Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
- Mark

Which is why I haven't made a true New Years resolution in years.

Without a New Years resolution I lost 10 pounds in 2010, go to the gym at least 2 a week, and haven't eaten at a McDonalds in ages. Yes, I need to work on my other dietary habits but I'm more aware of what I put in my mouth - however I do not worry on holidays because lets face facts - it's not what you eat on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and on Fourth of July that make you fat - it's all the days in between.

Without a New Years resolution I've written and submitted - not as much as I would have liked but I'm a slow writer - and I probably will have to face the fact that I'm more of a short story writer than a novelist however I'm not quite ready to give up.

Rather than resolutions for 2011 I will envision this: I will be another 10 pounds lighter by 2012 and will sit at the computer at the very least an hour day to write.

I'm lucky that this is the only issues that I feel that need improvement ( Okay - so I really should envision a cleaner house but I'd just be kidding myself).

Happy and Healthy New Year to All!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I think all this talk about age is foolish. Every time I`m one year older, everyone else is too. - Gloria Swanson

Married 6 times, Gloria Swanson started her career in silent films and is best known for her role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in 1950. She has 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - one for movies and one for television.

Do you remember Carol Burnett's character based on Gloria Swanson?

Anyway - here are some more quotes for Gloria Swanson.

Money was fun only until you ran out of things to buy. Gloria Swanson

As Daddy said, life is 95 percent anticipation.
Gloria Swanson

I always anticipated difficulties in order to avoid scenes.
Gloria Swanson

I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can't divorce a book.
Gloria Swanson

Friday, December 17, 2010

“A girl needs a backup plan in case Prince Charming stumbles.” Brenda Starr

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

It can’t be! After 7O years Brenda Starr, Reporter the comic strip will be no more. Not that I’ve read it since my teens but STILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A testament to the times (1940) the creator Dale Messick submitted her work under a male first name (her first name is Dalia) otherwise editors wouldn't even look at her work never mind publish it.

Like the creator taking on the male world of comic strips, Brenda Starr took on the male dominant world of journalism (hell everything back then was male dominated). Starr had it all - glamorous, fab career, and men. Even for a young girl in the 1970's (things like Title 9 hadn't passed yet) she was larger than life.

And who could forget the mysterious Basil St John - tall, dark, handsome, romantic, wearing an eye patch - well now this totally explains my fascination with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

(Yeah, I definitely going red for my 48th birthday - lol)

Though her and Basil St John did not have a happily ever after (HEA). Why? In the words of Brenda Starr -

"Well, it WAS romantic until we got married."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Live each day the fullest you can, not guaranteeing there'll be a tomorrow, not dwelling endlessly on yesterday.” Jane Seymour

I'm a big fan of Jane Seymour - How can I not be when I'm a romance writer and she was in 2 of my favorites romantic films - Somewhere in Time and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

I purchased this book in 1986 (gulp!) - Guide to Romantic Living

The book is more of an auto-biography – with numerous tips thrown in – like

Take your life in hand and be your own heroine.

In good, lasting relationships you don’t stare into each other’s eyes all the time: you together in the same direction. You share a life together

It should only be in a romance novel that marriage marks the end of romance: marriage should be the beginning of a richer, deeper romance based on shared memories, shared family: on listening, flirting, paying attention to his feelings as well as his words. Don’t behave like a wife, behave like a mistress.

Of course, one must remember that when she wrote this she was already on her third marriage (which she talks about in the book) and since then on her fourth….but it’s still an enjoyable read and I love the fairy tale like pictures in the book….

Gee…I’ve been married 25 years – maybe I should write a book about it – but it won’t be called Guide to Romantic Living…-


Marriage: Confessions From the Trenches

I can use pictures of me in my flannel-lined jeans and talk about using my feminine wiles to get a new kitchen floor.

I smell a bestseller.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday - 12/12/10

This week I’m selecting my six from Chapter 2 of Playing For Keeps, which was rejected this week by Carina Press. (long suffering sigh...)

Playing For Keeps is about a woman sportswriter and a professional football player.
Here Samantha’s police detective brother – who Ryan went to college with - has just told Ryan not to pursue Samantha but also ask him to make sure none of the players give her a hard time in the locker room. Ryan agrees but is angry thinking the brother doesn’t think he is good enough for Samantha.

“I’ll be your watchdog for now, but don’t expect me to roll over and play dead.”
“As far as my sister is concerned, there is one part of your anatomy that better be dead.”
“Don‘t worry about it.” Ryan climbed into his car and closed the door, shaking his head in disgust. When it came to Samantha, that part of his anatomy didn’t understand the command ‘play dead’. He'd need anti-Viagara pills to keep his promise to Samantha's brother.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday - 12/5/10

Here are six again from Playing For Keeps (woman sportswriter/pro football player)

Going back to chapter 1. Here my heroine Samantha Jameson (yes I named her after my favorite Irish Whiskey - LOL) is war correspondent turned sportswriter. She waiting to interview the players in the locker room. She knows one of them from college and here is what she is thinking/remembering....

Ryan Terell. The thought of him evoked vivid memories.
Shoulder length hair falling in waves like rumpled satin, eyes the color of a fairy tale forest, and hands made for more than catching passes. Much more. Sure, great packaging, but underneath the chiseled exterior was a man who hadn't socially evolved from dragging his knuckles on the ground. If only he worked as hard on his interior.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Just livin' our love song...."

Love songs can be like a mini romance novel. They can touch ours hearts. Leave us open to love.

It may be hard to believe that my favorite genre of music is rock and hard rock. We're taking AC/DC, Guns&Rose, Springsteen-and on and on.

But I'm a sucker for a good love song. So I plan to share some of my favorites in the coming weeks. I like this one because it happens 10 years after the 'happily ever after'.

But the singer really needs to lose the 'thing' underneath his chin.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday - 11/28/10

This week I’m selecting my six from Playing For Keeps, which I submitted to Carina Press. As I wait oh so patiently I thought I’d share the end of the first kiss scene. This scene itself won the New England Romance Writers of America First Kiss contest many moons ago.
Playing For Keeps is about a woman sportswriter and a professional football player. The scene takes place inside a stuck elevator. After playing a couple of rounds of Go Fish (a card game) – one thing leads to another – and they are kissing – and then…

“Ryan, we’re going down.”
“You’re going down?” he asked dazed.
She pounded on his chest. “No, you idiot!”
The realization of what she meant hit him like a bucket of cold Gatorade. He immediately released her and stepped to the far side of the elevator shaking his head. “And we spent the last hour playing Go Fish.”

If you want to see the other writers in the Six Sentence Sunday loop go to

Friday, November 26, 2010

“Counting sheep is boring…one Playmate, two Playmates, three…” Juan

Attention female writers: If you need advice on how to write in the male point of view look no further than the above quote.

Even though my wonderfully Peruvian instructor reads/writes poetry, says that East of Eden reminds him of Thanksgiving and writes things on Facebook like, “When I’m with you, there is a million dances but not enough songs.” and “Fingerprints that you left in my soul.” (not to or about me –lol- just wanted to make that clear) – it all comes down to the above quote which yes he really did post as his status update on Facebook.

Men like sex. Men think about sex. All the time.

What else do you need to know? -How to decode what men say.
For instance below are the results from a Men’s Health magazine survey that asked men to list of The Top 5 Qualities Men Want in a Wife.

And as a public service to women writers I will decode the list – what they are really thinking in the parenthesis.

