Friday, March 20, 2009

My Super Hero

Thanks to Kwana over at KwanaWrites for leading me to this cool web-site in order to create my own superhero.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Memoriam - Natasha Richardson

I was so sad to hear this morning that Natasha Richardson had passed away after suffering a head injury in a skiing accident on Monday. It seems like only yesterday I was watching her guest judge on Top Chef (she was awesome) and now she's gone. My heart goes out to her family, her husband Liam Neeson and especially to her two boys, Michael and Daniel. Losing their mother while still teenagers has got to be gut wrenching.

It is so important while skiing or riding a bike to wear a helmet, especially if you are a beginner. And if there is one lesson to be learned, that is to not only to tell your loved ones how you feel every day but also to be careful about head injuries. If you hit your head hard for any reason, have yourself checked out. You may be suffering from a concussion or much worse.

My dad almost died from a blood clot on the brain because he ignored a head injury. He had fallen down the stairs at our house upstate and bruised his ribs as well as hitting his head. Instead of seeing a doctor, he did nothing until he almost couldn't breathe from the pain in his ribs. It was only when he went to the emergency room and they checked him overnight, that they discovered through a CAT scan, that a blood clot had developed around the injury. It was so serious that they decided to operate right away. If they hadn't, one sneeze and my father would have died.

So, even if you think that an injury isn't severe, have it checked out, just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! May you all hoist a glass of green beer (or for the teetotalers, the green milkshakes at McDonald's).
I personally have been in hiding while the streets are filled with too many people celebrating, singing endless choruses of 'Danny Boy'.
Oh and apparently both Obama and Ben Stiller are part Irish (Ben's mother Anne Meara is definitely of Irish descent).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Final Days in London

I can't believe that tomorrow I will be back in New York. I've had such a lovely time here in London on this trip that I hate to see it end. Leaving our lovely little flat in Earl's Court, while the sun is shining and people are out talking on their cell phones on their little balconies. I must stop or I'll cry a little.

Yesterday, I attempted to go to Leighton House which is the home of Frederick, Lord Leighton, a Victorian painter whose most famous painting is probably Flaming June. Well, after going the wrong way, I finally found the house only to discover that it closed for renovations until the end of 2009. Boo-Hoo. The notice suggested that one could check out the Linley Sambourne house instead but unfortunately due to time constraints I couldn't do that. The house is only available for viewing on a private guided tour and I had just missed one and the other didn't start until 2:00 by which time Hope and I needed to get going to attend the Romance Novelists Association meeting at The New Cavendish Club.

We arrived for the meeting just as it was starting. The New Cavendish Club is a private members only club which has several meeting rooms downstairs. The speakers for the RNA meeting were author Carole Matthews, and editor from Little Black Dress books, and a publicist for a literary PR firm who does the publicity for Mills & Boons for their centenary celebration. The topic was what could you, the author, do to help out your publicist. The general consensus was that authors, due to budget constraints at publishing houses, largely need to do their own publicity as much as possible, or come up with angles that might make them marketable.

It's important that a debut novelist have a web-site in place, and that they have a presence on facebook and myspace, as well as think about putting out a newsletter. That all seems like commonsense, but it's amazing how many authors out there don't have a web-site or who don't know about facebook etc. Carole Matthews talked about twitter but all three agreed that whatever publicity you do shouldn't keep you away from what is most important, sitting your butt in a chair and writing.

Afterwards, Hope and I went out to the pub with Julie Cohen, and several other members of the RNA for copious amounts of wine. We then went on to have dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant in Pimlico where we enjoyed more wine. Needless to say that I'm feeling a tad fragile today. I did manage to do some laundry and start packing for my trip home tomorrow.

Since it is so lovely out, I might head up to Camden market and to see the view from Primrose Hill.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More from London

I'm back at ye old Internet cafe, twittering, facebooking and blogging. My trip here is almost at an end and the depression is about to sink in. I have had a fabu time here in London. Went to see the always wonderful Dame Judi Dench in Yukio Mishima's 1965 play Madame de Sade. She didn't play Madame de Sade but her mother. I thought the acting for the most part was wonderful but the play left something to be desired. Not because it wasn't well written but because it was hard to understand Madame de Sade's motivations. We had standing room seats which were brutal but only £10. Fortunately the play was 90 minutes without an intermission but towards the middle it was getting pretty hard to stand. The costumes I have to say were stunning. Each actress wore a variation on the same palate for each scene.

Had an intimate tour of the Theater Royal Drury Lane in Convent Garden. Hope and I had booked the 2:15 tour which was supposed to be full. However, the school group that had also booked was late, so the tour guide just took us on a tour. It was lovely to talk to a fellow actor and to learn more about theater history in London. It gave me some interesting ideas for future projects that I'm keeping in the vault for a moment.

