my first 7 pages of one of my manuscripts. The verdict? She hated it. That's what she actually said "I hate it". Now she had some really good points to make , but getting past the "I hate it" part was difficult to say the least. Granted, this was just one person's opinion, and you have to develop a thick skin in this business, but I do believe tha tthere is a way to critique without destroying someone's soul.
Since then, I've been very conscious of how I personally critique someone. I always say something positive first, before I go on to talk about what I think could be improved, or what I thought was missing. I try to treat the writer with the same consideration that I would want to be treated.
What do peole think? Is it better to be brutally honest or to take the Paula Abdul approach to giving criticism?
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I just finished Jennifer Cox's Around the World in 80 Dates, and all I can say is Wow! This was probably the most inspirational, romantic, book that I've read in a while. Truthfully, I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. I'd read books before about dating, and found them either boring or incredibly depressing.
Jennifer Cox was the publicity director for the Lonely Planet guidebooks. After ending a bad relationship, she came to the conclusion that she had to put as much effort into her personal life as she did into her job. Since she loved to travel, she thought that perhaps her sole mate was not in London, but out there in the great wide world. So she set off on a quest. She would take time off work, and travel around the world looking for her soul-mate.
She sent an email out to all of her friends around the world asking for help. The Date-Wranglers, as she calls them, in turn put the word out to their friends, and so and so forth. She decided, like Phineas Fogg, to date 80 men around the world to find her soul-mate. She put together a relationship resume, and a soul-mate description which she emailed to all her friends. AFter setting up the dates, off she went.
The book chornicles her quest for love, as she navigates the globe from Amsterdam to Stockholm to Paris to Germany, and then on to the US. It's not until date #55, that she actually meets Garry, her soul-mate, just by chance at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Even after meeting him, she continues on her journey of discovery, finally realizing that Garry is the man that she's been looking for. At the end of the book, she moves to Seattle to be with him.
Again, all I can say is wow! Jennifer Cox has to be the bravest as well as the craziest woman ever. She ends her journey not just finding love, but realizing that she is worthy of being loved. There's nothing like a bad relationship to make you question whether or not you are worthy of love. After all, if you've given everything you have, and it' s not reciprocated, it must be you right?
Around the world in 80 dates, is an adventure story, armchair travel, as well as a satisfying love story all in one. The best kind of book. I don't know if I would go around the world looking for love, I don't have the resources, but the book makes you believe that if you open yourself up, and take risks, you can find a soul-mate, even if he lives across the world.
What is the craziest thing anyone has done for love?
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
This is Michael Buble, who's CD "It's Time," I'm listening to right now. You've probably seen him in those Starbucks commercials for the Mint Frappucino. I actually bought the CD at Starbucks. They now have a program to expose artists by playing their music in the stores, and offering their CD's on sale. Along with Michael Buble, they're selling Antigone Rising right now.
I'm not sure how I became aware of Michael Buble. It must have been on Regis and Kelly. He's like a millenium version of Harry Connick jr. only not quite as annoying. He's Canadian, and he sings mellow jazz and standards. I actually got to see him last summer in concert at Tonw Hall here in New York. He's moved on since then. I think he's at the Beacon this summer.
I think the Starbucks program is a fabulous one. I wish they could do the same thing for books. Display them by the counter as you wait for your latte or half-caf, low-fat cappucino.
I'm feeling good lately, even though the weather here is still possessed. You know it's bad when you're actually listening to the dermatologist on the view when she says to go buy SPF 30 moisturizer, which I did today. Oil of Olay, not bad for $14.95.
Went out to the Taste of Times Square last night. It was good to get out of the apartment and to see people. Taste of Times Square is a food festival they ahve every year during the summer. YOu buy tickets for $1 a piece, and all these restaurants are lined up on 46th offering tates of their dishes for thep rices of 2, 3, or 4 tickets. This year wasn't as good as previous years, no champagne for instance, but it was fun. Not very good i fyou're on atkins of a vegetarian, as most of the food was pasta and barbecue, but I managed. I had crabcakes, penne ala vodka, barbecued shrimp, and raspberry lemonade before I called it quits because of the heat.
It's the type of event that makes you glad to be a New Yorker.
