Woke up, put on clothes, etc.


I am getting web hits from Germany and Poland, making me wonder if my book is out in those countries like some Red Dress books are. I just discovered that Pilby came out in May in Spanish. Despite my high school Spanish, I'm not sure what the title means, but Google will help me figure it out.

UPDATE: It means "A Place for Carrie." Seems appropriate. Now I will stop ego-surfing and go do my work.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

The cover of this week's New Yorker is Americans waving their July 4 flags and fighting with each other.


"Pretty much no one I talk to is worth 40 cents a minute." - Doogie
I found out on the web that there's an Italian version of Square Two, but it's called "I Play Alone." They're trying to focus on the "dating rules" aspect of the book more than the young widow thing, I think.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Tune in tomorrow, when I do it again!


Tried to go see F911 in NY. Sold out at two theaters: 8:15 show, 9:30, 10:30. Didn't want to wait until 11.
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

Rinse and repeat.


Mickey writes:Caren writes, "No one writes anything interesting on Saturdays." Oh, really? That is a matter of opinion!

Apparently, if I had hung out at any of the three theaters in NYC that were showing "Fahrenheit 911" last night, I would have bumped into 33 percent of the people I know.
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

No one writes anything interesting on Saturdays.

Oh well, guess I won't mess with tradition.


Snopes.com is trying to find out whether the e-mail from the guy to the woman who didn't go on a 2nd date with him is an Urban Legend or is real. Click the link. All they have to do is have someone go to the guy's house and see if he lives there and ask him. What a bunch of lazy journalists we have these days.
I'm always looking for good suggestions of books to read, and now that summer's here, a few people have asked me for some of my own. So I've finally put up a list of some readable, great summer reads.

DISCLAIMER: I put a lot of emphasis on reading things that are enjoyable, not necessarily pretentious or hard to get through. So on this list, besides a 'classic' or two, you will find more popular stuff (and even an Oprah-endorsed book), but they're all books that I love to pick up over and over because they're compelling, readable, and leave me thinking about them later.

This is a motley crew of books, and they're on this list simply because I think you won't be disappointed if you pick them up. Some of them would be fun to discuss, too.

Oh, and I won't be adding anything new to it, so don't send me bribes.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Last night I went to two literary-related parties. And did no writing. I am going to try to find more literary events to go to, so I can keep not writing!

I was thinking about how technology changes while one's book is getting written and edited, and sometimes things get old and have to be revised again. I wrote Carrie Pilby in 1999, and had the main character using the personal ads in a New York tabloid. Today, she'd use computer ads, but most young people were not doing that back then. Things change fast. During the final edit, some time in 2002, I added a last-minute line about how she didn't want to use computer ads because it's less private.

When I was writing "Starting from Square Two" in late 2001, I put the word "blog" in quotation marks because they were kind of new, and not many people knew the term yet. By the time I got around to revisions, it looked silly in quotes.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

New version of an old lyric:

What else
can I


An interesting story on first-time authors. (Don't let it discourage you!)
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

In my newspaper editing job, I occasionally find that reporters grapple over leads and sometimes end up going with a semi-fluffy generalizing first sentence in order to introduce their main point. But it's often better to get to that point without the insulation. Examples: "Everyone knows that sometimes, there's nothing better than free ice cream." "Now that school's out, parents might be looking for ways to help their children beat the heat this summer."

Here's one from this week's New Yorker:

"Anyone who has lived through a summer in the city knows that there is no force in the world stronger than girls singing along to the radio while skipping rope."

Huh?! I can think of a few.

There's also a sentence in there about the Hoobastank song being so good that it could have been a hit two decades ago. Nah. Half the songs on the radio now would never ever have been hits two decades ago, because there was too much competition from good, original songs back then. Look at any top 40 pop chart before 1987 (the year pop music went bad) and you'll see.


Oh my God! Supportive Alan wrote to tell me that Jennifer Weiner lists me among favorite authors in her FAQ. I'm in a list of her "chick lit contemporaries," which is a little unnerving because she is a full ten months older than I am, but I am so grateful! I could tell everyone to read Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, but they have, but read them anyway.

The most interesting thing about this is that she wrote her FAQ in 1982, when I was publishing the "Tush Times" out of the family room. Imagine how she feels now that I've written two novels!

UPDATE: Supportive Alan writes: "So do I write to Jen and tell her that you mentioned Jen on your blog? This could go on forever!"

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.


Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.


Someone came to this blog by putting into Google: "how to get rid of your ex boyfriends girlfriend"

I wonder if they were just testing chick lit book ideas.
Here's a nice wrap-up of the reading, plus some good photos (except the one of me...luckily it's nice and dark).
Woke up! Put on clothes! Went to work!


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Last night I went to a screening of The Hunting of the President, a documentary about the Republicans who were trying to bring down Bill Clinton. Afterwards, Clinton spoke. He said that the important message is that the Democratic way of running gov't was proven to be more successful than the Republican way, and so to take the debate off of social and economic policies, the right tries to "demonize" him and attack him personally. He also said that it's important that post-Cold War, we figure out which direction to take gov't in, and there's a real division in the country that the right wants to take advantage of.