1. Financial Savvy (- will not spend more than $100 on a single item of clothing – including shoes and handbags)

2. Independent (- has her own stuff going on so she won’t notice if I go out with the guys for a beer)

3. Intelligent (- knows not to walk in front of the TV or talk during a game)

4. Loyal (- will not disclosed embarrassing info about him to her girlfriends/family)

5. Sexually Adventurous (-will have sex more than once a week)

So there you have it – men decoded.

Oh and I’ve already told Juan I’m stealing his Facebook status for my book. Definitely sounds like something Russ would say.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's day that people of all faiths can share in and for that I am most thankful.

Here is poem I sketched out...

Count your blessings
the saying goes
how many can one have
let count the ways
as Browning would say
my family and
friends are just for starters
my health and
a job that pays the bills
for my creative well
For the world God gave us
even with all that is wrong
it is up to the human race
to find His grace
this Thanksgiving Day

Of course I need to end my post with a funny Thanksgiving Day quote....

Thanksgiving, man! Not a good day to be my pants.
Kevin James

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday - 11/22/10

This is my second week of Six Sentence Sunday. Again from my work-in progress Love By Design.

Russ is Victoria's temporary co-host on a design show but he'd been moonlighting as a stripper for the Thunder Down Under Male Revue. He invites her to a show. Her friend Ava drags here there and Russ brings her up on the stage. The song ends and....

Russ reached for her hand and led her back to her seat but before she climbed down he kissed her hand like he was a gentleman from a Jane Austen novel instead of stripper wearing only a sequined thong. She so did not feel like a lady.
Maybe he’d give her a private performance tonight then she’d turn the tables on him and peel off her clothes for him.
“I can’t believe you just did that.” Ava shouted out at her when she got down.
Victoria sported a feline smile that Catwoman would’ve have been proud of. “Got a cigarette?”

If you want to see the other authors participating go to..


Friday, November 19, 2010

"The road to success is always under construction." Lily Tomlin

I am so dating myself here but I loved the show Laugh-In (aired 1968-1973). My favorite was Lily Tomlin - the phone operator and the little girl in the hugh rocking chair.

Here are some of Lily Tomlin's quotes.

I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.
Lily Tomlin

I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.
Lily Tomlin

The problem with winning the rat race is you're still a rat.
Lily Tomlin

Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?
Lily Tomlin

Of the five quotes which is your favorite.
Do you remember Laugh-in?
Sock it to me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I may not have riches, but I have a rich life." - Liz Matis

In the October 18th issue of The New Yorker there is a short article by Rebecca Mead – interviewing Arne Glimcher an art gallery owner - he said something so true –

“It was a question of choosing the life you wanted to live, and I wanted a life in art. There is no chance if getting rich as an art dealer, but there was a chance of a rich life with artists.”


Even though I have my day job as a mild manner accountant which brings in the cash, I surround myself with creative people whether it’s the wonderful woman of both my critique groups, the Woodstock Film Festival, writing conferences or attend a play my sister, the actress, is in. My son is an unemployed news producer(writer)/comedian and my husband can create just about anything with pieces of wood. And, of course, my writing where I can create my own worlds.

So you see I may not have riches but I have a rich life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday - 11/14/10

Trying something new.... There is a blog ( where writers participate by putting up 6 sentences of writing on their blogs whether it's from a work in progress or something already published.

Here is mine. It's from my work-in-progress, Love By Design. Victoria's mother (a rich, snooty socialite) has told Russ he nothing but a toy to Victoria - who is standing there as well.

Russ knew the mother was changing tactics by appealing to his male ego and it was working. After all, she was probably right. He meant nothing more to Victoria than the sex toy in her nightstand drawer. But he wouldn’t let them see how much that fact stung. He jabbed his thumbs through the loops of his jeans. Using the thick Aussie drawl Victoria hated he said, “Well, your daughter can play with me anytime she likes.”

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In a bet there is a fool and a thief. ~Proverb

The first night on the ship my husband and I went down to the casino and started out with drinks. I had a lemon drop martini and the bartender made it STRONG - he poured vodka, vodka, vodka, vodka, lemonade. I was flying high by the time we hit the slots and my husband being the hero he is spotted the True Romance slot machine. "Look honey, just for you."
I immediately put in a twenty and on the third spin hit eighty dollars!

Instead of cherries and bars the spins revealed flowers, hearts, pictures of a historical romance couple, and....when you won the guy would say or rather he moaned...wait for it...."oh baby."


We had a great time but the only goal I met was reading and taking down notes for research for my next book.

Oh and by the third night I lost the eighty and the twenty. Yep, that machine lured me in with promises of roses, romance, and riches then left me high and dry. True Romance? Not a chance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. ~Mark Twain

I'm the Master Procrastinator.

So it was with great interest that I read the book review written by James Surowiecki of The Thief of Time – a collection of essays about procrastination – edited by Andreou and White in the October 11 edition of The New Yorker. (Did you notice the date? October 11 and it is now Oct 27 – yep I am a master)

Various reasons for procrastination range from Socrates – who says it ignorance, that we must want what is bad for us – to laziness - to my FAVORITE and not only because I am NOT ignorant or lazy but the theory that appeals to the writes in me is as game theorist Thomas Schelling proposes we are a “divided self”

Schelling says we are different beings – contending and bargaining for control. The one who makes plans and the one who fails to carry them out.

So, yes I am still at 35,000 words for Love By Design - but since being stuck I entered a contest (The Emily), submitted Playing For Keeps to Carina Press and wrote/submitted a short story to Woman’s World.

For the next 11 days I will be un-plugged. No blog, no Facebook, no email – no nothing – but there is pen and paper – so here is my plan that me and my divided self came up with

I will have completed my long-awaited sci-fi short story.
I will have handwritten the next scene of Love By Design and sketched in the details needed for the previous 2 scenes.
I will do research for my next book after Love By Design.

I’ll report back by November 9th. “Make it so” – as Jean Luc Picard would say because even though I’m the Master Procrastinator I know that…

Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. ~Victor Kiam

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It is not the word made flesh in writing that we want, in fiction and in poetry, but the flesh made word – William Gass

When I was a child tattoos were associated with sailors and bikers but that day is long gone. It seems the masses have tattoos. Not me. I don’t even have pierced ears.

A book was recently published on the subject of literary tattoos. I love the idea of a literary tattoo. I often thought that if I WERE to get a tattoo I would do a feather pen with a few ink drops coming out of the pen.

But an actual quote from a favorite book? Hmmmm…..had to do some many many great lines…but I think it would be this line from The Little Prince.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Of course that could change tomorrow–which is why I’ll never get a tattoo-that-well it hurts doesn't it? And I'm only a couple of years away from sagging skin and those beautifully tattoo words will end up looking like streaked or melting ink.


And what about copyright infringement? LOL – see I’m always thinking – of course if I stuck to Shakespeare like Megan Fox did I wouldn’t have to worry about copyrights.

How about my own writing? Is there a line I would pick from my own tomes (a big LOL) to have sketched into my skin for all time? Yes the first stanza from one of my poems – here it is

God's grace
blankets the earth
in peace
wrapping mankind
in HIS
warm embrace

So what about you? Do you have a tattoo? If so what is it? If not what line or passage would you choose whether from your own writing or someone elses?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If there’s any part of you that still believes in us..give me your number..I won't call for 8 years, December 24, 2004. Christmas Eve." Desmond -Lost

Part 7 of 7 Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

Penny and Desmond

The above scene is what happens eight years later.