Hope to have my first 3 chapters out to several agents this week. Still waiting to hear from one friend, to give me her opinion. I want to get this out before the end of the month, before all the agents start clearing their desks for Reno, since unfortunately I will not be there. Also, Mercury goes into retrograde just before the conference through till the beginning of August, not a good time to be sending stuff out (yes, I believe in Mercury in retograde, and it's better to be safe than sorry).
Not much else to say today. The plaster job turned out not be as much of a nightmare as I thought it would be. It's actually affordable. Hopeing to have my new book finished by the end of summer.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Now that summer is here, and the regular TV season is over, it seems like TV has been taken over by reality TV. There's Super Nanny, Nanny 911, The Cut, Blow-Out, Hell's Kitchen, Kept, Strip Search, Dancing with the Stars, The Real Gilligan's Island, Bridezilla's, Single in Atlanta, Real World/Road Rules Inferno II, Beauty and the Geeks, Average Joe Strikes Back and another series of Big Brother. And what's even scarier is the fact that I know all this.
When did Reality TV take over our television airwaves? It seemed to start so slowly. First there was the Real World, and then Road Rules on MTV. But then nothing, until one day Mark Burnett came up with Survivor and all hell broke loose. Networks realized that Reality TV shows cost nothing to produce, all you needed was a great concept. I could blame England for this, the country that gave us Monty Python, and Fawlty Towers, is also responsible for Big Brother.
Okay, I sound a little hypocritical complaining since I watch them, but as a former actress, I feel guilty watching shows that have put so many actors out of work. I'm not counting the Surreal Life, which has given a new lease to every former celebrity in town. They're addictive like Lays potato chips, you can't seem to watch just one. Frankly, I prefer the ones where contestants are actually working towards something like Hell's Kitchen or Project Runway, shows where the participants lives are goiong to change because they'll be living their dreams.
As opposed to a show like the Swan or Extreme Makeover, which I think actually harm people. I've given up on The Bachelor/The Bachelorette although Charlie's season was pretty entertaining. Loved the fact that the women had to sleep in bunk beds in tiny rooms, and that they actually got to leave the apartment when they weren't on a date instead of being sequestered like tubercular patients or a jury.
What really gets me is that people seem to actually have careers doing Reality TV shows. I wonder is it just the fame (Andy Warhol's famous pronouncement that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Thanks Andy!), or not having to have a 9-5 job in a crappy office?
Now everyone has a reality TV show, Jerry Hall, Martha Stewart, Bobby Brown, Britney and Kevin. (Note to Britney, no one really wants to know about your sex life with Kevin! There is such a thing as TMI. Learn to keep some mystery. Eww! I don't need to know you that well. You just sing, and I'll listen to you on the radio.)
I have a confession to make: I once tried out for a reality TV show. Actually it was A Dating Story on TLC. I figured I'd get to meet someone interesting, and have a fun story to tell my friends and grand kids. I sent my picture in, and low and behold they called me. I think the fact that I was unemployed at the time might have been a huge detriment, but I tried and I didn't have to stand on line to do it.
It takes a cerrtain amount of chutzpah to audition for one of these shows, so I can't fault the contestants. You either have to be crazy or extremely confident to allow a camera to follow your every move, to let a producer edit you as they see fit. I raise my glass to you.
Still, it's clear to me after this weekend, that I need to get a life, get out of the house. So with that in mind, I'm off to a Taste of Times Square this evening. Bon Appetit!
Is there a reality show that you're addicted to? Are they cluttering the airwaves. Tell me what you think?
Friday, June 10, 2005
It's the perfect day to stay inside, read, write, and watch lots of crappy television and movies. I still have my July President's letter to write by the 15th. Not to mention a book to write. That is if I can manage to go outside to purchase said items!
Here's a cute blog quiz I found.
Your #1 Love Type: INFJ
In love, you strive to have the perfect relationship.
For you, sex is nearly a spiritual experience, a bonding of souls.
Overall, you have high expectations for any relationship you're in.
However, you tend to hold back a part of yourself.
Best matches: ENTP and ENFP
This is so true. I do hold things back. I dated a guy once who told me that I was an enigma, which at the time I thought was really cute. I would have to say that sex for sex sake is a thing of the past for me. If I'm going to have sex now, I would prefer to be with someone I love, a real, mind, body soul experience. Hmm! How do you find someone into tantric sex! LOL!
