Monday, July 31, 2006
I arrived at the Atlanta airport yesterday, after struggling through the extremely long security line, and taking the minitrain to my terminal, that my flight was cancelled. No explanation of whether it was a mechanical failure or what. A rumor went around that there had been a brief storm and that's why they cancelled the flight. Who knows?
The attendant at the gate gave me 2 choices, take the 8 p.m. flight which was 7 hours after my original flight was supposed to depart, and go standby for the 3:45 or I could take a plane to another airport. Great! right? So I chose to take the 2:15 to JFK, even though I hate JFK because it's huge and unmanageable, but it beat sitting in an airport for 2-7 hours. I asked the Continental employee if my luggage would be transferred to my new flight and she assured me that it would be done.
Wrong! When I got to JFK, guess what? My bag didn't arrive with me. When I went to file a claim, I was told my bag was somewhere in Atlanta. To say I was pissed off was an understatement. I was livid but I appeared calm. I filed my claim and then took the Super Shuttle into Manhattan where it took me 2 hours to get home.
So all told, it took me about 8 hours to get home from Atlanta to New York.
Then when I got home, I received a message from a good friend of mine that her father had passed away that afternoon, which kind of put things in perspective. Lost luggage doesn't even compare to losing a father.
For a brief moment, I was reminded of my own father's passing 6 years ago.
Sorry for the sad blog. I promise to write my impressions of the conference in the next few days.
Right now, I'm just hoping that I get home before they deliver my luggage (yes, they found it. In Newark!). I also need to prepare my submissions that I need to send out to the agents I pitched at the conference.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Anyway, one of the shows I've had to watch is ReZoned on HGTV. This is the show where the host takes you around the country to show how people have taken properties that had other uses, like an old firehouse, or a church and turned them into fabulous dream homes that make you drool on your remote.
Of course, all these houses are outside of New York City, although one episode did feature an apartment in the old Brooklyn Eagle building in Brooklyn, where this guy lived in the top floor apartment where this huge clock lived. But what really gets me is when the host states something like "Bob and Susi bought the property in 1980 for $3,000 and then totally renovated it."
Thanks, just what I needed to hear. If I wasn't envious enough. On the episode I watched on Sunday, the houses were an old hardware store, a church, a warehouse in Binghamton, New York, and an old millhouse. I'm talking huge bathrooms, walk-in closets, and kitchens to die for. I love to cook, but I normally hate to cook just for myself, but I'm telling ya with some of these kitchens that I saw, I would get over it.
I think that's the two things I envy the most, well three since bathrooms really get me going, particularly any bathroom that has a huge tub since I love to take baths. A gorgeous kitchen though can make me weak at the knees, and a walk-in closet? I've died and gone to heaven. Being able to have all my clothes and shoes in one huge room, organized and everything? Where do I sign up for that? Hell, I'd even live in the closet. Just throw in a bed, and a George Foreman grill, and I'm good to go.
Well, I'm off to National tomorrow, so there will be no posts until Monday, July 31st. Did I just hear a collective Aww!?
Thanks for reading,
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Saturday, July 22, 2006
1. When did you first start blogging and why?
I started blogging last year when I really decided to make a bigger push with my writing. Not that I hadn't taken it seriously before, but in the last two years, I've written more, and the blog started out as a way for me to write everyday, and share my road (hopefully to publication). It was also a way to connect with other writers out there.
2. What don't you talk about?
I try not to review other authors negatively, but I will mention if I didn' t like a current book if I review it. I try to review a book with the same way I would hope someone will one day review my work. I've gone back and forth about talking about my personal life. I try to be careful that I don't use real names, and I've removed stuff that I thought might offend someone in my life. And anyone who doesn't want to be mentioned, I try and respect their wishes. Everything else is fair game. Particularly celebrities.
3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?
Well I'd like think I'm funnier in person, and I'm much cuter, but the rest of it is all me.
4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?
I've made so many friends through this, and other people's, blogs. I have a list of writer's blogs that I read religiously on my page, and I frequently leave comments on their blogs and others.
