Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I've also gotten 2 requests and one rejection from my email queries yesterday. And I'm taking the step of sending my partials to a manuscript critique service. I've done this before and it's been helpful. Right now, I'm too close to the writing to see what needs to be fixed. And I really need to take my writing to the next level. I'm so tired of getting these 'great' rejection letters.
As a very good friend of mine said about all these agents not loving the book. "You're not asking them to marry the book!" She wondered why when all these agents seem to feel that I'm a good writer and have potential, none of them are willing to sign me and work with me. She mentioned the illustrious Janice Dickinson as an example of an agent who has two groups of models in her agency, the A models who are ready to go out on castings and hopefully book work and the B models who are still a little rough and need some work.
Unfortunately, most literary agents are being paid by Oxygen to showcase their agency on TV. They don't have the time anymore to nurture a writer, or at least I haven't found one so far who is willing despite the compliments I'm getting. They want product that only needs a little polishing, that they can send out immediately to editors.
Of course, I'm biased because I think that my series has the potential to reach a wide audience, and since my background is in acting, I can hook-up with any number of companies in New York to present my books along with their Shakespeare workshops.
So, I'm off to send off my partials and to also to send them to a publisher who is just getting into fiction and the YA market.
Thanks for reading,
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I'm not quite at a mailbag but I've gotten enough to fill a small box. So instead of being depressed and diving into a bar of chocolate or a bottle of champagne, I'm trying to be pro-active. I'm sending out 3 partials to agents, one who had actually requested my first YA but wanted an exclusive, and I've emailed queries to 5 other agents.
Still it's disheartening to still be getting 'good rejection' letters. I'm ready to move on to the, 'love it, let's talk' stage of the game.
I also need to move on and start focusing on a new project, the trilogy that I've been wanting to write. I have the first book almost outlined, and I just need to do some research on the rest. So if you know anyone who's been through basic training in the army, let me know!
Thanks for reading,
Saturday, January 27, 2007
So, I've been thinking about what I'm going to put on said iPod since I have about 1,000 songs on this thing. Apart from the usual suspects (U2, Madonna), I've decided to put on it my Break Up Mix 2007. Here is my list of Break Up Songs that I've planning on downloading.
1. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (a classic and something of a cliche now but it works)
2. Stronger - Britney Spears (Girl should listen to her own music)
3. Keep Me Hanging On - Kim Wilde (Much better for grrl power than the Supremes version)
4. Treat Me Right - Pat Benatar
5. Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar
6. Fire and Ice - Pat Benatar
7. What Goes Around - Justin Timberlake
8. Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake
9. Bye, Bye, Bye - NYSNC
10. These Boots Are Made for Walkin - Nancy Sinatra (Please God not the Jessica Simpson version)
11. Misunderstood - Robbie Williams
12. My Love Don't Cost a Thing - JLo
13. Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (Not really a break up song per se but I like the lyrics)
14. Nothing Compares to U - Sinead Cusack
15. You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette (another cliche, but still effective)
16. It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want to: Leslie Gore
17. You Don't Own Me - Leslie Gore
18. Do It Right - Nellie Furtado
19. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Elton John
20. MacArthur Park - Donna Summer (This song makes absolutely no sense but something about it appeals to me during a break-up).
Well, that's it for me. For all the singletons out there, what do you listen to after a break up?
Thanks for reading,
Friday, January 26, 2007
I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had started taking dance classes. Latin ballroom specifically. It's only been four weeks, but it's probably the best decision that I made for myself all year.
I cannot tell you how much I love dancing. My parents enrolled me in dance classes when I was around 3 at the advice of my pediatrician who thought it might help me develop my arches (I was born with flat feet).
From the beginning, I loved it, particularly ballet. For awhile, I thought I wanted to be a ballet dancer, but puberty betrayed me. At best, I would have been a mediocre corps dancer in a regional company, which is not what I wanted. The corps at ABT yes. Even back then I was incredibly ambitious.
I continued to take dance in college. Syracuse had one of the first musical theater departments in the country, and being in the drama department, I was allowed to take theater dance. Part of the fun of dance in college was that we had to do showcases at the end of the year in front of the whole drama department. People used to do the craziest stuff. Ostensibly we were supposed to take a piece from class and choreograph a beginning and an end to the piece.