I can be a perfectionist in a relationship, but I'm trying to let that one go. Relationships are anything but perfect, they're messy, fun, inconvenient, passionate, ugly, but anything but perfect.
What love type are you?
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Events over the past few days have left me wondering whether or not I should continue this blog. However, I've decided after much consideration to continue, but with a new attitude. I have a tendency to blog first, and then think later, and that's gotten me into some trouble. So from now on, I will continue to blog but only about non personal stuff.
Meaning no deep stuff from me. I'll blog about Reality TV, my soaps, my writing, internet quizzes, books I'm reading, dating (if indeed I ever have a date again!) but nothing heavy duty. So nothing about my temp jobs, my friends (unless I have their permission), and my personal travails.
So, that being said, there's my personal hottie of the day.
This is Ted King, who plays Lorenzo Alcazar, and the only reason I still watch this mysogynistic jerk fest on ABC. I used him as the look of one my characters. His story on GH is truly out of the pages of a late 70's early 80's bodice ripper.
Alpha Male kidnaps the beautiful pregnant wife of his enemy from the panic room where her husbands pyschotic half-brother was keeping her (intending to harvest her baby for his wife who lost hers, in teh meantime feeding wife birth control pills). While on Alpha Male's yacht, much sparring occurs masking the sexual tension between the two. Alpha Male reveals sensitive side while telling female his backstory (lost first love, so entered family criminal business instead of becoming history professor).
Beautiful wife returned to her family but cannot forget Alpha Male, while denying attraction. One dark and stormy night, alpha male helps deliver female's baby. Husband hears screams, comes in gun blazing, shooting Alpha Male, and inadvertently hitting female in head (single bullet theory). While in coma, beautiful wife dreams that she and Alpha Male are married nad having amazing sex. When she wakes cannot forget amazing sex. Etc.
I could swear that I read something like this back in the day.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Things are looking up this morning after yesterday's debacle. I'll spare the details, but my bedroom is now reasonably clean. I just need to buy one of those handy-dandy Swiffer things, and I'm on my way.
Learned a few things about blogger etiquette as well. I generally tend to write about my life, and what's happening in it, as well as my writing life. Well, I just found out that not everyone is going to be happy that they are included. So in the name of sensitivity and friendship, I have deleted most of the references to him that were on the blog. Apparently, he took offense to some of the things that I had to say, although they were meant to be complimentary.
I'm reading some non-fiction right now. One of the things about reading fiction while you're writing is that I have a tendency to get a little depressed if I read something that I think is absolutely amazing. I start to think what's the point of writing? I'll never be as good as this person. Negative thinking, it's a bitch. Then there is the flip side of the coin, the evil twin side, who when I read something that underwhelms me (IN MY OPINION), I have a tendency to think who did they get published and not me, and then we're on to pity party, table for one.
With non-fiction, there is none of that since I don't write non-fiction. I can appreciate it for what it is.
I'm back in the saddle in terms of writing. Wrote 8 pages yesterday long-hand, in a notebook which I'm carrying with me now to all assignments. No more using the computer at work for pesonal use. I've learned my lesson.
Read my horoscope yesterday. Funny how when things are going great, I never read them, but once things go down the crapper, I couldn't wait to find out if the month of June was going to get better. So I surfed on over to Astrology Zone to read the Scorpio and Libra June horoscopes. Susan Miller, the astrologer over at Astrology Zone recommends that you read both your sun sign and your rising sign to get a fuller picture. Since I'm a Scorpio with Libra rising, and my moon and venus also in Libra, I'm a very Venusian Scorpio.
According to the June Libra horoscope, everything should be coming up roses, and Scorpio things need a little work on the financial front. So, I guess I'll be fine!
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
I had planned on blogging today on how writers find their ideas. I'd watched a news story about an 80 year old woman who had been charged with being a madam. She said that she needed to supplement her social security checks. All sorts of stories could come out of this one news item, depending on what you're writing.
However, I'm a little bummed out, not to mention freaked out. They say things come in threes, so I'm just hoping that what happened this morning is the last of it. What happened? Well, I got up to go to the bathroom this morning, and when I came back to my bedroom, a huge chunk of my bedroom ceiling was covering my bed, not to mention the floor. No warning whatsoever. I hadn't even noticed that there were cracks in the ceiling (this is what I get for not sleeping on my back). I had heard rumbling sounds this morning, but I never expected my ceiling to fall down.