5. How would you describe your writing style?
Sarcastic and lots of self-deprecation. I've always made fun of myself before other people could.
I tag Mary, Kelly Parra, Marianne Mancusi, Vanessa Virtue and Gabrielle.
Friday, July 21, 2006
I found my dress last night at Bloomingdale's! I was supposed to have plans after work, but they fell through (Boo-Hoo), but it freed me up to walk over to Bloomie's after work to try on dresses. Wow, they've really re-done the store. It looks much nicer upstairs. I guess having a store down in SoHo inspired them to overhaul the uptown store.
Anyhoo, I ran around grabbing dresses willy-nilly. A few BCBG Max Azria's, a Laundry by Shelli Segal in red, and a couple of other dresses. Not the one I really wanted. That would be the dress to the left in red, but at $215 (on sale), it was a little out of my price range. But it's pretty no?
I ended up buying an Anne Klein dress in, wait for it, green. And not just any green, but you can see me from two blocks away green. I think the color is called like a celadon green. All I know is that it hugged my figure in a good way (although I will have to invest in some Spanx) and goes well with my light pink shawl. And then when I took it to the cashier, it was marked down like over 50%. So, it definitely was meant to come home with me.
So, now I just have to send our basket off to National tomorrow, pick up some toiletries for the trip, and pack.
Whew! Wednesday can't come soon enough for me.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Well, National cannot come soon enough for me. I can't wait to spend 4 hot and steamy nights in Atlanta. I went shopping yesterday and bought a lovely pair of gold sandals from Nine West. Now I just need the dress to go with it. That didn't go well yesterday. Note to self, don't go shopping for evening dresses when your suffering from PMS. Nothing fits right, and you just hate yourself when you view your body in the those lovely floor length mirrors underneath the florescent lights that make only young children or people like Gwyneth Paltrow look good.
Spent way too much money today on perfume, but once I smelled the Miller Harris Couer d'Ete, I had to have it. Plus, they gave me groovy samples of their other perfurmes as well. I'm such a perfume slut. I love wearing perfume. Perfume and lipsticks. I can never have enough of them. What made the Coeur D'Ete so irresistible, was the fact that it used white lilac and lilacs are my favorite flower.
Working hard on my new YA manuscript. Doing a scene breakdown to organize my thoughts before I can continue past the first three chapters. Everything needs to be set up really in these three chapters, and I'm having a devil of a time with it, but it's getting there.
Had to watch The One last night for work. What a godawful mess of a show. The premise is take 10 aspiring singers and have them live together and compete. Sound familiar? Oh, but the twist in this version, and is that the contestants have to vote of one of the contestants every week, instead of leaving it up to the audience. Considering how bad the performances were last night, I'm surprised the entire cast wasn't in the bottom three.
And the judges? What rock did they find Mark Hudson under? For those who were born after 1975, he's Goldie Hawn's ex-brother-in-law, and Kate Hudson's uncle. For those of us old enough to remember, he's the middle Hudson Brother, of Bill, Mark and Brett (the cute one) fame.
I've never heard so many tone deaf, ear splitting, off key, performances in my life. One guy, Michael Cole, screamed his way through Devil in a Blue Dress until I thought my ears were going to bleed. I'm telling you I take back every negative comment I made about Kevin Corvais, Kelly Pickler and Bucky Covington. The performers on The One made those three look like Pavarotti, Tina Turner, and Johnny Cash. By the time I was done watching, I had a splitting headache. If there had been a sharp object nearby, I probably would have poked my eyes out to stop the madness.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
This year? I have some ideas but nothing concrete. The only solid thing I know is I would like not to wear black. I do have a back up dress, a red chiffon vintage number that my mother wore in the fifties, but I'm looking for something else that grabs me.
My workout clothes are a must because I plan to hit the gym every day while I'm there. Why? Because whatever dress I wear on Saturday, I will need to fit into. I've already abstained from dessert (for the most part) the past few weeks for maximum shrinkage. Even though the temperatures will be hot outside, inside the hotel, I'm sure it will be freezing, so of course a sweater is de rigeur. Now the big question, is what shoes to take.