I had to head over to the National Portrait Gallery which is one of my favorite musuems in London. There is nothing like being able to look at the faces who have influenced history, particularly for me since I write about Scandalous Women. Saw an interesting painting of Lady Jane Grey and one of Emily Bronte that was new to me. Before I knew it, I had spent almost two hours in the museum and had only gotten to 1900!

I'm off to Leighton House today, the home of painter Frederick, Lord Leighton, and then off to the Romance Novelist Association meeting.

I'll write more tomorrow before I leave on Monday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

London Calling Update

I'm sitting here in an internet cafe in London near the flat where I'm staying. For only a pound ($1.50ish) I have a whole hour of time to surf the internet, check facebook, and write this post. So far, I'm having a grand time here in the UK with the lovely Hope Tarr and Liz Maverick. I couldn't ask for two better traveling companions. I arrived on Monday from the US and Hope and Liz took the chunnel from Paris and we met up in our glamourous flat in Earl's Court.

We're sharing a two bedroom/2 1/2 bathroom flat for the princely sum of $199 a night which is frankly a steal. The flat is centrally located to the Earl's Court tube station. We have an M&S Simple Foods nearby along with a Boots Chemist and several delicious restaurants. So far we've been to the V&A museum, which I could spent all day in frankly, and yesterday I went to the Cortauld Institute which is a lovely little museum with a lot of gorgeous Impressionist Art. I have bought way too many books, but it's hard when they keep offering them for half price of buy 2 get one free kind of thing.

I've bought Kate Williams new biography of the Young Queen Victoria, a book on Dining in history, books on Princess Margaret, Penelope Deveraux and a few more. I had to throw in some fiction just to balance it out. I was bummed that Janet Mullany's book won't be out until August even though the Little Black Dress sight says that it was supposed to be out in March. Oh well.

Trying not to buy any clothes because despite the pound being lower than it has been in awhile, clothes are still incredibly expensive here. I saw some lovely tops in Oasis and Monsoon but they were like £65 pounds, stuff that we could buy at Old Navy for $25. A great dress in French Connection was £130. I know that sometimes the French Connection in Europe like the H&M here have different stuff than we get in the states but it is still pricey.

Saw James McAvoy in Three Days of Rain. He was lovely and the play was surprisingly good. Well that is my update for today. I'll try to blog again before I leave.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

London Calling

I'm off to London for a week for research (LOL!), many cups of tea, and prawn sandwiches. I'll be back with news of my trip and my thoughts on Watchmen, the Bachelor and other subjects.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I officially hate this show!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I knew the whole story about what went down last night on The Bachelor two weeks ago, but watching it last night was painful. Seriously, Jason Mesnick has now surpassed Prince Lorenzo Borghese and Alex Michel as the worst bachelor in history. In fact I have more respect for even Brad Womack now.
Seriously, if Jason was so broken up about letting Molly go, he should never have proposed to Melissa. He should have done what Charlie O'Connell did and dated them both in the real world before he made his decision. There was no reason for him to tell Molly that he was in love with Melissa, then tell Melissa how much in love with her he was, and then two months later break up with her on national television.
I don't care what his contract said. He should have manned up and refused to break up with Melissa in front of the cameras. And you could tell from Melissa's reaction that she had no idea why he was breaking up with her. Jason told Jimmy Kimmel that he and Melissa had already broken up before the show, but if that were true, he did as lousy a job of it in private as he did on TV, because clearly Melissa was blind-sided. And all that crying? Seriously, I have never seen a man cry so much in my life. The guy should keep his day job because he is the worst actor in the world. From on the look on Chris Harrison's face, I'm amazed that he refrained from either punching Jason or telling him off. He just looked so uncomfortable to have to listen to that conversation.
And then the whole spiel with Molly? Do the producers really expect us to believe that Jason and Molly have had no contact via email or phone since the show ended? Either that or she's the world's biggest wimp to take him back so easily. She paid lip-service to being confused and having so many questions, but it didn't take long for her hand to be on his knee, and for them to be swapping spit on camera.
I believe that Jason told the producers that he wanted to break up with Melissa, and why, that he still had feelings for Molly. They sounded Molly out before the show, because how embarrassing would that have been if Molly had rejected Jason (which she should have)? Jason and Molly started emailing or talking and then they filmed the ATFR rose special.
Jason said on, that he and Melissa just couldn't communicate after they left New Zealand, that the conversations were different. You mean, because producers were no longer feeding them topics? Seriously they spent the night together in the fantasy suite. Unless they were schtupping, I assume they talked that night. The ony reason conversations would have been difficult was because Jason soon realized that he had made a mistake and wanted Molly or Reality Steve's version which is that he wanted Molly all along and just picked Melissa because producer's asked him too, and he couldn't continue to go along with the charade.
Either way, Jason is the most fickle individual on the planet. And I wouldn't trust him so easily if I were Molly.