Well, people decided to just run with it and add skits and funky music. The two actors who played Elizabeth and John Proctor in The Crucible came out with ropes around their necks and did a dance to 'Hernando's Hideaway' from The Pajama Game. They called their piece 'The Proctors in Hell.' Other people did pieces like 'Four Jews and a Goy in a room.' But the best was a piece that blended Tony Orlando and Dawn's 'Knock Three Times' with Hernando's Hideaway that they called 'Orlando's Hideway'.
The last piece I did with my college roommate, we decided that we were two hookers on 42nd Street corrupting a young girl who comes to the big city to make it big. We did this to a Judy Garland song called 'It Seems to me I've heard that song before.' We dressed in leather miniskirts and skanky tops. It was so cool!
Coming to New York and taking class, I realized that I was only ever going to be an actor who danced. There was no way I could compete with actual dancers for Broadway shows. So I stuck with acting. Occasionally I got to dance on stage, in The Winter's Tale, and the tango in The Misanthrope, but not often.
After ex sweetie-pie moved to LA, I took classes for awhile on and off. I took salsa and merengue, North Caroline shag and Swing dancing. But I think that Latin ballroom is my speed. Doing the rhumba, one of the most romantic dances, and also the cha-cha, are just me.
When I dance, I have no inhibitions. I don't care what I look like on the dance floor, I just let go. It's the freest I've ever been, on stage or off. I'd loved to be able to take the way I feel when I dance and translate it to my writing.
Besides, it helps to have a hobby that doesn't involve drinking!
Thanks for reading.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
And the truth is, while Dreamgirls was good, it wasn't great. Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson were the stand-outs in the cast, and were deservedly nominated. Beyonce? Pretty and can sing, but she can't act her way out of an evening gown, and Jamie Foxx wasn't that impressive either. Personally, I felt the show lacked some pizazz compared to Chicago.
I was very happy to see that Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren were nominated. I had the opportunity last Friday to see Forest Whitaker speak at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He came off as a very sweet and humble guy, although the interviewer had about as much personality as the chair he was sitting in.
Helen Mirren, I've adored as an actor ever since she appeared in The Long Good Friday with Bob Hoskins and Excalibur. What I love is that Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are both over 50, and they had amazing roles this year. Judi Dench was phenomenal in Notes on a Scandal, although I found the movie a tad creepy. It just brought back memories of the whole Mary Kay LeTourneau thing. I'm still disgusted that Entertainment Tonight devoted a whole week to her wedding a year ago.
And hurray that this year the Academy nominated a record number of performances by non white actors. The whole disappointment is that Ken Watanabe wasn't nominated for Letters from Iwo Jima.
I still have to see Letters, Venus (with Peter O'Toole), Blood Diamond, and Babel, so that's my goal over the next month before the awards. I have Little Miss Sunshine at home thanks to Netflix. I always try and see as many of the films nominated as possible, if only to win the Oscar betting pool.
Thanks for reading!
The eldest child of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, Caroline hasn't always had an an easy life, even for a princess. Her first husband was a sleazy playboy, her second husband died in a horrific power boating accident, leaving her a widow with three children, and her third husband likes to urinate in public.
Seriously, even though she traded up when she married Prince Ernst (he's an HRH and a distant member of the British Royal family, while she was an HSH), Ernie is no prize. He left his wife for her, and he's been known to make racist remarks in public. Ironically, Princess Grace had always wanted Caroline to end up with him. Go figure.
Anywho, since her brother Albert doesn't seem to be in the marrying mood (although he's got several illegitimate children running around), Caroline's oldest son Andrea (who is gorgeous by the way) will end up being Prince of Monaco one day. Unless Albert pulls a Warren Beatty and gets married in his fifties.
Caroline is considered to be the first lady of Monaco, filling in as a hostess at functions since Albert doesn't have a Princess (I volunteer for this position. I even speak French, slightly). She's the head of the Monaco Red Cross, the ballet, the opera, etc. She seems to have settled down from her early days when she used to dance at discos in skimpy outfits.