Desmond and Penny is my favorite couple from Lost. Maybe because Desmond is such a free spirit and Penny this proper rich girl with a inner free spirit who is madly in love with him - and of course her father hates Desmond - even offers him money to stay away from her - of course he does not take this in typical hero fashion.

Thank you for indulging me as I work my way through my obsession with Lost. Maybe it will hold me over until the series comes out on DVD.

If there is one quote from Lost that sums up the meaning of Lost it is when
Jack says to group: "If we can't live together... we're going to die alone."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“If I can kick drugs, I can deliver a baby.” Charlie from Lost

Part 6 of 7 Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel.

Of course in typical male fashion he is no help in doing so.
Charlie is a minor rock start drug addict and Claire is the unwed pregnant girl who was going to give up the baby for adoption.

Apart they are a mess but together they are the sweetest couple. Lost main theme is redemption. Charlie’s redemption is in sacrificing his life to save the people on the island. As he is preparing to do so you see him flash to Claire and Aaron’s face as if to affirm his reasons for doing so.

But I chose the above scene because it is so beautiful. It happens in the ‘sideways’ where they are all finding each other and remembering their love on the island. Listen to the soundtrack. You feel the emotion radiating between them. It's a powerful moment.

"We are already together." Isabella from Lost

Part 5 of Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel. -

Lost gets all Historical Romance on us in this episode.

It’s the late 1800’s. Isabella who had become very sick, died when Ricardo (Richard) was unable to bring her medicine. He accidentally killed the doctor after forcefully taking the expensive medicine when the doctor refused the wife’s cross in exchange. He sentenced to be hanged but a prison priest refuses him absolution and agrees to go to America (not knowing he will be sold into slavery) so he can redeem himself so he can go to Heaven to be with Isabella. Remember, back then peasants relied on the priest for guidance.

Eventually he agrees to immortality (long story) because he his told he will never redeem himself. (even though it was a truly accidental killing and never would have happened if they had Medicaid back then).

Anyway In the above scene it is present day and he is about to turn to the dark side and Isabella appears.

And darn it I cried again.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kate: It's just that you... and the tattoos... don't add up. Were you one of those hardcore spinal surgeons or something? Jack: That's me. Hardcore.

And then Charlie says : "If you two are done verbally copulating, we should get a move on."

Part 4 of the Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

Jack and Kate – the second half of our love quadrangle.

In this romance the bad girl Kate gets the good guy Jack.

During the seasons of Lost, Kate couldn’t choose between the ‘bad’ boy Sawyer or the ‘good’ boy Jack. As in the real world (and by that I mean this world) girls are attracted to the bad boy – have their fling – and end of with the good boy once she realizes she can’t change the bad boy.

Though Kate was on the run from the law - like Sawyer and Juliet - Jack and Kate complement each other making up for each others limitations and faults.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"It doesn't matter who we were. It only matters who we are." Juliet from Lost

Part 3 of the Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

You’ve heard of a love triangle but what about a love quadrangle?

Sawyer and Kate? Sawyer or Juliet? Jack and Kate? Jack and Juliet?

Lost leaves you hanging until the end.

In the end it’s the bad boy who gets the good girl. And Sawyer is oh so bad…and I’ve based my hero in my work-in-slow-mo on him.

Yes, Sawyer and Juliet are soul mates but gee it took a lot of soul searching for them to get there.

In the real ‘island’ world Sawyer is a con man and Juliet a doctor. In the ‘sideways’ world he is cop (probably to atone for being a con man?) and they re-connect by a hospital vending machine.

Their kiss scene in a episode called LaFleur won the Best Kiss of Lost in a showdown on the ABC website. And as a former winner of the New England Romance Writers First Kiss Contest (shameless plug) I’m sharing the clip up above. It's very sweet.

One more thing – Sawyer had nicknames for everyone on the island
For example, Kate was Freckles and Juliet was Blondie
(my hero in Love By Design does the same thing)

So I just want to make it known that when I used the Sawyer Nickname Generator on the ABC website – Sawyer calls ME - Sunshine. Got it Juliet?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“em, Hurley, when a girl asks you how they look you say "good" ok??” Libby from Lost

Next up in my Romances of Lost or Lost as a Romance Novel Series is....

Hurley and Libby’s relationship was classic Beauty and the Beast. Okay not classic as in the cliché tortured hero – disfigured by war or accident but still has a smoking hot body – but this hero is usually bitter and mean to everyone including the heroine until her love changes him.

Not so with Hurley who could never be confused with a male model – it’s his sweetness and innocence that warrants teddy bear status. Beastly but only in facial hair.

Libby sees the real Hurley and in the sideway worlds we see a touching scene of Libby kissing Hurley and he flashes back to the island and remembers…

If you haven’ seen Lost it’s complicated – hell if you’ve watched Lost it’s complicated.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Remember when all you had to give me was a flower?" Sun from Lost

The Loves of Lost - or Lost as a Romance Novel

First up is Jin and Sun.

A plot device used sometimes in romance novels is that of the hero and heroine being from opposite sides of the track (so to speak) Jin is the son of the poor fisherman seeped in Korean tradition and Sun is the daughter of a rich Korean mob boss. Star-crossed lovers who had many problems but in the end they were meant to be together.

I know they are people who thought Jin should have left Sun to drown because of their daughter back home, but there is another school of thought who think they were the perfect parents because they put their marriage first. When the daughter is grown she will realize she came from a love more powerful than life.

I think the important lesson of Lost is that when we find each other we are no longer lost.

I cried during this scene made all the more powerful by the choice of music that not only tugs at the heartstrings but stirs the soul.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"If you want a place in the sun, you have to expect a few blisters." Loretta Young

The above quote is so true! Here are some other great quotes from Loretta Young - oh and let me know how you like the new look of my blog - should I go back to the old template? Try again? Go back to the old one?

The easiest way to crush your laurels is to lean on them. Loretta Young

A charming woman... doesn't follow the crowd. She is herself. Loretta Young

Certainly tears are given to us to use. Like all good gifts, they should be used properly. Loretta Young

I do not hold with those who think it is all right to do whatever you want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Who's to be the judge of that? Loretta Young

The split second she ceases to care is the only time a woman ceases to be attractive. Loretta Young

She considered herself a devout Catholic but she was no angel for sure. (Had an affair with the married Clark Cable and had his child) So it is no wonder Marlene Dietrich said of Loretta Young....

"Every time she `sins,` she builds a church. That`s why there are so many Catholic churches in Hollywood." - Marlene Dietrich

Friday, October 8, 2010

Every end is a new beginning – proverb

Yeah, but no I haven’t finished my latest work-in-progress, or rather work-in-slow-motion, Love By Design.

I still have 15000 words until The End, but I’ve been thinking about chapter endings and chapter beginnings. I always try to end a chapter in such a way that it will make the reader want to turn the page – and it doesn’t have to be a so call ‘cliff hanger’ just something that intrigues the reader to - well – read on.

But it is also important not to leave the reader hanging when she turns that page to the next chapter. Of course, readers of such authors James Rollins or Tom Clancy know that they do leave the reader hanging because they have multiple POV’s and action going so they jump around.

Romance is a little different especially when you are only using the hero/heroine’s POV (and it’s not a romantic suspense)

I thought I’d share an example from Love By Design

It’s the end of Chapter 20 – I’m in Victoria’s POV. She is arguing with her mother who is a rich socialite with powerful friends. The mother disapproves of Russ and tells him to stay away from Victoria.