No matter how hard I try, I always end up bringing at least 3 pairs of shoes, 2 for day, and my evening sandals.
I'm getting very excited about seeing old friends and making some new ones. Even though the conference for me, is 4 days of pretending to be an extrovert. I'll be taking alot of baths to ease the stress. I'm always hoping to stalk, I mean meet, lovely agent no. 1 who has my manuscript, although I know from her website that she won't be getting back to people until August. And then there is Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer stalking, I mean meeting. And all the books I will be hauling home after the conference.
I also have to prepare our chapters basket for National, a job I hope to pass of to someone else next year. I ordered a T-shirt and a mug from our Cafe Press site, although I think the Cafe Press people have to rethink their idea of what a size medium means.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
At least I wasn't stuck on the A train underground for 2 1/2 hours yesterday. Those poor people. They finally had to rescue them, which meant walking along the train tracks to safety. Hopefully the car was air-conditioned during their enforced incarceration. Still, just waiting on a train platform here in New York is like sitting in a sauna until the train arrives with it's blissful airconditioning.
Last night, I rushed home to change after an unfortunate barbecue sauce incident before I had dinner with the delightful LA friend. We had a great dinner at Hurley's, Irish saloon in midtown. It was nice catching up with an old friend, particularly since we hadn't seen each other in a while. Since I'm not with ex-sweetie pie anymore, I don't get out to LA anymore. Before, I was flying out at least four or five times a year to spend time with him.
I'm editing the first 3 chapters of what is now called for want of a better title, Ginny and The Canterville Ghost. I know, it sucks. I'm hoping to finish the editing so that I can send it off to my trio of critics before I start writing the rest of the book. I have some cool ideas now for the book that I want to incorporate, so I'm working on my synopsis as well.
My goal is now to finish the first draft by the end of August, and then start the lovely process of querying. What's that you say, what's happening with Crazy Little Thing Called Love? Your guess is as good as mine. I was hoping to have some answers before leaving for the conference next week, but so far I've heard nada.
At the moment, one agent has the full, four agents have a partial of at least 75 pages, and two agents have a query, for a grand total of 7 agents. Also, I have 2 rejections on the query, and 1 rejection on the partial, which makes it 10 agents that I've submitted this YA to so far.
Tonight, I'm having dinner with the delightful Anglo-American friend, at a great Mexican restaurant. There are several glasses of sangria with my name on it!
Thanks for reading!
Monday, July 17, 2006
What made it even neater was that the contestants were ordinary citizens like you and me. I wish I had known about the contest because how cool would that be, to walk into a supermarket and see your flavor in the freezer next to the other Haagen-Daz flavors like Dulche de Leche and Rum Raisin.
To your left is the winner, Sticky Toffee pudding ice cream, based on a typical English dessert or pudding as they like to call it.
A rich vanilla ice cream is swirled with a sticky toffee sauce and morsels of moist, brown sugar cake. Doesn't it sound delicious? I swear I wanted ice cream so badly after watching this show, and I'm lactose intolerant. Normally I eat Tofutti or if I really want ice cream, Tasti-Delite. I haven't had real ice cream in years, but I'm tempted to try the Sticky Toffee pudding ice cream.
I didn't envy the judges. The other four finalists sounded just as good. Chocolate Malt Mocha, Carmelized Figs and Walnuts, Cannoli, and finally Toasted Coconut and Sesame brittle ice cream. What was cool is that the contestants got to work with the research teams to actually create the ice cream. They each came up with two different versions, and then the first round of judging occurred. They then went on to refine their entry before the final judging.
Oh, and I learned that when tasting ice cream you turn the spoon upside down so you're tasting the ice cream and not the silver of the spoon. Apparently the metal taints the flavor of the ice cream.
Hmm! I feel an idea brewing!