It's said that Princess Grace didn't live to see that Caroline finally stepped into the role that she was raised for. I think that she would be proud of her daughter.
That's all for today. Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. Winter blues!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Who cried at last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy? Raise your hands! I bawled like a baby from the beginning of the episode to the end. All of it, from Meredith trying to deal with her dad, Christina and Burke trying to out silence each other, and Addison and Mark talking about her abortion, and the fact that it would have been her due date in last night's episode.
My favorite moment though had to be when Yang came out to talk to George, and welcomed him to the Dead Dad Club, revealing that her father died when she was 9. This scene shows the genius of the writing team of Grey's Anatomy. Everyone including Christina considers her to be slightly cold and unemotional but to have her comfort George in her own way was perfect. Her unsentimental yet poignant way was the perfect antidote.
George could be himself without having to worry about other people. I sobbed when George said that he didn't know how to live in the world without his dad. And Christina said that really wouldn't change.
If you love Grey, go over to the writer's blog on ABC.com. Krista Vernoff, who wrote last night's episode, wrote an affecting post about her own father's death and how it inspired last night's episode.
The episode really resonated for me because I lost my own mother to cancer when I was 24, and my father passed away almost 7 years ago. Even if you haven't lost a parent, you couldn't help but want to talk to your own parents after watching last night's episode. I had a huge argument with one of my co-workers who wasn't affected by the episode. As far as she was concerned, what was to be sad about, George's father was ill and in pain, so his dying wasn't that sad.
WTF? I guess some people take that view, but a parent is a parent. When you lose one, it's like losing a piece of yourself that you can't get back. You have to finally become an adult.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Anyway Sam, even though he's a diabetic, managed to prepare the winning dish, judged this week by Top Chef Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin, a restaurant so expensive that they charge your credit card $300 if you make a reservation for a group of more than three people. When I temped at Cartier back in the go-go 80's, my boss used to eat at Le Bernardin regularly. He knew the owners. That was over 20 years ago, and it's still one of the top restaurants in the city for seafood.
Cliff practically creamed himself when he found out who they would be cooking for. Ilan paired chicken livers (?) and chocolate in a truffle. Now whatever made him think that would taste good? Harold, the winner last season, tried to say that Foie Gras and chocolate are good together, but Harold, foie gras and chicken livers are two different animals. Elia whined when Chef Ripert criticized her dish, which I totally don't get. If she knew so much about food and was so knowledgeable, wouldn't she be doing more than just working as a room service chef at a hotel in Vegas?
The episode was swimmingly along reasonably well, when boom right about the midway point, the chefs done lost their mind. They decided to blow off steam by drinking and then two of them, Elia and Ilan decided to shave their heads, which led to the later reveal that some of those confessionals were taped long after the shaving occurred. Then things took a turn for the worse when someone came up with the fabu idea to try and shave Marcel's head. Cliff grabbed Marcel in a wrestling hold, pinning him down on the ground for several, long, uncomfortable minutes, as the other chefs looked on and did absolutely nothing. Not even Elia, Marcel's so-called friend, came to his rescue. They just sat around and filmed it, until Marcel pushed Cliff off or Cliff realized it wasn't funny anymore.
The next day, Tom Colicchio comes by the loft and sends Cliff packing. Cliff, at least, had the good grace to realize his mistake, and to humbly leave the competition, apologizing to Marcel on the way out.
Seriously, I couldn't believe that they could all have been so stupid. Marcel maybe an annoying immature jerk, but he didn't deserve to be treated like that. Cliff is twice his size and poundage, he could have seriously hurt Marcel without meaning too. It just goes to show you that perhaps the production team need to think of some ways to let the contestants blow off steam, so that incidents like this do not happen.
Clearly this group of chefs were highly competitive, and full of humongous egos, more so than I have ever seen on a reality show.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
In the beginning, I could see Rosie's point of view when she critized the Donald's decision not to fire the current Miss USA for underage drinking and partying, although she could have made her points in a less strident manner. After all, the point of Hot Topics on The View, is to have a debate about what's in the news. But then the Donald went on the attack, and said mean, and cruel things about Rosie, calling her fat, repulsive, a slob, that he would have one of his friends try and seduce her partner, that she's not successful. Really nasty mean personal attacks.