“I’ll have you deported.” Evelyn pointed at Russ, her bony finger barely holding up under the weight of the four-carat diamond ring.
“If you do I’ll follow him to Australia,” Victoria threatened back.
Evelyn drew back her hand lifting it to her chest and turned toward her daughter. “You wouldn’t.”
Delighted by her mother’s appalled reaction Victoria couldn’t help but take it one step further. “No, you right, I wouldn’t. I’ll marry him.”
It wasn’t the look on her mother’s face that was priceless but the silence that followed.

Of course we know previously that at this point Victoria is just saying this to piss off her mother. So are you wondering what Russ is thinking at this point? I know I was so I started Chapter 21 in his POV with this...

M-m-m-marry him? Russ resisted the urge to make a break for the door and catch the next flight out of the country. No green card was worth marriage not even if it got you into Heaven. Hell, he’d swim back to Australia if he had to.

So that is my little take on chapter endings and beginnings.
I leave you with this quote by I Ching –
“No good ending can be expected in the absence of the right beginning. It is too late.”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"No, I said, if Keanu doesn't take off all his stuff neither do I." - Vera Farmiga

LOL. Vera Farmiga joked the above when an audience member asked about the choice made for the love scene (Keanu and Vera are under the sheets and after we see her pull down the sheet and she has a bra on and Keanu a t-shirt).
Keanu wanted to make it clear that they did not ask her to undress (he's so sweet) and that's when she joked the above.
Vera also said "People do do it with clothes on."

On the second day I went to the screening of Henry's Crime staring Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, and James Caan. I didn't know what to expect so imagine how happy I was to find out that they were going to give a Q&A after the film. Keanu and I in the same room. (I will forgot about the other 300 people in the room and that I was all the way in the back - damn it I could've gotten a front row seat - damn, damn, damn! but I digress)

Here is the synopsis of the film:
Sleepwalking his way through life, Henry (Keanu Reeves) gets an unexpected wake-up call when he becomes an unwitting participant in a bank heist. Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, he takes the fall and discovers his true calling. Having done the time, Henry reasons he may as well do the crime. Discovering a forgotten tunnel connecting the bank to a nearby theater, he recruits his old cellmate Max (James Caan) to aid in the robbery, all the while playing the lead in the theater’s current production where he finds himself falling for his leading lady, Julie (Vera Farmiga).

I loved it. It started slow but that was because we are in Henry's ordinary world and indeed 'sleepwalking' through his life- before the inciting incident - once that happens it moves fast and is a very funny film. James Caan is hysterical. Vera Famiga has some great lines and Keanu's very funny line comes at the very end.

After the film Keanu and Vera took the stage to take some questions. I didn't take any notes because I wanted to live in the moment and bask in Keanu (lol). Both of them were engaging and appreciative of the audience's response to the film.

Part of the film shows Caan asking Keanu what his dream is - an audience member asked what their dreams were.
Vera said an eye surgeon but then she got benched from soccer and got her heart broken and a friend made her try out for the school play from there she was encouraged to continue in acting - Keanu makes fun of her for the eye surgeon dream - Keanu said he knew at 15 he wanted to be an actor and asked his mom if it was okay (he's so sweet) but before that he said a conductor of an orchestra, race car drive, or a nuclear physicist.

Which made me laugh only because my son Steven wanted to be a nuclear physicist but ended up taking Broadcast Journalism.

After they were done Keanu waited outside signing autographs and letting people have their pictures taken with him. He is so very sweet. And too skinny. The man needs one of my chocolate chip cookies. And boy would have that made my husband jealous.

This is how the conversation would have went if I had:
Husband: "You gave him one of your chocolate chip cookies?"
Me: "It's just a cookie."
Husband: "You don't love me anymore?"
Me: "But it was just a cookie."
Husband: "Couldn't of you just have kissed him?"
Me: "Next time hun, next time."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Women directors are alphas - they have to be." Jeanne R. Berney

Here is my report from the Woodstock Film Festival.

Since it was my first year attended I only signed up for 1 event on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Amazing Women In Film
Thelma Adams (not in picture)has twice served as the New York Film Critics Circle Chair. She has written for “The New York Times,” “The New York Post,” “O: The Oprah Magazine,” “Marie Claire,” “The Huffington Post,” “Interview,” and “More.” Amy Dotson (in the middle) is the Deputy Director of IFP, the nation’s oldest not-for-profit membership and advocacy organization of independent filmmakers. She provides ongoing support and mentorship to over 350 independent filmmaker alumni each year and serves the independent film industry and community by connecting them with new, ‘off-the-radar’ creative talent.Joslyn Barnes (on the left) co-founder of Louverture Films, is a screenwriter and Emmy-nominated producer. She is the author or co-author of numerous commissioned screenplays for feature fi lms including the upcoming “Toussaint,” “The Cosmic Forest,” and the award-winning “Bàttu.” Jeanne R. Berney (on the right) For the past several years, Jeanne R. Berney has served as Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Random Information Discussed

Dotson: Sees increase in women of all ages and outside of the normal NYC/LA mainstream becoming involved in film

Barnes: She feels women involved with film is trending down –citing stats such as
-Only 2% of cinematographers are women
-Women directed only 15% of the top 250 movies.
-Only 30% of reviewers are women

Barnes: Points out that if this were a panel of men their family wouldn’t even come up. There is an inequitable expectation for women versus men.

Dotson: Networking and mentorship is so important
If you are stalled or told no – ‘just find a way to make it happen. You have to decide if you are in it for the money or for the love of it – this will decide the movies you want to make.

Barnes: When women are producing or directing they hire more women.

Adams: Still a large disconnect between women’s fiction – example - Eat, Love, Pray was directed by a man.
- The Runways – the moment (1976) when her high school music teacher tells Joan Jett that girls don’t play electric guitar falls flat – the male director didn’t understand the importance of that moment for women (GREAT POINT)

Dotson and Berney discussed the Dove Campaign

Barnes: Biggest obstacle is the link between financing and distribution. The story could be great but if sales estimates aren’t then the film doesn’t get made

Dotson: Discussed a recent trend of hiring a Audience Builder Producer.

Barnes: Not only are your competing will other films but with other forms of entertainment. Says while video games may give the player a certain feeling of democracy and freedom they are being monitored. (I thought this was an interesting comment)

The floor was opened to questions. There was one woman who said she finished a script. Barnes asked her what is was about but she wouldn’t say because it was autobiographical. Or was she afraid someone was going to steal her idea? I don’t know.

There was more to this panel discussion than I scribbled down here. My thoughts are scrambling around inside my head! It was enlightening discussion and I’m glad I attended. Next year I'll sign up for more panels and films. It’s always fun to be around creative people whatever the form.

It was a great day - even if I can't report a Keanu sighting...sigh

Friday, October 1, 2010

To deny women directors, as I suspect is happening in the States, is to deny the feminine vision. Jane Campion

Today I'm attending the Woodstock Film Festival for the first time. I have tickets to the panel on Amazing Women in Film and on Sunday I'm going to see Henry's Crime.

I'm so excited....I'll be more excited if I don't get lost!

Monday, September 27, 2010

We are just statistics, born to consume resources. Horace

I just stumbled onto the Stats portion of my blog. SO COOL!

Here is the viewership hits of my blog
United States 943
Canada 74
United Kingdom 41
Netherlands 41
Germany 26
Indonesia 21
France 18
Spain 16
South Korea 15
United Arab Emirates 11
Argentina 2

Referring Sites Hits - 137 71 31 26 12 11 10 10 9

My Top Three Viewed Posts
1 - Quotes on Mary Pickford
2 - Gone With the Wind on Facebook
3 - Quotes from Lana Turner

So what does this all mean?

Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable. ~Bobby Bragan, 1963

The average human has one breast and one testicle. ~Des McHale

Still - it's nice to know people from around the world have stumbled onto my blog. What are the odds of that?

Friday, September 24, 2010

"You are all a lost generation." 
- Epigraph, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway Banned Books Week

It's Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 25−October 2, 2010
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Every year during this week I choose a book off the 100 most challenged classic books

(for some reason I can't seem to post the link)

This year I've chosen #18 - The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

From Wikipedia:
Published in 1926, the plot centers on a group of expatriate Americans and Britons in continental Europe during the 1920s. It follows the group from Paris to the running of the bulls in Pamplona. The book's title, selected by Hemingway (at the recommendation of his publisher) is taken from Ecclesiastes 1:5: "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose." It is often described as Hemingway's best novel.[1]
The novel made Hemingway famous, inspired young ladies across America to wear short hair and sweater sets like the heroine's—and to act like her too—and changed writing style in ways that could be seen by picking up any American magazine published within the next twenty years.[2]

Here are some great quotes from The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

"You're not a moron. You're only a case of arrested development." 

"I was a little ashamed, and regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while, and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time."

"Tell him that bulls have no balls."

"I don't say it's right. It is right though for me, God knows, I've never felt such a bitch.'" 

"You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch." 

"Isn't it pretty to think so?" 

"It is awfully easy to be hard-boil about everything in the daytime, but at night is another thing."

"She was built with the curves like the hull of a racing yacht, and you missed none of it with that wool jersey."

Gotta love Hemingway...

What book will you be reading this week?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too. Helen Hayes

I LOVE the above quote!!!

Helen Hayes was nicknamed the "First Lady of the American Theatre" and was one of twelve people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. Hayes has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, from President Ronald Reagan and awarded the National Medal of Arts.

Here are some quotes from Helen Hayes....

If you rest, you rust.
Helen Hayes

Age is not important unless you're a cheese.
Helen Hayes

Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up... a lot of people don't have the courage to do it.
Helen Hayes

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
Helen Hayes

and one from her husband...
When Charles first saw our child Mary, he said all the proper things for a new father. He looked upon the poor little red thing and blurted, "She's more beautiful than the Brooklyn Bridge." –


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gone With The Wind on Facebook...WWSD? What would Scarlett do?

On Facebook there is a link going around which creates a Facebook thread between historical figures - you know if Facebook was around back then. It is some funny stuff and got me thinking about literary characters. So I decided to try my hand at it with Gone WIth The Wind. Now the one going around on Facebook actually looks like Facebook but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do it myself - at least within the half-hour I allotted myself to do so - I mean I SHOULD be writing - then there were all the copyrights attached to the photos - so here is the imaginary Facebook thread I came up with. I hope you enjoy it.

Scarlett O’Hara: The boys are playing beer pong AGAIN!

Rhett: I <3 you.

Melanie Hamilton Wilkes likes this.

Scarlett O’Hara: I heart Ashley.

Melanie Hamilton Wilkes: WTF?

Rhett Butler: Face it, he’s just not that into you.

Melanie Hamilton Wilkes likes this.

Scarlett O’ Hara: Fiddle-dee-dee, like that will stop me.

Melanie Hamilton Wilkes: I thought we were BFF’s????

Rhett Butler: I’m going to chill Belle Watling’s crib.

Scarlett O’Hara: She’s a Ho!

Mammy: Miss Scarlett!

Rhett Butler: Takes one to know one.

Scarlett O’Hara: As God is my witness, I’m going to de-friend you.

Rhett Butler: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a F__K.

Scarlett O’Hara is now friends with George Clooney.

Melanie Hamilton Wilkes likes this.

Ashley Wilkes: Can someone lend me a 20 for a beer run?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Never face facts; if you do you'll never get up in the morning. Marlo Thomas

Though she's done wonderful things in her life, I will always remember her fondly as That Girl.
Here are some great quotes...

Nothing is either all masculine or all feminine except having sex.
Marlo Thomas

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.
Marlo Thomas

We've been taught to believe that actions speak louder than words. But I think words speak pretty loud all of our lives; we carry these words in our head.
Marlo Thomas

Her famous father Danny Thomas told her....
"I raised you to be a thoroughbred. When thoroughbreds run they wear blinders to keep their eyes focused straight ahead with no distractions, no other horses. They hear the crowd but they don’t listen. They just run their own race. That’s what you have to do. Don’t listen to anyone comparing you to me or to anyone else. You just run your own race."

And run she has.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"I want pills called September 10. You take one and your mind feels like the 11th never happened." - Doug Coupland

This is a picture I took of one of the towers during my 8th grade trip to NYC back in 1977.

Please take a moment to say a prayer for those taken from us on September 11, 2001.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why can’t we find the universal in our differences? - Rita Dove

Read an interesting interview with Rita Dove in the July/August issue of the Smithsonian. Rita Dove was the first African American to serve as the US Poet Laureate. The interview titled Speed Reading asked her opinions on the future of literature. Here are 2 items that reasonated with me...

She believes that "blogs, Facebook, or Twitter does not diminish the power of literature because literature is shaped by intimacy."

“Literature is going to be looking for different ways to distinguish itself from the mass media, and it’s going to feel freer to experiment.”

It stuck with me so much that I dug up a few more quotes from Ms. Dove

"I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on." Rita Dove

"If only the sun-drenched celebrities are being noticed and worshiped, then our children are going to have a tough time seeing the value in the shadows, where the thinkers, probers and scientists are keeping society together." Rita Dove

"There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints." Rita Dove

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The thing about anything in life is you have to get ready for it. Study, learn. - Jacqueline Bisset

I remember Jacqueline Bisset from The Deep - the movie from 1977 with Nick Nolte (sigh, sigh - hey I was 14 and he was at the height of his hunkiness)

Anyway - here are some quotes from Ms. Bisset:

A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful. - Jacqueline Bisset

I think I am an adult. - Jacqueline Bisset

I've probably understood men too well. I realise they are predatory by nature, and I have a certain acceptance of the male animal. -Jacqueline Bisset

Ideally, couples need three lives; one for him, one for her, and one for them together. - Jacqueline Bisset


My view is quite simple. When your dog pees on the carpet, you do not give away your dog. You say, This dog is special. I have to teach him not to pee on the carpet. I feel exactly the same way about men. They need to be taught things. -Jacqueline Bisset

Got to love that one!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Action is the antidote to despair. - Joan Baez

Joan Baez is certaintly not part of my starlet quote series. Ms. Baez belongs more in 'Cool Chick' quotes.

Hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. Joan Baez

It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page. Joan Baez

The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one. Joan Baez

And from one of her songs that like alot of songwriters read like poetry...

Happiness is temporary
Believe me, I know
It can arrive as a shining crystal
And leave as the melting snow
Come all you lads and lasses
The Kingdom of Childhood passes

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Every man is a channel through which heaven floweth. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Read an article in the September issue of the Smithsonian called Ghost Writer by Gioia Diliberto and I've figured out where I'm going wrong with my writing - I should be channeling spirits!!! LOL!

The article is about a woman, Pearl Curran, who channeled at 17th century spirit (Patience Worth) using an Ouija board and dictated her poems and stories - nearly 4 million words between 1913 and 1937. That's not all - her first novel was hailed by the NY Times as a "feat of literary composition" and went on to publish 7 novels, poems, short stories, and plays.

gosh - a dead spirit can get published and I'm still waiting - patiently (ha, ha get it Patience Worth - ha, ha - okay lame I know)

Anyway, no one was able to prove her false though various theories abounded - like "the automatic activities of the unconscious" or "result of inherited 'nerves cells' or the more popular mulitple personalities. And of course spirtualism was enjoying a resurgence during this time making her popular.