Thanks for reading.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
So now I'm here at work, and just for fun, I googled my friend's friend. It turns out that he directed a show called "I'm Famous and I'm Frightened" which was a show where 8 celebrities spent 3 nights in a haunted house, and get voted out by the audience, while experiencing strange and frightening phenomenon.
Now this is the crazy part. I had just decided to replot Nearly Famous using that same exact plotline. How weird is that? I thought it would work well, since my main character Julia has made several really bad horror movies. But now I have to rethink that story. Of course, I've never seen the show, but I don't know if I can use the same exact plot since its so similar.
So it's back to the drawing board on that book. In the meantime, I'm working furiously on my new YA, revising the first 3 chapters before I head off to the conference next week.
Thanks for reading.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Tuesday, I ran into a woman, who was two years behind me in high school, who is now an MD at the investment bank where I work. Which I think is hilarious, because she's higher up on the food chain than my boss, who is older and has worked there his entire adult life. Of course, she has an undergraduate degree from Harvard, and a MBA from Columbia which I'm sure helped. I shouldn't take as much satisfaction in that but I do.
Now tonight, I'm having dinner with my lovely American friend who lives in London, and a friend of his, who is supposed to be very handsome but of course, gay. Story of my life. And then Monday, I'm having dinner with my lovely LA friend, who I also met when we were studying acting in London. Tres excited!
I re-read my partial this week, and it's not as crappy as I thought it was going to be. It needs work, so I'm pausing and rewriting it before I move ahead. The problem with this adaptation, is that I'm not as familiar with the story of The Canterville Ghost, as I was with a Midsummer Night's Dream, but I'm working on it. I've re-read the original novella again, and it's sticking more in my mind.
Need to chop up the third chapter, and save some of the information for later in the book.
That's all for now! Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I did however see him a few weeks ago at the Tribeca Film Festival at the Poseidon premiere with his much younger wife who is drop dead gorgeous. Still that doesn't explain what he was doing in my dream.
What was really weird is that in my dream he was some kind of Bollywood star, not just Salman Rushdie novelist. WTF? I have no idea where that came from. I've had some weird dreams in my time, particularly in the wee hours of the morning around 3 or 4 a.m. It's amazing that I actually remember them. I wonder if I should keep a dream journal, and just write down all the crap I dream about in the morning.
Anyway, I'm chalking it up to the fact that it's so hot and muggy here in the city, and I turned the air conditioning off before I went to bed, because it's too loud for me to sleep.
So, anyone, what's the weirdest dream that you can remember having?
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
But just when the pity party has been going on for awhile, I read an article in the newspaper or on-line, and it puts my life in perspective. Because as crappy as I may think my life is, there's someone out there who's life really is horrible.
Just yesterday, I read an article in, I think it was Glamour Magazine, about how women are either being forced to abort female fetuses or they feel they have no choice because the pressure to have a son is so intense.
Yes, here we are in the 21st century, and there are still cultures and societies that don't value women apart from the reproductive process. Granted, this isn't all of India, but it appears to be something that is prevalent in Hindu culture, where there is still a strong class system, and women need a dowry in order to be married. Consider, if you have 5 daughters, that's 5 doweries that you have to provide.
Sons meanwhile inherit the property and are entrusted with taking care of their elderly parents. So which do you want to have, particularly if you aren't particularly well off? Why a son of course. One man in the article actually boasted that his wife had had 15 abortions, and given him 6 sons.
Basically what happens, is that once a couple finds out from the ultrasound, what they are having, they schedule an abortion if it's a girl. Even though it's technically illegal to have an abortion soley because you're not happy with what you are having. It's enough to make you cry for the lives that have been lost, and I'm pro-choice. I've always felt that if you are not ready to have a child or you've been raped or it's a danger, then abortion is your choice. But this isn't right.
Apparently, it's gotten so bad in some regions, that women are being kidnapped from other regions to be wives, because there is a shortage of women. Fortunately, there are people who are working to stop this practice. And I want to reiterate that this isn't happening all over India, but in select states or regions.
Still, how can I be too upset over a rejection letter?
Thanks for reading!