And then to make it worse, he had to drag poor Barbara Walters into it. Which I think was beyond the pale. No matter what Barbara may or may not have said to Donald Trump, it should have remained private. He shouldn't have put her in the middle. She had no choice but to stand by Rosie.
So what does a gentleman like Donald Trump do? He calls Barbara a liar, and then accuses Rosie of being a bully! I'm sorry but Donald Trump has got to be the biggest bully on the planet and the most unpleasant person.
Now they keep going at it, and he's now got his kids and his wife in on it. I wish one of them would take the high road and just shut up. Enough already!
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 11, 2007
S&S Launches Writing Contest
by Rachel Deahl
Just because the Sobol Award is dead doesn’t mean Simon & Schuster isn’t opening its doors to unpublished writers. The house’s Touchstone imprint, which had planned to release the Sobol Award winners before that contest was shuttered this week, has unveiled a partnership with social networking site Gather.com calling for fiction manuscripts for publication.
The Gather.com First Chapters Writing Competition, which opens today, will call on the site’s members to evaluate manuscripts submitted through FirstChapters.gather.com. The five best-reviewed manuscripts will then be evaluated by a panel of judges that includes S&S president of adult publishing Carolyn K. Reidy; v-p and publisher of Touchstone Books Mark Gompertz; Borders CEO George Jones; and Gather.com founder and CEO Tom Gerace. The author of the manuscript chosen by the judges will receive a contract to publish his or her book with Touchstone, $5,000 and guaranteed promotion for the title from Borders.
When asked if the Gather contest was set up as a replacement for the Sobol Award, Kelly Bowen, a senior publicist at Touchstone, said it is not. "The Gather relationship has been in the works for a while and coincidentally was finalized around the same time as the Sobol Award cancellation."
Sounds interesting, sort of like American Title on the RT website, although the $5,000 prize is a bit low, and it doesn't say whether or not it's hardcover, paperback etc. Love the guaranteed promotion from Borders.
Anyone thinking of entering?
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
First thing was receiving a letter telling me about a court date, but it was addressed to someone with a completely different name. You would think the lawyer would get the name right of the people involved in the case.
But then on Friday night, I had a vision as I walked down 12th Street to my friend's house. Who should come striding towards me, looking just as good as this picture you see, but Josh Lucas. He wore a long duster type coat, and he looked scrumptious. I had a big ole grin on my face as he walked past. I think he knew that I knew who he was but I didn't say anything. Probably because I was afraid that i was going to beg him to marry me!
Than Monday night, I come home and find two checks have been sent to me by accident for a Miss Clairol commercial that I know I didn't do. I reveled in the amount for a bit (almost $900) but then I had to call the company yesterday and tell them, and return the checks (boo-hoo, I had already earmarked that money for a new laptop and an I-pod.)
Also yesterday, some guy told me to go 'f***k' myself just because I didn't know how to direct his call. The operator sent him to me, and then I tried to send him back but instead he just cursed me out, when I found absolutely appalling, but what can you do.
Anybody else have strange stuff happening?
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The top fifteen:
1. I find your lack of pants disturbing.
2. You are unwise to lower your pants.
3. The Force is strong in my pants.
4. Chewie and me got into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.
5. Your pants, you will not need them.
6. I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.
7. You came in those pants? You’re braver than I thought.
8. Governer Tarkin. I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s pants.
9. In his pants you will find a new definition of pain and suffering
10. I think you just can’t bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your pants.
11. Pull up! All pants pull up!
12. I sense the conflict within you. Let go of your pants!
13. I’ve just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of our pants forever.
14. Alderan is peaceful, we have no pants!
15. These aren’t the pants you’re looking for.
I love this!
Thanks for reading!
Monday, January 08, 2007
This year, I get 10 days, 14 sick days, (rolled over from last year) 2 floating holidays, and 5 personal days. 2 of those personal days will be used to go to both the New England Conference and later on in the year, the New Jersey conference. I'm skipping Dallas this year (been there, done that) three years ago, and I'd rather save up to go to the conference in San Francisco.
