Monday, December 29, 2008

Last post of 2008!

Well, it's my last post of 2008, so what better to talk about than New Year's resolutions?!  Every year, I have the same old resolutions-- eat healthier foods, work out more, be better about staying in touch with friends and family, and write more-- but this year, I'm simplifying!  My big goal for 2009 is to write more.  

It's so easy to come up with excuses why I can't write.  I don't have time.  I have other things to do.  I'm tired.  I'm too busy organizing my sock drawer.  Well, this year, I'm not making any excuses!  I'm going to commit myself to just one goal, writing as much as I can, and sticking to it! Like diet and exercise, writing is something that makes me feel good, so why do I always procrastinate?!  Okay, I guess that's a whole other blog post, but as for right now, I'm just going to focus on one thing:  writing more.

What are you going to focus on in 2009?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Georgia Peach

On my sister-in-law's recommendation, I've been watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. And, oh my, what a wonderful car-crash of a show it is!

By far, one of the most controversial cast members is Kim. She's the divorced mother of two, and the only white woman on the show.

I have a question: aren't African-American women pissed off when she says things like: People think I'm Black because I have a big butt. What's next? Do people also think that she's Jewish because she has a big nose?!

But, that's actually the least of what offends me about Kim. Yes, there's more!

You see, Kim fancies herself a singer. Her dream is to be a country singer. Now, I'm not trying to bash that: Having a dream is a great thing. I've got lots of dreams, and I've even made some of them come true.

But what pisses me off about this is that she thinks that you can just snap your fingers and make your dream come true. When in reality, making dreams come true is hard work.

When I wanted to publish a novel, I took writing classes, joined a writer's group, and basically worked at it night and day.

You can't make a dream come true overnight, as Kim seems to think. She's uninterested in singing lessons, or learning anything about music.

Maybe that's why she's become BFF with Sheree, who thinks that becoming a fashion designer just takes throwing lots of money at people. And, has she got people! To succeed at this venture, Sheree hired an assistant, an artist, and a marketing person, just to name a few, but didn't take a single class in drawing, fashion marketing, textiles, or sewing. She holds meetings with her crew where they talk about how fabulous Sheree is and drink wine. Lots of wine.

Sheree, like Kim, claims that you don't need to know textiles to run a fashion line. Nor do you have to be able to draw, or sew, or anything difficult like that. You just need to have a vision, and most fashion designers are the same way. She claims that most fashion designers don't know anything about the nuts and bolts-- they just have a vision.

Don't tell that to Donna Karan, who worked her butt off for years at Anne Klein's label. Or Isaac Mizrahi, who, as part of his cabaret show, used to cut and design a cocktail dress on stage, using only a pair of scissors and a black tablecloth.

In fact, don't tell that to any of us who work night and day to make our dreams come true. Those of us who take classes in our desired fields, network, and practice as much as we possibly can. I guess for the Georgia peaches of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, dreams just come true by throwing lots of money at them.

For the rest of us, it's all about hard work.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy holidays!

Warm wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy holiday season!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Kaye from Florida-- she's won a signed copy of SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY by Melissa Clark!

Didn't win? That's okay! In January, we'll have giveaways from Leslie Lehr (WIFE GOES ON) and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga (MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT). Then, in time for Valentine's Day, we'll be giving away one from Mindy Klasky (MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL). So, be sure to check back here for a chance to win more books!

Happy holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

One of these things is not like the other....

So, CBS has been running ads all over town declaring that their new show, The Mentalist, is their number one new show. But, me confused: isn't that this? Only more serious and with an Aussie dude?

Now yes, I'm totally biased here, since PSYCH is one of my favorite shows on TV, but let's examine the evidence, shall we? (After all, that's what they would do on one of these shows, wouldn't they?!)

This is how CBS describes their show:THE MENALIST stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation.

And here's what PSYCH is about:
PSYCH is a quick-witted comedy/drama starring James Roday as young police consultant Shawn Spencer who solves crimes with powers of observation so acute that Santa Barbara PD detectives think he’s psychic.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reading is fundamental....

Babies in Brooklyn love JACK and SCOT! And the colors of the book covers matches the baby seat perfectly! (Gotta coordinate if you're going to be a Brooklyn hipster baby....)

Wow, she really knows how to coordinate-- she's even got JACK WITH A TWIST and SCOT ON THE ROCKS tote bags!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's going on with my television?!

Well, my hubby just told me that one of my favoritest shows on TV, Pushing Daisies, is being canceled. 

I just cannot understand this. Pushing Daisies is one of the smartest shows on television-- certainly one of the best written shows that I watch. (Sorry, Real Chance at Love!) 

So, then, why is this amazing show being canceled?! What-- was it not funny enough? Not clever enough? Not technicolor dream-licious enough?! I really don't get it.