Monday, July 10, 2006
I'm feeling a little fragile after the 3 glasses of wine I had last night. When did I become such a light weight?
Congratulations to the Italian football team for winning the 2006 World Cup, and to all you Italian or just plain soccer fans or who just like hot guys, this is for you.
Friday, July 07, 2006
So I thought I'd write about author crushes. You know, those writers that you can't help but stalk when you see them at a conference, hoping to talk to them, yet at the same time frightened that they will actually respond.
Jennifer Crusie: Okay this was an easy one. I've had an author crush ever since I picked up my first Jennifer Crusie book. I'd heard about her, but I didn't expect to love her writing so much or to find out that she was so funny, and refreshingly honest.
Meg Cabot - My sister from another mother. I love, love her Princess Diary books but also her Mediator books as well. Not many authors can write an entire novel in emails and make it work, but Meg can. Plus she drinks TAB and worries about celebrities almost as much as I do.
Christopher Golden - The only male author my list (so far). I first discovered Christopher Golden because of Buffy. He wrote several Buffy novels that I absolutely adored. And then I discovered his Jenna Blake series. Jenna Blake is a freshman at Someset University in MA who works as an assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner for the Country. Not only does she have a flirtation with a hot cop, but all the mysteries have some sort of either paranormal or really neat twist to them. Now he's writing a series of books called Ghosts of Albion with Amber Benson who played Tara on Buffy.
Eileen Rendahl - I met Eileen at the RWA Conference in New York. She was a complete doll and I couldn't wait to read her first book, Do Me, Do My Roots. It was so fantastic that I recommended it to all my friends. Since then I've enjoyed reading her second and third books, as well as getting to know her at various conferences.
Lani Diane Rich - I hate this bitch, she's such a good writer. It's why she won the RITA last year. No actually, I don't hate her. I just want to be her, but with my wardrobe.
Michelle Cunnah - what a sweetheart, and her writing is just as wonderful. Whenever I read Michelle's books, I can hear her voice in my head, almost narrating the story.
Nora Roberts - Okay, while I wrote this blog, Nora Roberts just wrote another book. This woman is so prolific, I can't stand it. I could spend the rest of my life just reading Nora Roberts books, she's written so damn many. In fact, I have to pick and choose the ones I read, because I just can't read them all. I'm sorry Nora, but I have to make room for all the other fabulous writers out there including Marley Gibson, who's books I plan on reading as soon as they come out in 2008. People say that Nora has a team of people living in her basement who write the books for her, but having heard her speak, I'm inclined to believe, she writes them all, and she's just too damn good, that's why people don't believe it's all her.
Well, that's just a few of my author crushes. What authors are you crushing on? Let me know.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
This is to certify that
Mr. George Knightley & Elizabeth Kerri
were married on
July 06, 2006
Marry Your Favorite Character
We're currently registered at Pottery Barn and Fortunoff's.
Thanks for reading!
So I went to see The Devil Wears Prada after work last night with a good friend (I even sneaked out of work early to go see it. Shhh!). What a fun, fun movie. I have to confess I did not like the book at all. I thought that Andy was whiny, and self-indulgent and I thought that Miranda was the only interesting character in the book.
Thank god that has changed. There are now 3 interesting characters in the movie, Miranda Priestly (played by the incomparable Meryl Streep who should have a statue made of her so that we can all worship at her shrine), Emily the first assistant (played by Emily Blunt who was fabulous) and Anthony played by Stanley Tucci.
Anne Hathaway was good as Andy but I had the same problem with the character that I did in the book. I still don't know why she continues to work for Miranda. I have a thought about why she does, but I would have liked Andy at some point to articulate to her friends what she's getting out of the experience.
My personal opinion is that Miranda is like that teacher in school who was notorious for never giving anyone above a B no matter how good there work is, so that you become desperate to be that one person to impress her and get that A. It's the challenge. Unfortunately that's never articulated in the movie (or in the book). I'm also at a loss as to why everyone gets so pissed off at her, and she never seems to have a reaction or to get angry. It's as if because she works in fashion, everyone (including her) takes her job less seriously. If Andy were working in a law firm as an associate and had to work 80 hours a week, none of her friends would have had a problem with that, it's expected.