There are times - the very rare times - that I do, as the article points out 'live as fully in their writing as in their own lives.' - where characters , plots, scenes, dialogue become as 'real to me as personal experience'

But to channel a dead spirit? Creepy - and besides the Bible says" 'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
--Leviticus 19:31

So channeling dead spirits is out. But how about channeling an alien from Planet X? Oh yeah I'm all over THAT.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

“Lipstick is not just for looking glamorous; it can be used to signal for help on windows and other surfaces.” Nancy Drew

Get A Clue - Life Wisdom from Nancy Drew
Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Life, You Can Learn From a Teenage Sleuth - By Amy Helmes

Raise a cyber hand if you are/were a fan of Nancy Drew. I was fan - that is until Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) kissed Frank Hardy (Parker Stevenson) in the television series. But I’m mostly over that - I mean it’s not like she kissed Joe Hardy (Shaun Cassidy - sigh, sigh, sigh) - if that were the case The Hardy Boys would have been investigating the murder of Nancy Drew - LOL.

Anyway - so I am a fan and I picked up the book below that included magnets of Nancy Drew book covers like The Hidden Staircase.

I took the quiz at the end of the book and scored 21 out of 25 making me an ace detective.

Chapter 4 is titles - Hot Dates, Heartaches, and other Courtship Capers
The author makes a good point that “bad boys aren’t Nancy’s cup of tea - having helped to apprehend too many to ever date one”
Her boyfriend Ned - which she meets after he helped her reattach the bumper to her car after an accident - is “not needy for her attention nor threatened by her intelligence - and she does not set aside her own ambitions or sacrifice her independence”

She is a fine role model for teenage girls… unlike the girl from Jeepers Creepers who decides to investigate a well where she saw a man shoving what looks like body bags down it - that girl is what we call in the writing world as Too Stupid To Live.

One more quote from our girl Nancy If worry were an effective weight-loss program, women would be invisible.” Nancy Drew'

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~Logan Pearsall Smith

Had a fabulous day back on July 10. Eileen Charbonneau held a one-day Novel Writing workshop at the Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, NY. It was a nice change of pace to meet with writers in other genres.

The first part of the workshop was on the importance of beginnings and the first 16 lines of your story in capturing an editors attention.

We previously submitted the first 15 pages to Eileen for critique and I received a huge ego boost when Eileen read the first 16 lines of Love By Design (she read from 2 other writers in the group as well).

Everyone enjoyed Love Design - but the biggest thrill was when they laughed when they were supposed to laugh. I think I’m hysterically funny but well that’s in my head. During lunch 3 of the other writers came up to me separately and told me how much they loved it.

During the day we wrote little assignments. I normally freeze in such an atmosphere and would never ever read my work, but after the conference in William Paterson University where I read my work (and again they laughed when they were supposed to ) I felt able to do so. I feel like I’ve really grown as a writer this past year. Anyway - here are the two assignments:

1)We learned a scene should do multiple things - So choose a setting and tell it through the eyes of the character that will show the reader who they are and what matters to them.
I wrote from Victoria’s POV (NYC interior designer from a wealthy family)

The walls painted in a stark white made the large abstract painting colored in dark red hues pop. The designer who selected the patterned fabric for the upholstered seating did so without a thought to how it would clash with 5th Avenue fashions.

2) Ask your character questions like how do they learn? (audio? visual? touch?)
- are they a problem solver? - competitive ? - are they open to new ideas? The list went on but you get the idea. The answers will determine how your character deals with the world. So my character Victoria does not like change - at all. We had to pick one apparently - but I was at the bathroom - but I got back in time to write this:

Victoria goes along with change like a cat goes along with a bath; scratching and clawing.

We all learned a lot that day and kudos to Eileen for a fab day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Burnout is nature`s way of telling you, you`ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you`re a zombie..." Sam Keen

20 days since my last post...yeah I'd say I have a little burnout regarding blogging. And you know how much I like zombies - so the above quote is perfect. Though I don't know whether it's really burn-out or hooray summer is here - so while I enjoy blogging - I have to take advantage of the short season we have here in the Catskills before the leaves start turning.

Only - I was involved in a car accident on Friday so no fun for me while I recover physically/mentally/emotionally.

Anyway - As I was home this weekend I came across an article in Woman's World Magazine - What does you favorite beach read say about you?

Romance: You are a rule-breaker: (in short) You are no fan of convention. You believe in the power of the heroine to make her own way in life! (hooray! Finally - someone gets it!)

Chick Lit: You're socialable
Thrillers: You're stress proof
Memoirs: You're ambitious
Mysteries: You're extra-intuitiv

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Who said "A cat could do better literature than this.”?

I came across an interesting article in The New Yorker, issue June 14 &21, 2010, In the Stacks - Marginal by Ian Frazier.

The writer visited the NYC Public Library where librarian Anne Garner had laid out a collection of books belonging to famous writers who habitually wrote notes in the margins of the book they read.

For example, Jack Kerouac’s copy of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry David Thoreau (a copy he borrowed from a library in 1949 and never returned it), he underlined this sentence - “The traveler must be born again of the road.” on page 227 and put a check mark next to it. One would have to imagine this led to his famous novel On the Road ( which I didn’t enjoy - all I remember is the characters talking about doing great things but just sitting around smoking pot)

My favorite though was Mark Twain's comment at the end of a chapter of the book, The Heavenly Twins by Sarah Grand, he wrote: “A cat could do better literature than this.”

This article got me thinking that I really should be doing the same thing. Read with the intent of learning what works and what doesn’t - but it seems like work - but if I want to improve my craft…

Another article is the same issue, the weekly column The Critics, Laura Miller reviews the boom of dystopian fiction for young readers. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins being the most visible of the current trends. (dying to read it). At the LIRWA Luncheon one of the agents was looking for YA Dystopian fiction and according to the article we will soon be inundated by a rush of these novels hitting the book shelves.

The article mentioned some novels form decades past. She mentioned on of my favorites, John Christopher’s, The White Mountains. I still remember sliding the book off the library shelf (great I can remember something that happened forty years ago but not 5 minutes ago). I also LOVED, but was not mentioned, is Anthem by Ayn Rand. To this day it’s in my top ten. Hmmmm, did I ever do a blog post on my top ten????? Maybe, next time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

You can't write poetry on the computer. ~Quentin Tarantino

I am not a huge fan of poetry however I do have my favorites. For me Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) has always meant alot to me. He wrote the poem from a hospital bed. I thought I'd share for those who may have not run across it.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
-WIlliam Ernest Henley

Do you have a favorite poem?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All’s Fair in Love and War - Team Betty or Team Veronica?

At $2.98 I couldn’t help but pick up Betty and Veronica: A Girl’s Guide to the ‘Comic’ World of Dating.

The saga of a love triangle comic book style - Betty vs. Veronica for the affections of Archie. Right up there with Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere, Carrie, Mr. Big, and Aidan or Bella, Jacob, and Edward (LOL).

The book gave relationship pitfalls and dating advice for each personality types of:


Betty and Veronica’s Do and Don’t of Dating - like my favorite -
Don’t experiment drastically with your look before a big event (so true)


A quiz to determine you comic book counterpart.
So who am I? I’m Betty Cooper with a little a touch of Cheryl Blossom.