I had to leave my keys with the super, so that he could get in to clean up the rubble and debris. He mentioned that my whole ceiling might have to be replaced. The question is, who is going to pay for it? Me or the corporation? (I live in a co-op).
So instead, I'm going to try and think like the Monty Python song about 'the bright side of life' and count my blessings.
1. It's a sun shiney day.
2. The rest of my apartment hasn't fallen apart
3. I have my health (knock wood)
4. It's a sun shiney day
5. I'm wearing my new fuschia strappy sandals that are like butter, and they look awesome next to my hot pink toenail polish
6. It's a sun shiney day
7. I still have some Prosecco left in the refrigerator
8. It's a sun shiney day
9. I have good friends
10. It's a sun shiney day.
So, don't cry for me Argentina! I will survive! And stuff like that there. And I've included a picture of the luscious Hugh Jackman or Huge Jackman as I'm told he should be called. I had the privilege of seeing him shake his maracas among other things in The Boy from Oz last year.
Monday, June 06, 2005
On Friday, Oprah announced at the end of her show that the Book Club selection for the summer would be not one, not two, but three of Faulkner's novels. As I lay dying, The Sound and the Fury, and the Light in August. According to the NY Times, Random House printed up 200,000 of the 3 box set to be available for viewers to buy as soon as the selection was announced. That's alot of Faulkner. I don't know if he even sold that many copies while he was alive.
I first became acquainted with Mr. Faulkner my freshman year of college. I had lucked out of freshman English because of the English Advanced Placement test that I took. So I decided to take an American Literature course. One of the books on the curriculum was As I lay dying. I had no experience with Faulkner up to this point. I had read other authors in high school, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but Faulkner had eluded me.
Not that I didn't know of him. Since I was going to be an actress, I had immersed myself over the years in histories of Hollywood, movie star biographies. I knew that he had worked in Hollywood around the same time that Fitzgerald, and several other authors such as Lillian Helman had made their way west.
I don't know what happened but Faulkner and I just didn't click. I had to read As I lay dying 3 times before I got it, and I'm a reasonably intelligent person. The whole stream of consciousness thing just gives me a headache. I'm working on one right now just thinking about it. Then my senior year, I read The Sound and The Fury. Again, it took me three times before I could realized that the first section of the book was narrated by a character that was mentally retarded, and it was all down hill from there.
I consider myself a well-read person. I've tackled Henry James, Flaubert, The Brontes, Jane Austen, T.S. Eliot for crying out loud. I've even read East of Eden by Steinbeck (but only because I saw the miniseries with Jane Seymour and Bruce Boxleitner, so I read the book). I Claudius I've read, Evelyn Waugh, and E.M. Forster, but Faulkner, I'm mystified. I sometimes think that maybe if I read the books while drinking shots of whiskey it might make sense to me (Faulkner was a notorious drunk).
I know there are Faulknerites out there who are pulling their hair out that I don't 'get' Faulkner. Others might say I don't appreciate southern gothic. Well, I've read Tennesee Williams who I adore, and you don't get more gothic than that. Or people who will say that I've read too many romances or genre fiction to appreciate real literary fiction. To them, I say, kiss my ass.
Are there any writers or books out there who are considered 'classic' that you just don't get?
Sunday, June 05, 2005
The hottie of the day! Isn't he just adorable. His name is Marat Safin, and he's a Russian tennis player. He won a Grand Slam Tournament against Agassi back in 2000, and he's been trying to win one since then. I don't know what his ranking is, but I give him a 10!
Had our monthly RWA meeting this month. Unfortunately had to share sad news since our Treasurer's husband had passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with her right now. The rest of the meeting was the usual. We discussed plans for our annual Golden Apple Awards reception, and our first annual summer outing in July. After the break, we waited for our speaker to show up.
And waited. And waited.
Finally, I called his cellphone. Despite the fact that I had told him that the speaker portion of the meeting started at 1:30, he got stuck at BEA, and then couldn't find a taxi for the crosstown trek. He finally arrived at 2:10 p.m. and we got under way. On the recommendation of one our members, I had invited Infinity Publishing to speak about their program, as alternative to being published by a mainstream publisher.