I'd really like to take those days and go somewhere spectacular like Florence, which I've always wanted to go to. Plus, one of my closest friends in the world is going to be having a party to celebrate his civil partnership in London, so I need at least five days for that.
So taking off time to be sick, is just not an option right now. I just need to double up on the vitamins, drink lots of water, and stay home at night, watching DVD's that have hot men in them, like last year's Pride and Prejudice.
Oh, and I watched all 7 1/2 hours of the BBC Version of Dicken's Bleak House with Gillian Anderson, who I didn't like at all. She seemed to be sleepwalking through the park. I did like My Super Ex-Girlfriend, although I wish it had been explained why Uma Thurman's character G-Girl was so neurotic. Was it because every boyfriend she'd told about her superhero powers had gotten freaked out? Was it because she was a geek in high school before she ended up getting the powers from the meteor? I did like the fact that the Supervillain was like the geek in high school that G-Girl rejected. That was cute. Is it just me or is Luke Wilson just not aging well? I thought about that, because neither Wilson brother seems to be aging well. Must be all those late nights partying.
Thanks for reading!
Friday, January 05, 2007
I, of course, haven't helped matters by not taking my vitamins. I need go and get a new box and some serious Emergen-C or Theraflu to make his all go away. I did have a nice shot of cold medicine yesterday courtesy of a co-worker. It wasn't bad although it would have gone better with a Vodka chaser.
I can't concentrate on anything, although I need to crank out at least 2 pages, but I'm thinking I may leave and go home early.
On the plus side, I have 2 $5 off coupons for Duane Reade, had my 1/2 private dance lesson last night which was awesome. I'm now officially signed up to take Latin Social Dance (samba, rhumba, and cha cha) starting next Monday at 6:30.
I'm also going to a wine tasting on Tuesday, making January the month of wine. On and I've completely lost my appetite, not even chocolate can tempt me. Oh, and I've already broken my New Year's Resolution not to contribute to the tabloidization of America by purchasing US Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. I'm blaming it on not feeling well.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Scorpio: (October 23 - November 21)
1) Career. Work on it, totally, unflinchingly, straight through September.
2) Aim to make a certain higher-up notice more than your memos, between June and October.
3) By early fall, set your sights on that long-distance trip you've been yearning for but keep making excuses about.
4) Sign up for that class you've been thinking about.
5) Make this the year, from start to finish, that you're no longer afraid to let your light shine!
Hmm, well I do plan to work on my career unflinchingly. I have to finish my YA this week, and then start outlining the first book in another trilogy that I hope to write. I don't know why I'm thinking in terms of series, but that seems to be what readers what and I certainly hope to give it to hem.
Number 2, well it would be nice to make it to editor at my night job, because then maybe I could think about quitting the day job, to find another part time job while I write.
Well, number 4, I've already done with the ballroom dancing, and number 3, well I've always wanted to go to Rome and Florence, so maybe that will happen this year. Or Australia, but that involves more money than I'm going to have for awhile.
And I really like 5!
Thanks for reading,
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The good news? She said that I had a great voice. The bad news? she didn't "fall in love" with my story. Part of me wishes that she could have been specific about what she didn't love, just so I have some idea, instead of just the generalized comment.
Picture of me ripping my hair out in frustration!
Oh well. There are still three agents who have the partial, and I have about 5 more agents to send the partial out to. I'm not ready to give up on this book or this series.
I know that I have a great marketable idea, and that if an agent will just sign me, we can work on it to make it even more marketable to sell. I'm just a little tired of banging my head against the wall.
The upside is that I actually managed to write 5 1/2 halfway decent pages today, which is the first writing I've done since before Christmas. So at least it lit a slow burning flame under me.
Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
libra: a great offer does not always mean a great deal. Over time, even the sweetest of offers can sour when one does not look at the details. Be sure to look at rights splits and royalty escalation clauses closely.
scorpio: 2007 could bring the big break you have been craving. and the money is there too. gather information and consider all offers carefully. do not act until later in the month, or next month, ideally.
Well, that's news that I like to hear. For a moment, I thought the beginning of this year was going to be as sucky as the end of last year.
Thanks for reading,