Some magnets were included with nuggets of wisdom such as:
- Sharing is caring, but when it comes to boyfriends, get your own!
-I brake for prince charmings!
-Cute boys are a dime a dozen-and I'll take five dollars worth (does Veronica realize that's 600 boys!)

So I want to know - are you Team Betty or Team Veronica - OR are you like me who would have told Archie to take a hike a couple of decades ago?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Cyril Connolly

Why did I use the above quote? I attented the Long Island Romanace Writers Luncheon yesterday. I had a great time talking with other writers, agents, and editors. However it seemed everyone was looking for Paranormal Romance and Young Adult Paranormal Romance. Yeah, I don't write that. And I won't attemtpt one either - it's just not my voice - I know it.

I did get a few requests so that's good. I'm still waiting to hear from an editor on my completed manuscript,Playing For Keeps.

Steven Zacharius, President of Kensington Books was the Guest Speaker - he said...
important things to do:
keep a list of fans (mailing list)
social networking

when Google launches e-books expects that it will be BIG
see hardcover eventually going away
stores are buying less upfront
By next year 10% of Kensington sales with be from e-books
every morning he goes into google news and searches under 'book publishing news'
general ads (with the exception of Romantic Times) do nothing - $ better spent elsehwere.
Kensington Brava with be holding a contest Writing w/the Stars in conjuction with Romantic Times

There were two terms that were being thrown around and some of the writers at my table were unfamilar with them so I thought I'd define them here (with the help of Wikapedia)
is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era Britain[citation needed] — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Dystopia is a vision of an often futuristic society, which has developed into a negative version of Utopia, in which society has degraded into a repressive, controlled state. A dystopia is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. It usually features different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions and a state of constant warfare or violence. A dystopian society is also often characterized by mass poverty for most of its inhabitants.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

“I am Diana, Princess of the Amazons!. I won’t be denied!” (Wonder Woman via The Justice League)

Before we get to some quotes from Wonder Woman - the inspiration for this post came from an article in the History Channel’s magazine.

William Marston, the creator of the comic-book character Wonder Woman was also known as the father of the polygraph. (Do you remember Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso of Truth? )Although he did not invent the lie detector machine, he created the process by which a subjects blood pressure was plotted on a graph while asking questions.

He believed that society was doomed unless woman eventually took over. That said the man lived with his wife AND his lover, having 2 children with each.

Marston wrote, “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power.” He created Wonder Woman to “created a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

Cool stuff.
Here are some quotes from various comic books:

Carlo Indrezzano: YOU saved me.
Wonder Woman: Yes
CI: Impossible! You’re a woman!
WW: I have heard that once or twice before

Saleswoman: It’s the latest scent! You wear this and you’ll have to beat the men off with a stick.
WW: Believe me- I don’t need a stick
(WW from the Justice League)

“Peace is a virtue. A state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, and justice. It is not simply the absence of war.” WW#199

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years." ~Simone Signoret

25 Years of Marriage. The Vatican hasn't called me yet to confirm that my canonization is being fast-tracked(being that I'm still alive and all) but still - since St. Elizabeth is taken, I thought St. Liz has a nice ring to it.

Even Bill Cosby agrees with me:
"For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked." ~Bill Cosby, Love and Marriage

Here are some more quotes on marriage:

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin

"Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century." ~Mark Twain

Okay - I can't help myself - I have to throw a funny one in:

"I love being married. It's so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life." - Rita Rudner

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Fold him in his country's stars." -- George Henry Boker

Two weeks ago I volunteered up at the Bethel-Woods Museum's where the traveling half-sized replica of The Wall That Heals - Vietnam War Memorial was displayed. It was truly a honor to do so and a very humbling experience. I cried even before I got up to the wall.

The veterans volunteering at this event were nothing short of wonderful. I was always aware of the importance of Memorial Day but this years will have even more meaning.

Thank you to all soldiers past and present for your service and sacrifice.

I liked to share some other quotes I found...

The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem. ~Aaron Kilbourn

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. ~Francis A. Walker

As I approach the gates of heaven;
St. Peter I will tell;
One more soldier reporting sir;
I've served my time in hell. -Mark Anthony Gresswell

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who said - “All I want to be is the Jane Austen of south Alabama.”?

Harper Lee said this half-jokingly after To Kill a Mockingbird was published.

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Usually a requirement of high school English classes, I didn’t read the book until my son was assigned it in his sophomore year. To this day it is one of my favorites - (unlike Catcher In the Rye - after 2 chapters I told my son he was on his own)

Here are some interesting facts from the Smithsonian’s great article by Charles Leerhsen called Novel Achievement.

In a survey asking what one book every civilized person should read, Mockingbird finishes second to the Bible.

In 2007 she accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Truman Capote as a boy spent summers at his cousin’s house next to Lee’s. (and resembles the character Dill in the book)

In 1957 she flung the unfinished manuscript out the window of her NYC apartment but after calling the editor who had previously encouraged her, than ran down the steps to retrieve the pages, and then began the revisions.

The result? The Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

So I’ll forgive the fact she roots for the Mets.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who said - “I never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.” ?

former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

Fooled you, didn’t I? No this is not another post from my starlet series. Politics aside, one must admit Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State is a strong woman - so when I came across a fascinating interview with her conducted by Megan Gambino in the June issue of the Smithsonian I thought I’d have some fun.

What was the article about? -
Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection features 200 pieces of jewelry.

Albright often used brooches and pins to express her moods and opinions. She saw it as a visual way to deliver a message.

The article gave some of these examples:

During the Gulf War the government-controlled Iraqi media compared her to a “unparallel serpent”. She wore a snake pin to her next meeting with Iraq.

After finding out the Russians and planted a listening device near her conference room, she wore a huge bug pin the next time she met with the Russians. “They got the message.”

My first thought was wow, at some point I could use this as a characterization tool in my writing. Not only with the jewerly but the fact that this power woman has a sense of humour and can admire popular culture icons like Xena.

Again politics aside, you gotta have mad love for a woman whose role model is Xena.

Like Xena said - “I have skills.” and

“Nobody made you who you are, it was already there.” Xena

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Have you Vook-ed yet?

What is a Vook? A Vook is a digital book type that combines video, links to the internet and text into one application that's available both on the Web and as a mobile application.

As of today they have 56 titles available and plan to release a total of 750 in 2010.

I decided to check it out. Now I don't have an e-reader nor am I a big fan a reading on the computer - between using it for my day job and at night for writing my book I look forward to opening a book so take my observations with that in mind.

Anne Rice's - The Master of Rampling Gate
A previously published short short that cost $4.99 to download that would have been better priced at 1.99. The clip videos included were interviews with Ms. Rice or other information such as the history of Gothic Literature. Within the story itself there are internet links - for example - clicking on the highlighted word 'gable' takes you to an on-line dictionary and clicking on the higlighted word 'London' took me to a site that described historical London. I found the links to be a time suck but that's me.
I could bookmark, change between 2 fonts, do read only, full screen.
You can also share on various social networks though I did not test these.

Jude Deveraux - Promises
This is for Vook only novella release for the price of $6.99. The story was wonderful as all Jude Deveraux stories are but I didn't think videos added much. There were no internet links which is okay by me.