Everyone is talking about self-publishing these days, and the authors who've gone on to be picked up by the mainstream publishing companies like Zane, and the guy who write The Celestine Prophecy. Writers Digest even has a whole magazine devoted to self-publishing and a contest where you can win valuable prizes.
What does this mean to a newbie, who has sent her book out to agents and been rejected but still believes in the book? Should I consider self-publishing?
Infinity seemed to have a nice package. It's $499 for them to set up the book in terms of printing, but they don't copy edit or proof read the book. Of course that's extra. The books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, and the Infinity website, and the royalties they pay are higher. Of course, you don't sell as many books unless you are able to do a big push, and get people to buy your book. I think the average Infinity book sells about 5,000 copies, which isn't alot.
Afterwards, a few of my friends from the chapter had a debate on whether or not it was worth it to self-publish. The general consensus seemed to be that the books just didn't look or feel like 'real books'. They had a seemed to scream self-published book, not that there's anything wrong with that. Although it costs $499 to publish with Infinity, in order to effectively promote the book and get it reviewed would cost about $400 more.
At the moment, I don't have that kind of money, and if I did, it would go towards things like rent, food, clothes, going to National or NJRWA conference. I still haven't given up on getting published by mainstream publishers, but it's nice to know what the options are out there.
Has anyone ever thought of going the self-publishing route?
Saturday, June 04, 2005
This is a kakapo, one of the main characters in Maybe Baby. Isn't he cute? Apparently it's a flightless green parrot that smells. There are now 89 of these birds left in the world. They've been decimated by progress, and predators. You can learn more at the Kakapo Recovery Programme. Did you ever see the movie The Freshman with Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando? Brando belonged to a group that ate endangered species. Well the Kakapo Recovery Programme will make sure that these birds are never anyone's dinner! And that our kids will know what a kakapo is without having to learn about it in books as an extinct creature like the dodo.
Well, good news, I'm employed at least for Monday and Tuesday, and I might have a possibility of working for a company that I've wanted to work for, for a long time, so keep your fingers crossed. The bad news is that I'm being called on the carpet by my temp agency for using company computers for personal use. I'm going to have go in, and be lectured by someone who sounds like the moviephone guy.
I realize it's my own stupidity that got me into this, a) for leaving the documents on the work computer, and b) telling my counselor instead of just emailing the other assistant and having her email them to me. So, I'll have to go in, and suck it up, and play contrite just in case I don't get this other job. I'm 40 years old, and being lectured just sucks the life out of your soul.
The problem is I'm damned it I do, and damned if I don't. Most of these temp jobs they're just pulling you in to answer phones, they don't give you anything to do, so you have a choice, either try to read a magazine, surf the internet, or do your personal stuff. Anything to look busy, or twiddle your thumbs all day long. But if you don't try to look busy, you can get canned!
The biggest problem is that you have to pay for stuff that other temps did. If they can't use the computer, they treat you like you can't use it, if the other temp didn't know how to use the copy machine, TIC think that you can't use the copy machine. It's never the temp agencies fault for sending people who are incompetent!
So come Monday, I'll be sitting at work (with my notebook) trying to look busy.
Friday, June 03, 2005
What I'm reading now. Maybe Baby by Lani Diane Rich was the perfect antidote to a crappy day. This book is hysterical but what makes it so great, is how unique it is. This book could only have come out of Lani's imagination. No one else could have written this book or even probably have come up with the idea. I know I certainly couldn't have.
Just finished reading the new RT, which had an article on Nice Girls. Now I've always thought of myself as a nice girl. I've even been called sweet and nice by other people, particularly guys. When I was young, my mother always told me that it didn't matter how pretty you were, if you didn't have pretty ways (My mother was from the south where they actually say things like that). So I've always endeavored to be nice, but lately I've begun to wonder if I'm really all that nice after all.
I mean would a nice girl have stood on stage laughing her ass off as her fellow actors costume fell off? Would a nice girl have argued with a little old lady, who accused her of stealing her blush? Would a nice girl have done the happy dance when her ex-best friend got a really bad review? Would a nice girl laugh her ass off while watching people make fools of themselves on reality TV?