How ABC can cancel a show that is so intelligent and entertaining is beyond me. Especially when you think about all of those other shows that stay on the air. Now, I don't like to be negative on this blog, so suffice it to say that you know which ones I'm talking about. And so do they! Shows That Are Not Worthy, you know who you are!

But, alas, some shows stay on the air, while my most favoritist ones get canceled. Damn you, ABC! DAMN YOU!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Congratulations go out to Audrey Salick from Wisconsin, who won the box filled with books. Thanks so much to everyone who entered our Holiday book giveaway!

We’ll be giving away lots more books in the next few months. In fact, right this very minute we are giving away a copy of Melissa Clark’s SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY.

There will be lots more wonderful authors stopping by for interviews on my blog and to give away books. These giveaways will only be announced on my blog and to enter, you’ll need to post a comment on my blog.

Look for Mindy Klasky (MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL) later this month, along with Leslie Lehr (WIFE GOES ON) and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga (MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT) in January.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hot daddy!

I went to see Twilight last night and yes, Edward and Bella were everything I thought they'd be.

And more.

But there was something a bit unanticipated that I absolutely lurved about the film: the hot dads.

Am I just getting old or are dads getting hotter? The trend started on Gossip Girl. Sure, Dan is a cutie, but how hot is his dad, Rufus?!

Twilight continued the trend of the crazy hot dad the second Bella's dad hit the screen. Sure, they made him all dad-like with a funky mustache on and all, but you can't fool me! He's the hot guy from My Boys! And, btw, how HIGH-larious is that mustache?! Were they trying to tone down his hotness or something? Or is that just the universal symbol for I'm in law enforcement? Do all cops in Washington state rock 'staches like that? Or is it just for the sheriffs?

But I digress. Here's what he normally looks like:

Hot, right?

I know!!!

And then there's the guy who plays Edward's dad in the film, Peter Facinelli, aka Mr. Jennie Garth. He was on one of my favorite canceled shows of all time, Fastlane, and now here he is, starring as the super-hot Carlisle Cullen.

Dunno if this hot dad will continue, but for now, all I can say is: Daddy-O!

Monday, December 15, 2008

GCC Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Melissa Clark

I'm so thrilled to be bringing you my very first Girlfriends Cyber Circuit interview, and it's a good one! Today, we've got the wonderful Melissa Clark with us. Melissa is the creator and executive producer of the award-winning television series, 'Braceface', and has written for shows on the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Fox. She received a master's degree from the writing program at U.C. Davis, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Melissa has generously offered to giveaway one copy of her debut novel, SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY. To enter, just post a comment in the comment section below!

Winners will be announced next week. But now, let's get to the questions!

1. Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

Sasha Salter is pregnant, only she hasn't had sex in over 2 years. Doctors have diagnosed her as harboring a 'lazy sperm' and she must now trace her love life to figure out who the father is. (Uh oh, I'm bad at math)

2. When did you first begin writing?

My dad is a writer, so I was always playing on his typewriter and writing on legal steno pads. I wrote short stories from the time that I could write. In my late 20's to mid-30's I worked as a writer in television. I created a kid's show called "Braceface" which ran for 5 seasons. I loved that experience, but really wanted to write a novel, so I quit my own show and set out to write "Swimming Upstream, Slowly." It was the best risk I've ever taken!

3. Where do you find inspiration for your work?

"Swimming Upstream, Slowly" was born because I was having lunch with a friend and overate. I lifted my shirt to expose my bloated belly and the friend said, half joking, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" and I said, "Yeah, right, from a lazy sperm." I went home that night and started outlining it for a movie. I decided, eventually, to write it as a novel instead.

4. What are you working on right now?

I JUST finished my second novel last week. It is another medical anomaly type of story, but more of a coming-of-age. It is at the agent's now and I am on pins and needles waiting for her call!

5. What are you reading right now?

I just started "Bright, Shiny Morning" by James Frey (author of the infamous 'A Million Little Pieces') because a friend said he read it in a 24 hour period and I was just so curious as to what grabbed his attention. So far it's pretty good, but I don't think I'll finish it in 24 hours!

Wanna win a free copy of Melissa's book? Just post a comment here and you're entered to win!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hey, girlfriend!

Well, I am just so, SO thrilled to announce that I'm going to be joining the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit. What's that, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did! The Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, or GCC for short, is the brain child of the wonderful Karin Gillespie and it's basically an online tour for fabulous female authors.

It's so amazing to be part of something so supportive and positive. You often encounter writers who are competitive or unwilling to share advice and it's so nice to be part of a community that's all about pushing women forward by supporting each other.

Each month, I'll be posting author interviews and book news from the GCC. Who knows, I may even throw in a book giveaway or two, since you know that I love free books!