The film, as Newsday reports today, spent too much time with trifles and interviewing Arkansas weirdos, but did show how the gov't tried to flummox Susan McDoogal into saying things about Whitewater that she didn't believe to be true. There were also some funny moments.

At one point during Clinton's after-film speech, he said, "I'm just a guy from Arkansas." That lawyerly device has been satirized on Saturday Night Live ("I'm just an unfrozen caveman" in the skit "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer") and it was a tad irking to hear it after he was in office eight years.

On another note, Moby, Kurt Vonnegut, and Al Franken were in the audience. Thanks to my friend Matt for getting me in.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Lori sent along this link to a story about a truck full of nine million bees overturning. I smell a summer blockbuster in this. (No "buzz" jokes, please.)


Thanks to everyone who came to the Barbes reading tonight and listened to me read my essay on my experiences in "Crappy Time Day Camp" (which was a real place). Also thanks to my fellow readers, and Ned the host.
Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.

Sarah did a great write-up on last night's excursion, during which she and Valerie were kind enough to humor my appreciation of kitsch. They left out the part where I yelled, "Hi, Mr. Carter!" to Aaron's dad and he responded with a wave.

I'm trying desperately to get the first half of novel 3 into better shape. It's been a long journey, and it could still use a lot of revisions. I think I have to start shaping part 2 for a while instead. This thing will never get done.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work. I have an article in the New Jersey section of the New York Times tomorrow (Sunday), but you can only get it if you live in Joisey.

I found out that at Tuesday's reading (which begins at 7 p.m.), each of us will read a question at the end related to our story, and the winner will get a prize.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Read The Illuminated Donkey one day because he's nice enough to link to me. (It's not about politics.)


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

In case anyone doesn't know, this coming Friday has been declared a National Day of Mourning by George Bush. This is an Executive Order. So you won't get any mail, and post offices and other federal offices will be closed.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Walking back from trivia with hosts Jon and Valerie, a guy passed us who looked famous. "He looks like Eliot Gould" I said. Three seconds later, Valerie said, "There's Jude Law." She said it very calmly and I thought she was joking. Then I looked and Jude Law was standing on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street, having a conversation with a short blonde woman. No one was bothering them or even noticing them. He looked really good. His hair was dyed blonde. I was excited because I never notice celebrities in NY...unless I'm with other people.

Ned Vizzini has posted more info about the June 15 reading (next Tuesday). He will also be appearing on the Today Show next month...wow!


Two people e-mailed me to say they were horrified that our teacher asked who our parents voted for. She didn't mean anything by it...she just wanted to point out that our class mirrored the rest of the U.S.

Do you say "soda" or "pop"? Doog passed along this great link. (I say soda.)
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


A Reagan memory.

I'm in fourth grade. First week in November, 1980. I come into homeroom that morning, Mrs. Fierro's class, and head to the alcove where we hang our coats. A bunch of kids surround me and say, "Who did your parents vote for?"

My mom voted for John Anderson the previous day, and my Dad voted for Jimmy Carter. Both lost to Reagan. "Anderson," I tell the kids. They run away.

When class settles in, Mrs. Fierro asks for a show of hands. "How many people's parents voted for Reagan?" she asks. A lot of hands go up.

"How many people's parents voted for Carter?" she asks. A few hands go up.

"How many people's parents voted for Anderson?"

Only little Paul W.'s hand goes up. I keep mine down. I've done enough things to get me picked on already.

The girl next to me looks at me, her eyes narrow. "You said your parents voted for Anderson," she hisses.

"No, my dad voted for Carter," I whisper back.

Okay, so I was a wimp. But what do you expect? It was fourth grade. I had to eat lunch with those kids and get picked last by them in gym, so the less I was in the public eye, the better!
Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work. Did some revising.

My psychic powers were correct on Ronald Reagan; if you didn't know what the end of my May 16 entry meant, now you know:

>>Oh, on another note, my psychic powers predict a final run for The Gipper very very soon. Enough on that.

May 16 is also the entry that has info on my June 15 reading with Jeff Somers, Jackie Corley and Ned Vizzini.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke pu, tup on clothes, went to krow.

I am looking for an inexpensive laptop, maybe reconditioned, for my brother. If you have a line on where to get them, or know anyone getting rid of used ones that work well and have built-in modems, please e-mail me at lizzner@aol.com. I already know about powermax.


NJWT writes:

You said, "The point was that a typical right-wing argument is that if you help people, there's no 'incentive for them to work hard.'"
And Dawn said, "I don't think it's right to write off a whole group of people as heartless because they have conservative beliefs. Most conservatives..... just believe it should be as part of programs that give them an incentive to work, and not mere handouts"

So in other words, you were right, but hypothetically it's wrong to generalize.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Guess which season begins today? Guess? Oh boy!