Just last week, my a friend told me a story of having dinner at the penthouse flat of this insanely rich guy that he knows in London, over looking the Thames. Rich dude has a valet or man who's sole job is to look after the flat while Rich dude is in Chicago (which is his primary residence), and drive his cars. At dinner, Rich dude asked his valet to tell a story about his recent encounter with a guy riding his bicycle. Apparently, this guy was pedaling fast enough and he cut Vince off in the Porsche. They had a collision. Bicycle guy tried to argue with tough guy. Tough guy picked up the bike and threw it into the Thames, and told the guy that if he didn't shut up, he could join him.
Now it's clear that this guy has some anger management issues, and that's he's a bit rough around the edges. Any sane woman would say that's horrible or wha'ts wrong with this guy. But not me. So what did I ask after my friend told me this story?
"Is he single?"
WTF? Would a nice girl do that? Clearly, I've been single so long that I've lost my mind. I've never been interested in bad boys before, and I start now at 40? FYI- Vince is dating a concert violinist! And rich dude apparently owns 2 of the worlds rarest Stradivarius violins. Do I smell Bombshell?
So I ask, am I a nice girl, or do I have a secret dark side? Most of my heroines so far have been nice girls. Obviously I need to start exploring my naughty side more in my writing.
So, are you more naughty or nice?
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Isn't he gorgeous? That's Freddie Ljungberg, Calvin Klein model and soccer (or football as they like to call it in Europe)player for Arsenal in London, which I think is the team that Nick Hornby was obsessed with in Fever Pitch.
I was a little depressed, but seeing that picture just perked me right up!
Why am I depressed?
Well, I was let go from my temp job yesterday. And here's the kicker, my counselor didn't call to tell me until 9:30 last night. That's right 9:30. Not 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. which is when I get off work. Almost ten fricking o'clock. When I asked why he couldn't have told me while I was still at work, so that could gather my things, I was told that the company wanted it that way. Apparently, they've had a bad experience with a temp who freaked out when she got canned.
What makes it worse was that I was seven kinds of stupid, and didn't email the first 7 pages of my new novel home last night. My instinct said do it, but I thought no, I'll wait until the end of the week. I'm kicking myself now. My only consolation is that it was a first draft, and I can write something better.
Oh why was I canned? I have no freakin idea. My counselor doesn't either, just something about I wasn't company material. Hello, I've been working for investment banks for almost 20 years. I fit in anywhere. That's part of my acting training, and my experience. I know how to slip and be inconspicuous.
So, to pamper myself, and to perk me up, I went out and had sushi for lunch. Nothing like eating expensive raw fish to make you feel better. And then I watched GH. Nothing like a soap wedding, where the bride and groom are each getting married for the third and fifth time, and the bride wears white!
I should have known that the job wasn't going to last. I had a feeling when the HR chick called to say that one of the companies that I worked for couldn't verify my dates of employment, and did I have a paycheck stub from like 7 years ago lying around. When I called the company to find otu what was going on, I discovered that the HR Person hadn't checked the second listing of my name in teh computer.
Normally, I don't get too comfortable at these jobs, I don't bring personal stuff in like pictures or a mug, I don't settle in, but this time I started to relax my guard which apparently was my downfall. I even had to work until almost 6 on Friday before the Memorial weekend!
I started temping because it was the easiest way to work while I was pursuing an acting career, plus bouncing around at companies, has given me great background for my writing. But now it's getting old, and unless I'm making Jennifer Crusie or Jennifer Weiner money, I need a permanent gig.
Now, it's back to watching Chris Rock, and rewriting my first seven pages, because I'll be lucky if I even get the book I was reading that I left back.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I've also given up reading the tabloids for the next two months. Why? I could give you the reasoning that reading about celebrities is waste of time, but really it's because I'm trying to save money to go to National at the end of July and ditching In Touch and it's brothers and sisters will save me around $7.00 a week, which can go into the 'Send Elizabeth to Reno' fund. I've also had to make the executive decision to ditch Starbucks as well. My $4.07 Soy Chai Latte is a thing of the past. Thank god for the net and sites like Conversations with Famous People to keep me aware of what's going on out in Celebrityland.
The only magazines I'm allowed to buy are those that having something to do with the book. Magazines I feel that my character might read. That's not to say that she might not like to read People or In Touch, but I'm going to avoid them if possible.
I get a little intense when I write a book. I like to listen to the music that my character might listen to, read the books she might read, hang out at the places that she might hang out. Eat the food she might like to eat. Anyone else out there have any really weird habits when they write?