The fabulous ladies that I'll be joining are:

So, please, go check out their blogs. And look for lots of author interviews to come! Doncha just love making new friends?!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We are so thrilled to have the fabulous MJ Rose here today, talking about her latest novel, THE MEMORIST. Not only is MJ a kick ass author, but she is also the creator of one of the publishing industry's most influential blogs, Buzz, Balls and Hype, as well as Author Buzz, the marketing program for authors.

But today it's all about MJ and her writing. So, without further ado, let's ask MJ some questions!

1. Tell us about your most recent novel, THE MEMORIST, in 25 words or less.

Israeli Journalist.
False Memories.
Binaural Beats.
Ancient Flute made of Human Bone.
Jewish Indiana Jones.
Historical Thriller.

[MJ: You had me at Jewish Indiana Jones. You had me at Jewish Indy....]

2. How do you fight writer’s block?

I honestly believe writer's block comes from a few things:
A: Not knowing your characters well enough and rushing into writing the book before you've gotten them under your skin and done enough research.
B: Writing what you know instead what you want to know about because unless you're amazingly fascinating you'll get through what you know by book 2 or 3 and then what will you do.

Once I figured that out that stuff I haven't suffered dreaded writer's block.

3. What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

Third and fourth drafts are my favorite. I can just keep nuancing the work and the hardest part is done which leads me to least favorite - the first draft is so damn tough. I'm not a good outline person.

4. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don't give up your day job. Only write because you love it so much you think you'd go crazy if you couldn't do it. Spend at least 25% of your advance on marketing.

5. How do you usually begin your stories—with a character or with a plot?

With a plot—more like a "what if" and then I have to have the title. Then I spend three months working on the main character and doing research.

Thanks for coming by, MJ! If you'd like to find out more about MJ Rose, check out her website. And if you'd like to enter to win a copy of THE MEMORIST, check out our book giveaway, going on right now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One more week!

One more week until Another Holiday Book Giveaway is over! So, what are you waiting for? Enter now! And get even more entries by emailing 5 friends about it, and/or blogging about it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Reading is fundamental....

What they say about those Manhattan kids is true: they really do learn everything before other kids. This little one already has figured out how to read and has GREAT taste in books, to boot! (I hope someone tells her that there's a sequel to that book she's reading....)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Buzz!

What could possibly make a better gift this holiday season? Yes, I know, finances are tight and times are tough for everyone, which is why the answer to that question is easy: Give books!

And now genius book marketer MJ Rose has come up with a fabulous campaign for the holiday season. The idea is to post blog ads that advertise the fact that books make great holiday gifts. At under $15, you can't buy enjoyment for less!

So, she got a bunch of her author friends together and created a massive campaign that you'll see on all of your favorite blogs: PerezHilton, Dlisted, you name it! Overall, the campaign will result in 500 million - that a 1/2 billion - impressions altogether over the 31 days of the campaign. See, I told you she was a genius!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy some books!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Secret agent man

Since I'm asked so frequently about how to get an agent, I thought I'd blog about it today.

The first thing you need to know—the thing that most people don't want to hear—is that for a fictional novel, you have to have your whole book written before you can even begin to query agents.

So, get your manuscript in great shape—go to writing classes, attend workshops, and get yourself into a writing group in order to get your book in fighting shape. But, really, if you think about it, that's the fun part. Then the real work begins:

You'll need to start with a reputable guidebook—I suggest Writer's Market in my Mediabistro class, but I’ve also heard that Jeff Herman’s guide is quite good, too. Read the section in the beginning about how to write a query letter and the etiquette of querying agents. All of that stuff is key—it’s just like applying for a job. Just because they are agents doesn’t mean you can be any less professional in your communications.

I'd also suggest using to back up your book research. You need to be an Avant Guild member of mediabistro to access their content on "How To Pitch An Agent" content but in my experience, it was worth it.

Last but not least, you should also do internet research on each and every agent you plan to query. (Specific agent, that is, not merely the agency, although you should research the agency, too!)

Remember that you should never pay an agent to read or review your work. Agents get paid by selling your work and then taking 15% of the sale and royalties.

Allison Winn Scotch’s blog, Ask Allison, has *amazing* info on finding agents (she's also on myspace). Read the links starting from the oldest. Her advice is really spot on.

She also does a q and a, so you can email her if you have specific questions.

Allison also has a bunch of incredibly informative blog posts where she talks about her own personal experience, so check them out.

If you prefer your advice with a bit of attitude, check out Miss Snark. She no longer updates the blog, but the archives are invaluable.

This website breaks down how to write a query letter.

And this blog post offers great insight on advances and how an author earns royalties.

I wish you the best of luck. Now, get back to writing!