To Vook or not to Vook? Not for now anyway. Now if I had an IPAD.... true hypocritical fashion
Would I want Love By Design to be a Vook? Hell yeah!
I would need to hire Josh Holloway (plays Sawyer on Lost) and Victoria would be....well ME of course...only I'm not 5'2...oh well I guess that's what revisions are for

Friday, May 14, 2010

If you're going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way. Jayne Mansfield

I've been busy actually writing and have reached the half-way mark of Love By Design! So since time is short I'm posting another diva in my starlet quote 'series'

Had a real hard time finding an appropriate picture of Ms. Mansfield. They all seemed a little too risque. I like this photo of her - it seems so old Hollywood.
Now here was a woman with curves! Here are some more quotes:

Men are creatures with two legs and eight hands. - Jayne Mansfield

I will never be satisfied. Life is one constant search for the betterment for me.
Jayne Mansfield

Most girls don't know what to do with what they've got. - Jayne Mansfield

I like being a pin-up girl. There's nothing wrong with it. - Jayne Mansfield

A 41-inch bust and a lot of perseverance will get you more than a cup of coffee - a lot more. - Jayne Mansfield

I do know that God created us equal and we're not living up to it. - Jayne Mansfield

Monday, May 10, 2010

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." Lena Horne

A great lady died on Sunday, Lena Horne, at the age of 92.

"Don't be afraid to be as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it's just death." - Lena Horne

"I'm still learning, you know at 80, I feel there is alot I don't know." - Lena Horne

"You have to be taught to be second class, you're not born that way." - Lena Horne

"It's ill becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occassionally we do." - Lena Horne

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it." - Brigitte Bardot

Before I list some fabulous quotes from Ms. Bardot I want to thank everyone for the great response here and on facebook regarding the poem I wrote. People even passed it along on facebook which got me all teary eyed.

Anyway doing a complete 180 from my last post here are some quotes from Brigitte Bardot:

Men are beasts and even beasts don't behave as they do. - Brigitte Bardot

I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals. - Brigitte Bardot

I have not always loved wisely, but I was young. - Brigitte Bardot

I know what sin is. - Brigitte Bardot

I have to live with both my selves as best I may. - Brigitte Bardot

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace." Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The Wind

A poem I sketched out:
by Elizabeth Matis

God's grace
blankets the earth
in peace
wrapping mankind
in HIS
warm embrace

Satan's breath
lifts the veil
of lace
to reveal
our true face

our case
please God
do not
abandon the
human race

your heart
He said
is the first
step to
obtaining grace

Hope you enjoyed it. I wish I knew who to give credit for the wonderful photo but I thought it well with my poem.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I wasn't a sex symbol, I was a sex zombie. - Veronica Lake

Interesting facts about Veronica Lake:

Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockelman in Brooklyn, New York.
Lake was sent to Villa Maria, an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Montreal, Canada, which she hated and from which she was expelled.

The Archie Comics character Veronica Lodge was partially named after Veronica Lake, who was in the midst of her early celebrity when the comic book character was introduced in the spring of 1942.

"You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision." Veronica Lake

I couldn't find any other quotes by Ms. Lake but I do so love the zombie quote above.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I've written some poetry I don't understand myself. Carl Sandburg

I was going to write a poem in honor of National Poetry Month but since that's not going to happen here is a poem from my favorite Vulcan - Leonard Nimoy:

I am convinced
That if all mankind
Could only gather together
In one circle
Arms around each other's shoulders
And dance, laugh and cry
Then much
of the tension and burden
of life
Would fall away
In the knowledge that
We are all children
Needing and wanting
Each other's
Comfort and
We are all children
Searching for love

For some reason the formating of the peom didn't come across but fortunately, this poem is very easy to understand and agree with.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there. - Betty Grable

Interesting facts:
This photo was included in Life's 100 photos that changed the world.

Hosiery specialists of the era often noted the ideal proportions of her legs as: thigh (18.5") calf (12"), and ankle (7.5"). Grable's legs were famously insured by her studio for $1,000,000 with Lloyds of London.

Here are some more of her famous quotes:

I`m strictly an enlisted man`s girl.- Betty Grable

You're better off betting on a horse than betting on a man. A horse may not be able to hold you tight, but he doesn't wanna wander from the stable at night.-Betty Grable

With the man the world is his heart, with the woman the heart is her world.-Betty Grable

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter." Blaise Pascal

Okay - I'll get back to those diva quotes later in the week - in fact, I think I'll make it a once of week blog entry.

In the 4/12/10 The New Yorker was this cartoon:

There was also a great peom by Jessica Greenbaum named Next Door. Here is a snippet
- That silence
is also like the space between the reader and the page,
the little nation between the writer's words and our
particular way of receiving them, or the blank station
we fill in between ourselves and passing strangers,
or between ourselves and people we presume to know,
but most achingly in the ones we try to know.

Then in the latest Poets&Writers there was a great article by Benjamin Percy about revision:

'Faulkner said, "Kill your darlings."'
Percy keeps what he calls a cemetery folder where "I dump and bury anything that is excised from a story." This makes it easier for him to cut.


"When revising, the beginning writer spends hours consulting thesaurus, replacing a period with a semicolon, cutting adjectives, adding a few descriptive sentences-whereas the professional writer mercilessly lops off limbs, rips out innards like party streamers, drains away gallons of blood and then calls down lightning to bring the body back to life."

It seems that dude Pascal from the 16th century (see quote above) knew this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading.- William Zinsser

Had a lovely day at the William Paterson University Spring Writer's Conference. Alison, Marianne, Yolanda, and I caught up on the way down and breakfast on muffins and donuts in the atruim before registering.

Though the conference focus was of "Writing Childhood" the workshops I choose, did not.

My first workshop was Fiction, with keynote speaker David Means. He had us write a beginning where a character was in the kitchen and you had to get them outside with an item that should be used for something else. (he said it better than that)

If you know me you would be shocked to learn I read mine outloud! This is after the first two who read did not get their character "outside" but into another room. So when he asked if anyone had one that did I raised my hand. With my heart pounding I read what I had scribbled down. Here it is:

In Racheal Ray like fashion, I marched to the fridge and snapped up the ingredients I needed: ketchup, mustard, a package a raw meat. Hmmm, what else? Ahh, yes, red wine vinegar. I dumped it all into a basket and left the sunflower colored kitchen behind. I threw open the door of my soon-to-be exboyfriend's tricked out pickup truck (should have been my first clue). I reached for the ketchup bottle first.

David Means thought it was great how I got my character right out the door. His only suggestion was that I didn't need the soon-to-be-exboyfriend because it was already implied.

But I was proud of myself for reading it out-loud. I was the only romance writer in the room so I was a little intimidated.

Anyway, the purpose of the writing exercise was to show you how to move your character through narrative space. You want to evoke the reader by keeping the reader moving with your character.

Other comments he made were:
Learning to write will get you published. Build it and it will come.
You need to instruct the reader how to see.
You want your reader to enter the dreamscape of the experience.
Studies show the same neurons are fired in your brain whether you read about the experience or are actually doing it.
Study other writers who do it great.

Then I meant up with my group for lunch. Though they had a great spread I chose to with a plain salad and a small roll. Why? Because the was a YUMMY nice sized brownie to be had for dessert.

My last workshop was on Advance Grammar. Oh, how I wanted to take a poetry workshop but I know I am lacking in the grammar department. And you know what? After this course I still am. It leaned more toward essays and teaching sentence structure so it didn't help - except that I found out British writers do not use commas - at least not like US writers - so maybe I should move to England?

After the class we loaded back up into Alison beautiful Lincoln and headed back home while discussing our day - with a stop at Starbucks for ice coffee. Come on - you knew I had to have ice coffee at some point.