I also thought hot writer guy Christian remained just as undeveloped in the movie as he did in the book. He just seems to represent just another user in the corporate world, and why was Andy so surprised after working for Miranda that there are other people out there like that?
Okay, the clothes were divine. Andy had two black dresses that were to die for. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly? What can one say about Meryl Streep that hasn't already been said? Her performance as Miranda was just amazing. She never once raised her voice which made it all the more effective and devastating than if she had just yelled at Andy or Emily. I loved the fact that the movie allowed her a few brief moments to have a vulnerability so that you could see the person behind the mask.
You don't have to be a fashionista to enjoy this movie. Let's face it, everyone at some point has had a facist boss. What is it that Lord Powell said? "Power corrupts and absolute Power corrupts absolutely?" Well that's The Devil Wears Prada in a nutsell.
All in all, a really good movie.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Her title this month is 'Better a bottle in front of me, then a frontal lobotomy!'
Since I'm a Scorpio, with a lot of Libra in my chart (rising sign, moon, and Venus), I always read both Scorpio and Libra for the month.
Libra: Sex, drugs, rock-and-roll. You have a couple of months to indulge yourself. If you are at all involved in writing about erotica, then the next few months should be wildly productive. Spend some time on research too..hehehe
Scorpio: I'm not sure what I can say that would be original about Scorpio. So many lovely aspects, so many spectacular opportunities. The only worry I have is that you will become so accustomed to life giving you what you ask for that when these aspects move, you'll be in shock. Remind yourself that this will not last forever and you need to move forward with ALL your dreams, right now.
Wow, so I should be shagging a lot, and writing a lot sounds like to me. Whew, I'm going to be even more tired than I am now! I do have an erotica or two that I've been thinking about. Probably work on a short story though. I don't think I'm ready to tackle anything bigger.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Happy Monday everyone! I'm here at work until 1:00 p.m. so I thought I would share my thoughts on Kaavya Viswanathan's book How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. Unless you've been living under a rock or just don't care, this is the book that got rave reviews, and then got pulled when it turned out that the author had plagiarized passages from not one, but at least 3 books.
Well, I was in the library on Saturday, and I saw that they had a copy of the book in the new book rack, and I thought, hey won't don't you take it out and read it?
After all it got published because the editor liked the book and thought it would sell. So I did and I have to tell you that I really enjoyed the book. I thought the writing (apart from the plagarized bits) was fresh and the book was interesting. I started reading it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday.
One of the things I liked about it was that it gave a different perspective on being a young adult. Opal Mehta is a first generation Indian-American who's parents have planned practically from birth for her to go to Harvard. It's about whether she's living her dreams or her parents dreams, and if not, what are her dreams. Opal is a total overachiever, science nerd, who has never had a boyfriend, and doesn't hang out with the popular crowd. After her Harvard interview goes wrong, her parents (who are hysterical by the way) decide on a plan to get her a life to make her more attractive to Harvard.
All the acronyms that they come up with for their plans are one of the funniest part of the book. There's a minor subplot wither Opal's cousin Kali as sort of a contrast and a cautionary tale. After reading the book, I can see the similiarities in terms of plot to Megan McCafferty's books but they are incredibly slight because Opal's experiences are so different from Jessica's.
I really enjoyed the family occasions in the book where Opal's large family gets together to celebrate the holidays. It added a flavor to the book. Books about the Indian-American experience are few and far between particulary from a YA perspective, and I enjoyed getting to know Opal.
I think it's a shame that because of the plagiarism charge, it will be awhile before we see a sophomore effort from Kaavya Viswnathan. I would have enjoyed seeing how she might have grown as a writer in her second book.
Here's hoping that she gets another chance in the future. After all both Stephen Glass and Jayson Blaine bounced back from their plagiarism scandals.
Thanks for reading!